Live, Love, Blend:
Why SUMMER Can Make Or Break
A Blended Family
I talk to a lot of Blended Family Moms, or “Blendie-Moms,” as I like to call them. No two situations are ever the same. Relationships with the exes vary, custody and visitation situations vary, excess baggage varies, and all of these elements create different degrees of stress. But the one thing I’ve found we all have in common is a need to create some sort of order within the chaos of our blended lives.
Generally during the school year, a natural rhythm occurs. Weekdays have their school/work order. We have our weekends with “his” kids and weekends with “her” kids, or weekends with all or none of the kids. Yes, it’s hectic and requires a management system that would easily run a small company, but it’s doable.
And then summertime comes along. (insert horror movie sound effect here)
All the schedules and routines are out the window. Suddenly kids that you normally see every other weekend are spending weeks at a time playing video games in your living room and eating every last morsel from your pantry.
The exes are planning vacations and camps that may or may not conflict with your own plans. Or you suddenly realize that your youngest child is the only one of the kids that does not have a vacation or camp or a job, so despite the fact that you have 3 teenagers living at home, you’ve got to scramble and find someone to babysit.
And to be honest, some kids are easier to take on a one-weekend-at-a-time basis. Acknowledging that fact can send a Blendie Mom into the guilt zone. Add to that the problem that confessing these feelings to non-blendies will label you as evil step-parent. They may say “but they are ALL your kids now.” Yes, they are. And yes, we love each one. But if anyone tells you it’s wrong or abnormal to get tired of spending long days with children you didn’t give birth to (or in some cases even the ones you did), then they do not understand blended family reality.
I’m here to say, “hang on Blendie-Moms. August is right around the corner and we’ll be sending all our little darlings back to school before you know it!” Treasure the special summer moments when you can. The evening everyone is playing games and getting along. The moments you catch the teenagers giggling together. They may be rare, but they are there and in a few short weeks you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back and know that you survived a BLENDED SUMMER!
Do you have any tools or tricks for a smooth sailing summer? Please share!