Becoming a stepparent is an incredible experience that many of us are lucky to experience in our lives. It can also be a time of adjustment where you have to navigate prioritizing your relationship with blending your families. Add to that managing work and friends – there can often be many competing priorities vying for your time! Fortunately, with a few helpful tips and tricks, you can confidently embrace your role as a stepparent while keeping your relationship with your partner at the forefront. Enter Cupla – a shared calendar app built for all couples, including couples who are stepparents! Here’s some advice on how to manage and take on the role of a stepparent, written by one stepparent to another.
Related content: The 5 Best Shared Calendar Apps For Couples
Blended families are now as common as the nuclear two-parents-two-children phenomenon of the past. In fact – stepfamilies are so common in the U.S. that according to one study, over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled. In addition, more than four in ten American adults have at least one step relative in their families. It’s safe to say there are many stepparents out there looking to expertly manage their lives with ease, so that they can have a relationship and family life that fulfills them.
Managing a relationship with your partner and stepchildren is undoubtedly a delicate balancing act. As a stepparent to three amazing children myself, I know firsthand the joys and challenges that can come with the role. When my partner Will and I were in the beginning stages of ideating Cupla, our app for couples, I was determined to create a comprehensive app that would empower couples like us to navigate our relationship and family life with ease. I’m excited to share these tried-and-tested tips that have brought a huge positive difference to both my relationship with my partner and my life as a stepparent, and I hope they do the same for you.
Finding Time for Romance
Regular, dedicated time with your partner is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. But with work, friends and children all demanding your attention, it can be hard to carve out the time to be together. Amidst all your competing priorities in your life, especially as stepparents, it’s important to find time for romance in your relationship!
Jamie Scrimgeour, the host of The Kick-Ass Stepmom podcast, a podcast I’ve listened to a lot over the last few years, shares many of the feelings that I have that come along with managing a relationship and your new blended family! For her, Cupla has been ideal to manage her relationship.
“For a while there, Darren and I were out of sync. From our calendars to communication to what was going on in each other’s lives, there was so much going on that date nights and connecting with each other fell off our list. If we did have one-on-one time, Reese was with us. We were trying to schedule our date nights, but with Reese’s schedule, his work, my work, and travel, it was really challenging, and we found ourselves in a date night slump. Insert Cupla! ”Jamie Scrimgeour – Kick-Ass Stepmom Podcast Host
Keeping Date Night A Priority
It’s easy to let date night slip away in your relationship. Weeks can quickly turn into months, and before you know it, you’ve missed out on enjoying a much-needed date night to bring you closer together! Use Cupla’s date planner to find the best times for you and your partner to spend some quality time together. Set reminders for your partner’s birthday or your anniversary. You can even use the app to plan long-term romantic goals or surprises. Love is in the air – and in your app!
Remembering Date Night Ideas
Cupla’s To-dos list feature is also handy here. You and your partner can make shared lists for things like date night ideas so there’s always a fresh activity ready to go when date night rolls around. Lots of couples use it to share potential spicy bedroom adventures too – and yes, it’s all kept private; nobody can see it except you and your partner.
But if you want to keep something a surprise, like a gift list? You can create private lists as well that only you can see.
Managing multiple schedules
One of the first things that happens when you become a stepparent can be the added admin that comes with new additions to your blended family. Perhaps you have a child from a previous relationship and are now bringing your family together with your partner. Maybe your partner has children and you’re stepping into a new role as a stepparent. Or perhaps you and your partner both have children from previous relationships and are blending your families together.
While this is an incredibly exciting time for all of those involved, it also comes with some new challenges in terms of making sure you’re able to manage your schedules, prioritize your relationship with your partner and have time together with every member of your family.
Jamie Scrimgeour, host of the Kick-Ass Stepmom podcast says that “One of the big challenges that stepmoms have is that they aren’t in the loop about schedule changes with the kids. Cupla can help with that. When your partner adds the new schedule to the calendar, you’re automatically in the loop.”
