After writing a little about my somewhat-short-and-not-so-distant past as a single mom, I wanted to write about the process of blending families. Our family is likely the least complicated of blending since there are no other children involved.
However, it’s been a long and challenging (yet rewarding) process from single mom and “friend”, to combining our two households and all of the adjustments that come along with that, to the point we’re at now where it feels more normal and right to live this life than looking back on our previous ones.
My significant other got thrown into a ready-made family, thrown into parenting where rules, routines and traditions had already been established. We had to learn to bend and adapt our ways, and had steep a learning curve all around. It’s been challenging to be sure, and we’re certainly not over the hump yet, but it feels like we’re very close.
I don’t consider myself a single mom anymore. The challenges I once had with finding time for myself, juggling all of the household responsibilities and finances, and making decisions about how to parent my children are shared with a partner who chose to be a part of our lives, and cares very much for every one of us. While I know I don’t show it enough, I am so thankful to him for how much easier he makes things for us (most especially me) in so many ways. It’s the most incredible feeling to finally know someone has got my back, no matter what the circumstances.
Yet, the fact is that ultimately these two girls are my charges, and there will always be certain responsibilities and obligations that are no one else’s but mine, (and their father’s). As much as I want to just let it all go, there’s also a teeny part of me that is reminded of how things didn’t go as planned once before, and that there are so many “What if’s” that could change things again one day. But mainly, it’s simply knowing that I brought these children into the world, and that when it comes right down to it, if we cannot agree on something, the decision to be made is always mine. In that regard, I feel I will always have one foot partially on that path of single parenthood. It’s a bit of a lonely feeling, but I remind myself that we’re not alone – there are families everywhere going through similar processes… And that even when he doesn’t fully agree with me, Ian has my back.
Fortunately, we have a relationship built on respect. It is truly the deal-breaker value for us, and we will generally find a way to work together to find a solution.
I feel truly blessed. Not only has it been worth waiting for, but every experience (good & bad) was worth living – for they brought me to this place.
Trish - SWC & BSW, ECE
More from parenting