Our Shift In Mindset + Our Summer Goals

Hey there!

Well, we are officially in our summer groove over here! 

We just wrapped up our first week with the kids and it was full everything that summer should be!

Ice cream runs, batting cages, beach days, sleep-ins, and some serious giggles

(My stepchildren come every other week, so because of the schedule, our official summer kick-off was a bit delayed) 

For some reason, I'm more excited about summer than I have been for the longest time. I feel like a kid again! I think it has something to do my husband and I making an intentional mindset shift.  

Lately, there has been all sorts of bad news around us. People getting sick, tragic accidents, shootings, riots, you name it. 

I don't know if there has been an increase in the amount of bad news, or  my husband and I are just hearing it in a different way, but it has really affected our outlook.... and in-turn, our "summer goals"

This summer (and moving forward) we're all about making memories... about seizing the day, if you will!

We're about enjoying the moment, searching for the moments and living for the moments ... all around living a KICK-ASS Life. 

Jobs needs to be done at the house? Screw it! We're heading to the beach!

Is it past the kids bedtime but we are still having fun! Whatever, we can sleep in tomorrow and worry about bedtimes in September! 

Too much work to do? We're setting an early alarm so that we can make time for F-U-N! 

The way we see it, when life is all said and done, we aren't going to look back and wish that we had more structure and routine. We are going be thankful for all the times when we bent the rules and just enjoyed all the goodness that life has to offer. 

We're going to remember the beach days. The cocktails and late nights with friends. The ice cream runs. The clift jumping. The days just lying on a dock. 

Those are the moments that TRULY make up your life! 

(And with a 50/50 access schedule, those moments with the kiddos are already cut in half, so we have to take advantage of them while we can!) 

My wish for you this summer is that you can do the same. That you can make memories and focus on all the things that you have to be grateful for (and the things that you have control over)

I hope that you find time to  unplug and spend time making memories that the kids will remember forever!  

I love it when the kids say "... Remember that time when we [insert best day ever here]", and I'm all about adding to that list! 

This summer, I want you to give more time and attention to the people you love, and less time and attention to the stressors that may have been bringing you down!

If you ask me, life is too short and unpredictable to do anything but! 

 

 

Here are a few of my favourite snaps so far! To follow our summer adventures be sure to follow me over on Instagram! 


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Wine Wednesday + Our KICK-ASS Stepmom Community

Over the past couple of years, you have told me over and over again that you wish you had more stepmoms in your network. You wish that your friends + family understood what it is like to be deep in the trenches of step-parenting. 

I don't blame you one but. Once upon a time, I felt the same way. 

Even though the number of stepmoms is ever increasing, it still seems to be a TABOO topic.
 

Newsfeeds and blogging websites are always posting articles about the nitty gritty of being a Mom... but no one seems to be able to talk about the challenges that stepmoms faces... well without being labeled as "evil" that is.

On March Break this year, my newsfeed was full of status updates from Moms saying they cannot wait for their kids to go back to school. They were at their wits end with March Break Mayhem and were dying to get back to their routine, sans kids! 

We had the kids all March Break too, and to be honest, I felt the same way. But I didn't dare post that on my Facebook Newsfeed.

 Can you imagine what the response would be if I did?

I can just see the reactions now:

"OMG I can't believe she just say that!" 
"How could she talk that way about her stepchildren?"
"She knew he had kids when she married him, what did she expect?"


Even though the kids are with us 50% of the time, and I take on 50% of the "Motherly" jobs... openly talking about how these responsibilities can stress me out from time to time, is not something I feel is "socially acceptable" 

Anyways, I'm rambling! My point is that I am OH SO passionate about opening up the conversation about step-parenting, and making it a little less TABOO! 

In doing that, I have a few projects on the go, and I want to make sure you have all the details! 

First, is The KICK-ASS STEPMOM COMMUNITY! An online Facebook group, where Stepmoms can connect, support each other and truly be KICK-ASS!

I'm very passionate about making this group UNIQUE and UNLIKE any other support group that I've been apart of on Stepmom Support Group on Facebook.

It's all about building a community, making connections and finding solutions your stepfamily stressors... even the ones that are outside of your control!  

To join the group click HERE! 

