Re-Energize Your Stepparenting

28 10 2008

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of being a stepmom. It just takes so much energy to do all the things we’re supposed to do. Besides giving my all to my career, I have to maintain a household, pay attention to my husband, raise my daughter, exercise, relax, find time for friends, and stepparent three children just entering their teen years. Yikes! I’m tired. Here are the top five ways I’m going to re-energize my stepparenting. 

1) Take naps. If you’re rested, you’re less irritable. Simple as that.
 
2) Appreciate your stepkids’ personalities. Make a list of the things you like about your stepkids. If you have more than one, do something with them that makes the parts of their personality you enjoy really shine. For instance, my stepson loves learning about disasters. So he and I went to the Pompeii exhibit when it came to Minneapolis.
 
3) Be honest about your limits. Everybody will tell you ways you can be a better stepmother, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who knows what will work for you and your family. For instance, it’s common knowledge that families are supposed to have family dinners together. And we do, a lot of the time. But sometimes we don’t because I don’t want to. I’d rather let the kids eat in their playroom while their dad and I sit at the table on our deck.
 
4) Commit to your self-care. It’s easy to let your self-care slide when things are chaotic at home. But it’s crucial that you continue to do the things you need to do to feel good about yourself. Get that facial. Buy your favorite lotion. Take a yoga class. Have lunch with your best friend. You may have heard me preach about this one before, but even decades into stepfamily life, this is always the first thing to go when stepmoms are stressed.
 
5) Remember your influence. Even if your stepkids are not giving you any indication that they even like you, they’re still soaking up your moods, habits, and opinions. Even if they say they don’t care, they still want your approval. Even if they say they hate you, they still want you to pay attention.

What about you? Have any strategies you want to share?

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