With Cupla, you can quickly get a full overview of what activities you and your partner have booked with the kids, making it easy to balance your time and attention – both of which are essential to create a great blended family dynamic.
Syncing multiple calendars
For example, with the synced shared calendar, you would be able to see that in the next week, your partner is dropping the kids off at school in the morning, while you’re picking them up. Your stepdaughter has a music recital that you’re both heading to, while your biological son has a football match that only you can attend. You might mention to your partner that it’d be great for them to carve out some extra time this weekend with your biological son to make up the difference.
Sharing selected calendar items with other co-parents
Cupla is designed specifically for couples, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to include those outside of your relationship as well. The app has a unique feature where you can share selected calendar items with other co-parents without needing to share your full schedule with them permanently. This limited access means you can coordinate with co-parents without having to give up your privacy by adding them to your personal calendar.
Carving out time for yourself as a stepparent
Self-care is vital. As a stepparent, it’s easy to get caught up in the responsibilities and demands of managing a blended family. However, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of prioritizing time for yourself.
By scheduling time for self-care and staying on top of your individual tasks, wants, and needs, you are not only taking care of your well-being but also enhancing your ability to fulfill your role as a stepparent. Self-care allows you to recharge, rejuvenate, and maintain a healthy mindset, which is essential for navigating some of the challenges that can arise with blending families. It enables you to show up as your best self, with the energy, patience, and compassion needed to nurture your relationships. By carving out time for self-care, you are sending a powerful message to yourself and your family that your needs matter and that you are worthy of investing in your own happiness.
Cupla’s shared calendar and to-dos allows you to prioritize and stay on top of your individual tasks and events – whether that be setting up a list of new activities you’d like to try or a reminder fortnightly to take some me-time away from your partner and kids (or step-kids!) to rejuvenate.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Coming together as one family unit is a journey that takes time. With everyone on different schedules it can be hard to keep a track of everyday comings and goings around the house. The most effective way to create stability at home is to be intentional about working as a team around the house.
As your kids and stepkids get older, it can be great to use Cupla to manage chores around the house. Why? Chores are a fact of life for any family, blended or otherwise. However, with all the extra responsibilities and demands on your time as a stepparent, you might find it even tougher to coordinate with your partner to make sure everything around the house gets done. This can also be important for those with varying custody schedules; one week there might be kids to clean up after, and the next there might not be. But the chores still need to get done!
Cupla features a To-dos list that syncs with the shared calendar, allowing you and your partner to add tasks, assign, tag, personalize and tick them off as they’re completed. Reminders help keep everyone on track, while shared tasks make it easier to coordinate on the bigger jobs that need all hands on deck.
Navigating Stepparent Life with Cupla
With a plethora of articles and books offering advice on stepparenting, it is beneficial to approach your journey as a stepparent with an open mind and seek guidance from experts who understand the intricate complexities and joys that accompany this role. Whether you’re just starting out on this incredible journey or have been on the path of being a stepparent for a while now, we genuinely hope that these Cupla hacks will bring a newfound sense of ease and harmony to your family life.
But here’s the bottom line: Your relationship with your partner should be a top priority for the stability of your long-term relationship and the well-being of your family unit as a whole. By maintaining a balanced approach to your priorities, both your family and community will thrive in the long run.
Using Cupla, the shared calendar app designed especially for couples, you can manage schedules, bond with your stepchildren, plan events, and prioritize romance with your partner. It’s a lifeline that makes the job of being a stepparent manageable, organized, and fulfilling. With over 100,000 downloads and counting as of July 2023, it’s safe to say that we have developed an app that provides solutions to the challenges faced by numerous couples and stepparents as they navigate their lives.
So, why not give Cupla a try? It’s more than just an app for coparenting – it’s a tool to help you nurture your beautiful, blended family.
Cupla is a relationship management app for couples. With its user-friendly interface and innovative features including a shared calendar and to-do’s and date planner, Cupla empowers couples by providing tools for better organization, communication, and relationship well-being.