It’s moving day! Your blended children are moving in with you! You’re nervous, excited, and under-prepared but hey it’s happening anyway!
When our boys moved in with us and I was excited. After years of parental alienation, the day we prayed for but thought would never come happened. Was this real? More than anything I was excited for my husband. Our estrogen dominated household was about to be shaken up and in the best of ways! Our girls would know a life living with their brothers. Our blended family was solidified!
Our daughters were hardly school age when their brothers moved into the home. Although excited, it was a shift everyone could feel. The boys questioned their positions and our daughters were experiencing a new dynamic. They knew they had brothers, but they didn’t really know what that meant, our daughters were only 1 and 4 hardly an age where they were able to understand what was happening. First, our 2 middle boys moved in. We were a live-in blended family of 6. Things were relatively smooth aside from getting the boys accustomed to living with their dad and stepmom, moving across the country, and A year later our oldest son moved in. Things changed and it was bumpy for a period.
Being Fair doesn’t always mean equal
The boys are older than the girls, and they are GIRLS so their household responsibility was different. Our oldest son was the main instigator. He would pit the boys against their little sisters, and it would drive me nuts. Individually everyone appeared to have great relationships but there was some inner conflict that needed to be addressed ASAP!
My momma bear instincts kicked in and there was an invisible line drawn. I didn’t care how much I loved my husband kids as my own they weren’t mine and they knew it. There was a comparison amongst them. My husband and I grew tired of explaining obvious age gaps as to why the girls weren’t required or expected to have the same level of responsibility. I had to protect MY kids, I loved the boys but I wasn’t willing to allow them to make the girls feel bad because they were born to me and their dad. What if the boys mistreated them? What would happen if they alienated them? I wanted them to have the typical brother and sister bond of children who shared the same parents, was this unrealistic? Well….Yes…and No! Yes initially, the kids lacked the bond of children who grew up together from birth until adulthood so I can’t negate this fact. This will never start as the typical brother-sister bonding experience. No because we are able to teach our children to embrace one another and have one another’s backs…like REAL siblings do. I mean they are REAL siblings we don’t do half, step, or any other precursors to define their relation around here.
Our 2 middle boys share the same mother, so their bond is totally different with their two other brothers compared to the bond they share with one another. But living in the same household with their older brother made the three boys form a bond, and that bond left my husband, myself, and the girls excluded. In their eyes we were already a family without them, so it was them against us.
This was challenging for my husband. He had waited for the day he could raise his sons and the reality was the transition wasn’t seamless. The boys would complain that my husband spent too much time with girls, they could care less what I did. They wanted their dad to themselves. Just as my husband had rehearsed this day in his mind so did the boys, they were happy to have a two-parent household (they actually said this) but they didn’t understand all that would entail.
Finding Our Solution:
I like to think of myself as a persistent person, forceful but persistent. I had many conversations with my sons, uncomfortable one’s yet the boys were reluctantly honest. I asked them how they felt about their sisters and they told me. They felt we showed them favoritism. I wanted them to explain in depth how they felt this was true. My husband and I would sit down with them and ask for examples. We were careful to point out how we fair but not always equal. No two children will have the same needs and in our blended family this is no different. We had 5 very different children, in different stages, with different needs and we tried our hardest to meet them all. We were emotionally available to them all. We didn’t allow their perceptions to dictate how we ran our household. Their responsibilities didn’t change, we talked through and worked through their feelings and ours.
It took some time but I am happy to say we were able to overcome the challenging that came with moving in. There is cohesion in our home. Do our children pick fights with one another and feel that some get away with more than the others? Of course, but they ALL feel this way about ALL of their siblings. The division has been mended and our children know they equally drive us nuts lol If you are struggling with making the big move in your blended family there is hope and your family can get through it!
To continue the discussion, tune in to our Facebook Live Thursday, April 17th, 2019 at 4PM PST/ 7PM EST. Leave comments or questions below of any specific questions you may have regarding your blended family transition towards making the big move.