-Guest Post by Dan Burges
In the post divorce / blended family world, transition days are an event. While each day brings with it a unique level of chaos, the twice a week transition day is always a momentous endeavor in our home.
It’s used to be a simple backpack and out the door. But as the kids age, it’s cheer uniforms, football gear, homework, school projects, “daddy I have to wear this shirt Thursday. It’s my Thursday shirt!” Who knew you’d have to pack a suitcase to spend two days at your mom’s??
Each transition morning it’s twice the hustle in the same span of time. And no matter how much prep we do, it always seems to come unraveled with those final words “ok, it’s time to go.” Which in normal land means everyone gets in the car, but in transition day land, it means they all sprint to their rooms in search of that must-have item which is either lost or more likely, already in their backpacks.
Of course this alters how we operate as a family unit, most especially in our marriage. If you ask Kate what day of the week is our date night and she’ll immediately reply “Wednesday.” It’s been that way since our first date together – the looming “first day without kids available on the calendar” date. You know, typical first date scheduling stuff.
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With me having two kids and Kate having one, of course our custody calendars do not line up exactly. Some weeks we have the kids only a couple days. Some weeks we have them every single day. We’ve gone months without her son and my two seeing each other. We’ve gone months where they feel like they are on top of each other.
And it isn’t just transition days. Monday my son has football. Tuesday both my kids have guitar while Kate’s son has band. Wednesday we are kid free. Every other Thursday we have Kate’s son while my daughter has cheer and my son has football again. Friday her son has band. Saturday mornings my two have football and cheer at the same time, after which is homework, chores and errands. Sunday is church. Rinse and repeat.
But that is our reality. There is no altering it and quite frankly I don’t know that we would want to. It’s how we have functioned since the beginning. Our relationship has thrived amidst this chaos. The rhythm of our life is that there is no rhythm.
Related Post: Family Schedules Making You Crazy?
We don’t just make it work… we thrive in our environment because it’s ours and we have fully embraced that fact. We love our life because it’s our life to love. It’s our family to love.
People ask us how are we so happy or how do we seem to have it all together with our blended family. Well, we don’t have it all together. It’s a constant struggle to find calm and some semblance of organization. But we are most certainly happy. Largely because we choose to be. And because we love and support each other despite calendars getting messed up, a kid throwing attitude toward their step parent, late hours at work, or whatever circumstance comes out way.
Our recommendation is this… embrace the reality that is yours, discarding any notion of “normal is better.” Too many spend their lives seeking an ideal existence, discarding the beauty of the lives they have. Forget normal, live in abundance no matter your circumstance.
Family bio: Dan and Kate Burges have been together for two years. They have three children together, Andy 12 (hers), Dylan 8 and Brooklyn 6 (both his). Dan is a financial advisor in Southlake while Kate is a school teacher and business owner in North Richland Hills. We attend both Gateway Church and Legacy Church (you know from the article there’s nothing simple about our life.) We are both fitness enthusiasts and serial entrepreneurs, currently developing plans to begin our third business together.