Family vacations are supposed to be a time for family fun, bonding and making memories. But they can be a very stressful experience for stepmoms.
For parents, it’s a chance to take their kids somewhere fun and to get some quality time with them. But for stepparents… it can often mean staying in close quarters, for long periods of time, with the feeling of “outsider” magnified.
It can also bring with it disappointment if you expected to get some one on one time with your partner, and it just doesn’t happen.
Stepmoms often think they don’t have options when it comes to family vacations. They think they have to go along with what the rest of the family wants to do, without ever speaking up about what they’d like to do or taking time for themselves. Not so!
Here are some tips to help you enjoy that family vacation a little more.
- Schedule in some YOU time. That’s right, make sure to plan ahead for time to get a spa treatment, spend a few exploring hours on your own, basically anything to give yourself from a break from the long hours with the family.
- Schedule some time for you and your partner. Again, plan ahead to make sure this doesn’t get missed. Don’t leave it up to chance. Call ahead and make plans for someone else to watch the kids (very feasible depending on where you’re staying), or if you’re not staying somewhere with built-in child care, brainstorm with your partner ways to make sure you get some connection time. If he knows your expectations ahead of time, he’ll be much more likely to make an effort to make it happen.
- Plan an adult vacation at a separate time. It’s sad to say, but most of the stepparents who go on family vacations don’t actually feel like they’ve taken one. The family vacation is often very kid-focused, which is fine in a nuclear family where parents are glad to sacrifice everything for their child and love having their time focused on the child, not so much for a stepfamily. So maybe you need to look ahead and plan for the whole year, but defintiely make sure you build in a vacation for just you or just you and your partner.
- Stay home. Seriously, most kids love having alone time with their parents, so opt out of a family vacation every now and then. Sure, your partner may be disappointed, but that’s OK. He’ll feel better when he returns home to a brand new, super happy and loving partner who took some time to herself to recharge.
When you’re relaxed on your vacation, everyone else is relaxed too!
© 2017 Jenna Korf All Rights Reserved
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You might also enjoy:
- Stepmoms, always the outsider
- Stepmom burnout, what to do about it
- It’s not that I don’t like my stepchild, it’s that I’m an introvert