Blog Divorce

Blending in?

October 9, 2012

So, we’ve been a so-called blended family now for several years – first unofficially, then officially and now with our status sanctified by marriage. Does it get  any easier?

I don’t think it does.

To be fair, normal parenthood can be pretty damn stretching. Many is the time I’ve hit the bottle after a day with the girls and watched crap telly, my brain reduced to mulch by the demands of umpiring their squabbles. But, with your own children, there is somehow an insulating layer of love, which never goes away, however poisonous the behaviour meted out. I try to believe that the increased objectivity you have with other people’s children is actually a useful thing – any disputes do not have the fire you can feel with your own nearest and dearest. There is nothing like your own flesh and blood for winding you up. But, in the end, you can just sometimes feel the distance and sense of otherness more strongly than anything else.

Of course, there is one family to blame for all our high expectations of blended life. Yes, that’s right, the Brady Bunch. Those six impossibly cute kids, with a light sprinkling of problems that could be easily resolved to everyone’s liking in half an hour, with ads.

Most importantly of all, the two parents, charming, blonde haired Mom and the handsome, dark-haired Dad, did not have exes hanging about. Whether they were conveniently dead, or whether their respective divorces had been so heinous that their names were never mentioned again, there was no sign of them at all. No one changed a plan at the last moment. No one objected to the kids being taken away with certain friends, or insisted they had to be back with them by 6 on the dot. No one, subtly, dripped poison into children’s ears about the unfairness of life and they way they had been martyred by their former partner. No one accidentally forgot a cheque, double-booked or whined.

That’s not to say that life can’t be fun in the blender. It can, and often is, and I’m sure will be more often. But a blender is a blender – by its very nature, it chops everything up and squishes it all around. It can be a bumpy ride. But one day, maybe, we’ll make it – and become a smoothie family, like those blimmin Bradys.

From blender to smoothie?

 

 

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  • Naomi Richards October 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I love this Alice. What an analogy. It is tough being a parent to someone else’s children – more trials and tribulations at times I am sure. I hope you do become a smoothie!

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you, I’m doing my best, though most of the time it feels more like a prickly pineapple fruit salad 🙂

  • Nicola October 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    It’s tough being a parent, even more so to someone else’s children. I’ve not experienced that myself, but have seen a close friend go through it. Tricky doesn’t half-way explain it.
    I also hope that eventually it’s the smoothie that comes out of the blender. Hang in there. And don’t compare yourself to harshly with that Bloody Brady Bunch. I have my own theories about them – they were either aliens or all on drugs!

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Haha! I love it! Maybe their maid was knocking up hash brownies in the kitchen all day! Mind you, the fact that she had a maid probably explained why the Mom didn’t go mad anyway ….

  • Lottie Lockwood October 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    It’s hard enough keeping calm and in control with my own kids at times… let alone someone else’s and all the baggage that comes with it! The Brady Bunch have a lot to answer for…they set everyone up for certain parenting failure 🙂

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

      You’re so right. If I had the energy, I’d do an alternative version, the Brady Brats, showing what life is REALLY like in a blended family. Mind you, it wouldn’t be suitable for family viewing 😉

  • janerowena October 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hang on in there – the years pass so quickly, and it is the manipulative moaners who get left out in the cold eventually. Just because they aren’t fun and easy to be with. Children soon work things out for themselves.

    My stepfather’s ex-wife poisoned him when he went round to talk over finances with her one day. She then kept him a prisoner for a few weeks by feeding him some drug that she had been taking, so that he was only semi-conscious. It only came to light when he nearly died and she gave in and called a doctor. In the meantime my mother was distraught, thinking he had disappeared into thin air and not knowing why. So, when I hear of all the arguements and feuds that go on in broken families, and how that woman nearly completely lost her son to my mother as a result of what she did (only my stepfather refused to press charges), it puts it all in a different light. I suppose he should be grateful she didn’t hack a leg or two off.

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      OMG, that is just about the worst blended family story I have ever heard! Sounds like the plot of Misery. If you haven’t seen that film, you probably won’t want to … Your stepfather really should have pressed charges, his ex sounds quite loopy and a dangerous person to have on the loose. Have things resolved themselves now? I’m imagining everyone has grown up and maybe moved on …. I hope so anyway! As you say, it’s all a question of time for me and I’ll just have to hang on in there. Hearing your story puts things in perspective, anyway – thank you x