***I APOLOGIZE FOR THE LACK OF PHOTOS. MT PHONE REFUSED TO COOPERATE.***
Good morning everyone. Up until a few days ago, I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about today. But I decided to talk about one of the hardest jobs on the planet.
No, I’m not talking about working at a custom juice bar or becoming a master smoothie maker. (I know that’s what you were think I g when you read the title 😄).
I’m talking about something very personal and dear to my heart.
First let me say that I absolutely LOVE my family. My three children, (one of which is my step-daughter) and my husband, the greatest man in the world.
Blended families are nothing new. They have been occuring for many, many years and chances are, they will continue to happen for many more. There are more step parents and step kids than most people realize.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the latest stats:
*120 million adults have taken on one of the toughest jobs in America – creating a stepfamily.
*Forty million children live in a stepfamily.
*Without adequate support, 66 percent of those stepfamilies break up during the child-rearing years.
Pretty high risk right? But why such high numbers?
Here’s one answer:
The typical stepcouple confronts intense emotions, complex dynamics and power imbalances while attempting impossibly to become like an original family.
See the key words? Impossibly and original.
It is impossible to duplicate the original thing. Sometimes it comes close. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes it’s worse. But it will never be the original. But still we try for that goal. Nothing wrong with wanting a good, happy home life for ourselves as well as our kids.
I mean come on, let’s be honest. No one sets out to have a blended family. Who has ever said, “One day I want to get married, have a couple of kids, get divorced, and get remarried, all while dragging the said kids through the mess?”
The answer: NOBODY!!
When we meet that special someone that we want to spend the rest of our lives with and get married (or not), the last thing on our minds is divorce, broken families, starting over, remarrying, becoming step-parents. Our hearts and brains just don’t work that way. But unfortunately life does.
And for awhile it sucks. Trust me I know. Getting divorced, especially with kids, is no easy matter. In most cases, it’s pure hell. But it does get easier. And then one day, you meet someone new. And as time moves forward, you decide to remarry and start over.
But as step parents, we know that this transition from broken home to blended home is hard for kids.
And it’s hard enough but add in the ex-spouse that not only refuses to make it easier for the kids but intentionally hinders things every step of the way and you’ve for a ticking time bomb on your hands. Both with the kids and you and with the kids and kids and the step-parent as well.
It could be something as simple as bad mouthing you and the step-parent to the kids to more grievous acts such as harrassment or causing damage to personal property while playing the “I’m all alone. Poor, poor me” card to appeal to the children’s delicate emotions.
Welcome to my world. 🌎
Not enough? Make one of those children a hormonal teenage girl.
Top that with typical human error, and you have a recipe to disaster.
And when there is that much bad blood and negativity pumping into the heart of your new family, there’s bound to be trouble.
More than that, step-parents have no legal right to discipline the step-children. Even though they are the ones to help raise them. Now I’m not talking about going out and whipping them or beating them silly. But as far as the good ‘ol “your grounded” or “don’t talk to your mother/father/? that way. Go to your room”, I are no problem with that. But a lot of ex-spouses do. The “Nobody is allowed to discipline my child but me” syndrome. Which only causes more anger and frusration in the household.
And of course in every divorced family, there is the “fun” parent and the “mean” parent. Usually the one with the rules is the mean one.
Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Amy Deason, meanest parent in the world.
There are tons of movies and tv shows out there depicting blended families:
YOURS, MINE, OURS
And one of the all time most famous blended family shows, THE BRADY BUNCH.
They are all great to watch, laugh at, and enjoy but the problem is- they are just entertainment. They are not real life.
Now after all of this, you might think I’m anti-blended family. But your wrong. I’m a part of one now. And I truely love them. All of them. There is nowhere I’d rather be. And yes, in hindsight, the divorce was difficult and a total mess. But I am grateful every day for what I’ve got now.
I’m know things get easier as time passes. After all, I’ve seen vast improvements in my own household in the last year and a half. (Thank goodnes…)
There are so many issues involved. Trust, respect, and loyalty just to name a few. But also anger, fear, hurt.
Being a part of a blended family can be one of the most aggravating jobs on the planet. But, given enough time, it can also turn into one of the most rewarding.
So next time you meet someone that’s part of a blended family, take a moment and give them a mental high five. It is a difficult job to take on, raising someone else’s kids. And those that do definitely deserve a little respect.
And who knows? Maybe after all of that trying, after all of that struggle and all out craziness, you might just end up with the picture perfect family you’ve always dreamed of.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to reading your comments and opinions. And feel free to include your own personal stories about blended families. After all, we can all use a little help and new insights right?