I’m thrilled to share my latest article for the awesome website MOTHERLY!! For those who don’t know, it’s a great resource for families (and especially young mothers) on parenting – and gets millions of views per month! My article tackles a blended family challenge – how to celebrate the holidays when your boyfriend or girlfriend has children, and add to that – practices a different religion.
Here’s the deal. The holidays are stressful. Sure, there’s great food, chocolate, spiked eggnog, Christmas carols and of course all the holiday parties where you can indulge. But at the center of the celebration is the family, which means feelings can get hurt and old patterns can take over. This is true regardless of whether you’re going back home, meeting your boyfriend’s parents, or participating in your boyfriend’s Christmas celebration with his kids.
When you’re in a blended family, the stress is magnified.
You are negotiating and stepping through more emotional minefields, especially as a new stepparent because you’re still figuring out family dynamics. Every family celebrates differently. Traditions that you cherish might get pushed aside to make way for your boyfriend’s traditions for the sake of the kids. Or you might think everyone will LOVE how you do the holidays, but get disappointed when they don’t.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. In my post for Motherly, I share what happened when I first celebrated the holidays with my partner’s family. Add to the complicated stepfamily dynamic: I’m Catholic and his family is Jewish. I thought we could celebrate both holidays.
But here’s what I didn’t expect…