Blogger Stacey Daprile of PositivelyStacey.com sat down with MomsEveryday to talk about creating a blended family. Here’s her perspective and advice based on her own experiences.
“These kids had their world turned upside down when their parents divorced and that’s hard that’s trauma, it’s really hard for kids, so you know we took it slowly.
“One of the first things we did once we realized we were dating and seeing each other, we had family dates. So bringing them together in a family date taking everyone out for pizza bringing everyone together just so the kids could get to know each other because our kids didn’t know each other.
“There are always hard parts of parenting. And step parenting just ads a different level to that because these children I think it’s important to realize, have two homes they have a mom they have a dad and now for all of these children they all have a stepmother and stepfather so they go back and forth between two homes and that is a lot for them. Three kids go this way, three kids go this way, six kids come together. So just transition time, allowing the fact that houses are different house rules are different house routines are different when they go from one to the other there is time needed just to transition so it’s important to recognize that.
“Traditions are really important and you can’t just throw them out with the bathwater because it’s not my tradition. You have to honor that, so we have held on to some from both sides and we’ve tried to create new family traditions.
“At Christmastime all six kids make a point of getting together to go take a picture with Santa somewhere. They’ll hunt down Santa at the mall or we have a Santa that travels in our town on a Santa ship. They get together and they like to do it in their bathrobes or pajamas and all get together, still my son is 25 will get out there with Santa because their tradition that the kids created themselves was like OK we’ll do this.
“I think I really support my husband in his parenting. I'm not their mom. They are very loyal to their mom as they should be they see me as Stacy, the stepmom. The youngest one -- I do have to parent a little more because she’s a little more hands-on, she’s in the house and I have to see her out the door for school and after school and see her homework. That’s a little more hands-on but when it comes down to the discipline that’s my husband’s job and I’m there to support him in that.
“It can be so loud and chaotic and I literally walk through the house stepping over messes and remind myself, next week its quiet, next week it’s quiet. And then next week it’s quiet and next week it’s clean and I miss them. So you just kind a go with the flow. It’s patience it’s go with the flow flexibility is really key.
“I think really just the key is it takes time. It takes time for everybody to really get to know each other and really get comfortable with each other. To understand that there are always family loyalties and accept that. Accept that there is no perfect division. As I’m also a teacher and I’m privy to the fact that there’s so many different families and parents parent different ways. I parent my way, my husband parents his way, the ex’s parent a little bit different, on the side and it’s all OK. I don’t have control over what happens in this house I don’t have control over what happens in that house, but I don't need control, cause they’re doing it their way and the bottom line -- we all love these kids we all want them to be healthy and happy and in order to be healthy and happy it’s really important to support them in their relationships."