Long Weekend With Our Blended Family

Thankfully, this upcoming weekend is a long weekend. Three glorious days to relax and enjoy. Turns out that these three glorious days are going to be spend with CBG and Ankle Biter at the family trailer in the town where CBG’s dad lives. “Dad” invited the girls and I to come stay there over the weekend – he hasn’t seen me since we went on the cruise together, and he hasn’t seen the girls since New Year’s Day.

While part of me is really looking forward to a family weekend, I’ll admit that another part of me is more than a little bit nervous about it. The last two “family weekends” we’ve had together have been less than perfect. CBG and I have yet to work out all the kinks in terms of parenting together. We do great when it’s either me and him and his kid/s, or me and him and my girls, but when we gather all the kids together, that’s when the problems arise. Because up until now, when we have these family weekends, rather than parenting together, it’s more like we’re parenting side-by-side. And y’know what? We do things differently. And it’s when these differences arise that we run into problems.

We also run into issues when CBG’s anxiety gets the better of him. He’s more of a cautious parent than I am, and so when the kids are running rampant through the house, his anxiety levels go through the roof. As his anxiety raises, so does the tension between the two of us. CBG’s one of those people whose personality fills a room when he’s in it. And that works when he’s feeling stressed and anxious, too. So when he is stressed and anxious, we all feel it.

Considering the fact that CBG has been in a funk for the last few weeks, I find myself a bit concerned about the upcoming weekend. Of course I understand The Funk, and have complete understanding toward him for it; after all, I’ve been mired knee-deep in plenty of my own Funks over the last two and half years that we’ve been together. My concern stems from the fact that often CBG’s Funks manifest in the form of stress and anxiety, particularly when we’re together with the kids. I think back to New Year’s weekend when his mom was sick.Β  That was another situation when he found himself overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, and it just got the better of him. Sure, it all turned out just fine, and served as an opportunity for CBG and I to grow even closer together, but honestly? It would have been a whole lot preferable if it just hadn’t happened to begin with.

CBG and I have talked a bit about this upcoming weekend. I know that he’s committed to working on this so that we all have the best weekend together possible. But honestly? As the weekend approaches, I’m finding *my* anxiety levels going up. And well, two grown ups attempting to parent together with raised anxiety levels rarely ends well, does it? After all, this weekend is, in some ways, a bit of a test for us. We’ve got a week with (hopefully) all four kids booked for August. If this weekend ends up being a flop, I’m not sure what that’s going to mean for later this summer. The whole thing has elicited a lot of fear and anxiety in me.

I know in my heart that the answer to fear is love. I know that I have to put my own ego aside in this to look at CBG with love andΒ  compassion and understanding. If I am able to do that, then it will all be okay. But honestly? With my mood lately being what it is, I question my ability to be able to do that with any amount of consistency for three days.

I have three more days to prepare.

16 Responses

  1. I think you’re all gonna have an excellent weekend.. don’t let the stress get to you.. ALL of you should take a deep breath and enjoy each other’s company.

    • Thanks. I’m mostly looking forward to the weekend, but there are still those nagging fears in the back of my mind. Figuring out this blended family stuff isn’t always easy.

  2. Even if it’s a flop, it’s still going to be something to learn from, right? Perfection is hard to achieve, and it’s never as much fun anyway. πŸ˜‰

    Don’t worry about August at this point. Just take it as it comes and work through stuff as it happens.

    • You’re right. Looking ahead to August is kind of getting ahead of myself. I have to just take each of times together as they come, without looking too far ahead. πŸ™‚

  3. Hang in there lady! I have been doing the blended parenting thing for 9 years now, and we live together… It’s always a challenge, but what fun would it be if it were easy? ❀

    • Thanks for the support, girlie. I think it might actually be easier (in the long run) if we were in a situation where we were parenting together all the time. It’s because it only happens sporadically that it makes it extra challenging. πŸ˜‰

  4. I agree that looking towards August now isn’t helping your anxiety and honestly, so much will happen between now and then anyway, regardless of this three day weekend. I know you two will face whatever issues arise head-on and adjust and learn from each other. And at the end of the day, you will have three days together and that’s so important to be able to have, right? I hope you enjoy it and it goes as smoothly as possible.

    • You’re right. We’ll take lessons away from this weekend that we’ll be able to apply to our family vacation together, so it’s really not fair to look that far into the future at this point. Thanks for your support!

  5. Can you both discuss things ahead of time and agree on certain things?

    For instance, both agree that when the kids are running through the house, let them because after all, they’re just being kids. And when they’re doing it, you can both look to the other and say, “it’s ok.” Talk about other situations that could arise and discuss how you’ll handle it together and/or communicate with each other. Maybe that will be helpful for this weekend.

    I agree. Deal with this weekend first. Take it moment by moment… BOTH of you.

    Just my .02.

    • T, I think it’s a really good idea for us to discuss this ahead of time. That hasn’t really happened for previous times we spent together. I think this needs to be more about parenting together as a unit, rather than parenting side by side. And for the record, I always appreciate your feedback! πŸ™‚

  6. I applaud you for talking about as much as you can beforehand, as T says. Maybe you can work out a strategy re: how to communicate when there’s even a tad of stress on the horizon?
    I really get the blended family stress….

    • Blending families was never something I’d given a lot of thought to when I envisioned myself starting down the single parenting road. It’s definitely proving to be one of the most challenging aspects of the life that CBG and I are building together.

  7. What about a secret word? Agree on a word or phrase that is humorous and when one of you looks stressed or anxious say the word or phrase and it will instantly make you smile!

    Most of all – – enjoy your time together and with CBG’s dad & brother.

    Tam

  8. I hope you can both relax and just enjoy the time together. I know it will be a struggle, but I think your awareness of the past few times will help. Have fun!

  9. I don’t have much to add that others haven’t already said. Blended families is a tough situation especially when two people have different parenting approaches. Easier said than done but hope you both just relax and have a totally AWESOME weekend together πŸ™‚

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