At the time of writing this, summer holidays is almost here.
Summer can be a very stressful time for stepmoms.
Schedule changes, lack of routine, more time with your stepkids. The list goes on.
Different parenting values and expectations are a helluva lot more noticeable when the kids are at home ALL THE TIME.
Not to mention, a lot of stepmoms are at home, acting as the primary one in charge of their stepkids during the summer time.
If your relationship isn’t going so hot, this can be… well a lot!
So on that note, I thought I would share some quick and dirty tips to help minimize extra stress during the summer months.
Summer is meant to be fun, carefree and a time for making memories. Try not to get caught up in all the crap, and focus on what really matters.
Make a list of things you’re going to let go
Yes I said let go. If your partner doesn’t care if the kids rooms are clean or if they sleep in until noon during the summer, the best thing for you to do is ignore it. Trust me. It doesn’t matter in the long run. You’re playing the long game. Grab your journal, and make a list of stressors that you think will come up. Then go back through that list and decide what ones you’re going to simply let go!
Have a family meeting
Check in and see where everyone is at about summer. Collaboratively come up with expectations, responsibilities and intentions. The key here is to make sure that the kids have a say. Include them in the process. Ask they what they feel is reasonable. The more collaborative this process is, the more likely they are to get on board. Kids want to feel valued, heard and like they some control over their lives. Plus they’ll come up with some great ideas. They are more likely to follow through, if they are involved in the process.
Create your self-care plan
Get out your journal and your calendar and create your self-care plan. When are you going to work-out, see your girlfriends, do something for you. There is no one size fits all approach to thriving as a stepmom, but here’s something I know for sure. When you’re taking care of yourself, the things that trigger you, are going to have less of an impact. You’re more capable of having a long game perspective. Your reactions will be better. Your relationships will improve. Trust.
Anticipate your stressors
I’m all about being proactive with your stepfamily stress. It’s important to go in with a plan so that when things fall off the rails, you don’t feel overcome with emotion and then have a reaction that doesn’t help. What are you going to do if your stepkids mom changes the schedule last minute? If your stepson doesn’t want to come on the family vacation? If your stepkids are full of teenage attitude? If you receive yet another lawyers letter? If your stepkds mom is constantly FaceTiming during your family time? How are you going to respond? Go into these stressful situations with a plan. This helps you feel more in control of an uncontrollable situation.
Manage your Expectations
I posted a quote on social a few weeks back. I’ve talked about it a few times since. It is
the secret to happiness is letting things be what it is, instead of what you think it should be
I think that’s one of our biggest struggles as a stepmom. We get stuck on how we think it should be, how we think we should be viewed, how we think our family should function. We get so stuck that we don’t have the bandwidth to focus on dealing with the situation right in front of us.
Manage your expectations this summer. Be real about your situation and your relationships. Play the long game. Focus on the vibe of your home and pick your battles.
Most importantly, go in with a plan!!
If you’re ready to really make a game plan for summer with your stepkids, I just released a workshop in the membership: How To Prepare For Summer With Your Stepkids. In this workshop we are diving deep into your anticipated stressors and triggers, how to handle them (and how to choose what to let go of) and how to truly prepare yourself and your family for this change in routine.
If you’re in the membership, you can find it in your library.
To join the membership and get access to this and years worth of content, you can join here.
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