Second, and probably the most exciting is an upcoming online event, "WINE WEDNESDAY: KICK ASS STEPMOM STYLE"

If you follow this blog you know I love wine and I love connecting with stepmoms. So I decided to combine the two, and get some of you together to drink some wine and chat all things stepmom... and it's happening NEXT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29 at 8:00pm EST!

(the event will be recorded for those who can't make it live)

The theme of the event is "How to Stop Your Stepfamily Stressors From Consuming Your Life" and trust me it's going to be game changing. 

While we sip on wine in our online meeting room, I'll teach you tried & true strategies to help STOP your stepfamily stressors from consuming your thoughts and consuming your life. 

... because we can all get wrapped up in the chaos from time to time! 

It's not going to be your average "webinar" - it will be relaxed, interactive and is tailored to meet YOUR needs!

YOU'LL LEARN:

  • The COLD HARD TRUTHS of Stepfamily Life and how coming to terms with your own COLD HARD TRUTHS is a key to stepfamily success

  • How to effectively deal with the ebbs, flows and unpredictability of stepfamily life

  • How to identify your stepfamily stressors and determine their REAL root cause (this is not as common sense as you may think)

  • Why I think FORGIVENESS is BULLSHIT when it comes to chronic stepfamily stressors...  and what I think you should do instead

  • How to be PROACTIVE not REACTIVE when stepfamily stressors arise

  • And MOST IMPORTANTLY how amazing it feels to connect with a group of likeminded stepmoms who GET IT!! 

PLUS I'll also host a live Q+A where we can connect and just chat! 

To sum it up, you're going to leave this Wine Wednesday with a whole new perspective and feeling like you have all the tools you need to tackle those stepfamily stressors!

Here's more good news

If you join The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Community, you can get your ticket at the discounted price is $19 CND (Which is less than $15 for you American folks!)

To join The KICK-ASS Stepmom Community click HERE
To get your ticket to Wine Wednesday click HERE

DISCLAIMER: Wine is optional but absolutely recommended
NOTE: To keep things intimate, space is limited so get your ticket ASAP!

If you have ANY questions, comment below or email me at jamie@jamiescrimgeour.com

Whether it's in the online community or next Wednesday with a glass of vino in hand, I hope to see you all soon!

xx
Jamie
 

A Glimpse At Our Anniversary Getaway + What My Husband Thinks That Stepmoms Should Know

As you may have noticed on my Instagram Feed, this week my husband and I went away on a little anniversary getaway to one of our favourite places, the JW Marriott on Lake Rosseau. 

This place holds so many special memories for us. It's where got engaged, where we went for our honeymoon, where we go to celebrate, and where we go to just unwind!

We only go in the "off-season" because, well it's cheaper, and we don't love busy! We like to relax, read, connect and just enjoy the quiet! With four kids running around I am sure you can understand why!

{IYou can check out some picture from our getaway below!}

Anywho, while we were at dinner one night, I asked my husband about stepfamily life from his perspective. I wanted to know what his biggest stressor was. 

I'm not entirely sure how I worded the question, but it was something along the lines of:

"What do you think that Stepmoms should know when it comes to managing stepfamily stressors from the husband's perspective" 


With Father's Day coming up on Sunday, I thought this was a perfect time to tell you what my husband thinks that you should know!

1. It's hard for husband's too. He said he often feels like he is being pulled in many different directions and is responsible for keeping everyone happy.  He has to manage his co-parenting relationship with the children's mother, while keeping  me happy and ensuring that all the kids are getting the time and attention that they deserve. He said it is especially difficult when he and I aren't necessarily on the same page about co-parenting issues that arise. 

2. He feels enormous guilt about not being with his kids everyday. Four years in, it hasn't gotten any easier.  (He has shared custody with the children's mother, with a "week-on-week-off schedule) 

3. When the kids are with us, he feels pressure to make up for "lost time" while still making sure that our daughter and I don't feel like we've been put on the back-burner.

It's a lot of pressure.... you're being pulled in so many different directions and you just want to make sure that everyone is happy and content. I know it's extremely stressful for stepmoms, but it's hard of us too!" 

4. Discipline can be very stressful. When you come home from a long day at work and your wife tells you that "the kids did this, and the kids did that", and now you need to go and deal with it ... it's a lot!

