A stepmum’s perspective
This painting was done by our oldest daughter. She has such beautiful talent. She did this painting for my blog but I now have it hanging in our house.
I once came across someone who described it as putting something in a blender and pressing the button to mix them and blend them together. That doesn’t work with lives though. You cannot force a situation especially when it involves 2 different families coming together. You have the 2 parents mum and dad or mum and mum or dad and dad, but in my situation mum and dad who come in with their own parenting views and children with different levels of understanding and intelligence and acceptance. It takes work, time and patience, but above all, ACCEPTANCE.
One of the things I had to learn was not to force a situation. Especially with the kids. Let them be the ones who come to you. When you force yourself then it seems like you are trying to replace their other parent. It’s not just with the kids but also with us parents.
I gotta say as a mother it was not as difficult for me to fall in love with his kids but I know for him it took a minute. I will not lie, him voicing it out to me those first few months hit me hard because I was there thinking, “I have accepted your kids and you haven’t!”. It however did not take long from him voicing it to him accepting my kids were a part of his life just as his were part of mine too.
I find that a big problem in most blended families, after talking to a few parents is the, “YOUR KIDS” statement. The moment you start saying that you have split the family you are trying to build. As parents that’s where communication comes in. Learn to talk away from the kids ears and discuss how you want to go about “THE KIDS” instead of throwing that statement around. It can arouse emotions of resentment from either parents.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, It can take one to two years for blended families to adjust. Believe me this research does not lie. It can take even more because when you move in together, other issues arise and then you have to iron out those.
I think for myself, what has been helping is realising we are all individuals which means we have different personalities. That is the same with all the kids. We have 5 between my partner and I and each child has their own personality, behaviours, name it. That means wanting them to be all the same does not work. Identifying what works for each child will help with how they adjust to the changes in the family dynamics.
There is a reasaon many blended families fail. But there are reasons many have works. I believe for it all to work it starts with ACCEPTANCE.
Stay tuned for more on our blended family and my thoughts and experiences with mine in particular.