If we could only go back with what we know now… The first year of blending was so much more important than we realized.
Kristy and I thought since we were in love and that jumping in the pool of “new family” was gonna be perfect and easy. [massive ‘eye roll’]
We. Were. Wrong.
There are some key things that we did great, and things we missed the mark on in a major way.
We have learned over the last 11 years that there are 3 main categories to a blended family that need focus: Marriage, Kids, Family as a whole.
I could write hours (if not days) on all three of these. But, to keep this post concise and useful I will give a major helpful tip from each of these categories. The ones we feel could be the most impactful.
The biological parents should be intentional about spending one-on-one time with their kids. Move toward them so you can move your spouse… and help your kids move toward your spouse.
This we completely screwed up. We had the thought that it would be unfair and cause division if we did this. This was a major mistake on our behalf. Major.
If our bio children don’t feel like we are doing what is best for ALL of us, they won’t trust our new spouse or the family we are attempting to blend.
Trust us. This is a massive tip.
Identify the love language of EACH person in the household. A bio parent can speak the primary language of children, but stepparents should progress in the following order despite the primary language of the children: Acts of Service, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Why do it in this order? Because it builds trust in a way that isn’t forced.
Our children didn’t want this relationship. They want their mommy and daddy together. Not mommy and Steve.
Our goal is to love them in a way that helps them know that we actually care about them and we are trustworthy.
This one is tough, my friends.
The success of your blended family will rise and fall on the strength of your marriage. The couple's relationship needs to be a top priority. That means above the children.
When we go into a blended family the last thing we want is to feel like we are “deserting” our children.
The Bible says that the family structure should be placed in this hierarchy: God. Spouse. Children. Everything else.
This includes blended families.
Kristy and I can tell you that this is one of the most powerful things we did in our family. It was extremely hard. Eleven years later, we understand why!
This helps us unite and lead our family in a way that is best for them.
Kristy and I solved so many of our issues by becoming closer. The anger, pride, guilty, jealousy, and many other emotions, became easy to deal with because of the strength of our marriage.
Do this. Trust us on this one.
Make your marriage a priority above all else and your family will flourish.
We love you… God loves you.