Parenting is hard. I’ve been doing it for 14 years now. 7 of which I was on my own as a single mom of two. My boys were 4 and 7 when my husband came into our lives. He was the first person my kids were introduced to. I didn’t know where it would go, but I knew that if he were going to be in our lives he had to take me plus 2 equals 3. See, when you divorce with kids, it is a journey that is different for everyone. It could be amicable, and share joint custody, or kids every other weekend to the opposite parent. Or, it could be downright messy and uncertain. Which I won’t get into because that was my situation. There is no need to waste any energy on that mess. However, your divorce was, or if you are going through one, I am sorry. No one deserves it, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.
Fast forward, to today. Our boys are 14 and 10 ¾. It’s been 7 years together as a blended family and nearly every day I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Yes, we seek help from professionals when we need it. Yes, we don’t agree on how each other parents some of the time. But, we are navigating the best we know how. I think one of the main reasons of that, is when Steve and I married he took the boys as his own. Yes, technically he’s their step-dad, but he said vows to them as well as me. He took an oath to be their dad. It didn’t matter if he were biologically their father or not. Oh, and yes, he’s gotten the “you’re not my real dad” statement from our oldest recently. But, I like to believe it was because he’s testing his boundaries. Either way, my husband hasn’t faltered. He continues to try, and he always does it with love. We face obstacles. But, the obstacles we face we go through together and never over or under. We face what it is that's difficult. It is definitely harder now than it was when they were little. There are more questions and more boundaries to be pushed. Teenage years are upon us and we are navigating this as a unit because it is the only way. But, like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.
So, wherever you are in your journey as a blended family-I am here to tell you it’s not perfect. It is certainly not for us. And, on some days we feel like we’re fucking up. But, we aren’t. We’re doing the best we can in the best way we know how. I believe that if we let go of the perception of what a blended family should look like than what it actually is-then together we can all see that we are doing a good job. There are no mistakes. Only lessons to be learned and forward movement. With a solid foundation our kids can see the united front that all blended families can achieve and experience.
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Tiffany (RYT 200®) is a student and teacher of yoga living in Baltimore, Maryland.
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