Monday, December 7, 2015

Got the T-Shirt

Blending a family is hard work. Who's with me?

It's kind of like running a marathon or climbing a mountain when you only took leisurely walks in the park beforehand. It's sweaty, exhausting work that you didn't expect to be so difficult.  

How can you possibly train for a mountain climbing expedition if you don't know what you're up against?

After polling many friends over the years, the general consensus is
that it is hard for various reasons. There's the jealousy, envy, discipline differences, trust issues, money issues, kids still reeling from their parents divorce, kids still wanting their parents to get back together...and on and on. Some get it worked out fairly early while there are those of us still struggling.

"...You can't climb a mountain and not behave differently..."

Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends I've been able to reach out to, to ask advice, gain perspective and most of all vent to. Two of those friends and I have created our own support group and have felt the need to expand our circle of friends to include any and all of you who are in need of a support group where you can hear and feel heard, understand and be understood,  glean  and give some words of wisdom from those who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. So please, we want your comments and questions.  We have quite literally helped save each others' marriages at different times throughout the years.  Just hearing, "I know how you feel" is sometimes just what you need to hear in order to keep trekking up that hill so  you can reach the summit, catch your breath and continue on to the next incline. Other times, it's "Here's what my therapist taught me..." that does the trick.

Holiday's quite frankly can be the Matterhorn.  There are kids going to the other parents house, kids coming to your house, old traditions, new traditions, and trying to do it all in half the time because you have to share their two week break with the other parent. 

 Personally, I feel sad when I see my kids go. Is that selfish? I am very attached to my children and wonder if they are going to be taken care of physically, emotionally and spiritually. Knowing that the littlest one still gets homesick is hard. Honestly, on the flip side, it's got to be hard on the step mom at the other house knowing that the littlest is homesick for her mommy. 

In an ironic twist, looking back, we in our amazing support group have never, until after the fact, reached out to each other about how hard the holidays were on us. We all thought we were all just having a grand ole time and didn't want to burden each other with our frustrations and troubles. 

This year is different. We are reaching out to each other before and during one of the hardest times of the year. And we're reaching out to you too.

Let us know how it works in your house. Let us know of your failures and triumphs and we'll let you know ours. We're all kind of shameless that way.

Just remember that you can't climb a mountain and not behave differently. And blending a family is no walk in the park.

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