January always brings with it a flurry of resolutions, ranging from healthy eating habits and exercise goals, to personal and professional growth. Like me, I’m sure you can easily identify where you would like things to change – but the follow-through is a bit more complicated.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions for your family?
Let me ask that a different way: do you cast vision for your family for the upcoming year? Start by asking yourself what’s working well, and what isn’t. You may feel like you don’t have the voice or the authority to make changes in your step or blended family – don’t worry! Change starts with you. Instead of waiting to see the change, be the change you want to see in your family.
As stepmoms (as humans!), we have the tendency to play the blame game. Does this sound familiar? “If __________ didn’t _________, things would be better.” In reality, we are taking ourselves out of the equation – instead of choosing to “own” our part. Ready to make a change with me? Let’s start with our mindset! Instead of focusing on what we can’t change, let’s start with what we can, and reframe our blame. “I can’t change _________, but I can change how I handle it.”
In Romans 12:2, we are encouraged to let God transform us into “new” people by changing the way we think. Do you believe that our thought patterns have the ability to transform our lives, one area at a time? Here are things to say that will help you take your thoughts – and your actions – captive in the new year:
- I will put my marriage first.
- I will be a united front with my husband.
- I won’t keep score of who does what in our house.
- I will give my husband the freedom to do what’s best for his kids, even if I disagree.
- I will parent like I want to parent, not like my parents parented me.
- I won’t let other people’s expectations dictate my relationship with my stepkids.
- I will remember that my stepkids are simply kids with the same joys, attitudes and hurts as anybody else.
- I will make our house a safe place for my stepkids to be themselves, even when it’s hard.
- I will support my stepkids, regardless of how I personally feel about their mom.
- I will respect my stepkid’s relationship with their mom.
- I will recognize that my husband will always have a connection with his kid’s mom.
- I will embrace my role in relation to the ex-wife and mom based on what’s best for my family.
Let me close by saying that we often tell ourselves stories. This year, you have the choice to tell yourself that your stepfamily is going to succeed, or believe that you will fail. You can tell yourself that you’re the victim of your circumstances, or believe that Jesus gave you victory in every circumstance. You can focus on what you’re not, or step into all God says you are. What story will you tell yourself in 2018?