When you’re a single mom who gets remarried, often times you find yourself with a blended family. In my family’s case, we have yours, mine and ours. When you have a blended family it creates quite the dynamic, sometimes extreme difficulty and stress on all members of the family. Learning to figure out how to balance life requires strong focus from the parents.
A Blended Family is Tough
There will be struggles that you likely wouldn’t face except in a blended family. Things like jealousy of a child, bitterness over your spouses ex who is still involved because of their child, feeling inadequate for the huge task of figuring out this new role of step-parenting, etc. Each person will handle all of these situations differently, but they are not typically found in a first marriage.
Blood Doesn’t Make Family
Being part of a blended family gives you a front seat view in seeing that it doesn’t require bloodlines to make a family. When you allow God to bring you together as a family and give Him the time and space to work in you and your family members, you’ll likely find that God brought you together as a family for a reason. Along the journey you’ll figure out the dos and don’ts, the likes and dislikes and how to balance the step-parenting routine…then somewhere along the way you realize that you love your “step-child(ren)” like they are your own.
Awkward Situations Will Arise
Anytime you bring blend families there are going to be awkward situations that come up throughout your lives. Birthday parties, church programs, phone calls, graduations, etc. There will be A LOT of family at these functions supporting a particular child and it can be both awkward and uncomfortable. The easiest way to make it through these situations is to remember that it is in the best interest of the children to be kind to all parties present. If things get unbalanced then if possible speak with your spouse in private or focus on the other children and remove yourselves from the situation. Making a scene will not do any good for you, your spouse or your children.
Things Don’t Change Much When the Kids Hit 18
Sometimes going into a blended family you think that when the kids hit 18 things will be different…for better or worse. While there is some truth to that thought, it isn’t to the extreme that you typically think in the beginning. There maybe an emptier room that a younger sibling partially takes over or a *little* more time for you as a couple, but the fact is that you are parents, no matter how old your children are that will never change. The “grown” child will need their parent and you as the “step-parent” will have to step aside sometimes, giving up time with your spouse and at times you’ll disagree with how lenient the “grown” child, but you must learn to just pray at these times. Otherwise you’ll let go of the peace God has given you over the years.
Above all remember…blood doesn’t make family.