Well this will be a pretty long post, just a heads up:) As Some of you know I was married for 11 yrs and have gotten divorced! Its a long story! After about a yr of being alone and being a single mom for 2 yrs, I knew I wanted more! There was one guy in particular that I had my sights set on since I was in 7th grade lol. Then life happened and that never happened. I had thought about him after the divorce and wondered where he was, what he was doing and pictured a perfect life with him, if only I could find him! Well two yrs went by and out of the blue there it was a friend request from him on Facebook!! I literally jumped around my living room! Then the huge downer was his relationship status said in a relationship, in the back of my mind I thought but maybe if he knew lol. That’s just not me though so I left it alone. Then it happened his status went to single and he asked me to go to a Sugarland Concert with him…..I said ummmm YES! Anyway i knew that night I had what I wanted forever, now it was just finding the right time to let him in enough to meet my kids, and pray that 5 kids didn’t run him off. We talked for a few months went on a few dates and I finally thought it was time for them to meet. The kids loved him and Wahla Insta family for him. Yeah I wish it was that easy, but even though we both knew each other was what we wanted it didn’t work that way!!
Discipline has been our biggest issue, in the beginning it was fine because he really didn’t feel like it was his place. I was the one pushing him more to help out and be a part of the family. Then I thought he was being to strict and shouldn’t be so hard on them! He is like the typical guy and wants respect and wants them to listen the first time. Me as the typical mom wants the same thing but I am way more relaxed about it. He would hear my 12 yr old smart off or tell me no, and that was it she was grounded and he was yelling about respect. It was hard for me to see anyone else disciplining them, so I would step in and say something! Rule #1 do not do that lol. That not only fuels the fire between him and your kid, but causes fights between the two of you!! It took about a yr though to where I would stay out of it and if I thought it was not necessary then I would still back him up, but later tell him in private that I thought it was to harsh of a punishment. There are sometimes he would see my side and other times he would not budge!
Rule # 2 Don’t make him feel like you don’t trust him! If you love him and you want a family with him let him try! Give him the chance to prove to you and your kids he’s here for the long haul and he loves them! I had a horrible time with this, because it was just us for so long. I knew he wouldn’t hurt them( we don’t spank for the most part) but It still was hard to say ok he wants the best for them, just like I do! It took a lot for me to realize that he wasn’t being hard on them because he didn’t love them, it was because he really does love them! The added perk was I finally had someone to back me up as well. He would step in and help me make them do what I had told them to do! Since I let him have what I call “full reign” The kids knew from the beginning that he said what he met the first time and there was no negotiations, like they always tried with me!
Rule # 3 Don’t let the kids hear you arguing over their punishments! That gave mine the red light to try to play us against each other! Believe me they will! The would come to me after he had grounded them and say mom he did this and this and it isn’t fair. It worked cause I would go ask him what happened and he automatically took it as me saying he was wrong and didn’t do it right. Then BAM! A huge fight between the two of us for no reason!
Rule # 4 Do not let the kids tell them but mom lets us, or He said we could! It does not matter if I let them play with glue, when he tells them no that time back him up! If he tells the kids they can ride bikes and I go out ten min. later and tell them to put them away, that is what is going to happen! I am not always around when Tony is and hes not always around when I say something either! So make it clear to your kids there will be no he said or mom said, it don’t matter. There is a reason he said no your not playing with glue today, whether I said it was fine yesterday or not! That will save you a million and ten arguments with your kids!
Rule # 5 Don’t assume you know whats best for the kids, because you have 5 and he don’t have any! When the fact of the matter is you are making a family and your kids were part of the package! When he agreed to take you he knew he was getting the kids to! If you were anything like me then that’s what you told him you wanted a family! So there for from that moment he does have 5 kids. They are now “our” kids!
Dealing with him expecting more and being harder on them was by far easy for me, and we had some serious fight about this stuff along the way! A lot of the time it would end in him saying fine I will not say another word to them. That was not what I was saying or trying to make happen, I just wanted him to do things my way! That was not fair to him and definitely is not how a family with a dad and mom work, at least it wasn’t for mine. My dad was harder expected more and when he said jump we did. My mom was a lot more soft and we could bug her enough and get her to say yes, but even she had her limits! That is how it balances out and you have to support each other in every decision. You have to make the decisions as a an us and not as a you and me!
The other hard part about blending families is the parents of your spouse and that are now your kids grandparents. I have seen with step grand kids get treated like they were the black plague and were not treated fair at all! That is not fair to the kids and the grandparents should know better than that! So that is a time your spouse will have to step up him game, and make sure it is known that these kids are his kids and if they are not excepted and treated fair then don’t come around! What everyone needs to realize is it’s an adjustment for everyone not just your spouse, or the kids, or you! It takes a whole family to make this feel like you are a family! I have been lucky with this part though! His family has been amazing! His sister is my best friends and I talk to his mom all the time and they 100% except all the kids like they are their own. We had a couple rifts in the road but nothing that Tony, me and his family didn’t take care of as soon as I thought I seen an issue! I felt a little dumb in both cases, because it was not how it seemed. I had to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and realize I needed to stop looking for stuff and stop thinking it would happen! When in reality….That is one happy Grandma:)!
Some other pointers for the new step parents! Stop telling us that your adjusting to everything! Stop telling us that you went from 1 person to 7 in our case! We know this, but it isn’t like one day we said oh surprise I am moving in my 5 secret kids! You knew from the very beginning that we had kids, and you said you could handle it! Besides the fact of the matter is we thought you could handle it because we let you meet them, and decided to make a family with you. It is like I said an adjustment for everyone, it’s not more of and adjustment for any one person than another. Everyone has to make sacrifices and change their routines. It is just part of the package! We know it’s hard we are living it right a long with you! So don’t throw it up in our face that you had to change everything, when you knew up front about everything. Yes this was one thing that was said a lot in the beginning! I could see his point and all but I could never get past thinking…Well you knew what I wanted, what you were getting, before our first date. So that was something he had to get past and many arguments later he finally got my point! I don’t think any adjustment period should take longer than…Ummmm 6 mo lol! That is plenty of time to adjust and know the routine and get into the grove of things:)
One other last pointer When you introduce your family to people don’t say this is my wife and these are my step kids! That makes the kids feel like they are not yours and your dividing the family. When someone says are all these your kids just say yes! Don’t tell them well they are all hers and then expect us to respect you or trust you! Just say yes they are mine and go on about your business. If they ask more questions tell them the answers like you have been there from the beginning. It’s just respect, and you expect us to back you up, and give you full reign with kids that you can’t tell them that they are yours! Not going to fly with parents, especially when you have been fighting for an equal part in our life! That at least for me will set you back. They are now ours end of story. It don’t matter how it came to be, or if you showed up a little late in life!
Tony and all 5 kids together! His work threw a Easter thing for all the kids of employees, he was proud to show off all of them!