Holidays in a blended family can feel really overwhelming on a lot of levels. From holiday custody schedules to questions about gifts, trying to combine old traditions with new, all while trying to avoid getting triggered by your partner’s past…
Yeah, holidays are a LOT for stepmoms.
This holiday season, I’m giving you permission to focus first on your peace of mind. Don’t feel obligated to do more than you want to do.
Say “yes” when you want to, let go of traditions that no longer serve you, and be more present by letting go of expectations of perfection. You deserve a joyful holiday season, stepmom.
Only Attend Events You Want to Attend
This holiday season, I want you to embrace your “No.” Only commit to events you want to attend by setting important boundaries.
If you’re uncomfortable opening presents with the ex at their place, don’t go. When your in-laws continually disrespect you or your children, opt out of their holiday celebration. If your partner’s colleagues still confuse you with the ex and it makes the annual company holiday party a nightmare, make other plans.
This holiday season, you have full permission to protect your peace, even when your attendance is expected.
You get to decide if an event will promote your happiness or if it will compromise your peace, negatively impact your relationship, or disrupt the harmony in your family.
Boundaries are your best friend, stepmom. Someone else’s comfort should not come at the expense of your own.
Why Protecting Your Peace Matters
Sometimes—especially for my fellow people pleasers—prioritizing your peace of mind above everything else can feel selfish.
But the reality is that you can’t show up well as a partner, stepmom, friend, sister, colleague, etc. if you don’t set boundaries and balance your energy.
Making time and space for self-care and setting healthy boundaries are two of the BEST ways you can show up well for your family.
Don’t Fit the Entire Holiday Season into 1/2 the Time
I understand it’s unfortunate when an event falls on a day your stepchildren aren’t with you. You likely feel bad they have to miss out. They may think it’s unfair. There’s probably some FOMO happening.
But you can’t live 100% of your life 50% of the time.
Your stepchildren’s lives don’t end when they’re not at your home, and yours shouldn’t either.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to sprint from event to event on your custodial weekend. It’s not any fun for anyone that way.
Attend the events you can together, and enjoy the heck out of them. And if the kids can’t make it, it’s okay. They’re enjoying time at their other home.
Don’t Try to Compensate for Child of Divorce Guilt
In holidays past, I would book our Q4 calendar totally solid with celebrations, festivals, advent calendars, and activities. We hardly had a chance to breathe between all of the excitement.
Sure there were a lot of memories made, but y’all, I was tired.
And because I was so tired, I wasn’t showing up well. I was stressed from all of the different plans and the pressure to make everything *perfect*.
I wasn’t really in the moment or focused on my family.
Learn from my mistakes. Your family would much rather have a present, engaged, peaceful you than a stressed out Pinterest-perfect-planning version of you.
The holidays have the power to be beautiful and full of love and memories. Stay focused on what matters: your mental health, your relationship with your partner, and harmony in your home.
Let go of expectations, events, traditions, and people who don’t align with those goals.
You deserve to have wonderful blended family holidays. Set the boundaries necessary to guarantee it for yourself.
And if you’re needing help identifying, setting, or enforcing those boundaries, consider signing up for stepmom coaching. You can find out more by texting COACHING to 325-305-9894.
P.S. Looking for ways to give back this holiday season? Check out Giving Back with Kids: How My 7-Year-Old is Volunteering this Holiday Season