Y’all, I have tried making this topic a YouTube video and it just hasn’t worked out. Most recent attempt, my mic wasn’t working and the entire video was muted, so that means, you get a blog!
Let’s talk blended families!
First, what is a blended family? “A family consisting of a couple and their children from this and all previous relationships.”
In 2019, if you’re dating, you’re most likely dating someone with children or you have children yourself. When I entered the dating world some 14 years ago, I was a single mother of 4. Whom ever I chose to become involved with automatically put me in the Blended Family category.
When you choose to involve yourself with someone that has children, you not only say yes to them, you say yes to their children. And depending on the relationship between them and their ex and you and yours, that also comes with it. It’s truly s package deal.
Through my own experience I’ve noted several things you should talk about before blending families.
- How you parent – This one is so important. This conversation did not happen prior to my blending family experience and has been the biggest source of contention in my household. This discussion is mandatory. Also, just because they don’t parent like you doesn’t make the way you parent wrong and vice versa. There is a way to come to a happy medium, and if there isn’t, keep it pushing.
- Household rules – equally important as #1. Will there be chores? Will chores be equally distributed? Is there an expectation based on age? Will there be bedtimes?
- Talk to your children separately and as a unit. You owe it to your children to allow them the opportunity to express their point of view, to see how they feel about moving in with other people. Having a conversation as a family. This is to discuss expectations, get out any concerns and address them on day 1, not years down the line.
- Discuss how you manage money. I have seen finances ruin a lot of families! How you manage your finances is huge! Spending habits. Savings goals. Joint accounts. Allowances. Investments. Retirement. Managing finances is a joint effort. Even if the two adults involved decide not to commingle their money, a discussion still needs to be had to ensure that all parties involved meet the expectations set.
- Dealing with children who don’t like you. Whew child, I could write a book on this one! My introduction into this one was rough! The key is patience. Understanding that it’s new for everyone. Most times the dislike has nothing to do with you and everything to do with not being able to process you now being with their parent and changing the dynamics of what they’ve known their whole lives. I can assure you that it will get better, my situation is proof!
- Communication styles. How you communicate in general. How you communicate during disagreements? Do you speak up or do you remain silent and blow up later? You owe it to yourselves to establish open lines of communication from the very beginning.
- Respecting the new life you chose. Understand that this new life will look different from what you’re accustomed to. The size of the house will change. The noise level may increase. Finances will look different. Bills will increase. Privacy may decrease. Bottom line, things will change and you’ll have to adjust accordingly. Your outlook on these changes will determine your level of happiness.
These are a few things to start with if you’re thinking about blending families. Don’t be so blinded by love that you forget to build a rock solid foundation with these basics. If this blog helped you, or you feel that it can help someone else, please share! Are you in a blended family? What was your experience? Share it the comments!
Until next time…🦋