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?


If you liked this post and want to discuss all things family, you can Sign Up Here to receive updates sent directly to your inbox.  Once you have signed up for my weekly emails, you will not only get my family tips, ideas and my own personal family stories but also a FREE ONE HOUR CONSULTATION with me to share ideas on your own family and how best to create a home where everyone contributes, laughs and is a part of the organizational process that not only teaches but bonds you together.  



Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 4)

Thumbnail image for Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 4)

We had been dating for about six months.  I noticed that the relationship was becoming more tense and that my husband was beginning to call less often and seemed nervous and aloof when we were together.  In my world when someone started to pull away, my natural instinct was to go into pleasing mode.  As […]

Read the full article →

Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 3)

Thumbnail image for Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 3)

I remember the morning that my husband and I gingerly approached the subject of what went wrong in our first marriages.  We had been dating for a few months and had reached the first crossroad in growing into a lasting and committed relationship.  In order to best understand how we progressed to this point, after […]

Read the full article →

Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 2)

Thumbnail image for Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 2)

Divorce emotions are tricky.   Beginning a blended family is hard.  Meeting and building relationships with ex-spouses is always navigating rough water. There may be relief in not sharing your life with your ex-spouse, but it is impossible to lose the memory that you had a wedding, planned a life together, had children together. Those […]

Read the full article →

Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 1)

Thumbnail image for Blended Family Beginnings — The Series (Chapter 1)

As you may or may not know, I have been part of my blended family for over thirty years.  When my husband and I met, he had a four year old daughter and I had a four year old daughter and a two year old son. The first five years of our relationship were not […]

Read the full article →

Tell Your Story With Your Camera

Thumbnail image for Tell Your Story With Your Camera

The picture above is one I took in Perugia, Italy that captured for me the people of the town.  This is how they live — old mixed with new. Seems like having a camera in your possession at all times is getting easier with all the great technology updates. As I have never felt like […]

Read the full article →

Family Travel — Take Pictures, Build Memories and Laugh

Thumbnail image for Family Travel — Take Pictures, Build Memories and Laugh

I have decided that one goal I have in the next few months is to put a little humor into these blogs.  I can get a little serious when talking about family issues but there should always be laughter at work and at home.  I like to laugh and need to lighten up a bit. […]

Read the full article →

Family Memories Can Bring You Home Again

Thumbnail image for Family Memories Can Bring You Home Again

I love to listen to the piano.  It soothes me when I am stressed.  It gives me a sense of peace that everything will be okay when I am anxious.  Many days I regret that I didn’t continue the childhood piano lessons that our neighbor offered all the kids on our street.  You could hear […]

Read the full article →

Healthy Family Living Leads to Family Fun

Thumbnail image for Healthy Family Living Leads to Family Fun

I am a family member of the sandwich generation.  More importantly, I am paying attention to myself, my parents and my children on how we are all handling our health.  I can see the choices that everyone has made to this point and hope that the good choices outweigh the bad and that the bad […]

Read the full article →

Vacations Are The Mirror To Our Family Life

Thumbnail image for Vacations Are The Mirror To Our Family Life

I just returned from ten days in Italy.   Just the idea of taking a vacation of that magnitude got me wide eyed with excitement and terrified. Italy was a destination of my dreams for about the last three years.  Since 2012, I have pulled myself out of my comfort zone and traveled.  Some with […]

Read the full article →