Friday, June 26, 2009

The Early Years of Our Blended Family (Originially Posted 3/30/08)

We came back home from our honeymoon and started our new lives together. We went back to work and set up house as a husband and wife with an almost 5 year old son and two girls ages 12 and 10 that came over every other weekend. The neatest thing is that Roger and Brandon's birthdays are on the exact same day...April 13th.

It was a time that we had to get to know each and the girls, Roger with my son, all the kids together and all of family of we were getting used to living together as a married couple. My son went to spend the night with my mother every Tuesday night because he went to pre-school in my former hometown and she would take him. This day was welcomed by both Roger and I...we didn't have much time alone with a 5 year old living with us and there was no guarantee that Brandon's father would come get him on his weekends either. That happended more times than I can possible tell you...a child sitting waiting with his bags packed and his daddy never show up or even call him. It still breaks my heart to this day to think about how it made him feel his whole be rejected (for the most part) by his own father.

We were only married about three months when we took a trip to Satellite Beach, FL...a timeshare vacation that Roger and his ex-wife had planned before their divorce. We took all three children and flew to Florida. While we were there, we stayed at resort on the beach...the beautiful Atlantic coast where we went out at night, walked the beach and watched sea turtle come onto the shore, dig a large hole and laid their eggs. That was so awesome.

For 2-3 days, we drove into Orlando to Disney World, Sea World and MGM Studio which was a two hour drive...each way. We had a great time while we were there. It was a bonding time for all of us, however, things weren't always smooth sailing. One of his daughters and I had a huge disagreement (nice way of saying a fight) that was not pretty. Looking back...I was insecure in my relationship with his daughters and they probably saw me as a "2nd rate" replacement of their mother. The one thing that I said from the very beginning was that "I was not their mother, did not want to replace their mother but I wanted to be their friend". What you have to remember is these were girls who loved their mother and father plus their lives together (their divorce was sudden and blindsided the girls)...all of this was very, very hard for them. I spend many years feeling very insecure and uncomfortable when all the children were together for the weekend at our house. I felt like I was being watched, sized up, being reported back to their mother on everything that I did...right or wrong. There were times that I would be told "that's not the way my mom does it or my mom does not make me do that". As a single parent and extremely stressed, I became a "yeller" and they were not used to yelling. I have no excuse for it that justifies my "yelling" but my job was getting stressful and my ex-husband was being a real pain. So for me, emotions were running high. These are all things that I did not realize until many, many years later...actually, were a really big problem for me and that I had never dealt with. If you do not deal with your stress, negative feelings and emotions...they can haunt you many years down the road.

My ex-husband had emotionally destroyed me...I left that marriage and entered into a single motherhood life with no self-esteem, no self-confidence and had huge walls built up around myself as effort to protect myself. We always had a good relationship with the girls mother and step-father throughout their teenage years, but I cannot say the same for my son's father.

In the early years of our marriage, Brandon was very good with Roger and Brandon loved the attention that Roger gave him. Roger took time with him, played with him, coached his basketball team, his t-ball team and his football team. But step-parenting is hard, very hard work and even then, sometimes you get to a point of giving up and not trying anymore. To me the greatest thing you can give your child if he/she comes from a broken home is to support the other parent and their new spouse. You've always heard that the child is the one who suffers when there is tension between parents and/or step-parents...that is so true but it is also very hard on the step-parent. A child will usually love their parent inspite of their flaws but they do not have to love that step-parent, make that step-parents life easy and it can destroy your marriage if it is not controlled. This was a deadly combination with Roger, my ex-husband and myself for many, many years. It seems that my ex-husband had the opinion that "he did not want me but he was also going to make sure that I was not happy with anyone else either". As for the girls, their mother was always supportive or if she wasn't...she sure made us believe that she was:) No, seriously, I believe that we all tried really hard to work together...all 4 of us to help raise Roger's daughters. I can only imagine the difference it would have made in our lives, marriage, Roger and Brandon's relationship and in Brandon's life as a whole if his father had only been supportive.

I fully believe with all my heart that when a couple goes to get married and they are going to be blending families...they should have to take step-parenting classes/counseling, as well as, marriage counseling. It is hard, very hard...because they only part you have control over is yourself, your spouse and your cannot change the other parent unless they want to be willing to work with you and your new spouse.

Next 3 Entries:
Mother or Referee
My Desire: A Child of Our Own
Very Successful Trip: Mommy On Board

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


  1. Thankyou for sharing life storm! I came across you story whilst preparing for a youth talk for sundays service 28-6-2009 here in the UK. I prey that God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit will bless yopu ALL and that you will come to know of His generous LOVE for you all, He loves you and believes in you, He knows you all only to well! and yet inspite of life, He loves you all just as you are and in what ever situation in life you find youselves in. Your story will bring hope to thousanands of people all over the world. may life only get better and better, thankyou and may God bless you ALL.
    love from a stranger in England, Peter

  2. Jennifer,

    where have you been? I have been missing hearing from you.
    Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. I am so enjoying reading these.
    great pictures too.
    You have so many memories in pictures.
    Love the tickle monster.

  3. Thank you for posting from the bottom depths of you heart. I, too am the parent with a blended family. My x was/is as bad or worse than yours. My husband's first wife died. This left us with five children and NO help. CHALLENGING would be an understatement. With GOD's help we have successfully raised four out of the five. Our youngest is 16 and the most well adjusted. We have learned so much over the years. If only there had been classes to help us on our journey. Again, thank you for sharing. You and I both have a ministry with others who travel this road...we must keep sharing, as GOD leads!
    Blessings, andrea

  4. Jennifer,

    What a beautiful story despite the pains that have taken place over the years. You have a beautiful family that has blending together perfectly.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  5. Precious Jennifer, your life has the HAND OF GOD all over it -- yours and your loved ones! You've gone through and you've come through! GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!

    I so loved the photos and the sharing of your heart and life with us.

    Love and hugs.


Thank you for stopping by today and sharing your heart felt thoughts with me. As we ride "Through the Storms of Life" together, chances are...your situation is different than mine. However, we serve the same awesome God, King of Kings who is in complete control and it all belongs to Him anyway...He wants to give you the very best. Be encouraged my friend, God loves you!

Thank you again for taking the time to visit me at "Through the Storms of Life".


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