Our first blended family vacation - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 08-05-2014, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our first blended family vacation

I have a blended family of 5 kids ranging from 14 to 10. We have been living together for just over a year. DH kids are here half time and mine are here full time. We have had lots of adjustments to make, lots of ups and downs. We have a bio mom who truly loves her kids but interferes fiercely in our lives. DH daughter who is 10 has voiced how important it is to her that she and her siblings do things alone with their dad, I can honestly say that I struggled with that because my focus was on making us a family unit and not separating us as I saw it, but I have realized that its important and it has been a part of DH time with the kids when they are with us. We have booked our first family vacation with all of us, its something I have been looking forward to, we know we will face a fight from bio mom to consent to the trip, as its a recurring issue, however my issue is that I spoke to DH about the meaning of this trip for me, and how for these 8 days I didn't want there to be separation this was to be a family affair. Yesterday DHs daughter asked me if this was a family trip because that's what my daughter told her. I told her it was and that we were doing things together, that the older boys may want to go ahead on some other rides etc and meet up with us later but that we would not be separating into you four and us three. I passed that msg on to DH and when he spoke to his daughter shortly after my conversation he told her that we would compromise and that the four of them could do something for a bit. I felt undermined, hurt, and a flurry of other things. I know rationally this does not sound like a big deal, but its our first time doing a family vacation and just this once I wanted us to be a whole family. In every day life there is always a lot of mine and his. Again we have a lot of interference from bio mom, she wont even allow the kids to be home with me if DH is not here. Am I being unrealistic about our trip? I would love some unbiased perspective. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by fourandthree; 08-05-2014 at 03:00 PM.
fourandthree is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 6 Old 08-05-2014, 05:12 PM
floss&ferd's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,989
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
My bf and I have 6 kids ranging from 6-16. We don't live together. It wouldn't bother me if one of his kids requested time with just him or him if mine had a similar request. To me, it seems pretty normal for a kid to want time with just their parent.

Family time is important but it seems like there could be a compromise. Maybe eating meals as a family? Or just planning a few specific separate activities with different smaller groups but spending some days entirely together?
floss&ferd is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 08-08-2014, 05:36 AM
momma,mia's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
We have done 3 big family trips once a year with our 5 kids ages 6-16. We generally have done things together, but this year my fiance took all of the kiddos with him for a few hours to get ice cream and swim. So, technically they were not split up on their own, but I feel like his kiddos still are guarded with me so this was a nice time they had with their dad and playing with my kids. It's so hard to stay on the same page as a couple when we have these little people that we love so much pulling at us. Sounds like your partner heard the tug at his heartstring when his daughter asked for the alone time and before thinking gave permission for something that went against the unity you were hoping for. It's just so tough with all the dynamics sometimes and I feel for you.
On the lighter side, it's still a family trip. Even if there are separate little excursions (my fiance's ice cream trip) it is a lot of time together. Enjoy the one on one time with your kiddos and make it special.

I'm a single working mom of 3 wonderful kiddos. 

momma,mia is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 08-10-2016, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
No, you are not being unrealistic about your expectations on this trip. The issue isn't the trip..that's just the situation that's bringing the underlying issue to the fore...the real issue is your new family's difficulty in blending. You and he are together and "One", but that doesn't automatically extend to the kids. They need some help making the transition. This trip isn't the time to force it.

You might need some professional help...a child psychologist and some therapy...to discuss the kids feelings and needs and help them make the transition from dad to "dad +". Their expectations need to be addressed in light of the current reality..the "New" family, and their expectations need to be managed (and evolved) to help them accept what is. And, if it's permanent, even in the absence of marriage.

For now I'd suggest you work on q compromise that gives them some "Dad" time on the trip, with (more) "Family" time, and also let them know you'll be talking more about this.
393401 is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 08-10-2016, 10:53 AM
oldsmom's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Kids know how to push buttons. Based on your post, it feels like "dad alone time" is a button for you. And I suspect your 10 year old stepdaughter knows it.

There are two things in play here, that I see:

First, there is the fact that you told your 10 year old one thing, and then your husband contradicted you. When it comes to this, I would also feel undermined. You WERE undermined. But was this discussed ahead of time? I couldn't tell from your post if you had gotten your husband's buy-in before deciding this. I doubt your husband meant to undermine you, as I know my husband's greatest kryptonite is his daughters, and they know how to get daddy to cave in. But it seems like maybe you need to make 100% sure that he's in your court before you try to discuss these types of issues with your stepkids. Better yet, make sure he's the one doing it - not you. The kids will believe him and feel more like they have to include you if he's the messenger.

Second, there's the question if it is reasonable to want the vacation to only be about the group TOGETHER. I would recommend letting it go for now. I know the "dad alone time" feels like exclusionary behavior, but you are all traveling together, there is going to be tons of together time. If this is supposed to be a vacation, let the kids have some time to enjoy it the way they want to. Trying to force family togetherness and bonding too much can have an opposite effect.

Stepmom for roughly 10 years to four fabulous kiddos: two boys and two girls. All of which are now entering adulthood.
oldsmom is offline  
#6 of 6 Old 08-12-2016, 09:04 AM
hillymum's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Louisville, Ky
Posts: 4,463
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
I am not in a blended family, as a parent or as a child, so my input may not be all that valuable. I would support your husbands child's desire to spend some time with just her dad and her blood siblings. Their time together is limited, and shared with you and your children. It is natural,normal, and ok for a child to have this desire. Don't take it as a personal rejection or an attempt to "push your buttons". Take it as a confirmation that your husband is a good father!

I understand the desire to blend a family seamlessly but that is very very difficult to achieve, and not something that should be pushed. I would also not recommend professional intervention if the children are otherwise well adjusted. Therapy has it's place, but it is there for when things are going wrong, and is a clear indication that the parent thinks something about the child is "wrong", You really want to send that message?

Sounds like you and your husband, and his daughter have some pretty good communication going on. Build on it!

As to your vacation, relax, enjoy yourself, enjoy some time with just your kids, and enjoy the time with all of you together! I hope you have a wonderful time!
hillymum is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 8,508

14 members and 8,494 guests
BirthFree , Castrotalicia , cnhonest , danzergurl00 , debigebi , FuzzyOtter , jamesmorrow , jaye , katelove , Michele123 , moominmamma , rubelin , Sonja416 , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.