Yes yes yes! As a child of divorce, I can relate to ALL 10 of these! Can you? -Krystle K.
by Aubrey Rissler | Staff writer for The Snap Mom
My friend and I were talking recently about living with the struggles that come with having parents who are divorced. I have begun to contemplate some of the ways in my life that my parents’ divorce has affected me and left me with long-lasting idiosyncrasies.
Here is my list of 10 unfortunate realities that all kids from blended families have to deal with:
I have different parts of my life that I like to share with specific people. I know one person loves to hear about my adventures and another about what God has been doing in my life. It’s difficult to share this with just anyone because I have been working to maintain separation. It’s kind of like having friends from school and sports and church and realizing you can’t reference one group when you are with another one. There’s some awkwardness and jealousy, and it’s best to be avoided.
2. Big Holidays/Moments
Navigating the period of time leading up to almost every big moment of my life felt a bit like experiencing turbulence while on an airplane. Where I should have felt elation, I felt anxious and sick. What would happen when we were all stuck in one big room? My imagination always got the best of me, and there was usually a story afterwards… not a good one.
3. Rule Changes
Everything you can think of would differ from one house to the other. Bed times, homework expectations, chores, humor, beliefs, parental control, and on the list goes. Can I think of anything the same? Uh…our love for food?
Every Saturday night and Wednesday I would switch between houses. Stability and consistency were not really my things growing up. Mornings would consist of searching for a missing backpack or maybe one shoe. Reliability and discipline were things I learned later in life.
5. Learned Love
Love didn’t come as naturally to me as it might have with only my birth family. However, I learned to love the people involved with my life, which truly extended the love I once knew how to give. They’re all my family, and I appreciate them and love them. I often wonder at what point would anyone cut off this expanded love? You simply can’t.
I’m laid-back, and I am grateful for it; however, I don’t have any other choice.
7. Expectations and Loyalty
Sometimes one parent expects us to side with them against the other parent. It becomes a conflict, a source of contention, a grey area. There’s not a lot to say to that parent other than, “Go easy on us regarding loyalty.” We’re trying to do the best we can with making all of these situations work. That leads me to…
8. Mastering the Art of Unique Relationships
There are a lot of new relationships being developed, and everyone is jockeying for who they want to be within this blended family unit. You begin to let go a little bit of what you think people should believe about roles within the family and embrace the differences in perspective. It’s an art.
9. Hearing Things about People you Love that Confuse You
It’s simple. It’s important. I know it’s not what divorced parents want to hear, but hear me anyway. Don’t talk badly about your ex to your children, period. Just don’t do it.
The word speaks for itself, really. Our home life nails down the framework for knowing ourselves. What does having two families mixed with stepsiblings, half-siblings, and everything that comes along with children being raised in all different environments build? This may be the one I had the most trouble with growing up. I had a lot of people to whom I felt the need to prove myself.
The people we become because we have blended families can really make us stand out in the world. At times, we have to work through the bad to break into all of that good, but it can be accomplished. If you’re in the midst of it, then you’re in good company. Don’t be discouraged. Stay focused on that extension of love. It’s a lifetime sort of thing. I would like to say that I don’t harbor any anger against my parents. They’re fully involved with my life and give wise counsel, and I honor and respect them. Most of all, they love me. I am beyond grateful to them.
Yet, to move forward in life, we have to deal with the crap from our past.
About the author:
Aubrey Rissler is a part-time writer and full-time nanny. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a magazine journalism degree. Aubrey is passionate about travel, health, and yoga. Follow her on Instagram: @srqyoga