Nothing is simple with a blended family.
Even something that is supposed to relieve stress can end up causing so much more stress!
I mean vacations are supposed to be a break from reality but in a blended family they can become an extremely stressful topic.
All you want to do is go lay on a beach somewhere or cuddle up near a fire in a cabin in the mountains, but you can’t just think about yourself. You’ve got this whole blended family tribe of yours to think about.
You don’t want anyone to feel left out if you don’t take them. On the other hand, you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes if you do take them. Also, what if you just want some dang peace and quiet? (Maybe you want to lay by the pool without having to be the cannonball judge for 2 hours. lol) Or maybe you want to use this break to soak up some quality time with your blended family and make some forever memories? It’s a lot to consider. Don’t worry though, I’ve already done all the over-thinking for you!
Do you take the stepkids?
I am very torn on this one.
We have done it both ways, and there are pros and cons to both.
Obviously first you have to consider the custody schedule and the parenting agreement.
Is there something in the parenting agreement that states the X has a say in if the kids get taken out of state?
Does the date for the vacation fall on your scheduled time with the kids?
Would the X be willing to compromise on time schedules to include the vacation? Do you have something in the parenting agreement stating details about vacations? (if not, then I would highly suggest adding this if you ever plan on re-doing your custody agreement in order to eliminate any tricky situations caused by vacation times.)
These are all the first few questions I would think about when considering taking the kids on vacation, and the answers may pick the choice for you.
I would then consider the sort of company that is attending the vacay.
Will you be spending time with friends or family that have kids?
If this is the case then of course I would suggest bringing them! Not only will it be good for the kids to have someone to play with, but it would probably be kind of miserable going on family vacations without your family. You don’t want to spend your vacation missing your littles. I mean if everyone is going to be toting their babes around to mini golf and aquariums, then you don’t want to be sulking in the background the whole time wishing you had brought the kids?
Are you going to be surrounded by single family/friends with no kids?
If this is the case, you may not want to include the kids so that you don’t have to sensor everyone’s activities.
(I mean, if your crazy friend wants to do a kegstand maybe you don’t want your stepkids there… lol)
Don’t feel bad for wanting alone time!
Sometimes adults need adult time, and that is okay! As stepmoms we feel super selfish for thinking this way, but we need breaks just like bio-parents do! So don’t feel bad if you need a vacation without the stepkids to soak up some adult time and relax!
Two years ago we took the kids with us on a family trip to the beach with my mother and sisters.
It was so much fun, and we made memories that we will cherish forever!
Everyone showered the kids with love, and it was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know them better!
They got to experience new things that we wouldn’t get to in our small rural town.
I hope they will hold the memories as precious as I do.
Memories of fighting waves in the ocean, crab hunting at night, making sand castles, and even Farrah learning to swim in the pool at the condo!
I am so glad that we decided to bring them along on vacation and that we got to have this experience with them!
Then this past year my mother got remarried, and we chose to do this vacation without the kids.
This was also a lot of fun!
We got to celebrate the wedding with my family.
Drink beer on the beach, stay up late, wake up whenever we wanted, and spend some alone time together just me and Dan.
It is always magical to get away just you and your SO and rekindle the flame.
So stepmama, there is a lot to consider when planning a family vacay.
There will be wonderful memories made either way.
You can bond with your babes or relax with your beaux.
Just don’t feel guilty regardless of your choice or your reasoning.
Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.