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SUMMER SANITY – Is there such a thing?

June 6th, 2013

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)

SUMMER SANITY IN STEPFAMILIES – IS THERE SUCH A THING?

June 7th, 2011

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)

Summer Sanity in Stepfamilies – Is There Such a Thing?

June 22nd, 2010

School’s out and summer vacation begins…

Vacation for kids and stepkids is hardly a vacation for the parents raising them. “ Do this, do that, take us here, there and everywhere…NOW!”

The kids complaining -THERE’S NOTHING TO DO. The begging -Can so and so come over? I need money to go to the mall? Everyone else gets to go ______ or do _____ except me!  You’ve heard it all a million times.

The moody sulks, the tears, and the energy…oh my! And by the way kids, especially preteens and adolescents, are the CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, because that’s what they’re supposed to be.  (Aren’t you glad your kids are normal?)

Even though my kids are grown up now, I remember the long summers when they were young. Relentless and exhausting.  You work yourself to the bone to please, accommodate, and satisfy.  And you worry way too much about how the “little darlings” are doing…where they are and WITH WHOM.  If you’re a stepparent, you wonder if you’re fitting the bill at all! Still you go for perfection.  Doesn’t every parent want to be the best?

So stop yourself! Step back. Take a break.  You have to say NO sometimes.  Take care of YOURSELF.  You do count… you do have a life!  Have some fun.  Go to yoga or exercise class, get a pedicure, have a drink with a friend. Get off the computer, get out of the car, and leave the dirty dishes in the sink.

Free yourself up, breathe, and relax.

Gotta go now.  I’ve been on the computer way too long.  I’m going for a walk.

See you later…

How will you take care of yourself this summer during those long summer days?  Think about it and make a plan, if necessary. Leave a comment here so others can learn from you too.

Susan Wisdom
Licensed Professional Counselor
June 2010

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