People say blending families is hard and man, they were not joking! If only it was as easy as the Brady bunch with all the children well behaved and seemlessly getting along.
N is almost 11, an only child whose mother was never present and left two years ago. He was raised by a single father, J. B aka Love bug is 5, an only child raised by her single mom (me) for 4 years.
When we first got serious the kids were happy and we thought “hey! This is gonna be easy!” Then we moved in together and all hell broke loose.
They were each fairly well behaved for us respectively, however if J attempted to parent B in any easy at all, even a simple “please don’t do that” it was world war 3. Likewise N was rude and disrespectful to me the minute J left each day.
We recognize they have had a lot of change in a short period of time. B and I moved into their 2 bedroom apartment with them, N left to Phoenix and was then kept by his mom starting a custody battle, we got rid of a dog that became aggressive and got a puppy, we moved into a house, we got N back, both kids started school, all in a 5 month time span. Any adult would even have a hard time adjusting to that!
N came back in August, and they started school a few days later. They have both been in therapy a month now. J and I had to really change how we parent to adapt to our new family dynamic. We had to understand a step parents role is different than that of a biological parent, we had to give them some space to express their feelings, to work thru their losses and gains.
We are focusing on what we have, on saying everything in a positive light such as instead of “don’t swing your fork” saying “please set you fork on your plate.” We have been discussing the children and consequences privately and presenting a united front.
Are we perfect? Hell no! We have days we loose our ish and yell at the kids or at each other, days where we collapse after they go to bed and talk about selling them, days where a glass of wine is needed even though it’s only 10a (hey it’s 5′ o clock somewhere!)
As the days and weeks go by we are figuring it out and settling in, we have more happy cooperative days than not. Time is magically when blending a family. Remember your child has had you from their first breath and learned your expectations with you, these new flaky members are not going to be family in a day, a week a month, hell maybe not even in a year but it will get easier!