Summer is a State of Heart

I wrote this piece for a past Better Than Blended newsletter. Check out their website for great blended family resources!

Summer! It should make us think of sunshine, lazy days, the ice cream truck and family vacations! In a blended family, there's a little something extra that comes along with summer. Whether this season feels like warm sand between your toes or your popsicle is melting, let’s kick back in the beach chair and talk about it.

It can also be a little overwhelming. What are we supposed to do while we are together? Nobody is used to the same routines or house rules. It is big adjustment for both kids and adults. Let's walk through a couple tips to keep summer smooth and fun for everyone.
Post house rules for everyone to follow. Your family is a team. Do not expect kids coming and going to remember everything between two homes. Keep it simple and full of grace.
Make a plan for fun and flexibility. When my stepson was little, he came home for one or two weeks at a time. We planned a few activities and some stay home days. Most of the time, he just wanted to be home and do normal everyday things with his dad. Create memories and remember that quality time spent together is most valuable.

Stepmoms, make space for the kids to have one on one time with Dad. Give visiting children a chance to build that relationship. Tell them how awesome he is or how much Dad loves them. Remember, you may be the only one who tells them and they need to hear it.

Parents who send the kids to another home for the summer, I see you. You made it through the school year! But while many are excited for the pool, summer camp, and lazy days, your house is too quiet. You thought the break would be nice! But it's also filled with anxiety. What are you supposed to do while the kids are away?

Pray for them. When my stepson is away, I go in his room and sit on the floor to pray for him. I pray he's having a good day, that he's surrounded by good people and friends. Ok, maybe I cry a little. It's ok to miss them! Entrust them to the Father while they are gone.

Take care of you. Get that manicure, call your girlfriend. Maybe even call a therapist for a little emotional checkup.

Recharge your marriage! Marriage should be our top priority, but it takes a beating in stepfamilies. Get away for a weekend or check out a marriage retreat. Take this time to reconnect.

Are you a stepmom who is feeling anxious about summer? I want us to be stepmoms who tackle summer with no fear! This week I challenge you to pray, every day, for your summer. Listed here are verses on joy to prepare your heart for a season of Summer. Write them in your Bible or save them to your phone. Let's be stepmoms who love summer and embrace it with joy!
Psalm 61:2
2 Corinthians 13:11
Nehemiah 8:10
Galatians 5:22-23
1 Thessalonians 5:16
Proverbs 31:25





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