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Plan to Have a Fabulous 2011 in Your Stepfamily


Fabulous Stepfamily Years Don't Always Just Happen

In my newly released book, "Journal for Stepmoms," there is a section called, "Planning." Planning is critical for stepfamilies that are trying to figure out joint custody schedules, kids' activities, household budgeting, colleges and schools, taxes, estates, wills, retirement, and more! And, as Jacquelyn Fletcher, author of "A Career Girl's Guide to Becoming a Stepmom," just reminded me, don't forget to plan fun in your stepfamily!

So, how do you have fun with all of this planning?

My husband has always been an avid calendar user; in fact, he blocks out time in his calendar for updating his calendar. I, on the other hand, had a pocket calendar in my purse when we met, but it could only fit so much. I remember like yesterday the angst and stress I felt in the early days of our remarriage whenever we had one of our calendar planning sessions sitting at the computer.

I knew it was important to have good strategic and day-to-day planning to make our household of seven people, with kids in five different schools run smoothly. But, nonetheless, I would get tense, anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. The last thing I wanted to do after such a session was open another discussion about financial planning, taxes, or retirement. I can't even think of the word "fun" in the same sentence.

Recently, Claudette Chenevert, a certified Stepfamily Foundation Coach, shared a simple, but brilliant idea about planning in the new year. She shared that she and her husband have had a tradition in their remarriage for 20 years. At the beginning of the new year, they sit around a fire with candles on the table, and synchronize their calendars for the year.

Now that idea definitely helps me get one more step closer to fun! If you have any ideas that help make planning in your stepfamily more fun, please do share!


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