Wonder what the top step mom experts advise for the holidays? The Stepmom Toolbox Show is a fantastic resource for step parents who could use some quick advice. Four of us host the show: Claudette Chenevert, The Stepmom Coach, Paula Bisacre of Remarriage Works, Mary Kelly-Williams of Married with Baggage and Barb Goldberg (me) of The Evil Stepmother Speaks.
All of us share a passion for creating a stepfamily that works. In fact, all families could learn from us, if you don’t mind my saying so! All of us just finished taping a show where we shared our holiday stories and advice. Here’s the link if you want to take a listen: http://bit.ly/ugyvrA
Here are some tips from the show!
- Be realistic. There is no “perfect” holiday. Most likely, something is going to change or not go according to plan, so don’t sweat it. Be open to a holiday that is redefined.
- Ask for help. You don’t have to do it yourself
- Communicate with your partner. Be clear about your end game. What do you really want to accomplish over the holiday? How do you both want to get there? What traditions are precious to you?
- Sense of humor necessary! Have fun!
- Do not define your holidays by what others have done in the past. Be open to evolving
- Go easy on ourselves. Don’t pressure yourself with high expectations. Try to have little attachment to what happens.
- Be open to new ideas
- Don’t overthink things
- Expect surprises
- Create new traditions and rituals
I added a few tactical tips, if you want to have some creative fun. Here they are:
- Create a special dish that only you make
- Give gifts that are small and thoughtful that kids will use everyday like a special pen or pencil or a favorite book or a cool tool
- Create new events that may fall at other times or at the holidays, like a ‘mystery’ event. What if there was a ‘mystery’ ornament that was added to the tree every year? Maybe the kids could guess what color it is and the winner gets a prize. Create a treasure hunt. Do an artistic project together and donate it to a charity. Volunteer.
If you are so moved, feel free to share your concerns over the holidays. Feel free to share your stories, like we did. Happy Holidays!