I often don’t write about Gamer and Smart, for a couple of reasons. They are my step kids. And even though they say you’re not suppose to look at your step children any differently than your own, you do; well I do. It doesn’t mean I love them any less.
I have a hard time figuring out how I play into their lives. They already have a mom and dad who love them to the moon. But I’m not just a friend either, who just wants them to like me.
I’m somewhere in the middle.
Nothing about being a step, is easy.
One of the sweetest presents our friends gave us as a wedding present was a stack of books about blending families.
I was so grateful, because I didn’t know how we were going to do this stuff. Mike is not from a blended family. I am, but that only happened after I was an adult and didn’t have to grow up in it.
Not only did we suddenly realized none of our friends were from a blended family, but none of them had them either!
How the heck were we going to do this?
Can this even be done?
I’ve heard there’s lots of them out there, but do any of them work? Do any of them last?
Before Mike and I married, our kids got along great. They hung out, they played, they got along just fine.
But imagine our shock to the groans and questions of why, once we announced our engagement.
We were completely blindsided. What had happened? What was going on?
There was arguing, and now fighting. Nothing physical, but what the heck? Were they trying to separate us?
It was during this time were a riff had started.
We were told later, by a professional, that in the beginning they saw themselves as just friends, but as things grew more serious, they had become more like siblings. This was actually appropriate and normal behavior.
I tell you what, it sucked for me. Mike wasn’t loving it either.
We honestly, had no idea what we were getting into. Maybe if we were talking about two or three children, things would be different.
But blending six from the ages of five to thirteen, who we later found out all but one had mental health issue to deal with as well, really just about took us down. (Butterfly, honey, you’re just a girl. There’s no pill for that.)
Oh my gosh, and once we got married, everything tripled! The tattling, the stealing, accusing, “That’s mine!”, “I didn’t do it!”, the laundry, the mess…it was hard on everyone.
It did not look good. It did not feel good.
But I had hope.
Not because my kids are perfect, or Mike’s kids are perfect, or that either one of us are perfect, but the one who we truly try to model our lives after, is.
Jesus, show me this can work. Guide us. Teach us how to honor you with our marriage and with our children.
Shortly after we were married, we started attending a new life group, from our church. As we went around the room and introduced ourselves, we met Ken and Penny; married for over 20 years and have five adult children. They’re grandparents, even!
And after that, through the same group, I met someone who introduced me to someone else who has blended SEVEN!
Since then, even more couples have become our friends, who have blended their own mess.
So I know we’re not alone! This does work! This can be honoring! We will make it!
Now, we’ve only been married for five years. That’s really no test of time, but our kids now get along again. In fact, sometimes feelings get hurt, because now they actually want to stay when it’s their time to go to their other parent’s house.
And where in the past we had to separate and mark what was who’s, they now share rooms.
Oh, and the mischief! I always said if they ever learned how to come together as a team, Mike and I wouldn’t stand a chance. Well, were there.
While, we are FAR from looking like The Brady Bunch, we’re looking much closer to Eight is Enough. Although, they weren’t really a blended family; they just got a new mom.
Which brings me back to Gamer and Smart. They have a mom, so who am I suppose to be? I’m still trying to figure that out.
I’m finding that’s an even slower process.
Immediately after Mike and I got married, Butterfly started calling him daddy. She asked if she could, before the wedding but we always told her she’d have to wait.
Smart called me mom, one time, but then was quickly reminded by his older brother, that he already had a mom and to not call me that.
It took Smart two years before he stopped calling me Miss. Kim and start calling me just Kim.
It’s OK. We’ll get it figured out. Mike is still figuring out where he stands with my boys too.
So, until then, I’ll just keep loving on them as much as they will let me. We’ve got time. And from what God has shown me, I’m not going anywhere.
I’ve seen the fruit of blended families. And it is sweet!
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26