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Blended Family -- Our First HomeOnce I decided to pick him up at the airport, we began to realize that it was time to start planning our future.  We did not know what that future was but we both realized that we were better together than apart.  This was not an easy decision for either of us.  The fear of failure and another broken relationship always loomed in the corner of our hearts.

We decided to blend the family starting immediately.  We worried that the kids were not ready for this step, but I don’t think the kids would have ever been ready for this step.  My kids were used to the personality of their dad and my step-daughter wanted the world her mom created for her.

We forged ahead with living in the same house after two years of living separately.  I can actually say that this decision made life easier for all of us.  My husband owned a home that to this day still holds a place in all of our hearts.  We all pitched in and fixed this house up together.  The girl’s room was bunk bed heaven in pink and white and my son had his own room with his beloved aquarium as his night light.  We updated windows, planted new plants and trees in the yard, bought video games and a big screen TV for the living room (mind you those were the days of “Atari” and “Pong”) and combined our furniture very carefully to create a home that we all contributed to as a haven for our newly formed family.   While it was not perfect, being in one home gave all of us a sense of security and freedom from the constant traveling from home to home.

Blending Our Family (640x474)

As the mom, I felt tremendous pressure to make sure that meals were pleasant and together.   We divided the chores and my husband was so generous and made sure that all financial responsibilities were met.  We divided the bills fairly and felt good that neither was taking advantage of the other.  We made a big step in allowing transparency in our finances.  We have never hidden any bills, income or savings from each other and I know that this one step was a key to a lasting and honest relationship.  I felt good that my kids were back living in a home with a yard and we discovered that we were very compatible in our desire to make our house a warm and comfortable place to be.

The only sad aspect of all of this was that my step-daughter was only there every other weekend.  She had it tough to not be a part of our every day life.  She had to get used to everything we had done while she was not there.  We could not know what that feeling meant to her until much later in her life.  She needed her own space that was only hers.  I wish we had been more thoughtful in thinking of how it was for her. We all did the best we could at that time but oh how I wish we had a few do-overs.

The small home that we set up was more than a place to sleep.  It gave all of us comfort and a feeling of home and security in a scary situation. We started to learn to have fun and laughter was part of our day again.  We started to ease the anxiety of blending two families and set up some routines that gave us all a new normal and created bonds that we have to this day.  When we all stop remembering what our life looked like–we pull out the pictures.

When family life gets unraveled and difficult, I have always felt that one step to take is to sit down together and look at the scrapbooks, videos and digital camera pictures to get everyone remembering that life up until now has been good.  If you can get everyone laughing and remembering, it leads to a positive outlook on the family future.

What are your techniques for keeping your family laughing and feeling positive?

 

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