Editor’s note: Today we welcome Ida Arias who is dishing out a lot of wisdom when it comes to becoming a blended family. We love her tips and hope you do too!
We’ve been a blended family now for almost three years. While I am by no-means an expert, I think we’ve figured out a way to make our family work. It’s not easy, there are many frustrations and tears but there are also lots of smiles and laughter, hugs and kisses and love, lots and lots of love! It’s a constant adjustment. It’s not easy blending five personalities but I think that goes for any family unit.
The big issue with blended families is jealousy. Every child wants their parents’ attention all the time, especially the children that aren’t around as often. JC tries his best to focus his attention on Amberly and Gian when they are around, as do I. Of course, since Adrian is used to having our attention all the time, he gets jealous. With jealousy comes crying, hurt feelings, anger and selfishness. The hardest day is every other Friday afternoon when we pick up Amberly and Gian. JC and I already know that Adrian is going to be a brat and test our patience. Saturday morning is a completely different story. Everyone has had a few hours (and some rest) to adjust to having everyone else around. Sundays are good too. It’s just the Friday afternoon that makes you want to run away, far, far away!
Another jealousy issue comes between a child and a step-parent. Adrian and JC constantly have an underlying jealousy of each other over me. It’s normal and I don’t pay much attention to it. I try to give each one individual time, but let’s face it, getting adult time isn’t easy. I think this is where working together is a plus. We get that much-needed together time during work so when we get home, it is all about the kids.
“I Don’t Like You!”
Just like any family, there are always people who get along better with some family members than with others. There is always that one person in your family that bugs you. I am that person to Gian. Everything I do or say gets an eye-roll. It all bothers him. I’ve tried to reason with him and understand him but it doesn’t work. He just doesn’t like me much, he deals with me because he has to, but if it were his choice, his mom would be in the picture, not me. He constantly asks his dad “Why did you and my mom break up?” JC always tells him the same answer but he doesn’t care. This is understandable since it is his mother, but I’m not going to lie, it hurts sometimes. That’s the thing: kids will do and say things to hurt your feelings. They want to make you feel what they feel. He does not understand why his parents split when he was a baby. He thinks I am in the way. Funny thing though, he doesn’t treat his step-dad this way. Just me!
I have come to the conclusion, that as a step-parent, my role is to support.
I am an extra support system for Amberly and Gian as JC is a support system for Adrian. If there is a graduation, school function, art show, recital, birthday party, whatever, we are ALL there. We are a family, we might not all be related by blood, but we are still family. We protect, love and support all three kids. It’s not “my kid” and “your kids”, it’s “our kids.” This is so important because it solidifies family to everyone involved. No one is different from anybody else.
“Patience is a virtue.” Whoever said that understood blended families. This should be our motto!!! Have patience, TONS of it. Oh and a drink or two won’t hurt!!
Ida is a mom of one, step-mom of two from Miami, Fl. After having her life fall apart a couple years ago, she decided to start blogging and writes about my second chance at life, love and family! Connect with her at Second Chances Girl, Twitter, or Facebook.