I was thankful to hear from a stepmom today who I worked with previously in a coaching relationship. I wasn’t sure if she and her husband were going to make it because they had significant kid-struggles. But I loved her optimism as she told me she and her husband had figured out what worked for them that would salvage their marriage.
Good for them! They didn’t choose to go down the road of divorce when that seemed the only route. I know it’s hard and they will endure disharmony for several more years before the kids are out of the house, but they’ve made choices in their stepfamily to compensate for the uniqueness of their relationships.
Holiday Tip: Celebrate the holidays in a fresh way that allows you to embrace the uniqueness of your stepfamily.
In other words, don’t consider how your co-worker and her nuclear family celebrates the holidays. Don’t try to emulate what your neighbor is doing with family traditions. Decide what works best for your family.
How do you do that? You seek opinions from the members of your family regarding holiday traditions, meals, decorations, the holiday schedule, and EVERYTHING HOLIDAY. You ask what’s most important to each person regarding each aspect of the season. You find ways to compromise so each member feels he or she has a say in how you celebrate.
Evaluate what works and what doesn’t work as you celebrate the season. Set boundaries around your time to take care of yourself. Say No when you need to so you can say Yes to what’s important.
You only get one chance to celebrate the holiday season of 2013. How will you embrace it and create memories as a unique stepfamily?
Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for meaning. It’s OK if you have bumps along the way. That’s part of the uniqueness of YOUR stepfamily. Embrace it!
Pic by Stuart Miles
For more holiday tips, check out our e-book, Unwrapping the Gift of Stepfamily Peace.