Taking the next step in a relationship is scary and exciting. It’s a rush of emotions; good and bad. When you have kids involved it’s even more terrifying. Our family is going through this right now. We decided to move in together in April and the adjustment period has been difficult. Everyone has opinions. I get told I’m a bad mother for moving to a different city and pulling my son out of the only home he has ever known. I get people that think it should be super easy now. I have help. I’m not a single parent anymore, shouldn’t I be more happy? No one talks about how difficult the adjustment period can be. So what do you do to make the transition easier and remind yourself that you made the right choice?
Get on the Same Page
Parenting styles are different. Some are more hands off and some are helicopter parents. It is important to discuss how you want to handle conflict between the children and to make sure there are no playing favorites. It’s difficult waters to navigate. It’s instinct to love your child. It’s different when you meet a child that isn’t yours and you aren’t sure what your role is yet. Good step parents definitely don’t get the credit that they deserve. You want to make sure all the kids feel like they are a part of the family and are cherished.
If you are able I recommend counseling. “But Bri, why would we go to counseling if there aren’t any issues?” Because there will be issues. It’s inevitable. Counseling will give you the tools to fix them before they get out of hand. You are in a partnership now and need to understand each other completely. People think couples counseling is a death sentence for the relationship because most people don’t start until there is almost nothing left. Start now to PREVENT issues instead of trying to grasp at straws to fix something that went wrong.
Before you were alone and had to worry about yourself and your kids. Now there’s more people in your personal space and it can feel extremely overwhelming at times. Be sure to set aside alone time. You are going to need space to breathe once in a while and that’s ok.
It’s Ok to Feel Overwhelmed
No one prepares you for how difficult blending families can be. I felt super alone until I asked if anyone else felt the same way and got a crazy amount of responses. A lot of people feel the same way. You aren’t alone. It’s normal and it doesn’t make you a bad mother or a bad partner. It makes you human. You are doing the best you can. Adjustment takes time and that’s ok. You may want to scream into your pillow sometimes. You might cry. You might feel like you have made the wrong decision but I promise you that you CAN do this.
Cheers to parenthood,