Not to be forgotten in the month that celebrates moms, stepmothers can make quite a positive impact on the lives of their step-kids. We asked Shine readers to share the lessons they have learned from their stepmoms. Remember, the wicked stepmother in "Cinderella?" Well, these stepmoms certainly aren't anything like her. Turns out, stepmoms are kind, open, and can become a best friend for life.
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"Moving on is not betrayal. One of the reasons why we had a hard time accepting Sue was because to do so felt like a betrayal of our mother's memory. From Sue, we realized that moving on does not mean that we love the deceased person any less, it just means that we have decided to go on with living life. Our mother would have wanted that!" -- R. Clark
"She taught me that it is useless to lie, at least around her, because she will always find out the truth. In sixth grade, we did a fundraiser where we sold chocolate bars. To show their trust in me, they allowed me to keep the chocolate in my room. Well, I ate them, and then lied and said the cat ate them; however, they found the empty wrappers and I was in big trouble. I had to do random things around the house to make up for the cost. Laurie Ann told me that if I'd just told the truth, then I wouldn't have been in so much trouble. She then informed me she knew I was lying the whole time. I still do not know how, other than the fact that I used the lamest excuse in the book." -- Rebecca Decker
"It's a classic story: family doesn't always agree. I often thought I would never have a solid relationship with Claire since we never agreed on anything. I mean, how could she not agree that Cool Whip goes on every dessert? As much as we fought throughout my teenage years, I didn't expect much communication as an adult. But things actually became easier when I finally grew up and realized it's OK to see things differently. She remembers to bring out the Cool Whip on holidays, and I actually listen when she suggests a new vitamin to try. We don't have to agree, but we can still care about each other." -- Kay Mitchell
"I was a pretty straight-laced kid. I hung out with a good group of friends and stayed on the honor roll. But like most kids, I messed up. Was I grounded from here to eternity? You bet. Did I sob and plead for her not to tell Dad? Yep. I cringed for the aftermath, expecting to walk around the house with my tail between my legs; however, Sharon showed me that her love for me, despite my flaws, was unconditional. After punishments were doled out, she showed me that life goes on! We still had normal conversation, made fun of Dad behind his back, and skipped dinner for that popcorn instead." -- Sherri Lynn
1. Keep a positive attitude whenever possible.
2. A good sense of humor can get you through some of the toughest times.
3. Make sure to smile when you're throwing the opening pitch at Yankee stadium." -- Alexa Varano
"It takes more than blood to make a family. A healthy family requires work, honesty, and dedication. Genetic markers may imply familial relationships, but does not guarantee them. My stepmother once told me that loving someone is as much a choice as it is an emotion. Giving birth may be reserved for women, but raising a child requires the choice of a woman to become a mother." -- Casey Hutchens
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"I love to cook and Sister Judy has always been in full support. She bought me my favorite vegetarian cookbook over 10 years ago, and I still use it on a regular basis. But that doesn't mean that I follow the recipe step-by-step. Sister Judy customizes recipes more than anyone else I know. Most things, like her delicious banana pudding, have become a recipe that I depend on and make on a regular basis. Other things, like whole wheat biscuits, haven't been mastered yet, but they're made with love and that makes them taste better." -- Nadirah Khalifah
Tell us, what lessons did your stepmom teach you?