All tagged Blended Family
Let’s talk sending your kid or step kid off to College this Fall!
You've probably been inundated with lists out there of what to send with your College bound kid. Having sent three kids off recently, I found three key things missing from any of the dozens of lists. Three things, that I consider an absolute MUST for parent sanity when sending our youngins' off to forage on their own.
I assumed that by the time I was entering into my 15th year of blended family bliss that our issues would be behind us - we would surely be fully blended by then. Boy was I wrong! THE BLENDER NEVER STOPS BLENDING! No matter how long you've been together! No matter how many storms you've weathered landing on the other side safely - there's always a new challenge waiting around the corner.
Some expected - some unexpected - some a complete blindside.
THE BLENDER NEVER STOPS
Our family life has faced major changes over the past two years. Two kids off to College - EXPECTED. Figuring out who I am AGAIN as an almost empty nester - UNEXPECTED. My lack of a relationship with my youngest Step Daughter - BLINDSIDE.
Every New Years Day I make a resolution; THIS is THE YEAR I'm going to lose my extra 10 pounds! Only to find myself every New Years Eve still holding out hope that those ten pounds will magically disappear at the stroke of midnight! Then there's my 7 resolutions I make as a Wife, Mom and StepMom that bears repeating year after year. Following them religiously makes my life as a Blended Wife and Mama a much happier one.
1. Give your StepKids a break when they screw up from time to time.
If you happened at some point to peak over at my About Master Blender page, you know that I'm kind of what you would call an exercise nut. Not in the typical sense. I mean, I really don't like to exercise, but I have subscriptions to every women's exercise magazines you can think of. I find enjoyment in reading about others who like, perhaps even love exercise. But the true reason I call myself an exercise nut, is that I love buying and wearing not just exercise clothing, but you know clothing for the "active" person.
Hers, His and Ours. How "Fake It Till You Make It Baby" mentality leads to success in a Blended Family.
Today is the Wednesday before Valentines Day. Like clockwork, my Valentine's Day Boycotting Hubby sends me a incredibly large, beautiful bouquet the DAY BEFORE V Day! In 14 years a flower delivery has been sent, but never and I mean NEVER arriving on Valentines Day! The card always says "I Love You" and his follow up is "Happy Whatever Day Of The Week" it happens to be - just not Happy Valentines Day.
So while I should have expected my "unexpected" flower delivery today I wasn't really thinking about it. The door bell rang - I saw a man in black and my immediate thought was - damn it's the Cops again! I thought my 12 day standoff had finally ended last night and yet here they were on my doorstep again. Ugh!!!
When my daughter Elle was born 18 years ago, I thought no one could take care of her the way I could including my own mother! My Mom was quick to point out that well - she raised me and I survived, as well as, my three brothers - if she could raise four kids she probably could muddle through watching my baby while I took a shower! Hard to argue with that logic!
Over time you get over yourself, you still think deep down YOUR way is the one and only way, but you're willing to let the little things slide when others care for your child for that well deserved break that you needed yesterday! Still the overbearing mother instinct comes roaring back in a hurry with the introduction of a Step Mom into your child's life - no matter what their age.
I have to admit, there have been a number of times over the years I secretly wished for the day one of my kids would turn 18. With my three youngest, it had nothing to do with them, rather the Ex. Specifically haggling with the ex over the "proposed" holiday schedule. One year Dick/Malus got miffed that I dare email a schedule over without "proposed" in the title.
Most of the years we have shared 50/50 custody with our respective Exes. Agreeing on what was a fair 50% time split was a moving target year after year. By the time the actual Holiday rolled around, it felt like we had negotiated peace in the Middle East. Instead of wanting celebrate, I usually felt like going to bed for a few days due to mental exhaustion.
This year we've added a new twist - Jax turned 18 in July. No longer a valid divorce decree awarding joint custody to his Mom and Dad. No more detailed spread sheets about what days he will spend at Mom's house and Dad's house. In my opinion, that was a huge motivating factor in Jax going out of state for College - he could sleep every night in the same bed, his clothes all in one place - just one home base.
Today Jax is coming home for Thanksgiving! This isn't Mom or Dad's Thanksgiving - it's HIS THANKSGIVING! But what home will he come home too?
When I shared with my Hubby the "that should be interesting" comment he shot back "I hope it's interesting in a positive way!" There's a positive and a negative interesting? Didn't know.
It wasn't an uncomfortable, akward silence nor was it a relaxed atmosphere either. We had a rhythm as our Team/Family of Five and Jax, Little Hart and Greta had their Family/Team rhythm. Jax and Little Hart were caught in between - am I this kid or that kid. It would take a few for all of us to adjust to the different makeup and find a new one - all it's own for this temporary scenario.
Things started to loosen up with the commencement of the the Hartman Family Game aka the Yellow Car Game. Everyone except me was playing including Greta. I stopped playing years ago to referee who belt out the Ye first. It's a game my Hubby says "we're always playing!" Don't enter vehicle unless you can handle the pressure. Raylan happens to be just a tad bit competitive or is that Jax or maybe it's Little Hart? Gee I wonder where they get that from????
A few hours in something interesting happened! We had stopped for lunch and to fill up our gas guzzler - Raylan and I had rented a Yukon XL to transport all of us and our baggage for the trip. It was a big mother. Eventually, we were back on the road maybe 5 minutes, when the car swayed just ever so slightly. The girls yelled out a loud, sharp "Dad!!" It's not uncommon thing for Raylan to mess around.
Raylan: I'm seriously not doing anything!
Girls(indignant): Sure Dad.
Raylan: Um --- we have a tire problem
Ten seconds later our right rear tire completely blew apart - we were driving on the hub cap. Scary!