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Getting Support from Family and Friends

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 19 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Family Friends Support Help In-laws

Becoming a stepparent is sure to be a life-changing event. Whether or not a person comes into the relationship with children of their own, parenting stepchildren and developing relationships with them can be challenging. Additionally, many stepparents find that they encounter resistance from in-laws and/or their spouse’s ex, making the transition that much more difficult.

Friends Provide Stress Relief

Parenting is filled with many joyful moments, no doubt. While the rewards of being a stepparent are plentiful, the job comes with its fair share of stress, too. Oftentimes, parents and stepparents turn to trusted friends when they need someone to talk to who will listen without judgment and provide sound advice.

Good friends have a way of recognising the symptoms of stress overload and can usually offer suggestions to make life more manageable. They are often the ones who help put things in perspective when they might otherwise seem overwhelming, and can be relied upon to provide a good laugh when that’s what is needed most.

Hands-On Help

Families with growing children are typically pretty busy, with full schedules of work and home responsibilities. Today’s kids are often involved in a number of organised activities, requiring that their parents and stepparents keep them on schedule as they make their way from one place to the next.

In large families where the children’s activity schedules may be hard for just two parents to accommodate, it is often friends or close family members who pitch in to lend a hand, providing everything from transportation to fill-in child care when a parent is unable to do it all themselves. The assistance of loved ones is invaluable to parents, who may be a bit overwhelmed with all that they have to handle.

A Willing Ear

Oftentimes, all that is needed when stepparents are feeling that they are in over their heads is someone who will sit and listen. Having a safe place to vent feelings of frustration or work out solutions to problems aloud can help a great deal, making is possible for stepparents to meet the expectations that others hold for them without allowing their emotions to get the better of them. Friends and trusted family members can act as sounding boards so that when they return to the responsibilities of family life, stepparents feel calmer and more capable.

The Value of Having Someone on Your Side

Right or wrong, it is often friends and family who stand by us. When the rest of the world looks down or walks away, that is when friends stand strong, providing just the right words or the needed touch. Additionally, good friends have a way of being on our side in disagreements, and let’s face it – who doesn’t like to be right?

The best friends and family members make themselves available whenever and wherever they are needed, offering love and support, as well as hands-on help when they are able. Whether right next door or half-way across the world, stepparents who find themselves stressed out over their in-laws, stepchildren, or the interference of their spouse’s ex, usually call on those closest to them to help them weather the storm.

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