The countdown to Christmas is upon us. How are you doing? Are you surviving the hustle bustle or looking for ways to flee from the chaos?
But we don’t have to succumb to the chaos.
We can savor the moments of joy and remember the Reason for the season.
We can make an intentional choice to focus on the positive when negative happenings occur or conflict erupts.
After 20 years of blended family holidays, I could give a list of 20 tips to help you find peace amidst the chaos. But I’m going to give only one.
Manage your expectations.
I know—it seems too simple.
But… it’s often the root of conflict and disappointment through the holidays.
Are you struggling with expectations? Cleveland Clinic suggests you write down your expectations to help determine whether they’re realistic and what feelings are hidden behind them. Look for potential stressors tied to each one and what you can do to alleviate uncomfortable feelings surrounding the expectation.
Here’s an example:
Spend meaningful time with my stepchildren during the holiday break.
Is this realistic? Are your stepchildren teenagers who focus more on themselves than others? What constitutes meaningful?
A more realistic expectation might be: Look for ways to have conversations with my stepchildren in a relaxed setting.
This expectation can be achieved in most every home and builds relationships in the process. Instead of an elaborate expectation, you strive for an attainable goal.
And the end result is peace and contentment.
Now it’s your turn. What expectation is creating angst for you? How will you redefine it to lessen the stress you feel surrounding it?
Will you share it with us? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
If you’re looking for other ideas on how to manage stepfamily expectations and find support in your stepmom role, please consider joining us at our next Stepmom Retreat at the beautiful Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, GA (outside Atlanta). I’d love to meet you there!
And for a dose of encouragement every day, pick up a copy of our stepmom devotional, Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul.
Pic by vectorolie