So I was thinking about how it's been a while since I've written! Hey y'all, Happy New Year! I am looking forward to a year of more consistency, exciting new opportunities, and moving forward with my dreams, even in the midst of fear and uncertainty. I turn 40 this year and I'm ecstatic about all the possiblities this new decade of life will bring.
Ok, so enough of the greetings and salutations. Let's get down to the nitty gritty. I've been noticing various success stories about the relationship of blended families. There are several celebrity famillies that have been in the spotlight, showcasing what appears to be the ideal blended family set-up. Even the situations that were initially presented to the public by the media as rocky, have evolved into seemingly magical fairy tales of parents, children, step-children, and step-parents deeply in love and living happily ever after. Well, I wish I may, I wish I might have the spell or the potion that would make my blended family live in harmony and be just right!
I mean seriously. What is it? One of my favorite scriptures in the bible is Eccelesiastes 10:19. The Message Bible translation says, "Laughter and bread go together, And wine gives sparkle to life—But it's money that makes the world go around." Is that it? Is it the lack of financial stress that makes it easier to deal? Do the unlimited resources and extra commas make major life changes more tolerable?? Whatever it is, I need the secret.
My son's father and I have not been together for almost 15 years. We separated in September of 2004 and were officially divorced in September of 2005. You would think that by now we would have perfected the concept of co-parenting and blended families, but um...no. My ex has been married twice since me, which means I have been (am) in the role of ex-wife/ baby mama twice, which can be a difficult role to have, especially when you do not establish some type of working relationship with the new bonus parent. And I believe therein lies (at least some of) the problem. When a parent is embarking on a new, long term relationship, it is their responsibility to make sure that the ex is introduced to the bonus parent. It's important that they meet the person, see who their child will be around, and have the chance to develop a respectful understanding in regard to the raising of the child. Otherwise, the door is left open for the ex and step-parent to come to conclusions about each other based on what they've heard or what they THINK they know of each other, which can lead to the overstepping of boundaries. For instance, my ex-husband's second wife was just somebody that my baby ended up coming home talking about a lot. Once I realized that this was somebody that his father was dating and serious about, I mentioned meeting her and tried to get something together, but it never happened. After they were married, we had minimal interaction with each other during pick-ups/drop-offs and things, but no official meeting. I formed an opinion about her based on what I heard from my son and other people who knew/met her. In turn, she formed an opinion about me based on what she heard from my ex and other people she met who knew me. She ended up making up a rule where I was supposed to only call HER when I had something to discuss about my son. I don't know what somebody told her or what she thought, but I politely told her that I had been there, done that, had the mug and t-shirt and didn't want to go back, so whenever I needed to talk about MY son with HIS father, I would do just that because I have NO obligation to her. So, when that relationship didn't work out and he was going to marry his third wife, I emphasized the importance of meeting and establishing some sort of rapport with his new wife because I didn't want the things that happened before to occur this time around. He assured me that this time would be different. Without going into too much detail, I can say that there have only been slight changes. The bottom line is, when a relationship has severed and people have moved on with children involved, the focus should be on the adults working together to ensure that the child doesn't miss a beat. Everyone should work in tandem, with the child's best interests at heart. Bonus parents should also keep in mind that as long as both parents are active in the child's life, there is no need to try to take the place of the child's mother or father. As long as there is respect for everybody's role and a proper focus on the child(children), we should all be able to live happily ever after in Blended Family Land like the Pinkett Smiths, Harts, and Swizzbeats nem! LOL