“Blended” family… sounds so nice doesn’t it? Always made me think of a smoothie. We were going to add some yummy fruit, some juice or yogurt, maybe a little something sweet. Yep, that’ll be our family, all beautifully blended together.
Then reality sets in. You get married and realize that you don’t get to pick the ingredients for this smoothie. Yes, you and your husband are perhaps the fruit and yogurt, but one kid might be more of an onion-personality with lots of layers that will bring tears to your eyes. You might have one that’s a bit of a nut. Another might be tough like beef jerky. Try adding that stuff to your blender!
My point is that blending a family is rarely what you expect. And just when you think you’ve got a recipe that works, the ingredients change. As kids grow, the dynamic changes. A child that resisted accepting a step-parent will begin to form a bond. At the same time, another child might hit puberty and stop liking everybody. An ex-spouse could remarry, changing that dynamic in your child’s life.
Our family has experienced all of these scenario’s already, and many more to come. What I’ve learned is that there is only one consistent. God loves us and wants us to succeed. That’s it. Everything else will change, possibly on a daily basis. So what you can’t do is rely on your taste (keeping with the smoothie metaphor), or your emotions, to dictate the success of your family.
Take one day at a time. When things get really hard you might have to take one hour at a time. But know that no matter what gets added to your blender, this too shall pass. Eventually the kids will grow up and move out. There will not always be custody issues, toddler temper tantrums, teen-age mood swings, child-support payments. What there WILL remain is love and memories. Treasure those. Be grateful. In fact, make a list of all the things you love about your life, and all the things you’re grateful for. Then the next time you think “why did I do this?”, take those items from your list and stick ‘em in your mental blender. It might be just the pick-me-up you need.
(archived from Apr. 11, 2013)