Step-Familying into the New Year

Alyssa Johnson
 


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Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, if you're like most people you're tired. Having some down time to reflect on last year's successes and losses may be occurring along with the expectations and hope that flourishes in the face of a new year and new beginnings. Now is the time to reflect on how you'd like 2007 to be. Take this opportunity to plan out what you'd like to have happen. What changes do you want to make? What changes do you hope to avoid? Now we could be boring like most people and set unrealistic goals that sound nice to say when someone asks what your New Year's resolution is, but why be boring? Why just focus on that stubborn 10 pounds that won't go away, or making more money? Why not focus on goals that will bring more lasting joy and peace to your life?

Peace to me means a sense of calm. For stepcouples with children, life will always be moving at a frenetic pace. But, just because your life does, doesn't mean that you personally have to constantly feel rushed and pressured. So how do we attain that Holy Grail called peace? Well, here are some tips:

1. Take time for yourself - What is important to you? Are you doing that? This can be as simple as making sure you go to bed early enough so you're getting sufficient rest. The old saying “If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" applies (even if you're the dad). We are no good to anyone if we aren't nourishing our own spirits.

2. Carve out time for your children - If you've been divorced for awhile, your kids are used to having a lot of your attention without competing with a significant other. Now that you are in a relationship again, this can feel threatening to kids. Make sure they understand they aren't being replaced. One of the best ways to do this is one on one time with them. Don't always spend time together as a family early on. The kids will feel like your new partner in encroaching on their time with you.

3. Make your couple time a priority - This is a hard one, but it's the most important! A remarriage is no different than a first marriage. If you don't spend time together, you grow distant and the relationship withers. You'll need to be very protective of this time. How you spend it is as diverse as the couples themselves. Some couples require a lot of time together daily. Others, need only a quick check-in every other day. Just make sure that BOTH member's needs are being met.

Now I know some of you may feel more stressed than peaceful at this point because you feel like your “to do" list has just grown. But I'd challenge you to look at it differently. I'm not suggesting you add to your list, but that you re-prioritize. Yes, there are day to day responsibilities that have to be done, but there's wasted time too. Before you start shaking your head at me, take a minute and think about your schedule. Where can you modify so that you can re-prioritize? And let's be honest, does it cause you more stress when you're behind on your laundry or when you know you've not been spending enough time with your kids?

So. . . let's start the year off right! A great way to do that is with the book “300 Dates for $20 or Less!". You've already discovered how important it is to make time together as a couple, why not have a quick guide to creative and fun dates on the cheap! Just having this guide will save you time. Imagine having resources with 300 date ideas at your fingertips! For more information, visit http://www.RemarriageSuccess.com/resource.htm . Scroll down until you see the link for this book.

Alyssa Johnson, MSW, LCSW is the founder and CEO of http://www.RemarriageSuccess.com At this site, you will find a proven techniques specially designed to help divorced individuals in preparing themselves and their families for remarriage. She ecourages your feedback and questions. You may access a link to her email at http://www.RemarriageSuccess.com/contact.htm

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