Blended Family Vacation Challenges

As I wrote about already, a lot of good things happened while on vacation last week with the whole blended family.

There were also a lot of challenges. Challenges like not having the time, energy, or opportunity for sexy time with my man. [Note to to my sister, who may be reading this: TMI alert!] This was a tough one for us, since we are usually very physical. This lack of closeness on a physical level seemed to make us disconnected on an emotional level in some ways. While we were together all week, working together as a parenting unit, we weren’t really working together as a couple unit. We both had a tough time making the transition from being Mom and Dad to gettin’ our groove on. While this may not seem like a big deal at first glance, it certainly feels like a big deal to me; I’ve learned from my past that a physical disconnect can very quickly lead to a mental and emotional disconnect. And since I’m all smart and stuff and have learned from my past mistakes, I know that this is a road that I cannot allow CBG and I to venture down along too far.

Parenting together also had it’s fair shares of challenges. We don’t often parent all of our children together in the same space for an extended period of time. And while CBG and I hold many of the same values when it comes to child rearing, our methods for getting there differ. We do our best to meet in the middle as much as possible, but it’s not always easy. To be perfectly honest, when it comes to parenting, I’m not that great at compromising. There, I said it. I guess it boils down to the fact that at the very core of me, I feel like I’m right, and I just don’t want to compromise. And hey, before you jump on the bandwagon and start sending me hate mail I realize how shitty that sounds. I understand completely that being in a blended family means that everyone has to compromise and find middle ground. I know all of these things intellectually but on an emotional level it’s hard to get myself there. Judge me if you must, but I’m pretty sure anyone else out there who has ever been a part of a blended family knows the deal.

Hey, I know I’m pretty damned awesome in a lot of ways but I’m not perfect, alright? And how boring would I be if I were? heh.

Also? I’m not yet comfortable with this whole “step-parenting a teenaged girl” thing. To be clear, it’s not that she’s a rotten kid or anything. My biggest problem is that she’s being raised by her mom and step dad in a different way than I would raise her. Remember that earlier part where I wrote about how I don’t want to compromise because I feel like I’m right? That applies here as well.I’m trying not to go all Judgey-McJudgerson here since I’ve never actually raised a teenager myself, but it’s not easy. I’m pretty sure I’ve told you all before that I’m a bit of a judgmental parent. Whatevs.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that we only see Rugrat so infrequently that I don’t get the opportunity to become comfortable with parenting her in a way that a little more closely reflects my own values and beliefs. I also wonder how much of an impact we can truly have on her when we’re not a big part of her life. Right now, a month once a year doesn’t really allow for a much of a positive influence. It also doesn’t allow for a whole lot of bonding, which I also struggle with when it comes to other people’s kids, even CBGs. I’m working on it, but the thing I’ve noticed about being a step mom is that bonding with someone else’s kids actually requires effort. It’s not like when your own kids burst forth from your loins and you’re automatically bonded to them for life, or at least until you kick ’em out of the nest to fend for themselves. No, bonding with the fruit of someone else’s loins, particularly when that someone else parents differently than you do, is challenging. ‘Nuff said.

These are just some of the challenges that we faced last week while on vacation together. Tune in next time to find how how we managed to overcome some of these challenges and work together as the awesome couple that we are.

There wasn’t any doubt that we would, was there?

11 Responses

  1. I love that you both have such clear views of what you want for your lives together, and are working together as partners, creating this amazing blended family dynamic. That’s very admirable, as some just consider it a trainwreck from the beginning.

    Yes, you guys are AWESOME! 🙂 Inspiration for blended families everywhere!!

    • I’ll be writing more about this later, but I definitely had more than one moment of, “This is a trainwreck, there’s no way we can do this” when in the midst of stuff going on. It wasn’t until I could step away for a few minutes, and have a heart to heart with CBG that I was able to see things more clearly. The blended family thing is tough, that’s for sure, but I think in the end it will all be worth it. 🙂

  2. I think the issue of lack of ‘sexy time’ is something I also have heightened awareness too for similar reasons from my past and learning from it. And there IS a connection like no other when that ‘time’ is relatively frequent, rather than waning. You two will hit your stride there, I have no doubt! As for co-parenting? As hard as compromise is, surprise, you are already doing it in ways you probably don’t even realize. You will both get through this and learn so much in the process!

    • I hate not getting my sexy time. lol

      A big challenge for us is transitioning from being parents to back to being lovers, particularly when we’re used to having lots of ‘just us’ time. I know that we’ll get there…it’s just one of those things that we’ll have to ease it.

      Um…is that what she said? 😉

  3. Aha~ compromising is difficult as hell! Especially, when I’ve raised my girl on my own for eight years~ and suddenly, I have to compromise??? Alright, alright~ I have faith that it’ll become easier with time.

    • Oh I hear you, definitely. The compromising is one of the biggest challenges for me right now. Even though I share custody with my girls’ dad, for the past four years, when they’re with me, things have been done my way, and guess what? I’ve come to really enjoy it. But then when I see all the benefits of being part of a loving, healthy, blended family, I see that it’s worth it. Doesn’t always make it any easier, though! 😉

  4. I’ve written about our blending family challenges too. As you well know, we have children around MOST OF THE TIME… which is why I’ve said you two are spoiled rotten!

    That said, because we have kids around most of the time, we’ve HAD to adjust to squeeze in sexy time when we can. Neither of us want to compromise on that and so we don’t. We just have to be quieter. *ahem* You know…

    If it’s a priority to both of you, and I think it is, you’ll figure out a way to get it in. (that’s what she said)

    It may take more effort than you’re used to but you’ll get used to that too. And you’ll find ways to stay connected even with the kids around. Our kids are used to seeing us all lovey to each other. I call it “kid approved” foreplay. 😉

    Parenting a teenager? Um yep. I had a breakdown the last time we had all the kids together because of GJ’s moody son. It’s so rare that he’s THAT moody with me that I took it personally. Oy. The teen years with the rest of our kids is going to be interesting. 3 teens? Yikes.

    My whole point? Because this vacation was a rarity with all the kids, it must have seemed overwhelming. I still have no doubt that you guys will work it out with your excellent communication and the fact that you both want it to.

    Sorry for the book. I MISS Y’ALL!!!!!

    Love you.

    • Oh, I totally agree that we are spoiled! And this came up in conversation when CBG and I were finally able to make some time to discuss it (will be blogging about this more later!).

      Part of the problem is that this family vacation is SUCH an anomaly that it was tough for us to adjust to it. Going into things we just didn’t plan ahead or anticipate…a mistake that we’ll definitely learn from going forward.

      The teen thing is definitely an adjustment as well….and one that we’ll have to get used to as time goes on…Kiddo is 9 going on 14, so those teen years really aren’t that far off!

      Thanks for your input, my friend. I really do value it. Miss you, too. xo

  5. I feel like I could have written this. Why would I compromise on parenting when I see that my way works? But I have tried to meet him in the middle on parenting issues but he seems to have no desire to come up to meet me. I just wish we could have the heart to heart on the side like you did but all I seem to get is silence.

    Blended families are hard, but after reading how you guys have handled it, I’m realizing that it doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s been in our relationship. Thanks for opening my eyes to that!

    You guys are doing the work that is required for a blended family. You will do great together!

    • Blended families ARE hard, it`s true. But hard doesn’t mean impossible, as I learned myself last week. Good luck with opening up the lines of communication with your guy. It makes all the difference if you’re able to talk.

  6. […] already wrote about some of the challenges that our little blended family faced while on vacation together and was just going to leave it at that. It was a tragically long post […]

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