And we are still inside the house. Sigh. I know. Change. Boredom. The routine of no routine. No break from the kids. Sheltering-in-place. Home all day. It’s all bad. Or is it?
There is no more perfect time, than right now, to make changes you’ve been wanting implement in your life. This is built-in break is great for starting to rearrange, clean-house (literally and figuratively), and in general, make room for new beginnings.
We can either focus on what is lost and what is wrong, or you can choose to focus on the future and be optimistic about possibilities that can lay ahead. This goes for relationships and relating too. This is an opportunity to get out of the ruts of your normal interactions with the step-kids or your husband and try new ways to connect – or perhaps if you’ve been trying too hard, this may be a perfect time to put your focus elsewhere.
A break in routine, for a blended family, can also be a break for having to spend more time together. Or a break for the stepparent to not spend so much time with the kids. Either way, if you take this time to self-reflect and be honest with yourself – you may find new positives about your step-children or yourself.
How have you grown? How have your step-children changed? What changes have you made that have made positive (no matter how small) changes in your interactions with your blended family? Where can you bring as a tradition or a positive interaction to your family? Where might you need to set better boundaries to protect your own feelings?
What household rules need to change? What household values need to be written, agreed on and posted? What rules apply to your kids and what rules apply to his? Yes, it’s okay to have different rules for different kids (it’s a good lesson that life isn’t always fair).
Perhaps you’re actually acting as a mean stepparent without intending to? Or maybe as a bio-parent you’re not being fair. Or maybe the guilt from the divorce is seeping into your emotional reactions and decisions? Anyway, it’s phrased this is an excellent time to self-reflect.
What would change if you said something positive each morning to your stepchildren – despite how you may feel about them? What would change if you treated them like your kids – despite how you may feel about them? Maybe not saying anything and just being more patient with a pleasant expression is all that’s needed.
Start thinking outside the box, while you’re busy living inside of it. Who knows what the possibilities could be?
“It’s not enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.” — Tim Feriss