Blended Families

At the young age of 18 I got married the man I thought was the love of my life. Much against my parents wishes but what can the world say to young star-crossed lovers? Not a thing. Three years later (April 2011) we had an amazing son. He has been the center of our universe ever since. When we divorced in 2015 we made a pact that not matter what the road had ahead for us our son would always know that we were a team and he was still the most important thing in our lives. My son continued to live with me and my ex-husband had custody as well so that we could make life as normal for our son as possible. Our main goal was to keep him happy and to continue to provide a life for him that offered stability.

Life was moving along quite well for us both. I was doing well at work, our son was growing and flourishing and my ex-husband was dating again. I was a bit slower with these things as I’m quite skeptical of the male sex at times due to their inclination to be F*ckboys as popular vernacular states. But what’s a girl to do? Shortly after dating my ex found the love his life, Em. My son also found the second love of his life, Em. Now for any mother this is strangely nerve-wrecking. My son had placed part of his heart in the hands of another woman. What was I? Chopped liver? Old news? Washed up? Of course I knew he was always my baby but he was falling in love all over again. This was not a shining moment for me in the slightest. I was quite petty about the situation and unfamiliar with this territory. I can say now though that I don’t know any woman prepared for this. How could you be?

My ex-husband is now married to Em and I couldn’t be happier for the two of them. My son now has two places that he can call home. Two moms he can confide in and two families to love him and support him. Blended families are never easy but they don’t have to be difficult. The first Christmas I had to share my son with is father is one I don’t think I’ll soon forget. I received a card from Em in which she wrote to me that she hoped we could go through the next year supporting each other. I never knew how much I would depend on that support. She’s in the pick up lines after school if she needs to be, she offers to be at doctor appointments and she’s at soccer practices as much as I am. She’s been a blessing in our lives. My son adores her. At this point we need her on our team.

My son just returned home from family vacation with his father, step-mother and her family. He had an amazing time and I had plenty of time to catch up with my friends, work on papers, work late and finish reports. I know that with them I don’t have to worry about his safety or well-being. He is with his parents. He is loved. He is fed. He is all of the things that I expect him to be. I for one enjoy the time he gets to spend with his father and step-mom because I know he is really at home when he is with them. Enjoy the bonus mom and/or bonus dad. They are a blessing. It doesn’t have to be chaos and turmoil. It is an extended team. I mean what would the NBA do without its sixth-man??

This post is for the divorced/separated parents out there. Listen to me: IT IS OKAY TO LOVE YOUR BONUS PARENT. I don’t know anyone that gets married and expects to get divorced. It’s not easy, it’s a process. What you can do is have an open mind and know that the step-mom/dad are new to this too. They’re wingin’ that shit just like you are. So, be brave, conquer life together and raise happy healthy children! Build strong families. Blended families are a necessity. Blend well.

-Millie.

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