Thursday, April 29, 2010
at 4:46 PM
The CEO where I work and his wife host a blended families group and he's invited me a few times. I haven't made the time to go but I'm beginning to seriously consider it.
What is a blended family?
Webster defines a blended family as: a social unit consisting of two previously married parents and the children of their former marriages.
As a child of divorced-and-remarried parents, who is also divorced, has siblings who are divorced and about to divorce and remarry, and who is dating a divorced man whose ex may be remarrying someone else who is divorced... I could definitely describe myself as part of or going to be a part of a few blended families.
One of the reasons I would be interested in attending the blended family group is because I've seen the flowchart the CEO has documenting his children and step-children and children of his ex's ex, etc.
All of them stay in touch and spend special days together. They are all part of the children's family.
I want that.
One of my concerns about how my ex and I spent holidays and such, post-divorce and pre-Gentleman Jack, was that we acted like we always did. We were still a couple, really, though we retired to our own homes. We still spent time with each others' families and celebrated events together.
I was worried about the day that I would have someone else in my life. What about when I want to spend a holiday with my new partner and his family? Would that be hurtful to my ex? Would he feel left out or afraid that he would be replaced? I know that I certainly wouldn't want to feel that way.
I'm sure that there's a way to be inclusive with my ex-husband and have Gentleman Jack in my life. I know it will seem awkward to the adults but we can get over it. I am not trying to force friendship or anything. I only want a united, loving, supportive front for our children.
We have a responsibility to our children and to each other, as people who play major roles in the lives of our children.
I want our daughters to see the GROWN UP side of our divorce. (I know not every divorce was as amicable as ours.) I want them to see that we can maintain some sort of semblance of a singular life even though technically, we are several different parts of other lives.
I want to create a healthy situation amongst the chaos of different households and types of parenting.
I want their daddy to know that he will always be their daddy and that he has a right to speak up in their best interests.
I want him to see that the new partner in my life is good to our children and that my parenting style has not changed. I want him to build trust, on his own, without my input.
I would expect the same from him. I would hope that he would include me in his life with his partner, whomever she is or will be.
I want our girls to feel comfortable in all households because we represent a common front, a whole family, a place of safety where they know what to expect and that they can trust those involved.
I want that.
And I'm beginning the foundation, doing everything I can, to build those bridges now. Wish me luck.