Many years ago, after the death of my first marriage, I wrote an article about rediscovering myself. Years later and, perhaps on an ongoing basis to some degree, I began rediscovering myself again. This time, however, in a different way and with a different purpose. My re-discovery began a few years ago as a re-married woman with two children of my own, a stepson, and as a result of a very productive wedding night, a beautiful baby girl that my husband and I share together. We now share two little girls!
We women always envision parenting with our husbands as being effortless. Two great people bringing their children together under one roof. How could we not find each moment filled with joy? Surely we will always agree and all of our children will be treated equally and fall nothing short of feeling like “ours” in the family sense. Both of ours. Each one of them- step or biological. What I’ve learned is that it is not effortless and takes a great deal of work. Thus, discovery zone is open and for most of us life has become like a box of chocolates as day in & day out we never know what we are going to get!
What I do know is that I love my husband deeply. Most of you would agree that when you first met your husband you found comfort in his constant attempts to make you feel special. And, to be fair, we realize our husbands just knew that our daily attempts to always look, feel & smell like we stepped out of the shower would last forever. I know that for me, I was delighted by my husband’s gentleman ways. He was opening doors for me, patiently interacting with the kids, doing little things just to make me smile, and sharing his heart with me – one filled with total tenderness.
As you can imagine, with qualities like that I knew I was in for the brady bunch! Yes, those of us who remember those beginning feelings that accompany falling in love and knowing those butterflies would last forever without putting in too much overtime now realize we must have been watching too much tv. We don’t always see eye to eye with our spouse. And, for those of us with teenagers that have head strong minds of their own, we know that seeing eye to eye has become a tough challenge.
But, with our womanly hearts and ever present quality of having hope we continue to see all the ingredients needed for a great husband, a great father, and a great man. We also have a GOD given ability to have hope for the future of our marriages and our children’s abilities to succeed. And, thankfully, us easy going light hearted women know full well that sometimes laughter breaks hard heads and soft behinds but the harder the challenge the greater the reward, right?
As intelligent parents we all know that kids make mistakes and grow up to be adults that sometimes make mistakes for to err is human. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. But when it’s all done in love and (moral-istically speaking) in the right spirit, things typically turn out alright. What you may learn from that philosophy is that if we, as parents “chill” and learn to enjoy (or at least accept) the many quirks and yes, difficulties, of not only being parents but also step parents, role models & a team we’re bound to come out on top.
It is important to realize that as we continue fighting to keep our heads above water emotionally, mentally & financially, we have many things ahead that will be met with trial & error. But through it all and in a nutshell we all still have what it takes to blow the Cosby show out of the water. Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but what’s life without a goal! We are all, however, equip to rise above societies declarations of how hard it is to co-parent a ‘blended family’ and show the world that together we stand, and we stand successfully.
Successfully as husbands & wives, successfully as parents, and, at least for my household, successfully as role models- working to instill drive & confidence in our oldest son who never seems to think he’s smart enough to accomplish what we know he can, dedication & determination in our 2nd oldest son who prefers to take the easy way out even though he’s got the brains to conquer the tougher route, respect (for rules, adults and herself) thought-inspired decision making skills and self belief in our oldest daughter who sells herself short way too much because her overly active behaviors get the best of her, and a giving heart, kind spirit and feirce need to succeed in our youngest baby girls whom we hope are already learning to trust that WE are family – and we’ve got a whole lotta CRAZY glue to keep us stuck together.
In marriage & parenting there is no manual. There is, in the beginning, 2 lives, 2 hearts that become one. They learn together and through loves lit torch they build this thing called family. Sometimes that family is already prebuilt. Waiting to be restored, re-defined. The Blended Family- one in which the family is brought together into marriage. Some of the children came before the husband & wife unit. The ability to learn the art of parenting together is one in which the rules have already been predetermined with a mental pencil & must now be erased, revised, agreed upon and shared. Blended families, like a handfull of ingredients tossed into a blender, have the ability to become something mediocre- lacking an ingredient or 2, A dash of compromise here, a sprinkle of favortism there, Or, the ability to become something great! Refreshing, refined, and chock full of tender loving care. It’s all in what we strive to create & how diligent we are in making it great.
And so, on behalf of glowbass.com I say welcome to my “discovery zone”. A place where I’ll share my discoveries, adventures & research based suggestions about this laboratory of life where a blended family plays with various test tubes, concoctions and antidotes in an effort to get it right!