Friday, January 25, 2013

Finding the Courage to Make a Blended Family Strong

I am questioned constantly “How do you do it?”  “How do you keep going?”  “Do you realize what a blessing you are to those kids?”  “Do Paul and the kids realize how lucky they are?” “What is your secret?”

My basic answer to all of these very flattering questions is my belief that our rewards reaped in life are directly related to the effort in which we sow seeds!

Since becoming a stepmom I have learned SO many priceless things!  I truly believe being a good stepparent involves a ton of personal development skills and learning.  I pride myself on always being open to learning and trying new things.  This comes in very handy being that I am not blessed with the patience of a saint as some have been!  Blended families must realize that beyond the negative connotations, there is a two way street that much be traveled by both parents and all the children in the family!

As some of you know, I have my hands quite full as a fulltime mom to a toddler and full time stepmom of four wonder teens/tweens!  My stepchildren rage in age from 12 to almost 16.  I am blessed to say that I have an awesome and rare relationship with each of my stepchildren!   We work on our relationships every day almost like a team.  I take pride in the fact that except on those rare occasions they don’t view me as a negative part of their lives.

We, as a family, have dealt with quite a bit of drama and trauma (mainly the kids) in the last few years.  I am quite busy with 5 or 6 counseling appointments each week.  We have those who come to our home to work with my stepson and then we take the girls for office visits each week.  We have a list of providers a mile long but it all works out!  (If you need time management or scheduling advice, please feel free to ask!)  This is on top of all the other things that managing a family of 7, owning a business and being a full-time student entails.  No I am never bored, but I do feel deserving when I get my ever-elusive breaks in all of this action!

Step parenting may very well be one of the most outwardly thankless jobs in the entire universe.  But when each member of the family is committed to building a strong blended family, which ultimately benefits everyone, there is less focus on negative stereotypes and truly wonderful relationships are the result! 

I often remind the children that I will never replace their mother’s role in their lives, and I don’t ever want to.  After the trauma that has occurred, my husband and I try very hard to be neutral with the kids and encourage them to pursue relationships with their mother as they see fit.  The relationships in a blended family are always unique and I strive to maintain those relationships with each child separately along with all of them as a family unit.  We have very strong bonds and the children love their baby brother to no end and vice versa.  He’s a very lucky little guy I must say!

So while some days things are tough, we make it through.  We are anchored together with love and respectWe fight for it too!  No one ever said it would or is easy!  But it is always worth the effort at the end of each day!  So, just keep going, keep trying.  Don't give up!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Love & Hugs!