Blended families bring with them their own special kind of crazy. But you don’t have to let it send you to a padded room. Oh wait, before we get into this I have to sing a verse from an old song made popular at our family reunions…
The doctors drink.
The patients do the same.
While we are psychoanalyzed we sip our pink champagne.
Before I’d sell my padded cell I’d amputate my arm.
I’d be a lunatic to ever leave the funny farm.”
No idea where this song came from, but if you’re old enough, you may have heard it and now be singing it in your head.
Now that I’ve totally derailed your train of thought, here are 4 simple tips to keep your family’s schedule from getting the best of you…
- Stop trying to CONTROL it. Flexibility will save your sanity!
- Communicate with everyone involved. Group messages & calendars can easily keep everyone in the loop. (even the exes, if you can make that work)
- Ask yourself WHY? Why are you signing up for that class? Why are the kids taking both badmitton and baseball? Why did you agree to host that party? If you are adding things to your schedules just to please others, STOP it! Prioritize and set boundaries. (ok, maybe this step isn’t so simple)
- Know when to say NO. It gets easier with practice. I promise.
(see Running Circles Around Schedules for more on this topic)
Mom, blendie or not, is generally the keeper of the schedule. This job is important. You may want to designate time each week to go over your family’s schedule and check for conflicts or important events that require extra prep work. AND, make sure you don’t forget which weekends you will have all of the kids. I made this mistake early on when I kept having to ask if it was “our weekend” with his kids. Write it down if you can’t remember! Daddy doesn’t like to think you have forgotten about his children.
Depending on the size of your blended family, and the cooperativeness of the exes, keeping the schedule can be a complex job, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just take it one day at a time.
(archived from March 6, 2014)