Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy National Step Families Day! On being happy in a blender

The thing about having a big blended family is that you’re always juggling—not just career vs. parenthood, or being a parent vs. being a spouse vs. being yourself, but ideals and misconceptions and expectations about family life as well. Step mothers, in particular, don't get a lot of positive press, and the unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves can be a recipe for failure.

September 16 is National Step Family Day, and I was fortunate to be able to celebrate a few weeks early, during one of those now-rare times when all five of our kids are in the same place at the same time. We didn't do anything fancy; in fact, I don't think anyone else knew I was celebrating. But I savored every second of our time together—something that comes easily to me now that I've let go of my expectations about the way things "should" be. There's a lot more to be happy about when you're not wasting energy worrying about what you can't control.

If you're a step parent, here are a few posts that might be of interest:

On being a step mother on mother's day

Are you a working step mom?

What do you call a step parent?

Step parenting mistakes, challenges, and advice from three experts

Remarried with children: What role should your child have in your wedding?

Blending isn't easy: An expert offers help for stepparents

I also write about having a big, blended family in my first post at the newly launched 4 Kids or More, a fantastic resource for people living in a large family, no matter how theirs was created. Read "When Your Big Family is a Blended Family," and stay tuned for more... I'll be writing about careers and passions (work related ones!) over there every week.

Happy Step Family Day! How are you honoring your experience in a blended family?

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