Blended “ish”

Where is program creator Kenya Burris when you need him. If anyone knows him tell him to DM me lol… I definitely could pitch him the idea of creating this sitcom.

FUN FACT: 16% of American children live amongst a blended family.

So what exactly is a blended family… it is one that consists of a stepparent, stepsibling, or a half-sibling and any combination of up to all three. In my case mom meets dad, falls in love, gets married, have a kid, then life hits, things get live and in color and they choose to divorce. Both remarry and rinse and repeat (minus the divorce)… I guess the 2nd time was the charm. Unfortunately with that comes a lot of unpacked emotions and red tape regarding “splitting the baby” as I like to call it. So who gets the kid for holidays, what information do you share, how do you celebrate birthdays, who gets the mothers day/fathers day post, how to make everyone feel included..so on and so forth. I have spent a majority of my life with my mom, my stepdad (affectionately referred to as Herbie) and a brother (same mom) in the Midwest. And I spent a few weeks out of every few years with my dad, stepmom, 2 sisters (same dad) and a brother (same dad) in the South. My parents never really “fought” over me. They just let me be really and when I would speak up and say I wanted to go visit my dad or I wanted my dad at certain events.. they would just work it out and make it happen. The feeling of not being FORCED to be at one place or another was cool.. however it poses some challenges because I didn’t really spend a lot of time getting to know my other family. By the time I was situated it was time for me to come back home usually. Not to mention both family dynamics differ from one another; two sets of house rules, two sets of life expectations, differences in span of freedom, discipline, personalities…. just to name a few.

I was often told that you have to learn to make lemonade out of lemons and any family that goes through a divorce definitely has its share of lemons. So how do we get to the lemonade you ask??? LOTS AND LOTS of communication, quality time, and most importantly grace and forgiveness. And each person has to remember it’s a two-way street; one person can’t do it alone. If I were to be quite frank, I’d have to admit that even though families have their fair share of drama and issues; blended families for sure can take the cake if not given the time necessary to blossom naturally. The less time you spend with one another, the more they are like strangers and even though you’re “family”, you can’t just add water and hope it magically works. I look at my relationship with one of my sisters.. I often say she is my mini me and we are roughly 7 years apart. We talk/text/DM.. you name it… we support one another and cheer each other on from the sidelines! However, it wasn’t always this way. In the past, we could easily go a long time without speaking to one another. And because we weren’t forced to be around each other or talk to each other, we naturally didn’t really know each other. Our relationship took both of us making the decision (once we both were a little older to understand the dynamics) to say we want to be in each others life. So with that comes work. We have to intentionally check on one another, even when living on polar opposite sides of the country. We have to include one another and make sure that we communicate. So that despite everyone else’s relationship, we are able to have our own. And for that I’m grateful.

So let’s discuss.. for those in blended families.. or even those who just want to weigh in…

  • How do you make it work?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you continue to push through the adverse times?

Share some tips! I want to hear from you!

Until Next Time

-Dani

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