A Little His + A Little Mine + A Couple Ours
First things first… lemme tell you about my tribe. I have known my husband, Patrick, since we were teenagers, we ran in the same circle of mutual friends, but that was about as far as that went as kids. After a failed marriage for us both, we reconnected through Facebook (thank you social media). I knew immediately that I had found the one whom my soul desired. This man’s love has changed my life. We have 6 kids between the two of us, he has a son (12) and a daughter (14), I also have a son (11) and daughter (9) and we have a son (4) and a daughter (2) together. We have been so blessed in this blend. That’s right, you counted correctly, there are 6 of them, so clearly they have their moments, but for the most part they were instant friends and immediately took to each other.
Our additional babies have truly completed our family and are the glue that hold us all together. We have been together for 7 years and married for 6. We own and operate a small Painting business and I became a SAHM to all these rug rats! Never in a million years did I ever think I’d end up a mom to 6, but my blended family has made me a giant; I feel so blessed to walk this road with these people. It has truly turned me.into the best version of myself.
Let’s just dive right in and just address the elephant in the room: this shit ain’t always easy. Blended families mean divorce and divorce means baggage. The key for me , was finding a man who wanted to unpack that baggage with me and vice versa. I think THAT is a super important in second marriages: their bullshit is your bullshit, your bullshit is their bullshit. You have to embrace that mess, boss up and walk through that mud TOGETHER, otherwise you end up resenting the hell out of each other. That walk has made me a better woman, a better mother and has grown me in ways that I could never adequately explain.
My baggage first, co-parenting with my ex , in his words, isn’t an option. So as you can imagine… THAT shit, is not easy! It’s messy and emotional but we get through it, together, as a team. My husband has truly stepped up in ways he didn’t have to for children he didn’t make… and it is the sexiest thing about him! For real…
Patrick’s baggage is named Crystal, a woman who I have grown to care for, grown to love, who is my family…. Let me say it louder for those in the back: we are FAMILY. This is the only human being my bonus kids love the way they love my husband. My relationship with her directly impacts my relationship with them. Not only is she their mother, but our children are biological siblings, and that right there connects us for life. No matter what.
If you ask my 4 year old who his best friend is, one of his most common answers will be, “Crystal.” Embracing this idea has brought our family so much peace and brought me some of the best days of my life. Is it always easy? Hell fucking no, but it has ALWAYS been worth it.
The road here has not been without it’s bumps, and I mean craters! At one point we were being escorted to our cars by officers in the courthouse parking lot. Fights were more normal than not, appointments with councilors were necessary; it wasn’t pretty. Fast forward 7 years and my biological kids are calling Crystal’s mom “Grandma Brenda” and we’re taking family photos together.
That mess right there, is my inspiration, my reason behind this blog. Having a hot mess on one side and this unique, blessing on the other side has given me such perspective. I grew up in a blended family, a real Sybil Shepherd type situation, You just never knew what you were gonna get. I mean some days we were the God damn Brady’s, attending joint family Christmas and some days the moms were getting hauled off to jail and assault and battery charges were being filed. I’ve lived in a Blended family my whole life (I was the ours baby) and it’s given me something to say. With so much negativity surrounding blended families, exes and the dreaded “step parents,” it’s made sharing the beauty in that blend a passion, because underneath all that baggage can be a real treasure.