He said, "I know it's my responsibility, and I am okay with that"  it's just that if it weren't a stepfamily situation, the "wife" would deal with the discipline if she was the one who was there for the incident. He said that when he is at work, he is often stressed and distracted, hoping that everything is going well at home. 


Wow! I'm not going to lie. It was eye opening to hear about his perspective on stepfamily stepfamily stressors. 

I feel like sometimes we, as stepmoms,  get so caught up in the stressors that we are dealing with that we forget to consider what it's like to walk in our husband's shoes!

If you have anything else that you (or your husband) think that we should add to the list, please comment below! I love hearing from you!) 

xx Jamie

P.S If you're relationship with your man has fallen off the "to-do" list... plan a date night ASAP! Seriously! Plan it right now! It doesn't have to cost a thing.... it can be as simple as cooking dinner at home together, or cuddling up on the couch and watching a movie SANS kids! 

As I said on both my Instagram and Facebook feeds this week:

"A huge part of my work with stepmoms includes helping them understand that their relationship with this husband needs to be a TOP priority.... Because at the end of the day, your husband is the reason why you're a stepmom in the first place"

When your relationship goes off the rails, often the extra stressors that come with stepfamily life become "not worth it" and you end up resenting it all. There is up to a 75% divorce rate for second marriages when kids are involved. So if you've slipped, get your relationship back on your "to-do" list and plan your date night today!!"


What are you doing on June 29?
Let's have a glass of wine & chat all things Stepmom!

Don't wait to get your ticket! Space is LIMITED!
$29 CDN

GUEST POST: Tips For Having A Good Relationships With Your Stepchild's Mother

We just wrapped up the first session of "The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Project" and all I can say is WOW! The response to the content and connections developed between the Stepmoms in this group was absolutely phenomenal! I cannot tell you how excited I am to launch the second round this fall! 

On that note... 

About a week ago, I asked  my "virtual" stepmom friend Jen, to provide some advice to the stepmoms in the group, on what can be a very contentious topic ... dealing with your husband's ex wife! 

Jen is a stepmom herself, and since stumbling upon her blog "The Velvet Hive" over a year ago, I have been really inspired by her attitude, perspective, and admirable relationship with her stepdaughter's mother! 

It was no surprise that her response to this request blew me again. In fact, it was too good to just keep for the ladies in The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project, so I asked Jen if I could share it with all of you! She graciously said yes... so you're welcome!

Here is what she said... Copied and Pasted straight from our Online Group! 


Jamie and I were talking and I was telling her that sometimes I feel uncomfortable doling out advice on step-parenting and relationships with the ex-wife/mom of the stepchildren, because I do have such an unusually good relationship with Hannah's (my step-daughter) mom.

I know that it takes two and if you're the only one trying to make it work, it can feel nearly impossible to have comfortable/good co-parenting relationship. 

That said, no co-parenting relationship is perfect (mine included) and below are some ways I've found that work for me. 

1) The number one thing that has eased me into step-parenthood has been that, from the beginning, I viewed Hannah's mom as Hannah's mom - not as my husband's ex-wife.

Sometimes when we take the view of your step-child's parent out as your husband's ex-wife/lover/girlfriend, it also removes any subconscious/underlying feelings that will make this gig ten times harder. 

I am not in denial that they had a (very real) relationship, but that relationship had nothing to do with me then, and certainly has nothing to do with me now. My only business here is Hannah. 

2) Take a cue from Elsa and LET IT GO. I learned early on that I don't need a dog in every fight (that's probably not a PC analogy, sorry). 

I know Jamie has touched on this, too. It is so hard for me to walk away from things and not give my two cents, but sometimes we have to let our partners take the wheel and walk away. 

Sometimes we don't need to know every single little thing - and it helps my relationship with Hannah's mom not to. 

3) The old "walk a mile in their shoes". Compassion.

(This one may not apply to your situation if you are dealing with a total monster-mom.) I don't think I truly understood Hannah's mom until I had my daughter, Ivy.

And I actually told her this and apologized for some nasty thoughts that ran through my head before I had a baby: "What's the big deal if Hannah does that?" "Why is she (Hannah's mom) so emotional/over-protective?"

And even though I knew how hard it was for my husband to have split time with Hannah, for some reason, I never thought about how Hannah's mom had to also surrender time with her daughter.

