Thursday, December 11, 2008

Questions to ask yourself as you get ready for the Holidays

So this is your first Christmas together as a stepfamily and you're wondering what are you supposed to do about the holidays when you see your partner's children occasionally. It can be tough but not necessarily.

As women, we tend to be natural caregivers, wanting everything to be picture perfect: the perfect decorations, the perfect gifts, the perfect hostess. But one thing that I ask my clients is :
  1. Is this a realistic expectation?
  2. Does it reflect your core values?
  3. What purpose does it serve?

With these three questions, start to look at these answers as an observer, as if a friend was asking you what to do. Start to create a picture of what you can do to make this holiday season focused on what is really important. Here are a few tips:

  1. Focus on just enjoying the company of others and not on what this relationship might become.
  2. Use this time to get to know one another. One thing we do is play family games. There is a lot less tension is a room when games are played. No need to think of things to say or do.
  3. Create a little something special for the kids and other guests, nothing complicated, like an ornament to commemorate this occasion for which you might start a new tradition, or do a stocking and put useful and fun items in there.
  4. Find time to reenergize yourself throughout the visit. If you are use to being just the two of you, and then all of a sudden the house seems to expand with lots of kids, it's important to find a space for you to regroup yourself, take a breather and then come back.

This is a time that many find hard and stressful. Being aware that it is normal and that you can do something about it will give you a sense of control and possibilities for changes.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Holiday Season


1 comment:

  1. Lovely suggestions! Small scale, doable, real. Thanks.