Nothing like cramming 6 people into a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house for nine days to remind you of how difficult and utterly exhausting this whole blended family stuff can be.
I 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 and dang, I just didn’t want to bore y’all with the deets. But I walked away from writing it feeling like a) I didn’t paint a completely accurate picture and b) I didn’t get enough off my chest.
So here we are. Another post about the challenges of being on vacation with my blended family for a week.
I’m going to be brutally honest — right here, right now. I had at least two (likely more) moments of feeling like, “There is no way in HELL that this is going to work. Time to bolt.” That’s right, kids. After three and a half years of enduring a long distance relationship, on the verge of CBG uprooting his life to come live with me, I allowed myself to think that it was all just too difficult and that it was time to bail.
Um….yeah. Not some of my finer moments.
When CBG and I finally had our heart-to-heart conversation, I admitted to him that I had been feeling that way, that I found myself feeling particularly overwhelmed by how difficult this all was.
His very calm response was, “Well of course it’s difficult.”
This caused me to pause in my tracks for a second. I mean…‘of course’? What was that supposed to mean exactly?
Our family vacation week was difficult because we were bringing our four kids together for nine straight days in a small space. This is something that we only do once a year. We get no ‘practice’ doing this. We don’t have opportunity to learn how to do it well. Really, at this point, the best we can do is to just hope to muddle through it as best we can. Deal with the challenges, make sure the kids know that we love them like crazy, and keep everyone from killing from one another.
Things are so easy with CBG and I 99% of the time when it’s just the two of us. It’s so easy that I fooled myself into believing that it was all going to be just as easy, despite the fact that we’ve come up against blended family challenges before. And, of course, there’s also the point that we haven’t had much opportunity to hone our blended family skills yet. I fell into one of those age-old traps that has led to the failure of many a relationship: believing that it was always supposed to be easy.
The fact is, blending families is tough sometimes. There are so many things going on. It’s not even that it’s about just CBG and the kids and I. Factor into it the other influences at work — his two exes as well as my ex, all of whom significantly influence our children, and well frankly, that’s a whole lot of people involved in shaping our family, on top of all the other factors at play here. Blending families requires acceptance, patience, tolerance, respect, hard work and a whole lot of love.
Fortunately for us, we have a lot of that already going on. And what’s not there quite yet, we’re all willing to work on. How much luckier can we get?