Advanced search

To wonder if blended families ever really work?

(152 Posts)
Safaribaby Mon 20-Mar-17 11:11:03

I'm not knocking anyone. When I met dh I already had a baby, I was a single parent and we were n/c with his father so we sort of just slotted together and made our own family.

We've since had another baby with dh. Ours is a relatively straightforward situation in that we are all living in the same house with no other adults or children involved. Dh has been in our lives since ds was a baby so it's all we've ever known.

Whenever I read stuff on here though I always wonder how on earth things can ever be fair on the children involved when they're all living in different homes.

So many times there are situations where the stepmum is jealous of her new husbands relationship with his existing children. Or resents him paying maintenance. Even where she wants him to see them less often so he's got more time for her, their children together.

Lots of arguments over who should pay for what, whether non blood relatives should treat step children the same.

Holidays, sleeping arrangements, inheritance, different styles of parenting, differing finances, distance between families all seem to cause problems.

Seems like so many people want a new relationship and their own family, without any of the responsibility for existing children.

I already feel sorry for my eldest because he's dhs step child. Even though dh has been around since he was a baby. I can't imagine how horrible it would be if he was packed off to his bio dad once a fortnight, separated from his sibling, a stepmum who resented his existence, moaning that I should be paying for his holidays or school shoes rather than taking from his dad. Knowing that any half siblings had a more settled arrangement.

I know it seems extreme but sometimes I think people should just stick to one lot of children. It just seems like when people meet new partners any existing children get relegated.

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Mar-17 11:16:33

This is an extremely bitchy, judgemental, superficial post.

Shame on you.

Of course blended families can work or have their challenges, same as ALL other types of families.

You're an idiot for holding these views.

Factorysettings Mon 20-Mar-17 11:17:46

Holy shit, I think you should double up your flameproof suit.

I think if your experience of blended families extends only as far as mumsnet, it's worth remembering that content people have nothing to start a thread about.

Also, I suspect that blended families are more complicated, no experience myself, but it is a huge leap to then suggest people shouldn't bother.

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:19:21

Me and DP have six kids between us. I have 2 he has 4. All adults. They all get on. We all get on.

Your post is horrible.

GloucestershireGuy Mon 20-Mar-17 11:20:27

You'll probably get flamed for that. You should see some of the vitriol poured out to any step parent on the step parenting board on here.

There are blended families that work. Unquestionably. But some have very, very difficult times.

However, I do also wonder why there are some people who simply HAVE to have a baby with each new partner. It's as if they have to prove something, that if they don't they can't love the new partner as much. I know a couple, both late-30s, got married last year. This is her 3rd marriage, his second. She already had 2 children with husband 1 and another child from husband 2 and he had 2 children with his first wife. They are about to have a baby of "their" own.

Rainydayspending Mon 20-Mar-17 11:24:26

Removing your self satisfaction. You're conveniently ignoring that noone's going to post: AIBU my DC's half brother's SS is getting married and we're all so happy.
Noone mentions when it's just ticking along, you're seeing some struggles that happen to some. You can even read into some that the fairly usual teen stuff is happening.

lalalalyra Mon 20-Mar-17 11:24:51

I think it depends on the family. It's works in my house because DH and I both put our children first. We were fully prepared to live apart long term (we lived close to each other) and it was the kids who spurred the moving in together after a holiday.

We didn't rush and we went over a gazillion "what if" scenarios to make sure we were on the same page parenting wise. We made he compromises before we moved in together as much as possible.

We discussed it with the people around us. I think DH would have held back has his in laws objected (he's very close to them and losing their daughter was obviously devastating).

I think it goes wrong when people expect the children to do all the compromising. My ex has virtually no relationship with our DDs because they made all the sacrifices when he met his new wife. She wanted weekends away, meals in non child friendly places and instead of saying "sorry, no, I have my children this weekend" he cancelled the kids. They come down the list after his military career (started after they were born), his wife and her family (they are not classed as family so don't visit her parents for example, access visits got cancelled).

With us it was more "yeah I'd love Barbados, but the kids want to go to Haven".

Blended families do/can work, but only when the adults are prepared to make the sacrifices needed.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Mon 20-Mar-17 11:26:09

Not all blended families operate the same though. Our family is blended - DH had sole custody of DSSs when I met him and had been a single parent for 10 years. They saw rheir mum every now and then but didn't have official days contact. I moved in pretty much straight away as I couldn't afford my rent, and the boys were welcoming from the off. When DS was born a few months later they were thrilled with their little brother.

