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Life

Blended and Big Arse Families

For all big blended family’s out there that are trying to find peace in their home, this one’s for you. Buckle up. It’s gonna be one heck of a ride! family picture My life as a Mum started the standard way; a hubby, a house and a couple of kids to call our own. With many of life’s little twists and turns I found myself as a single mum with two little boys to hang with. This was easy to manage. There is certainly a lot of juggling involved being on your own, but, I was the Queen of my home. Things were done my way, and the boys were happily in toe of all my parental decisions for our little family. Life was peaceful. Then… I fell in love. The man of my dreams had his own happily “not forever” after start to his family life; a single Dad to three of his own. We were at Laser Tag when met one Friday night. And, everything just fell into place. But, like all happy beginnings, there is always a challenge to overcome. We had five children under 10-years of age between us. I was no longer the Queen of my small domain. Now, I was the wicked step-mother who didn’t even have cow’s milk in her fridge, and the reason for their father not cooking dinner consisting of three different meats and chocolate on the side. I was ruining their indulgent lives! And I couldn’t find quiet in this boisterous environment. We were all scrambling to find ourselves in this new scenario. It was a nightmare! Don’t even get me started on the family holidays! A seven-seater, completely crammed with all our bodies and bags as the kids kicked and fought their way to our destination. We would spend the getaway, separating the ones who argued, consoling the ones who were left out and pulling the cheeky ones in line. We needed a holiday after our holidays! We needed “holi-ception”. We then discovered a powerful tool, the apartheid regime. We did this procedure with no discrimination at all. There was no judgement on genes or last name. We didn’t cast one child out to a different bathroom or make this separation permanent. We discovered a peaceful way to enjoy our new large family – divide and conquer! Now, we allocate time to family time. We spend time together enjoying adventures down the beach or a dysfunctional game of backyard cricket. Then we allocate time to enjoy the original crew. Glen, gets to spend quality time with his kids while I take my boys to see family or off to a movie. Because, every time my kidlets are there, his three tend to play with them and this takes away from the quality time he should be having, especially that he rarely has the pleasure to do so given our big family. And, then we mix it up. We took the older two boys away on a holiday of quad biking, boating and exciting adventures that are not possible when there is a seven-year-old and a petite little girl in the mix. Of course, we can’t leave out the younger ones. We took the middle two, my son and Glens daughter snowboarding. We are embracing their personalities with giggles and fun instead of spending the whole time managing them. The best part is that we actually get to enjoy hanging out with them; bonding with them in a way that is not possible when there are five to care for. Looking back from the very beginning of our merging, when we were scrambling to find ourselves in our new dynamic, this solution has saved our sanity and quite possibly, our marriage. Because now, we have found our equilibrium, a balance of embracing our big arse blended family, spending time with our original crew and mixing it up with a little “his’n’hers” time too. Blended families are challenging; two parents are coming together that have done things a certain way and need to compromise and find their new way of parenting together, different children respond differently to the new scenario and this needs to be delicately managed as well as ex partners needing their say. It certainly places a new meaning to adaptability and resilience! So, to those of you who are struggling to find peace in their new big arse family, try this solution. It sure saved us. See if this finds a little more peace and balance in your home. And, when it does, I would love to hear. 🙂

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