Learning to Blend

Friday is here, and the weekend is near. Today, I’m writing about blended families. It’s an honor to get to share my work here on Write. Blog. Connect.

In one of those conversations that has stuck with me, my mom said we each only have one family. I agreed, yep, one family, however far extended, however connected. Yet, that thought has grown in my head and really started speaking to me about our blended family.

To read more, check out my post on Write. Blog. Connect. by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Progress

(I am having a blast using these writing prompts at Write. Blog. Connect. to jump-start my writing. I’d been neglecting that screaming inner voice that pleads with me to write for far too long. You should check the prompts out and let them inspire you to spew words!)

Progress… This one stumped me – not because we have made none in our life, but because the progress we’ve made overwhelms me at times. And the areas where we don’t make as much progress as I’d like is something I struggle with accepting as it is instead of pushing harder. See, we’re blended. Some days, that just means more family to love and be loved by. Some days, though, that means resistance I don’t know how to overcome, discomfort I don’t know how to soothe, and other really big feelings from my (getting bigger every day) small people – especially from my two boys and his two boys from before we were us. (Did you follow that?)

Right this minute, things feel right – we feel like a well blended blend of families that have walked through some serious brokenness. But tomorrow might not feel this way – and I struggle with the ups and downs. I feel like our blend has been in the works for long enough that we should all comfortably jive, but I’ve learned that kids count time differently. I’ve also learned that kids blame people for things that they had nothing to do with if they are persuaded. And it is incredibly difficult to overcome that persuasion when it comes from a person the kids hold in exceptionally high regard. (And even harder when you won’t stoop to a low-level of involving children in adult problems, too. No one ever told me the high road was this hard. And no, I’m not perfect, but I do try to hold my tongue especially where my kids’ bio-father is concerned.)

See, my husband and I met 3 years after my ex left and we divorced. We weren’t friends at the time of the divorce and his presence had nothing to do with the divorce or my ex leaving. (I could go off like a mad woman about the fact that it was a series of other women that spurred along the demise of that relationship, but I’ll leave that to this parenthetical line only.) But one of my boys still feels like it’s mine and Mr. Wonderful’s fault that his dad and I aren’t together. I’ve tried to explain it (in kid friendly ways). I’ve tried to have our counselor explain it. Our counselor feels like he doesn’t want to accept that it’s not Mr. Wonderful’s fault, because then he can’t be permanently mad at him. If he’s not permanently mad at him, then he has to accept some of the kindness shown to him and try to connect with a man that he wants to make sure the world knows is not his dad. (And we’ve never tried to force him to accept Mr. Wonderful as his dad, for the record.)

I desperately want to see progress in this area of our life. I want the chains to break, the anger to fade, forgiveness to happen, connection to happen, and a relationship to bud. I want these things so bad that I push Mr. Wonderful harder and my son harder and I think I may make it worse by doing that. But when I do nothing, I feel like nothing can ever change, either. It is something that is hard for me every single day. I want the same father-child relationship for my bigger boys that my younger kids have. Don’t get me wrong, in the realm of step dads, I know my kids and I are blessed beyond measure to have Mr. Wonderful. He is doing his best to raise them as his own, but there are still differences. The connection isn’t the same between him as the bigs as between him and the littles.

Due to circumstances outside of our control, the boy’s father is not allowed to see them any more. It breaks my heart to walk through such a devastating loss with my kids. No matter how I ever felt about him or his actions, he is important to these boys…and he should be there for them, raising them and helping them grow into the young men God made them to be.

So, I guess, all of this to say that sometimes progress comes easily. It can be measured, it can be seen, and felt. It happens steadily, and at a pace that is comfortable. Sometimes progress is a whirlwind and it comes so fast you can barely prepare for it. But sometimes progress is slow. It is painfully slow. Prayers feel unanswered, things feel unchanged, and it’s really hard to see that we are different now than we were 4 years ago. But that’s okay, some progress has to be allowed the space and time to do its own thing, in its own way.

