The bf and I have been living together for over a year now so I guess it isn’t news that we are a blended family.
For those of you who are not familiar with our relationship let me bring you up to speed. Chris and I have been dating for over 2 years and we moved in together in May of last year. I have one son from a previous marriage who is six and Chris has two boys from a previous relationship, one is 12 and one is about to be 10. So all of us combined together make a happy blended family.
But to be quite honest we are not always happy and we don’t always feel very blended. In short, being in a blended family is hard. Really, really hard.
I know that some of you will say that being in a “traditional” family is hard too and I get that because I have done that as well. But being in a blended family is different and with that brings its own set of challenges.
Of those challenges the most difficult of all is our exes. Neither Chris nor I have a great relationship with our respective ex. (Not because we don’t want to but just because that is the way it is.) As you can imagine our exes have tremendous influence over our kids and because of that a tremendous influence over our relationship and our family unit. It can be very frustrating and sometimes very hurtful.
Another challenge is the kids themselves. Each of them is great in their own way but sometimes they can be…..well…….kids! Sometimes they like each other and sometimes they don’t. But when they don’t like each other it is in a “you’re not my real brother” kind of way. Sometimes the kids don’t like Chris or I either and when they don’t like one of us it becomes a ” I don’t have to listen to you because you are not my parent” kind of situation.
Another challenge is Chris and I ourselves. Our relationship can be defined as relatively new and as such we are still perfecting things between the two of us. As many of you may know, this can be difficult without outside influences but we also have all of the above playing into our relationship. We also came into the relationship with our parenting styles firmly intact instead of learning to parent together as is the case in “traditional”relationships which adds an additional layer of challenges.
Despite all of the challenges, we have made some significant progress in our blended family. There are times when everything is going smooth and everyone is getting along. Those times are wonderful and give us hope as to what the future can hold. We may not have this blended family thing down completely but we are headed in the right direction and at the end of the day that is all we can ask for!
Are you part of a blended family? I would love to hear about it!