Now that I have Ivy, I can't imagine having to give her up for a holiday, etc. And I'm probably the most anxious, over-protective mom around. 

Again, I know these may not work for everyone. I have a highly unusual situation (hell, Hannah's mom BABYSAT our daughter last weekend, so we could have a date night!). 

But I do know that the only thing you have full control over in this step-parenting role is YOU. And you alone. Your feelings, your reactions, your way to do this. You have no control over anyone else - so take care of yourself, do your best FOR and DESPITE what you may receive in return.

xo
Jen


If you haven't already... go follow Jen's Facebook Page!  ... What I LOVE about this Stepmama is that she doesn't just talk stepmom life... she has great recipes, decor, inspiration and musings that will make you chuckle! 

Also! If you haven't heard, I've recently started The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Community! An online forum for stepmoms to connect and provide each other with real life, tried + true solutions for their stepfamily stressors.

If you're looking for a positive stepmom community then you should join us! 

All you have to do is click the link below and get on the The KICK-ASS Stepmom Email list! ... Once you do, all the information for this exclusive community will be sent to your inbox! 

 

CONFESSION: I've Been The Hugest Hypocrite

I've been a pretty big hypocrite lately. Well, not exactly, but kind of. 

You see, in all my work with my fellow stepmoms I PREACH & PREACH the importance of self-care, and "filling your cup" ... and well, for the past two weeks I've been running on empty. 

Somehow my needs have been put on the back burner and the never ending "to do" list that comes from running a household and building a business has gotten the best of me. 

Work-outs have been missed, drive thrus have been frequented, and well to be honest, shit is kind of hitting the fan around here! The house is a complete gongshow! 

So last night, just before the clock struck twelve, I decided to would reign it back in. And not in the, "before you go to bed you decide the following day you're going to get your shit together but you actually end up not" kind of reign it back in.

The serious, Mama needs a night away to re-group kind of reign it back in. 

So before I tucked myself in for the night, I booked myself a hotel room for TONIGHT!

You see, on Saturday I am attending the Cocolilly Social in Niagara Falls, ON (A Creative Event for Female Entrepreneurs .... which by the way, it still kind of blows my mind that I am actually a Female Entrepreneur, but hey, life takes you in crazy places if you're open to it)

.... So I decided that instead of waking up at the butt-crack of dawn and driving two and a half hours to the Conference, I'm going to get myself a hotel room... all by my self! 

I have to say that again.... just because it sounds so amazing! I HAVE A HOTEL ROOM ALL TO MYSELF! 

Yep! Tonight I have a date with a big white bed, a bottle of wine, my laptop, a bag of Miss Vickie's Salt + Vinegar Chips and I am going to RE-GROUP! (I may even do some sit-ups before bed to get my fitness back on track... actually probably not)

Now the reason I am telling you all this is because I want you to know that it is OKAY TO FALL OFF THE WAGON! It happens to the best of us, more often than we all like to admit. 

NO ONE is perfect all of the time (or ANY of the time)

Achieving BALANCE is almost impossible. 

The important thing is to recognize it.  To recognize when you're not feeling at your best, when your fuse is a little short, and well you're not functioning optimally. 

I personally feel like those never ending "to-do" lists that we have, are tackled a lot more efficiently when our cup is full! PLUS like I preach and preach ... when you're taking care of yourself you're better able to take care of the people who depend on you the most. 

The way I look at it, my husband, babe and those three sweet stepkids of mine are benefiting from this alone time EVEN more than I am! (no mom guilt here!)

Now off I go to get this household ready for a night without me! 

SIDEBAR: Isn't it funny that when a Dad goes away for the weekend, he packs his bag and goes. But when a Mom decides to go away, she feels the need to ensure that there are groceries, clean clothes, and a list of instructions? Seriously, I've even laid out clothing and pjs for the 30 hours that I am going to be away! ... Oh to be a dude! 

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
I hope you all find time to do something that lights your soul on fire....
(and if nothing else, a bottle of wine or shot of something REAL hard!) 

xx Jamie

On another note... Have you subscribed to my email list yet? If not, NOW is the time to get on it!

On top of getting tips, tricks and behind the scenes stories about my stepmom life, you also get access to offers that are NOT broadcasted on the website, and there are some pretty great ones coming up so SUBSCRIBE TODAY!