Friday, March 2, 2012

The Blended Family.....

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today for SUYL...step moms.




When my husband and I started dating my children were twenty two and fifteen........his children were seven and ten....and though we couldn't know it on that first date we were actually starting our journey to becoming a blended family.

Sometimes, it actually felt like someone had shoved us all into a blender and turned it on high.  Other times we were just gently stirred.  


My oldest had been out of the nest for about three years when Russell and I met and he had lived away all that time.  My youngest was in high school and Russell's two were both in elementary school.


We dated two and a half years which gave us plenty of time to get to know each other and for our children to get to know one another.  As much as anyone can know one another before they actually live under the same roof together.  


Russell had custody of his oldest when we started dating and within the first year, the youngest came to live with him.  When we married, I was becoming a full time mama again and helping raise two more sons.  I didn't think about it at the time, but our children now had two sets of parents each.....and how hard must that have been?  Our children don't sign on for their parents splitting and a complete stranger joining the family, so any rough times are understandable.


Three months after the wedding, I resigned from my job and became a full time wife and mama.  


When Russell and I went in to speak to our pastor before our marriage, he gave us a book titled... The Blended Family... by Tom & Adrienne Frydenger.  I am going to admit right here that I read parts of it, but probably should have finished the book.  But I was busy living the blended family and didn't take time to read about what another family had done.  Do all the research you can and then let your natural maternal instinct guide you through the pitfalls.


Did we have issues?  Yes  Did we work through them?  Yes.  Was it easy?  NO!  


In my family of origin, acceptance was part of our everyday lives....so Russell's children were just added into the mix and are part of the family.  


I've been part of their lives for more than half their lives.....I love all our children and I seriously don't like the word step anything.  Like....you're one step closer to something or one step away from something??   Never really got that.  I know that sometimes it is appropriate to use step mom to explain our situation.....but more often they just call me Nancy and I just call them my children.  My two older children have to call me Mama!  
ALL the grandchildren call me Nana...


There are usually enough issues to go around and we had our fair share....but we've managed with God's help and a lot of laughter and tears to get all the children grown and for the most part all healthy and intact.  No limbs were lost during the making of this family.  A few bumps and bruises maybe, but they all healed pretty quickly.


If you are considering marrying someone with children, try to remember this.....a child always loves their biological parent....always.  The biological parent is NOT your enemy, in fact you can actually be partners in the art of parenting.  But if not, then you can at least be civil.  Try remembering who the adults are in this situation.  You will ALWAYS share times with the biological parents......graduations, marriages and the birth of grandchildren are just a few.  Our family has been through all of these. So get along from the get go and life will be much easier.   I didn't always do this as well as I should have, I guess none of us really do.


 I will say I'm sure Russell made things much easier by being a very consistent, hands on daddy.  One funny story and that's all.....I was once having an issue with one of my younger children and turned to demand ask Russell for his help.  I was obviously upset and his reply was......if you're going to let a sixteen year old tromp on your feelings, I don't know what to tell you....he let us work out our issues.  He's good like that.


Through it all, good times and rough times, pray, pray, pray!  


This year our children will be 42, 35, 30 and 26.
You would have to ask them to be sure, but I think all the children love us and no matter what, they'll all always be our/my children!





15 comments:

traci's mixed bag said...

Wow! What a story. I think you did a great job capturing the essence of how hard it was but how you made it work. The awesome thing is, everyone made it.

Deb said...

this is a great post....

Sweet Tea said...

You're a wise woman!
Lots of good "stuff" in this post!

Chatty Crone said...

Great Story. sandie

Pauly said...

Nice Mom! I just hope one day my kids will be my family again.

nancygrayce said...

I hope so too, Paul! Just keep trying! They love you.

Loui♥ said...

just beautiful Nancy!!
been there ..
done that..
hugs!
Loui♥

Cathy said...

very nice post....are you still going to feel the same way after having the puppy all weekend?? J/K we love them all too....not so much the dogs!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love this post. I had no idea. Thank you for sharing your blended family with me. It is a beautiful story and I think it is wonderful how you all worked it out. My husband has two half brothers and we never call them halves. They are his brothers through and through!

Needled Mom said...

The best advice you gave is that they will share those moments with the other parents throughout their lives so it is best to be civil from the beginning. I just hate parent scenes at weddings and births!!!!

Craziness abounds said...

I'm living this post right now. :) My youngest, whom everyone assumes is mine is not technically. I call him mine though and treat him the way I do my own so I can see the confusion. Great post lady and very wise indeed.

Nicole said...

I've been a step-mom for a little over a year now. Mine is 9. I agree that we should all get along, unfortunately it really upsets me that her mom uses her as a pay check. That right there is frustrating. Her mom does everything she can to make our life hell. But I'm so glad to see someone who is with their spouse for a while. It seems like the step-dad usually never goes away, but the step-mom's... they come and go a dime a dozen.

Stella said...

I think most of us come from or are part of blended families in some form. My hubby has 10 brothers and sister. Some full, some half, and some step. But to them they are just brothers and sisters they don't put a name to it. Thanks for sharing your story.

BeautifulDees said...

I loved your post... I am a step mom (he is awesome to me) I am grateful.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog, I alway's enjoy your comment's.
Love,Debbie:)

LBDDiaries said...

This was good. I do find it hard to believe you're old enough to have a kid that old. You must have started in Jr. High School!!