I thought after my last blog of #life #after #being #widowed was written I’d try to write how different life changes when you become a new blended family.
I mentioned in my last blog how life after losing my late husband of 20+ years had changed, especially for my five children and that finding love again with a new partner was great but also brought new challenges. Many people would assume that life within a new blended family is great, but it brings about it’s own difficulties.
For me, my current partner has never had children and this brings it’s own challenges for him and for us. He suddenly came into a very big family with no relative experience of his own, apart from having some nieces he really didn’t know what it entails. Mostly because the age ranges of my children are so very different from having at the time a 22 year old, a 17 year old, a 9 year old, an 8 year old and a 2 year old. They all required a different approach and had different emotional as well as physical needs that I had to attend too. Two of them have Aspergers and two have medical needs, as well as the fact that they’re all still grieving too. Now there’s not many men who’d step into that role and stay sane or want to stay, but for some bizarre reason (love perhaps) he did, but what other problems does this bring.
For the children it was getting used to having a new man that wanted to take away some of the attention from them onto him, to learn how to see they’re mum happy again and to get used to a new man wanting to be a part of their lives too. There have definitely been repercussions and sometimes some very heated discussions as we all try to find a new way to blend this new family together. On top of this his ideals about how to parent are sometimes different to mine and how I raise them, for him this is difficult because if he sees something he feels is wrong, how much does he feel that he can step in compared to how much do I let him. This is extremely tricky because even in a biological family unit there’s friction, but in the case of a blended family it’s tripled by the outside experience that comes from not being involved with children since they were born.
We have tried to ensure that we involve the children in most aspects of our relationship and we try to find time (although this is not always possible) to sit and have a chat about things when they become too tough. I am very guilty of burying my head in the sand when things are tough and play down more trickier situations just to keep the peace.
At the same time, I have to contend with having a new relationship and allowing my partner to take more of a lead in disciplining the children. It’s a very fine line to be walking and I have certainly got it wrong on both sides many a time.
The best advice I feel is to just go with the flow, my late husband’s sudden and unexpected journey into the other side has taught me that life is way to short and precious to not live life to the full and to be more accepting of new challenges. As long as the children’s needs are met first, then you can both make time for yourselves and your relationship after this and any great partner understands this, even if he’s insane joining into a family of 6 because he loves me and subsequently the children too.