Many people ask, “how did you make your blended family work?” With so much divorce in our society, I can see how this perplexes folks. My prayer is that these 5 tips will help you in this journey called, LIFE.
- Pray!!!! I am so serious about this. Bringing children and a spouse together is a totally different dynamic that can make or break a new marriage. I prayed so many times for God to give me directions on how to keep not only my mind stayed on Him but on how to keep my cool. If you don’t have a prayer life, I would suggest starting today. Something like, “Look God, I need your help.” That’s how my prayers always started.
- I had to make some adjustments. At first, I did not want Don to discipline Gabi. This caused so much anger and frustration at the beginning of our marriage. But God has a sense of humor, because I found myself on bed-rest 7 months into our marriage. So guess who had to do everything?? Don did! That included disciplining Gabi. Once I made that adjustment and trusted him to love her, the arguments in that area stopped. We had other areas to overcome but we both had to agree to do what was best for not only her, but also for the two children we created.
- We had to be okay with some things and not try to force it. I wanted to change Gabi’s last name to Barnett for the longest time. Every time we tried, something would happen. We even got her father on board with it but, he would change his mind right before we filed papers. Once I got over this thing that I wanted so bad, it didn’t matter. The funny thing about it is that, now she is married, and her last name is that of her husband.
- Let things happen organically. I wanted Don to be like my dad, but he is nothing like him. The more insisted he do things like my dad, the more he did the opposite which was, nothing at all. Once I eased up, he found his place with her. They both love movies, so every time a movie came out, they were right there. She ran track
and he loved track, so he decided to be her coach. This lasted for years until she got to high school. Now that she is in the Coast Guard, she calls him all the time and some times I have no clue that they even had a conversation.
- We never used the word STEP. We felt like that made an immediate division in the home. So from the outset, he was daddy to her and he called her is daughter. No one knew he wasn’t her biological unless we told them, which wasn’t often. She has written him beautiful poetry since growing up calling him daddy. She calls her biological father by his first name. This organically happened and I’m glad we made a choice to not use STEP in our home.
Was having a blended family easy? Absolutely NOT! However, we had to make conscious efforts to have real conversations about what was acceptable and what was not. I love what Don and Gabi’s relationship has finally become.
How have you made your blended family work?