It’s not like this whole blending thing is new, exactly. We’ve been dating since the Summer of 2011, with a few break ups here and there in between as we found our footing together. We didn’t introduce the kids for months, to be sure that we weren’t exposing them to something that was short lived.
So we’ve all been hanging out for about five years now. The kids get along great – the only arguments are usually among the blood-related siblings (Phil’s two daughters or my two sons). But it’s still been hard getting used to this new family dynamic.
The boys live with us and are with us about 75 percent of the time. The girls see their Dad 49 percent of the time, but they go to school in a different state so their Dad goes to them twice a week and the boys and I only see them every other weekend during the school year. And that’s hard. At least for me. In the Summer, it’s wonderful because they are with us for a week at a time and I can bond with them in ways I can’t during the school year.
Blending a family can sometimes feel like walking through a minefield. Add on top of it two new teenagers, two “I used to be the youngest” tweens, five jobs, two divorce-recovering bank accounts, a law suit, and daily craziness that we all face and well… it’s like a really populated minefield.
It’s scary yet intriguing, chaotic, beautiful, maddening, lovely, and doubt-ridden, yet we are convicted to get through it.
When it’s just Phil and I, things are usually very good. When we add in all of the kids, it’s loud and crazy. If there’s a hint of strife, walls can instantly rise and defensive spirits show up. While together we have a lot of fun, we also face a lot of stress.
Over the years I’ve tried to remind myself that’s not just blended…that’s just family, right?