Did you know?
Sixteen percent of children live in a blended families.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Census, 1300 new stepfamilies are formed each day.
40% of families in the U.S. are blended with at least one partner having a child from a previous relationship before marriage.
For those of us in blended families, we know that things can be amazing…and a struggle. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years.
It can take up to 7 years for a blended family to feel like a family. It will take time for stepparents and stepchildren to develop a relationship and it can’t be rushed.
Be realistic. Yes it’s easy to get swept up in your new love story and new family but blending families can be a challenge. Be aware of that and give yourselves grace.
It’s ok if your family doesn’t look like other families. Create unique traditions when you’re together. Shared experiences help bond new families.
Prioritize your relationship. Make it important and dedicate time to it. Be united. Studies show that the best indicator of a successful remarriage is a stable happy marriage.
Communication is key. Even before getting married being open and honest about expectations can help avoid future heart ache. Check in often and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Respect is a must. Things can get tense, especially if conflict arises between stepparent and step children. Parents can feel torn between spouse and child. That’s ok and normal. However everyone should be respectful at all times. Everyone is learning to be a new family.
Are you (or do you know someone) in a blended family? Share your story! So when the baby or you are stable, get those cuddles in!!
About Dr. Shea
Dr. Shea grew up in Florida and is fluent in Spanish. She spent two years abroad in Italy where she worked as a physician at the Health Unit of the US Embassy, Rome. During her training she developed an interest in international Child Health. She enjoys spending time reading novels, running for fitness and eating at new restaurants.