Growing a Blended Family
If you would’ve asked me a few years ago if I could see myself having more babies, I would’ve answered with a quick “NO!” When I met my husband I was pretty sure I would never have another one, he agreed. We both had children that we were raising on our own and it didn’t make sense to us that we’d EVER want to start over.
At some point we realized that the stress of single parenting was what brought us to that choice, more so that mind set. It’s tough when you are alone and everything falls on your shoulders. Adding to our family started to sound like something we both really wanted, the complete experience that we missed out on before.
At the time our other kids were 12, 11 and 9… yeah, I know. We’ve heard it all before: that we were almost done, why would we start over, and everything elseyou could imagine. We just felt like somebody was missing and our family needed to grow. Fast forward close to four years later and we have added two more little ones. We are a family of seven, plus a big lazy dog.
So here we are with teens and toddlers, and all the craziness in between. Some days I do wonder what I was thinking, but never in a serious way. All parents question their choices at least once a week….right? All jokes aside, I do love being a mom and I’m beyond sure that we made a great choice having two more.
My house often has sticky floors, fingerprints on every surface, it is ridiculously loud, often chaotic, full of moody teens, whiny toddlers, and you can count on at least one kid being mad at us at any given time. This is probably what you’d expect to hear from a stay at home mom of this many kids with such an age difference. There’s also so much more than all of that.
At the end of the day, on top of the multiple loads of laundry and dishes, teen drama, searching for missing sippy cups and crabby parents, we do have something worth all of this work. We have each other, a house full of love (even when doors are slamming), we work together and I know that my kids are learning what it is to be a team. We may not always agree, but what fun would it be if we did. The noise, all the noise, all the time is a bit much for me, but I know one day it will be quiet and boring. As much as I do look forward to quiet evenings, I know that I will miss having all of my babies here at once.
People still ask me, “what were you thinking!?” The same question I’ve asked myself many times, but I already know why. When I look at the babies we added to our family, I feel complete. My heart is so happy knowing we brought our lives together and all five of our kids know what it feels like to be a family. I noticed a change in our relationships with one another when that first little baby came home, everybody felt like he was the missing piece. He was “our” baby to raise as a family. There was a new kind of bond that I didn’t expect.
I still don’t always know what I’m doing most days when it comes to the teenagers, but it can’t be that bad! They still like me…most days. I try to keep it balanced, but my older kids think I’m “not a cool mom” and the little ones can’t get close enough. Having “mature” kids and tiny tornadoes can be very exhausting, but I’m hanging in there.
I think we are doing OK, and yes, I knew it would be crazy. I knew there would be bad days, but there are plenty of good ones too! My husband and I make a great team, we both know we are lucky to have each other. I think being single parents helped us to appreciate what our life is like now. Maybe that’s why when I was so quick to say no all those years ago, nobody believed me.