Here’s to the progress you are hoping and praying for, and the progress I am hoping and praying for. May we see the fulfillment of God’s will in our lives – whether it looks the way we envisioned or not.

progress

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A Cat on the Couch

Today’s post is inspired by the writing prompt found at Write. Blog. Connect. Check it out!

I’m going to be completely honest, and maybe a little petty here. I feel like I’m drowning in plastic cups and plates, crayon on the wall, and clothes strewn everywhere. My house (a small one at that) is full of kids. Overflowing, really. And I’m 7 months pregnant with another one. (I am thankful, really.)

I wake up and look around and sometimes I wish I had a grown up house. Nice furniture, walls without marks, pictures hung up straight on the wall. I don’t want exquisite items in my home, just nice ones. Ones that aren’t marred and stained and ripped. I want a set of matching glasses and glass plates and I don’t want to have to sweep up the wreckage of breakable dishes every single day. This all sounds so lovely to me.

We recently purchased a nice, new to us couch. We are bargain shoppers and on a budget, so brand new was out of the question, and we decided against those rent-to-own furniture places for a number of reasons. Craigslist is where we found ourselves. We bought a lovely chocolate-brown sectional, with big fluffy pillows, and it is deep and comfy and I like it a lot.

I like it so much that now I don’t want to let the dogs in the house or the kids down the hallway. I just want to hog the couch. I want to hog the couch I bought to share. We only had a love seat, a two-seater, broken love seat, prior to this purchase. We would spread out blankets for the kids and the dogs and the kids would bring out their pillows and we made it work, but I just had a moment. I didn’t want to make the kids sit on the floor anymore, and I wasn’t about to swap out my broken seat for the floor because it’s incredibly hard to get up from that far down these days. So without any planning ahead, I sent Mr. Wonderful out for a couch.

But the couch is home now, and it is lovely. It doesn’t have any odors, no rips, no tears, no stains. It looks brand new. The people we bought it from took great care of it. Our boxer thought the ottoman was just for him, and when we went to bed he kept getting on either the ottoman or the couch. I lost a night of sleep fretting about the dog hair and dog smell on my new couch. Now, I have to tell you, I didn’t think I was materialistic really. (Not that you believe me after reading all of this.) I’d give the shirt off my back to someone who needs it, and I believe people are more important than things. I don’t know what my deal with this couch is. I just cannot get over myself.

All of this to come back around to the writing prompt – you walk in and find a cat on your couch….

No. Just no. I do not want my new-to-me couch smelling like the pets. Or having a diaper leak. Or a spilled cup. Don’t eat on it. Keep your shoes off of it. The anxiety I am experiencing at the hands of this couch is unreal. It is like the only grown up thing in our house and it is MINE. MINE. MINE.

So I don’t want to find cats, or dogs, or even the kids on it. There better be no drinks, no dinner plates, no pizza, no fried chicken, no sandwiches or chips, or cookies or crackers on it. Stay far away from it. Haven’t had a shower yet? Get away from couch. Away, I tell you.

I told my sweet husband to spill something on it just to get it over with. Just to get me over it. Just to remind me that the spills don’t end the world, the couch won’t last forever, and it’s just a thing. (He refused, smart man.) I know these days are fleeting and my kids won’t be little forever. (I’ll probably always have dogs, and dogs always smell like dogs.) The kids will grow up, and move on, and I’ll miss the handprints, art on the wall, spills, laundry, and muddy shoes. It will be quiet and I’ll be lonely and I know that day is coming. I really try not to wish these days away.

I suppose I’ll share the couch like I intended do, and I’ll buy a bottle of Febreeze for any potential odors, and I’ll use the pet attachment on the vacuum to stay ahead of the hair. It is, after all, just a couch.

new couch

While not my couch in my home, this is the same model as the couch we bought.

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