The holiday season has a reputation for bringing families together.
It also has a reputation for increasing stress in both traditional and non-traditional families…
For blended families, it can be a time for triggers and the re-opening of wounds. It can also be a time of competing schedules, priorities, and emotions. For stepmoms, in particular, it can feel like there are so many factors outside our control.
The holidays don’t have to be a time of stress though!
Here are a few ways you can try to minimize blended family stress and bring some joy back into the season.
- Stick to the parenting plan – changing the holiday schedule, regardless of how tempting, can digress into hurt feelings, disagreements and misunderstandings.
- Create your own family traditions – it can help you stress less about what the other parent/ house is doing.
- Plan ahead – create a holiday schedule together as a family. Plan some fun activities in between all of the holiday commitments.
- As Elsa famously said “let it go”. Stop the comparison game and the “who loves who more”, “who has fun where more”, “which house bought the better gifts”, etc. These thoughts can cause a range of negative emotions and stress.
- Embrace the mess – the holidays don’t have to be perfect to be great. Focus on making the best out of whatever the season throws at your family. Enjoy the little moments and try not to worry to much about the daily to-do list. Lead with love and laughter and focus on creating memories as a family.
These are just a few ways that have helped me manage my holiday stress levels over the last several years. Please note that what works for one family doesn’t always work for others.
I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!
Wishing you all the most wonderful and stress-free holiday season!
Pictured: Sara Lords
Photo Cred: Seeking Earth Photography