Step-parenting can be a messy job….can I get an Amen?! A unified front, a cohesive unit, a fortified wall is what it takes to parent a house full of yours, mine, and ours!!
Co-parenting a blended family can be such a challenge but when done well can be a beautiful, amazing experience. So much of how we deal with life starts with how we approach it from the beginning don’t you think? So start with a change in the way you choose to see your life – not as a problem, not as something negative, but as an opportunity! There’s so much more at the table..literally, and what fun that can be! Different personalities and ages can be the spice of life and bring life, if you welcome it!
There is a right way to step parent and a wrong way and unfortunately some of you may find yourself on the painfully wrong way but don’t be disheartened – take a step back, regroup and start anew!
After you and your spouse have a heart-to-heart about the ways you are parenting, what’s working and not working and doing your research on how to do it better (check out this website –www.smartstepfamilies.com). Your first step may be to sit all those kids down and simply repent for doing it wrong before you can start doing it right! Listen to your kids’ hearts on the matter and then start laying down some new ground rules for how your family will function and learn to live together.
Marc and I are a blended family – it was mine and then, eventually, ours but now after 13 years they are all ours! We have worked very hard to blend our family – Marc loving my children as his own and stepping into his role as their father. My kids – all of them – don’t experience him as a step parent, he is their “Pappy” and they love him like a Dad! It has taken us some time to learn the steps to this blending dance and has taken patience for Marc to earn their trust and love to become the Dad they respect, but it has all been worth it!
My oldest daughter, Kamaryn, was nominated for Homecoming Queen her junior and senior years in high school and both times she asked Marc to walk her the night of Homecoming court presentation, not because she had to or felt guilted into it, it was totally her decision. That is who she wanted by her side to present her as his daughter! What an honor for both of us (Marc and I) to share in!
So holdfast and keep working, it is worth it!! And it is so doable!! Just be patient, unconditional and understanding as you strive to blend all your hearts into the one thing we call a family!
So I have this thing with expectations… This unhealthy thing that keeps me frustrated and disappointed. It keeps me backed up in relationships, it keeps my heart on the wrong thing, it keeps my focus distorted and blurry.
How much of my life, my marriage, my friendships do I live in expectation??
And lest you think I am a hypocrite, please don’t think that for one minute I escape the scrutiny of my own expectations of myself. This standard permeates how I view myself failing as a Mom, how I see my “not in shape enough” body, how I evaulate myself as a friend, how I feel a disappointment to God with my lack of spiritual discipline. I am mess when I compare myself to this dead, deteriorating, rule book of requirements that my own expectations place on me!
What if I chose to live in expectancy instead?
What if instead of putting the heaviness of expectations on, I stepped into the ease of living in expectancy?
How would my relationships change if I lived in expectancy??
To be expectant of what the day will hold!
To hold with expectancy the hope of a new day, new mercies, new grace!
- Expectant of what overlooked gift I might find in that relationship…
- Expectant of the unrealized potential of another…
- Expectant of the sweet memories that will be created…
- Expectant of the challenge someone else will call me to…
- Expectant of the amazing thing God is doing in this season…
- Expectant of the abundant life He promises me…
To live in expectancy…now that’s kingdom living!!!
Sacro Desco is an Italian term for “sacred table.”
It represents a commitment many Italians have to share at least one meal all together as a family every day. According to Parade magazine, teens who have regular meals with their parents have better grades and are less likely to be depressed. Several university studies show that preteens whose parents tell family stories at dinner have higher self-esteem and better peer relationships and are less likely to smoke, drink and hang out with sexually active friends. A study at Columbia University showed that teens who have 2 or fewer family dinners a week are more likely to smoke, drink and hang out with sexually active friends, and they are 6 times more likely to use marijuana. The study also revealed that 84% of teens said they’d rather eat with their parents than alone.
Wow! Pretty amazing what a little time around the Kitchen Table can do for your kids!!
Here’s another little interesting tidbit: the 3 things that we usually remember, with great happiness, from our childhood, are time outdoors, vacations and family meals. So take some time to SLOW DOWN and make some happy memories with your kids!