Blended family struggles may have made 2011 a frustrating year for you and your step-family. Are you already trying to forget this year and looking forward to 2012? Well, it is finally here, and the new can be full of exciting experiences and fresh opportunities for you and your stepfamily.
Balancing time with your blended family
Occasionally, a blended family gets out of balance when non-custodial or step kids come to visit. Mom tries to become the best step mom ever and dad does his best Superman impression. Of course, no one is going to be happy 100 percent of the time, and giving the children anything they desire can create a less than ideal environment.
Make a set of rules for your step family, which apply to all your children whether they live there or not. Above all, be sure that everyone is treated the same. When step kids are visiting, it is OK for the biological parent to spend a little personal time with them, but it should not keep them from the rest of the blended family for the entire day. Furthermore, be sure to involve the non-custodial children in everything. They are just as much a part of your blended or step family as anyone else.
Balancing marriage in your stepfamily
The smartest way to maintain a successful and strong stepfamily is to keep your marriage in good shape. You should make time for your spouse every day and plan date night a few times each month.
You need to manage your job, spouse, kids and blended family, but be sure not to forget about yourself! Being the step dad or step mom is hard, and if you keep running around making sure everyone else is happy, then you will end up burnt out and of no use to your step family.
Unwinding after a hectic day is important. What works for you? Whether it is taking a bubble bath or reading a good book, make time for what helps you unwind. Everyone can find time to relax if they try hard enough. Trust me; your blended family will thank you for it, because you will find yourself being a bit more patient with everyone when you are more relaxed.
Show yourself respect and allow others to respect you as well. When your spouse, children or step kids ask you what you want for Christmas or for a birthday, give them an actual answer. Start thinking about yourself; you deserve it.
The most important thing to do is make a little time for you. A little personal time will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. In turn, your stepfamily will appreciate the happier, healthier and stronger you. This will ensure that your blended family has a great 2012!
The Blended and Step Family Resource Center aims to help blended and stepfamilies become strong and successful. We offer counseling and coaching services to step parents and those who will become part of a blended family. Contact us today and let us help you find hope for your blended family.