Welcome to my world of creating a blended family. My world of love, laugher, fun, stress, anxiety and chaos… This is me… A Wife, a Mother, a Step-Mother, an Ex-Wife and the “new” Wife.
I have two children, my husband has 3 so we are a busy household of seven – half the time. That’s the thing about blended families, every day is different! We have time with our whole family of seven, time with just my kids, time with just his kids and time with just us, all within a fortnight! It’s messy and complicated but it works for us!
My husband and I have been friends for many years, connected by our geeky passions for books, parenting and research. When our first marriages ended it was a natural progression that brought us closer together. We were very naïve, thinking we could move in together and all would fall into place and our relationship would be accepted by our friends and family.
One of the hardest parts of separating and moving into a new relationship (regardless of who with or the time in-between relationships), is the judgement from others. You don’t realise how attached your family and friends can be to your ex and this can test loyalties. People always say you don’t know who your real friends are until you need them, this is truer than we realised. When you walk a significant event in your life, you need to be prepared to face conflict in a number of relationships.
Unfortunately, it is human nature to judge, if we like it or not, we all do it sometimes. And for those of us that re-partner and move our children into this situation, there is no avoiding judgement from others. Thankfully, although some found it hard to support our new family, most of our close family and friends supported us. These were the ones that truly knew us and trusted our judgement. On our wedding day we were surrounded by our new family and our best friends.
In the beginning we relied on advice from the people around us on “how to be”. There is no easy manual on re-partnering or being a step parent so you take others word for it. One friend told me to just be a mother figure to my step children, another told me that it was okay to treat them completely differently to my own children because I didn’t have to love them. Neither of those options felt right to me so I spent some time feeling lost and confused. It was a very difficult time amongst family court proceedings, working out how to blend a family, be a step-parent and keep our relationship strong.
Thankfully we both agreed that we needed help and found a fantastic blended family counselor. He had personal and professional experience, he was exactly what we needed. Along with his advice and support, our research and reading lots of books – we did it. We blended our family with great success and found the perfect balance of life and love. We still have the normal challenges that come with our world but we now have the skills and knowledge to know how to get through or at least, where to go for help if we need it.