Parenting · Single Parents · Stepfamilies

The Sweet Life in the New Year

My brother, Alan, lives in California, and he sends me the most wonderful birthday cards. That Dickinson quote was on the front cover of a card he sent me several years ago, during my most difficult time ever.

My first reaction frankly was frustration and sadness. I thought “Great, it will never come again, and it’s not good. I’ve missed the chance to make it good. I will never get to do this time over again.”

A change in perspective

I soon realized that it didn’t say it was sweet because it was good. It was sweet because this was the only time for this time.

My thought changed again: “If it won’t come again, I better make it as good as I can, even though I’m struggling. I better make it as good for my children as I can, even though they are struggling. How can I make it sweet?” 

Are you glad 2020 is over? 

For most people, this year of Covid has been terrible, awful, difficult, and overwhelming. 

For those of you who have faced a lot of difficulty this year, making it sweet may sound crazy. In the year of Covid, how can any of it be sweet?

I certainly understand that.  

As much as I am looking forward to life returning to normal, I am also aware that out of the bad and difficult times, there are also good things. There can be good things.  

Hello 2021!

Before you say goodbye to 2020, take a minute and think of all you have been through this year and all you have learned. What can you use or learn? What changes did you make in 2020 that you may want to keep doing in the new year? And welcome in the New Year! 

Lessons to live by

As you move into 2021, count all the sweet moments you can find because our time is precious with our children in stepfamilies and single parent families. 

  • Stop counting the days you have with or without your kids, and count all the wonderful moments you have with them. 
  • Stop trying to have the perfect holiday or weekend, but keep track of all those great moments over one weekend.
  • Make a gratitude list, and count 5 things you are grateful for every day. Don’t just count the big stuff. Count the sheets on your bed, the sun in the sky, a good cup of coffee and the flowers. 
  • Take some pressure off yourself and enjoy the present with your kids. This practice of intentional living can be a great source of comfort to you no matter where you are in your life. Practice it, and find those sweet moments in every day, just waiting for you to see them.

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