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how blended are you?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
i have a dd from a sperm donor, my partner has a son from a previous relationship. we've been together for 2 years and living together for over a year and are expecting our first child together. but things are far from perfect and far from blended. in fact, it usually feels like we're still 2 single parents just living in the same house.. in every aspect.

we were seeing a relationship therapist for a while who harped on the fact that it can take YEARS for families to successfully blend. i think thats crap, to be honest. i mean sure, it may take years for us to start looking at each other's respective child as our own.. but in the mean time.. as far as im concerned, theres no reason why we can't pretend like we're there. i expect my partner to be interested in the daily affairs of my daughter, her education, her life.. EVERYTHING just like he is with his bio son. i expect him to demand to be at every parent teacher conference with me, and i expect him to WANT to be involved in every decision i make on her behalf.. i expect him to be at every single ballet/school performance and to even take her to practice .. just like he does with his son and his karate/gymnastics/swim class. he wouldn't dare not go to his son's swim class.. but he's NEVER been to any of my daughter's activities.

the situation sucks and i dont know if its pregnancy hormones or what.. but im pretty fed up and practically ready to leave.

what's it like in your house? and more importantly, would you stay in a relationship (not marriage) where it wasn't really heading toward a "normal" blended situation?
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbyfar7 View Post
i expect my partner to be interested in the daily affairs of my daughter, her education, her life.. EVERYTHING just like he is with his bio son. i expect him to demand to be at every parent teacher conference with me, and i expect him to WANT to be involved in every decision i make on her behalf.. i expect him to be at every single ballet/school performance and to even take her to practice .. just like he does with his son and his karate/gymnastics/swim class. he wouldn't dare not go to his son's swim class.. but he's NEVER been to any of my daughter's activities.
Well... a few questions...

Have you talked to him about your expectations? What he's willing to do?

Do you go to his son's teacher conferences, competitions, meets, etc? What are his expectations of you?
post #3 of 5
I can certainly understand your feelings, OP.

We also have "his", "mine" and "ours". We're very blended and we always were. If that weren't the case, I'd feel dissatisfied, like you do.

Of course, there are some subtle things that came slower than others. We didn't discipline each other's kids right away. And, to be honest, even now we each feel a little prickly about the other one disciplining our kid, if it's anything serious. If DH's really angry at one of mine, I always feel like making excuses for my kid, even if it's something I would've gotten mad about, too, had I been first on the scene. And even though DH is just as concerned as I am about his kid's tendency to lie, he gets really irritated with me, if I'm the one who calls DSS on it. I mean, he won't necessarily contradict me with DSS, but he may pick a stupid fight with me about something else, shortly afterward - and it's obvious passive-aggression over me saying his kid lied.

Also, I've tried to follow DSS's lead about being affectionate. I'm very affectionate with my kids, but I didn't want DSS to feel like I was forcing that on him. Plus, he lives with us and his mom's across the country (and very resentful and subversive), so I worried that me being as affectionate as a mom, with him, might make him feel disloyal to her, or might emphasize this weird situation where he spends more of his life with me than his does with his actual mom. But especially this school year, he comes to me for hugs a lot, or lays his head on my shoulder when we're hanging out as a family. So even that feels more equal and blended, now.

But DH and I have always driven each other's kids places; chaperoned field trips and otherwise volunteered at school for each other's kids; gone to each other's kids' sports events and taken each other's kids along, on errands (even if our own kids didn't come).

Especially if you have a little one on the way, dissatisfaction about this seems a poor reason to leave the marriage. Ultimately, it is your husband's loss if he doesn't develop a fully parental relationship with your kids. Your kids still have you (and presumably your ex?). And, if you put the effort in, you will reap the benefits of a good relationship with your step-kids. It's sad and disappointing that your husband doesn't look at it the same way you do, but the harm to your "joint" kids, if you left him, far outweighs any other consideration. It would be different if he were abusing your kids, but that's not what you've described.

