I have an idea that has come to me – although a little late, but I think we can make it work.
My son will be leaving for the Navy in 10 weeks. I can see our time together slowly slipping away and it is very scary, sad, and difficult. But, I have an idea…
I am looking to make my husband and our children become more of a family. Our time together has become almost non-existent. Our oldest moved out a year ago – she is living on her own working and going to college. She only lives about 30 minutes away, so I see her often, but our family doesn’t. My step-daughters were asked at Thanksgiving time with their Father’s family where my daughter was and why she wasn’t at our celebration. To my dismay they said “we don’t know, ask Kay”. I was very much taken aback and explained to this family member where she was living, where she was working and that she was in Nursing school. I was curious as to why my step-daughters couldn’t explain that. Well….it dawned on me – I have seen my daughter almost every week since she moved out, but they haven’t. When I spent time thinking about it – I can’t remember the last time all 6 of us were together.
My family has this really weird tradition of bowling on Thanksgiving night. All 6 of us were together to bowl, but looking back, the girls and my daughter really had no interaction.
So, my thought is this….on Sunday evenings when we have my step-daughters, I am inviting everyone over for a family dinner. I want us to be a family again, just because we don’t all live under the same roof, doesn’t mean we aren’t a family anymore. I am going to pray that this works and that God help me find some common ground in this blended family. We have tensions like any family does, but we tend to focus on the tensions and not on the good things we used to do together.
My biggest fear is that as all of our children start their lives, we will NEVER be together anymore and I will be visiting my children and my husband will be visiting his children – that isn’t a family.
Can you let me know some things that you do in your blended families to keep your family unit together? As your older ones age and start living their own lives, how do the younger ones stay in contact with them? What is your opinion on my idea of family dinners? How forceful should I be that everyone is there? THANK YOU!
Kay Berg is a bio mom of two children. Annie is 19, and Brad is 18. She is also step-mom to Bethany, 15, and Meagan 13. She has been married to her husband, Rod for almost 6 years. She is the Director of Religious Education, and Youth Minister at a Catholic church in Northern Wisconsin. Kay and Rod are learning how to blend their family on a daily basis, sometimes it goes well and sometimes not. But each day is a new day to learn and grow.