As the summer begins to wind down for many of us, the days are HOT and long. Stepchildren around every day can make for additional challenges.
I’ve heard from several stepmoms lately who are barely treading water. Even with the best plans for a fruitful and fun-filled summer, bickering kids with bad attitudes and not enough to do, create challenging days.
If you’re balancing work and a stepparenting role, it’s especially hard to keep your perspective on what to do next and how to stay sane! I’ve had one of those weeks lately!
Here are a few thoughts on how to make it through the rest of the summer without strangling your stepchild (just kidding, I know you’re not really planning that).
1. Check your mindset about the role you play.
Are you trying to play Super Stepmom while the kids are around for the summer, serving homemade meals every night and running them to every activity they request? Stop! There’s enough to do without heaping unrealistic expectations on yourself. Be kind to yourself and how much you’re willing to do.
2. Share your feelings with someone.
Be selective with who you talk to, but airing your feelings always helps. You don’t have to present every gory detail of drama; stick to how the situation makes you feel. Let your friend know you’re not looking for an answer or their advice–you just need to talk about what’s happening. Talking through our feelings also helps us identify our role and how we might be contributing to the situation.
3. Be careful you’re not neglecting your own needs.
If your stepchildren have spent the summer with you, or even a few weeks, reward yourself. It’s always an adjustment to have people in your home who don’t live there and it’s taxing to have stepchildren move in for the summer. Make time for a pedicure, movie with a friend, or date night with your spouse. Bitterness sets in when we constantly nurture others but neglect our own needs.
4. Plan something fun together.
What do you enjoy doing? What activities could the family do together that you would enjoy also? I took our son to the movie recently but negotiated with him on one that I wanted to see this time (that was appropriate for him also). We creates selfish hearts when we always allow our kids to dictate the activity without considering our wishes also.
5. Remember, “this too will pass.”
School will be back in session soon and your long summer days will be over. I’m looking forward to a break from our 100 degree temperatures every day and remind myself that thankfully, this season will soon pass.
Do you have other suggestions for summer burnout as a stepparent? I’d love to hear them.
Pic by digitalart