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SUMMER SANITY – Is there such a thing?

School’s almost out and summer vacation begins. Vacation for kids is hardly a vacation for the parents and stepparents raising them.

The complaints: “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO!”
The requests: “Can so and so come over?” “Can I have some money?”   “Will you drive me to…?”
The demands: “Take me here, there and everywhere…NOW!” “Everyone else gets to do it except me.”
The moodiness, sulkiness, boredom and tears.
Give me a break!

Kids, especially preteens and adolescents, are the center of the universe. That’s what they’re supposed to be. Yes, your self-absorbed kids are normal!
Remind yourself of that!

I remember those long summers when our kids were young. The days were long and exhausting.  I thought they’d never end. I worked myself to the bone to accommodate and satisfy the kids.  I worried way too much about how they were doing, what they were doing and with whom!
Don’t be so hard on yourself!

As a confused and insecure stepmom, you wonder, “Why me!?”  You wonder if you’re fitting the bill.  Still you strive for perfection.  Doesn’t every parent/stepparent want to be the best?
Good enough is just fine.  You’re only human.

Words of Wisdom:  Stop! Step back. Take a break. You have to say NO sometimes. You have to take care of  yourself. You do count.  Go ahead and have some fun. For example, go to yoga or exercise class; call a friend, get off the computer, get out of the car, and leave the dirty dishes in the sink. It won’t kill you. Take a lie down, read a chapter in your book, or journalize if that’s helpful. Practice mindfulness.  It helps a lot.
Breathe, relax and calm yourself down.

This summer, enjoy the special moments …a thank you, a shared joke or experience, a family activity…or anything that makes you feel good.
You deserve it!

(First published June 2010 on my blog site and later in Stepmom Magazine)

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