Finally the holidays are over. Every year I breathe a sigh of relief. I stay in my bathrobe, bail out the house, and eat leftovers . . . alone.

Some holidays have been better than others. In the early years being Super Mom and Stepmom, I tended to take responsibility for EVERYTHING that went wrong. I was always monitoring and soothing hurt feelings and mediating fights. Yea, it was hard work, and always more stressful during the holidays.

A few holiday memories still stand out for me – some joyful, some humorous and some painful.

Can you relate?

  • I remember (sadly) the fight with my stepdaughter who wanted to help me make a special meringue dessert. I yelled at her and shooed her away from my workspace because I wanted the perfect dessert to impress my friends.
  • I remember when my husband, with a fever of over 102, assembled a complete wooden play kitchen.
  • I remember the joy when our 5 children came downstairs to see what Santa had brought.
  • I remember the disappointment when my son didn’t get what he wanted and “everyone else did”. He sulked all day.
  • I remember when the dog ate all the cookies we’d baked and decorated the night before.
  • I remember all the phone calls Christmas Day from absent biological parents and extended family.
  • I remember my stepdaughter thanking me for her wonderful Christmas.

I learned a lot about myself and my stepfamily from holiday experiences. I learned to lighten up and not take it so seriously. I learned to cherish the positive memories.

My husband and I would take inventory after the new year. We’d talk about how we were doing and what relationships we wanted to improve. Each holiday season got easier as our stepfamily stabilized.

P.S. On the blog, we’ll be talking this year about creating new and improved relationships in your stepfamily. Stay tuned…

Happy New Year to all you stepcouples and stepfamilies out there!

Susan Wisdom LPC
January 2008

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