Blended families: Don't call my family broken

Today is National Stepfamilies Day in the US, but the discussion on blended families has reached Canada with the new Honey Maid #NotBroken campaign.

blended-families
Photo: iStockphoto

Yesterday was my mother and stepfather’s 33rd anniversary.

My mom and I remember her wedding day a little differently. She claims my sister and I cried the whole time. I recall her standing in the judges’ chambers in a lace dress, followed by a dinner of chicken with pink peppercorns and a croque en bouche for dessert. Nonetheless, it was another milestone in being part of a blended family—a term that didn’t exist 33 years ago, but is a reality for about one in eight Canadian children today.

My parents split when I was five, and in the 70s that meant that some kids weren’t allowed to play at my “broken home.” My family is complicated, but I don’t ever think of it as broken. My family is what it is—imperfectly perfect.

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Now my kids get the amazing gift of having three grandfathers and three grandmothers to spoil and adore them. They don’t think my family is broken (especially around gift-giving occasions). They don’t differentiate between biological grandparents and step-grandparents—nor do I want them to.

Honey Maid has released a video celebrating blended families with the hashtag #NotBroken and #ThisIsWholesome to get people talking. And today, September 16, they will celebrate National Stepfamilies Day using readers’ submissions from their Facebook page for an upcoming project.

However, stepfamilies are just one kind of family that Honey Maid has included in their #ThisIsWholesome campaign. They debuted a commercial in March that featured both gay and mixed race families, as well. After they received negative reactions to the commercial, they hired two artists make a beautiful art installation with all the viewer feedback. (I think that is my favourite video they have done.)

The #ThisIsWholesome campaign is just another example of advertisers using their power to create viral videos with a progressive social message. We’ve seen Cheerios, Dove and Always do the same thing. It’s an encouraging trend.

I’m just going to wish everyone a Happy Stepfamily Day—especially to my step-parents who have added incalculable value to my life, and the lives of my relatives. As Honey Maid says: “Whether it’s one house or two, love is what makes a family wholesome.”

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of them are fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.

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