A blended family is when a husband and wife marry and one or both have children from previous marriages or relationships. Focus on the Family says in a Blog Post that “approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form step families.”
I like how they give examples of the different types of blended families. My blended family falls into Portrait no. 3. The only difference is my husband was never married to his daughters mom.
According to the article this type of blended family has the most obstacles but can also be the most successful. I sure hope that is true because there are days I just don’t know about the success part.
The article also says it is normal for this type of blended family to have conflict and lots of it. Sometimes I feel like I bite my tongue because I don’t like drama and would rather just avoid it by not saying anything. That is not always the best thing to do.
It isn’t all bad though. We do have good days and a lot of them. It does however take work and patience.
5 Things No One Will Tell You About Having A Blended Family
- You Are More Set In Your Ways Than You Realize – this is very true for my little blended family. I like to refer to myself as “old school.” This tends to make things a little bit more difficult.
- Jealousy – whether its you or your spouse or one of the ex’s there will most likely always be some jealousy. I have found this to be true for step parents and step children as well. It doesn’t always have to be the ex’s.
- Loving Your Step Child(ren) Isn’t Always Easy – I don’t care what anyone says it is not always easy loving a step child. Just as it is not always easy for a child to love their step parent.
- You Will Never Be Comfortable With Your Spouse Giving Negative Feedback About Your Child – as a parent who is particularly over protected of her children this is really hard for me.
- There Is No Road Map – yes there are a lot of books on this topic but honestly you just have to put in the work and find what works for your family. Everyone has different personalities so what might have worked for the author of the Best Selling Step Parenting book may not work for you and your blended family.
Blended Family: Is It A Mistake Or Is It A Blessing?
Honestly, I wouldn’t call my blended family a mistake but I also wouldn’t call it a blessing either. I am about to be honest here.
When I very first met my step daughter I got this feeling that she didn’t care much for me. In fact I felt so uncomfortable around her I didn’t care to be around when she was visiting my then boyfriend.
Before I met her, my husband, then boyfriend, had said to me “Just don’t talk to her like she is a child.”
Umm… excuse me? She was 11 when we met. She was a child and still is well technically she is a teenager now. That is when I realized I am set in my own ways.
And so wasn’t she. Which by the way made it very hard for me to love her. I feel like children have their place and that is a lot of what is wrong with this world today. Children are overly exposed to adulting and forget where their place is.
My son who has add / adhd is also set in his ways and I believe that made it hard for my husband to love him as well. Who ever says you will immediately love your step children is the biggest liar ever.
A step child is NOT yours. The love you have or don’t have for them is not the same love you have for your own flesh and blood.
I know some reading this right now may be thinking “Yes, that is so true” and others are probably thinking “How dare she say such a thing!”
Hey, I promised to be honest and that is what I am doing. Being honest.
Sometimes you have learn how to love someone even if that someone is a stepchild or a step parent.
There will always be jealousy whether it is between ex’s, parents, or siblings. The jealousy in our blended family comes from all of us at one point or another.
For me the jealousy rises when I feel like my step daughter is being treated better than my children. As in she gets away with things my son would not get away with.
Sometimes I feel like she does no wrong and can do whatever she wants when she comes to visit because well she is visiting.
I know my husband feels the same way about my kids being treated better than his daughter but he will never admit it.
It is obvious though especially around the holidays when he tends to makes sarcastic comments.
Just so we are clear; I too make comments in a round a bout way.
Negative feedback about your child…
can be excruciating and makes you feel like you failed or your child is the absolute worse child ever.
My son is a pretty good kid but of course he has is faults as all of us do.
However, when my husband gives me negative feedback about my son I feel like the worse parent ever. Like my child can not do anything right.
It is actually a pretty heavy feeling.
No matter how much you know your child is in the wrong it’s always hard to hear your spouse point it out.
It comes off as nit picking. At least that is how I feel.
That is also why it was so hard for me to say anything in the beginning. I was so worried if I critiqued or attempted to discipline my step daughter she would forever hate me.
Yet discipline seemed to come so easy for my husband when it came to my son.
No, he has never and will never put his hands on my child as I will never put my hands on my step daughter.
Grounding and discipline period just seemed to be so easy when it was my son.
But my step daughter on the other hand a lot of things slid by in the beginning. And still do.
There is no road map you just have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
For me and my blended family this consists of a lot of communication. Which was very hard for me in the beginning.
I have learned though by communicating with my husband we can work together to make things work. We don’t always agree on things but we do compromise.
I have also learned that holding your feelings in and not saying anything until you explode is the absolute worse thing you can do.
You can read all the step parenting and blended family books out there but communication is key!
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