If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we have a “blended family.” Our daily lives consist of trying our very best to maneuver around the obstacles that come along with it. Just as it is with raising children, there is no manual that comes with the territory. Every single situation is trial and error process, or pieces of advice gathered from various different articles, friends and family. You guys, I’m not going to lie to you- it’s hard. IT’S SO HARD to live this life. Between schedules, school days, daycare, family time, vacations or breaks, it’s a scheduling nightmare.
Brian and I are both lucky enough to have parents who are still married, and who really strive even still today to set a good example of what a strong and healthy marriage looks like. Because we grew up in a household with married parents, we obviously had our siblings home with us too and therefore it is a completely foreign concept to us to not have our children home with us everyday or every weekend.
Now on to my point- We have a lot of family and friends who have/had the luxury of having their kids home with them all of the time and therefore do not necessarily understand where we are coming from with a lot of our responses. We get a lot of the “Why don’t you ever bring the boys here?” or “We haven’t seen the boys in ages.” If we aren’t getting that, we are getting something along the lines of, “Why don’t you get a babysitter and come out with us this weekend?” or “Why don’t you leave them with your parents and have a night out?”
Well, here it goes… You haven’t seen my kids in ages? Well we haven’t seen our kids in 4 days either. As for going out on the weekends we have them? You are expecting me to forfeit up one of my TWO weekends per month with my children to go out when we could easily reschedule for a weekend that we DON’T have kids? You see, sometimes what people fail to take into consideration is the honest truth- we haven’t seen our kids all week either, and sometimes it’s nice to just come home and settle back into our routine. It’s hard enough with our schedule to give our parents enough time to be grandparents with our kids, let alone take them to see every single person we know. Is this fair? No. Does this suck? Yes 100%, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is the schedule that has worked out for us between 3 different households with multiple different schedules.
So, our answer to these comments and questions might come off as a little selfish, but until you’ve experienced raising your children in a split household you really have no experience to judge or comment. It’s hard not having your child for every family event. People who are living in a “normal household” don’t have to pull up the calendar on their phone and count days to see if they will have their kids for that birthday party, or count weekends to see if they will have them when something fun is happening. Keeping the schedules straight is exhausting. Essentially, making plans for us revolves around 3 different households, all of which have drastically different daily schedules.
I would love to be able to get a babysitter for my kids if I had them all of the time, that way they could enjoy some time without us, and vise versa. I would love to be able to count on the fact that we would have our kids for every single family event, and that we would be able to do something with them every single weekend. But this isn’t reality when you’re from a blended family because time is limited, and at the end of the day we are all doing our best with the hand that we were dealt.
So next time you want to guilt trip a parent in a split family situation, put yourself in their shoes and try to be a little more understanding and a little less judgmental about why we aren’t going out with you on that weekend. In this crazy world of parenting, we are all just trying to do our best.
Until next time,