What’s that saying that everyone on Instagram is saying? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?
Well, that’s totally true for stepfamily life.
I’ve found that the more prepared I am, the less I’m affected by extra stress that comes with stepfamily life.
I’m talking, not being on the same page as your partner about rules and expectations. Behaviours from stepkids. The extra mess and chaos. Scheduling changes.
So here are 6 things that every stepmom should do before their week on with their stepkids.
MEAL PLAN + GROCERY SHOP
Ask the kids what they want for dinner. Do they have any snack requests? Is there something that they love having at their moms that they never get at your house?
Ask them what they want.
If it’s something that’s a hard no in the nutrition department, find a compromise.
Personally, I don’t do meal time battles and I don’t think that you should either.
The way I see it, stepfamily life can be stressful enough. This is one area I choose to let go.
We tend to do more child friendly meals during our week with my step kids. Here are some ideas:
- Lasagna and Caesar salad
- Taco night
- Burrito bowls
- Salad bar (This one is actually a hit. I put a bunch of different options in different bowls and kids can choose what they want. My youngest stepson isn’t a huge veggie lover, he usually grabs a tortilla, chicken and caesar dressing and makes himself a wrap).
- Homemade Pizza
- Homemade Mac and cheese
- Breaded chicken, potatoes and whatever veggie we feel like
- Chicken burgers
If they don’t like what’s for dinner, I usually direct them to the cereal cupboard.
Again, meal time battles aren’t for me.
When the kids aren’t here we eat different.
COORDINATE YOUR SCHEDULE WITH YOUR PARTNER
Get clear on who is doing what and when so you’re not blindsided by a last minute pick up request, or a late night meeting.
Life happens. Schedules change. But the more clear you can be on whats happening for the week, the better.
HAVE A PARENTING CHECK-IN
Check in and chat about any issues that have been coming up. Do your best to get on the same page, while being realistic about the fact that sometimes you won’t be on the same page.
Chances are, you’re dealing with similar stressors repeatedly. Decide how you’re going to deal with the snarky teenage attitude, the messy bedroom or the cereal bowls left in the living room.
DECIDE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO LET GO
Look, certain things just aren’t worth the battle, but when you’re in the moment we tend to react emotionally. Get ahead of these reactions by deciding what you are going to let go this week.
Ask yourself, is this worth the turmoil it’s casing in my relationship, is it worth the impact on the vibe of my home, does it really matter?
Make a mental (or physical) list of things you’re going to let go.
SCHEDULE IN SELF CARE
When I have scheduled workouts, take time to read/journal and make sure I am taking time for myself, stepfamily triggers don’t hijack me like they can.
The way I react to the exact same situation can be entirely different based on how much I am taking care of myself.
I bet it’s the same for you too!
GET AHEAD OF YOUR STRESSORS
I’m all about being proactive NOT reactive with stepfamily stressors.
Get ahead of stressors.
How can you minimize the impact stepfamily stressors have on you this week? How have you responded to triggers in the past? Is this working? How will you respond if/when it happens again. Being proactive with your stressors can change the game.