I fully realize that not every blended family can work. I have read the stories and I have heard the tales of families that crumbled because the kids didn’t like “the steps”, or the kids on one side of the family didn’t like the other. I’m sure you know of a family with that type of situation. It’s become more and more common over the years because of the increasing number of divorces at a young age and remarriages.
My blended family works…and it works WELL.
Here’s the situation:
– Even though Sunshine and I are married and I live with her, her daughters (Kiddo & Lil’ Mo) split time with her and their father in a 50/50 split. They split the time during the week, so they go back and forth every other day/evening. I may live here, but they’re only here half of the time. I’ve worked my ass off to be the best stepfather I can possibly be, and they are two of the sweetest girls you will ever meet. Put those two things together and you’ve got a situation where my incredibly awesome stepdaughters and I have a great relationship. It’s been a lot of work, but thankfully Sunshine has always been there to ensure that she can help the girls understand why I am the way I am.
– My oldest daughter, Pebbles, is someone I just met two+ years ago. While we’ve really come a long way in our relationship since then, she only sees the girls once a month or so. This works because the two girls are 10 and 12 where Pebbles is 18, so that age difference means that they look up to her tremendously. All of them are excited to see each other and, quite frankly, there isn’t a lot of bad blood that can stir up in a matter of a few hours per month.
– My other daughter, Rugrat, lives in Ontario and is only able to visit once or twice a year. She doesn’t have the greatest family relationship going on there, so when she comes here she sees what a loving, fun family atmosphere is supposed to feel like. She gets along with the girls because they only see each other on a rare occasion, so they make the most of the time that they spend together.
– Pebbles and Rugrat see each other even less than the girls, so they don’t have time to NOT like each other. But they seem to get along really well when they’re together and they’re just happy to be able to have a relatively new half-sister that’s close in age (there’s less than a 2-year age difference).
– While I see my son, Ankle Biter, every two weeks I don’t bring him to Halifax to see the entire family more than once a month or more. What this means is that he doesn’t spend too much time with the girls (so he, at 8 years old, doesn’t get too sick of them) and rarely sees Pebbles or Rugrat (he gets super excited to see his big sisters).
I don’t know if any of this TRULY explains why the family gets along so well; all I know is that all of the kids not only get along great with each other, but also think the world of Sunshine and I. Life has never been 100% perfect in terms of relationships with everybody, but for the most part it’s been really fantastic.
I wish I could bestow some words of wisdom to the world, but I can’t. I think the biggest thing that holds this family together is the fact that the kids have all been raised extremely well and the kids aren’t jealous or petty or feeling neglected in any way. This means they are all open to new relationships and more love in their life. It also means that our blended family isn’t going to crumble any time soon.