Beautiful wedding, blissful honeymoon, one in a million spouse, what more could anyone ask for in a marriage, even when previous children are involved? Before you said ‘I do’ you may have noticed a few possible challenges ahead in your blended family, like “Yours Mines and Ours: 10 Common Blended Family Complaints” but with full confidence you said to yourself, “ We may have some challenges but certainly not anything that we can’t handle together.” After the wedding and the sudden end of the honeymoon phase that was interrupted by real life, your tune changes a bit and sounds more like, “If we make it through this one, I know we were meant to be.”
Let’s be honest, some challenges make us question our decision to even be married. I have the most amazing, selfless, supportive husband in the world, yet some of our challenges made me question if single life would have been a little easier. I am sure he has felt this way more than once although he may never tell me.
To that single parent that thinks, “If only I could find a good spouse for my kid to be around, maybe my child wouldn’t be acting half crazy” or “If only the person for me would come along now, I wouldn’t have a single thing to worry about,” let me reassure you that this is not at all true! Marriage is full of challenges that we have to endure, and when you add kids to the mix, you have just upped the ante. Blending a family is not for the faint of heart. With that in mind I want to share 10 statements I have heard people say or have felt myself and provide you with a few responses to them. My hope is that this will help break down some of the thoughts you may have had about blended-family life and help you to walk this blended-family journey feeling less alone and more aware. So here are the Yours Mines and Ours: 10 Common Blended Family Complaints and Helpful Tips:
- “My kids don’t really seem happy about me getting married”– Your child will not instantly feel the same way about your new spouse as you do. It’s okay. As long as there is no concern of anything emotional, physical or sexual that is causing them to be uncomfortable, rest assure that relationships take time to develop.
- “I have never had any problems with my ex until I remarried”– Wouldn’t it just be perfect if everything were perfect! Unfortunately this is seldom the case. You may be dealing with some form of jealousy and up until now it may have been hidden, rationalized or verbalized. Even the best of exes has an opinion. If it creates drama, remember, this too shall pass. Try not to entertain the behavior. Give it as little attention as possible and and stay focused on the needs of your family.
- “I am Superman or Woman, I’ve got this!”-Put that cape away! You will find yourself stretched thin trying to make everyone feel better about the new set up. Learn quickly that you are not superman or superwomen. Just be patient and focus on loving the best you can. They may not appreciate it now, but they will later.
- “People need to keep their opinions to themselves”– They do, that doesn’t mean they will. Someone will ALWAYS have something to say about something you may or may not be doing. Learn to eat the meat, throw away the bones. I have learned even the worst of comments sometimes had some truth to it that helped me become better.
- “It would be easier to just stay single!”– Would it really be easier, or just a different kind of struggle. I’ll take a struggle with a good, supportive, loving spouse any day over one alone. Now if your spouse isn’t so good or supportive, that’s a different blog post.
- “My new spouse thinks I don’t handle the kids right when they are acting out”– Well, do you? Sometimes we’re so used to doing things a certain way it seems right. How about you both sit down and talk through some ways to best handle the children that will allow both of you to feel comfortable and experience a change the behavior.
- “My kids don’t like my spouse”– That may never change or it may just be for a season. Loyalty to a parent can sometimes cause a child not to be willing to embrace anyone new. Encourage your spouse to remain loving and supportive through this transition. Your child may not like your spouse right now, but they won’t be able to say it was because your spouse didn’t treat them well.
- “I think my biological kids feel rejected because we don’t do as much anymore”– This may be true. They may feel that way, but it doesn’t have to be because they are. Make sure they know that they are completely accepted and although things may look different now, your love continues to grow for them and you’re always here for them.
- “My life revolves around pleasing everyone but me”– It’s true that it may,but it doesn’t have too. You set the level of expectation you want others to have of you. Set limits where you need too and make sure you set aside self care time. This will help you feel less like a slave to your family and more like a contributing member of the family.
- “My spouse doesn’t understand that my kids will always come first”– Sorry to burst your bubble, but he or she shouldn’t, because your children shouldn’t come first. Your children and everyone else should know that you and your spouse are one. That means nothing is done without you both being on the same page. You are a team.Your children must understand that their new position in your life doesn’t diminish their value in your life, it only shifts their position because one day they will all be gone and who you choose to put as number ONE will become very clear.
What are some other complaints and helpful tips that you have heard? Please share your thoughts and comments below. Would love to hear from you all!