Going on Holiday as a Step Family
Once you have got to know each other, and possibly before you all move in together and become an official step family, you may well decide to book a group family holiday. This is a great way to get to know each other better, and also a very good way of gaining a small insight into what life might be like as a blended family.However, before you even pick up a brochure or start browsing the Internet for ideas for your perfect getaway, carefully consider all the needs of every member of your new family.
Plan AheadIf your children are all very young and roughly the same age then chances are that they will all be very happy if you organise a simple holiday involving building sandcastles, eating ice cream and paddling in the sea or a swimming pool every day, older children and teenagers however might have slightly more ambitious ideas about how they would like to spend their holidays!
Stick to a BudgetThis is really important, so make sure that you are your partner sit down and discuss exactly how much money you have to spend on the holiday, and how much you have to spend when you get there. Young children are not as affected by this as older ones, and if you have teenagers it is a good idea to explain to them what the situation is and perhaps give them (or encourage them to earn!) their own spending money. This way they can be responsible for their own holiday money on the basis that when it’s gone...it’s gone!
Different NeedsAll children are different, and just because you and your new partner get on really well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all your children will instantly bond so try to manage your expectations as far as possible to avoid disappointment and conflict with other members of the family.
Make TimeHolidays are supposed to be for relaxing and being together, and although with an extended family you will possibly need more structure and routine than previously, you should still ensure you all spend time just chilling out and getting to know each other better. Play games together, go for walks and prepare and cook the evening meal as a family.
There May be Trouble Ahead...!Undoubtedly, your first step family holiday will not be all plain sailing and there are bound to be times when you start to wonder if it really was such a good idea after all. However, in ALL families of every size there are issues and problems that crop up and have to be resolved, and there is no reason why yours should be any different.
The key is to keep all lines of communication open and don’t expect miracles because it takes time for people to get to know each other and get used to their individual way of handling things. It is important that you all get on well, but it won’t always happen overnight. Give yourselves plenty of time and space to settle in to your new life and make sure that everyone is treated as an individual. All your children will need time with both of you so although you may feel like you are being split into several little pieces most of the time-it will be worth it in the end!