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?”

The demands: “Take me here, there and everywhere…NOW!” “I need money to go to the mall!” “Everyone else gets to go to or do  ______ except me!”

The moodiness, the sulkiness and tears—Give me a break!!

Kids, and 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…aren’t you relieved?

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…where they were and with whom.

As a stepmom, you may wonder if you’re fitting the bill at all! Still you strive for perfection. Doesn’t every parent want to be the best?

Words of Wisdom:  Stop yourself! Step back. Take a break. You have to say NO sometimes. You have to take care of YOURSELF. You do count.  You do have a life! Go ahead and have some fun. 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 the book you’re reading, or journalize if that helps you.

Free yourself up to breathe, and relax.

My best to all stepcouples and stepfamilies this summer.  Take care and take it easy…and enjoy the special moments.  A thank you, a shared joke or experience, anything that makes you feel good.  That’s what it’s all about.

Susan Wisdom, MA
June 2011
(First published June 2010 on my blog site)

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