Now I don't know if it was easy for us because they had been living with their dad alone since their mum left, she had a partner already and no other kids, and the boys were teens. But I do know that we are close, whilst we are NC with DSS1 for various reasons now, at the time we were a happy family, and DSS2 considers himself to have 4 parents. There is no tension - you get the odd argument but that's the same in any family.

The point I'm getting at is that not all blended families are troubled. Families where the parents stay together can be troubled - it doesn't mean that just because mum and dad don't get divorced that they will be happy.

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:26:20

Aibu that my son and DP son ar best friends?

Aibu that DD and DP DD share shoes and I have no idea whose belong to what now?

Aibu that DD and Ds took DP DD out on the lash when her boyfriend dumped her and brought her home pissed as a fart? (well yes I did have words with them about that she was in a desperate state !!)

Applebite Mon 20-Mar-17 11:26:26

Every single family is different.

You have no idea what goes on behind other people's doors.

You cannot assess it from a few posts on MN and think you know it all.

You should rethink, long and hard, OP.

Safaribaby Mon 20-Mar-17 11:27:31

Ok well fair enough.

I've just never known it to work out well for the children.

What I was trying to say is I can understand that relationships don't work out, people move on, fall in love and want more children.

I've just never personally seen it work out too well for the children involved.

I've known a few in real life so I'm not just basing it on mumsnet.

I just think as a parent you cannot be in two places at once, so for example Christmas, I've seen it cause so many rows.

I've known a few friends become step mums, otherwise lovely people but have ended up really disliking their step children and inadvertently pushing them away. I secretly wonder why they bothered setting up home with a man if they couldn't accept his children.

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:31:02

Christmas is easy.

One Christmas we have them Christmas Day, and are in our own Boxing Day and go to respective parents or have them with us or are just us in the house depending on what parents were doing on Christmas Day.

The next year it swaps.

There's no need for it to cause any angst.

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:32:00

Basically I have nothing to Post on the stepparent board because it works well. Surely you can see that?

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Mar-17 11:33:02


Get nicer friends?

GloucestershireGuy Mon 20-Mar-17 11:33:21

Anne That's great. For you. Lots of step parents don't think it's easy, far from it. It doesn't make their experience less valid.

Safaribaby Mon 20-Mar-17 11:35:58

Ye course I can, if there are no issues then there's nothing to complain about so you wouldn't hear of it.

I wasn't intending to be judgmental, my own set up isn't a traditional one but has thankfully worked out relatively straightforward.

lalalalyra Mon 20-Mar-17 11:36:48

Surely it would be just as random to ask "do families really work?" given the amount of threads from non-blended families?

Or "does marriage really ever work?"

kimann Mon 20-Mar-17 11:37:00

yikes. not a very nice post for those who are in said situations. You sound very judgemental. hmm

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:37:04

I never said their experience was less valid. Please don't put words into my mouth.

But surely you can see that there will be a natural bias on here, because people like me who don't have step parenting issues won't have anything to post?

Flixy102 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:37:36

'I'm not knocking anyone'

Then knocks step mums several times in the OP.

Many, many step children do perfectly well in blended families because step mums and dads work damn hard to ensure the needs of the kids are always put first (not always easy!)

tabulahrasa Mon 20-Mar-17 11:38:06

"I just think as a parent you cannot be in two places at once, so for example Christmas, I've seen it cause so many rows."

That's adults having rows though, children are only involved in that's sort of stuff if the adults bring them into that, makes no difference whether it's parents, step parents, grand parents (I added grandparents because of all the extended family rows that happen about Christmas)'s how they behave that causes issues.

I'm NC with my step dad, but so is his daughter, it's got nothing to do with whether he's biologically related or that there were subsequent relationships, it's because he's not a nice person.

I do however get on well with my (now ex) step mum, because despite the fact that my parents were barely on speaking terms throughout most of my childhood - it had nothing to do with me and I wasn't involved in anyway.

The adults behaved like adults and it all worked fine for the children.

kimann Mon 20-Mar-17 11:38:38

i hope you have your hardhat on OP - you are going to get a tough time, as there are quite a few blended families on here that work out just fine.

GloucestershireGuy Mon 20-Mar-17 11:38:51

But you did.....

Annesmyth123 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:40:30

I haven't said anyone's experience is less valid GloucesterGuy.

Please quote me where I said that.

Cwtchythings Mon 20-Mar-17 11:40:35

But OP if your first child's dad had stayed in contact wouldn't you be in exactly the situation you are slating?

My children have 2 parents and 2 step parents in their lives who love them to bits. Please don't worry about our family as we are perfectly happy!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: