Haha! That’s a great title to a blog! But, seriously…
So here you are in this beautiful Blended Family, and you’re not quite sure what to do. You may feel like your children or your spouse or taking sides – or maybe “everyone’s out to get you”. However you may feel can completely contradict what’s real.
After being part of our blended family for 5 1/2 years (including our courtship) – there are a few things that we have learned in how to handle your blended family. We have found that It boils down to these 3 key points.
HOW TO GET A GRIP ON YOUR BLENDED FAMILY
The thing to remember is that everyone else in the family is just as new to this ‘blended family’ thing as you are. The kids themselves have gone through enough changes between having divorced parents, or parents that never married – or never even knowing their other parent. So how can you expect them to be in Tip Top Shape? Have patience.
Display the patience with them that you would like from them . Children catch on quickly to the habits of their parents and stepparents. Be the example you want to see in your children, and maybe even your spouse.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Alright ladies , we all know that you don’t have a problem communicating and men, I’m sure you can use a little more “opening up” about your feelings. Of course, this is all by stereotype – everybody is different.
Those who are pro’s at communication need to be sure to encourage your children to communicate. And remember not to over-communicate! This can be developed by openness, trust and wisdom.
To those who have a hard time communicating, remember that communication opens the doors to trust, and if your spouse or your children are craving communication with you – it’s important to meet these needs. Which brings us to the next point.
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
It’s so easy to get caught up in the anxieties of daily life. We’re not saying that having a blended family is full of stress and anxiety, but a lot of the time when we remove the focus from what’s REALLY important when nurturing a blended family, we start to think it’s all about us.
Why isn’t my husband paying attention to me? Why is my wife being so emotional? Why do my kids seem so far from me?
These are thoughts that can run through anyone’s mind.. and it’s easy to focus on how WE are feeling.. but what’s more important is how THEY are feeling and putting your family circumstance into perspective.
Is your husband ignoring you, or does he need to focus on your child for the moment? Is your wife super emotional, or does she need a night out from the mom-life? Are your kids distancing themselves from you, or do you need to draw near to your kids?
Whatever the circumstance may be – you need to STOP and think about what your family needs first.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR DYNAMIC
Fortunately for us, I (Laura) inherited 2 beautiful girls who love me, and although we have had some trying times between needing daddy’s attention or combating our power struggles – in the end we know that we love eachother and that this whole blended family thing is a process. The same goes for my husband, Will. My daughter was never in her father’s life and so we had minimal trouble with getting her adopted by my husband and now she claims to have native american blood because daddy does… but trust me.. this little girl is swedish and white as snow.
Have I been concerned that she’d grow up with daddy issues since her dad wasn’t around? Yes. Am I still concerned about her daddy issues? No. Do our kids struggle with jealousy and step-sibling-ness? Yes. Do we consider them as step-siblings? No.
In a nutshell, keeping the peace in a blended family takes unconditional love and a fresh understanding. As a parent in a blended family, it’s not about you. It’s about your spouse and your kids… and as long as you keep that perspective – you’re going to do just fine.
For more blogs about the trial and error of blended families, check out our website, A Blended Masterpiece. You will receive updates from the man’s perspective and the woman’s perspective in being in a blended family.
Do you have some stories to share? Perhaps struggles or victories? We would love to hear them! Please visit our contact page and submit them – we look forward to hearing from you!