Another thought: What was it like before you married? If your husband acted like he wanted to be your kid's 2nd dad while you were dating, but he's changed, that's worth pointing out to him: "When you really wanted me to be attracted to you, you did X. Now you're doing Y. What do you expect the outcome to be?" But if he was always this way with your kid and you married him anyway... Or, if the two of you just didn't take the time to learn how the dynamics would work with your kids, before committing to each other - then that was a joint mistake, not just his.
post #4 of 5
At this point, we are almost there. I've known DSD for over five years. She lives here half of the time, her sister (not DH's bio DD) is here every other weekend or so, and DH and I have two DSs that are ours.

I do go to DSD's activities when she has them, unless it is easier for one person to stay home with the other kids (Two little ones + sitting at the pool for 30 minutes = disaster). I do lead her Brownie Troop (and that is the only activity she currently has).

I do not go to conferences - how many people really need to be there? She already has two parents there. DH can fill me in. Plus, I think that (even though we get along), it would bother her mom.

I have volunteered at her school, but I don't chaperone field trips. It has never really been an option - someone has to be with the little kids. It would seem weird for DH to stay home with the boys so I could chaperone her field trip. As a family, we do attend her school programs/classroom parties.

Discipline is tricky. I do "discipline," but I would never ground her or something like that. I leave the big things to DH.

Most of the time, it boils down to household responsibilities and scheduling. DH will take DSD to the bus stop, unless he can't or I am going in that direction. Then I will. I pack her lunch, because I tend to be the one up early in the morning. I buy her clothes because I buy the clothes for everyone. I do her hair because I am more proficient at it than DH. Same thing with Halloween costumes, party invitations, etc.

It has taken us a long time to get to this point. Each situation is different and depends on both the kids, the stepparent, and the dynamic with the child's other parent, but I think that two years is a realistic (if not optimistic) timeline for blending.
post #5 of 5
i feel so lucky, in our home we are totally blended. there were a few years where things were more unsettled, but that was more to circumstances than to feelings. especially when his were real little and mine were just on the edge of being pre-teens. now there are no issues of his mine and ours. it's all just ours. i love it, and our happy life. not perfect, lol... but happy
there is no will you drive my kids here or will i watch yours while you do such and such.. more "so and so needs a ride at three", or "i'm heading out for a bit, this ones staying home and these two are coming with", there is no differentiating between his and mine anymore at all.
same for discipline, we have the same rules for all the kids, and complete trust that things will be fair. my kids are dd 11.5 and ds nearly 13, so they arent super affectionate, but they like to be hugged or touched by my dp and his dd's are my girls as much as any of my girls have been. we always say that we dont need to have one of our own because we have raised the littlest one together since she was just a few months old and with 80% custody at that time of the girls... she may as well have been mine, except i didnt get to nurse her he did change to a co-sleeper and a way more ap parent than he had been before we were together, but when we are all together we are just another family.

we are not blended at all when it comes to dealing with our exes or their new spouses, and they don't accept our blendedness too well either, but we can't really change that so... my dp comes to meetings at my kids school, but neither he nor i are welcome to be involved in his kids school or life (recitals etc.). she wants us to disappear and pretend she has a perfect "no divorce" ever happend life... as long as the c/s cheques keep rolling in. it is sad really because the kids see it one way here and then the way it is at their other parents homes and they do see the difference... and we see how it saddens them. at their bio-mom's they are literally forced to call their sfather "daddy" which they dont like and have expressed very clearly, but they are told that because they have primary residency there that their sfather is more of a dad than their bio father is. very sad indeed. when theytalk about living at our home in the future they are told that they will never see their mom again or their new sister... not blended by any definition i can think of. it is the same at my exes without the smom being called mommy or mom. ina nut shell a lot of p.a.s.'ing and a lot of damage control here. not sureif i got off topic, but when it comes toour house we are truly blended, when it comes to their other parent's homes mmm not so much.

cheers viv
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