Sunday, July 13, 2014

Not exactly, is exactly what we need.

I decided to create this blog about a year ago to connect with other blended families.  I thought my story could be a resource to others in a similar situation.  I began searching for blogs like mine, but was unable to find what I was looking for. Without realizing it, I had been looking for the impossible.  I wanted to find someone in my EXACT situation.  At first I was looking for a blended family with only 2 active parents, no shared custody or summer visits with a 3rd parent.  Then I wanted to find a blended family with multiple children, each from both partners previous relationships as well as children which they conceived together.  Next I was looking for a blended family with children affected by the death of a mother, and an estranged father.  I was looking for someone in my shoes, with the same amount of wear and tear, same paths walked, same puddles splashed in, rocks tripped over and stairs climbed.  When I look back I can see that I was being irrational, yet I had this need to find it.  I wanted desperately to connect with another mom who could understand my life completely, give me advice and share stories about what the future holds. 

I have actually met several parents with 4 to 5 children, I once even had  a neighbor who had outdone me - she had 6 children.  When I meet another mother with a boatload of children, there is an instant understanding, for that moment we "click".  Like anything though, the initial spark dies out, because we realize how different we are.  She gave birth to those babies, all of them so I must not have the same bond with my children as she does or she has all boys and could not possibly imagine how difficult my 4 girls are.  These words are of course only thoughts, mostly in my own head but I would be na├»ve in thinking that those thoughts didn't cross her mind as well.   So what could of ended in friendship, turns out to be an a quittance.  We smile when we see each other at swim lessons, chat about how "busy" we are during school events and wave as we drive by one another in the neighborhood.

Another missed opportunity.  Instead of finding all the things we could have connected about, we allow the things that make us "different" from one another to wedge us apart.  Even though we both have children the same age, we both feel overwhelmed in a way that only a mother of many children would understand, we both lose our patience and feel like there is never enough time because someone always needs us, we both feel tremendous guilt that our children don't get the one on one attention that we want to give them, and we both understand the amazing joy that having a large family brings.  Maybe we cant give each other advice on some aspects of our lives.  She may not be able to tell me what to do when my daughter is crying about her mother who died, and I won't be able relate to what it will be like for her when one of her children wants to go live with their dad across the country. We can though offer advice on the things we do know, not judge one another for being different but offer up our imperfections as a way to say "we all fall down but everything will be OK".

Our lives will never be identical to anyone else's, each of our stories are uniquely ours, but many of us share similar struggles, joys, battles and victories.   As parents, we must support each other, and not assume that we can't relate or understand each other just because our lives aren't mirrored.

I haven't developed this blog into what I know it could and should be because I doubted it's purpose.  I thought step parents wouldn't feel connected to it because I use the word blended, and parents who only have biological children would see it as a closed door that they would have no interest in opening.  This blog was intended for blended families, and still is but its also for every family.  My posts will be real, about real things that blended families deal with, issues that everyone deals with.   I hope to make a connection with people, I hope that stories develop within this blog and we can create a community of similarities.   We are all parents, no matter how different our lives are, and that is enough in common for me.

Be sure to check out my question of the week and leave a comment about how it relates to your family!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We ARE family!

I met J on a dating site, he was tall, dark, handsome and a widower with 3 little girls.

I still remember telling my friends "he has 3 kids...what am I doing??".  I had 1 little girl, whom was five at the time, and already I felt like my life was filled to the brim.

Scared as hell, and against some of my peers suggestions, I took a shot and went on a date with the modern day Danny Tanner. 

Funny how when you click with someone, baggage seems more like luggage, and life becomes a vacation. 

We fell in love, all 6 of us.  Soon came baby J, a boy of course, and we went from a family of 6 to a family of 7. 

"Are they ALL yours?" is a question I hear often. 

Yes, they are ALL mine, even the blonde one. 

We are a large, chaotic, loud, blended family!  I'm not an evil "step mother", just an "evil mother" (sometimes).  My children are whole siblings with ten toes to sneak around each others rooms with, ten fingers to poke each other with, two arms to hug with, two legs to chase each other with, two eyes to spy on with, one nose to sense one another with , one mouth to tattle on with. and one heart to love each other with.   We are us, just like you and yours, we are a family.

We face the same challenges as any "normal" family, school issues, personality conflicts, phases and fads. 

Like most mothers, I second guess my decisions - not because they "aren't mine" but because they are.  I care about what they eat, who they talk to, and what they hear and see.  They are all a reflection of me, even though the image might not be a duplicate.

I love my family, and embrace our unique situation, but I know that there are so many other families out there just like us! I would like this blog to be a place for us to connect, ask questions, share stories, and understand each other, as well as help other people understand that we are matter what the circumstance.