Last night my middle son asked me a question that I should have been prepared for, but was honestly thrown back by.
He asked me about his dad. He said he was confused about the fact that daddy is not his “real dad” and that some guy he’s never seen but once or twice on a computer screen is. He wondered if that made a difference between him and his younger sibling who is me and my husband’s mutual son. He said it made him sad and confused as to why daddy couldn’t be his daddy.
You see, I was previously married and it was in that marriage that I had my older three children. I was pregnant with my middle son when I got divorced and I haven’t seen my ex-husband in 8 years. I tried for a long time to keep in contact and get him to see the kids, but it just never seemed to work out. We had a very domestically abusive relationship and he was still trying to be very controlling. It was his way or the highway and since my priority was to keep the kids safe, I just couldn’t give in to his guidelines. He choose to move on with his life and after a few years of trying to get him to come see them, I decided to move on with mine as well.
I remarried when my middle son was a small toddler and he came to know my husband as daddy. It wasn’t until he was about 5 years old that my ex decided to come back in the picture and after 2 video chats, he disappeared again. It was a hard hit for our family because my husband and I had to explain to our little boy that he was in fact someone else’s son, even though daddy loves him like his own and he was in fact his daddy by every other definition. He didn’t seem to understand it at the time, but we knew the day would come.
We walked through Walmart last night and my face was in complete shock and fear as he came with question after question. What could I say? What made this come up now? Are my two older kids feeling any way about this as well? Do they think there’s favoritism going on with our youngest? How do I stop the hurt and confusion?
I came home and laid in bed asking God for guidance. I wanted to be so careful in how I dealt with this so I wouldn’t cause any more pain or confusion. I prayed for my husband and all of the kids. My husband puts his heart and soul into our family and I didn’t want him to be hurt as well. You see, even in this God saw fit to marry two people who know what it is to be in blended families. Both my husband and I grew up with step dads and have had various experiences both good and bad. We were both very much blessed with the daddys (step-dads) we have and we understand what it is to have two dads. The only difference is, we both met and got to know our biologicals as we call it. My middle son didn’t get that chance apart from a 5 minute conversation.
I fell asleep and God began to minister to my spirit. He’s continuing to do so even now as I write this blog. He gave me a few instructions that I wanted to share as I know I’m only one of so many who has and will experience this.
- Don’t ignore this. Face this head on and deal with it so it doesn’t grow into something deeper that will take longer to heal from.
- Be honest, but don’t bash. Be honest as to what happened without bashing the other parent. We all make our own decisions and whether we agree or not, we have to respect that.
- Let your kids (and spouse) feel. Let them feel how they feel and show them you’re there for them no matter what.
- Take time to talk with your kids. Not just when they’re upset or sad, but generally and consistently.
- Spend one on one time with them. This is vital especially when you have more than one child. They can feel like their invisible or drowning in the flood of kids. Make time to spend with each one individually like going for ice cream, taking a walk, anything really. Just you and them.
- Let your spouse take time with them as well. Allow them to have time to grow a relationship that will build the bond as well.
- Reassure your children that none of it is their fault and they are LOVED by the people who are in their lives every day! None of us are given the chance to pick and choose our parents nor is it our fault if they choose to leave or stay away.
- Give them time. It takes time to heal and move forward from an absent parent. It also takes time for your spouse to deal with the ups and downs or the children’s feelings. Allow them the time to get through it and move forward.
- And lastly, pray….pray….PRAY! Pray for your spouse and children. Pray WITH them as well. It’s not just the couples that pray together, but a family that prays together, STAY TOGETHER.
Being a blended family has been far from easy,but it’s also been a blessing to me. It was my rainbow of hope that even though things didn’t go as planned in the beginning, God made it so that both my children and I could have a blessed life with an amazing, incredible man of God.
Whether you’re a single mom or remarried and in a blended family, know that God is always there to guide you in life’s decisions. He will never leave or forsake not just you, but your spouse, your children…your entire household.
Be encouraged today knowing God has already gone ahead and made it all right for you and your home. Things may get frustrating, sad, or confusing, but ALL THINGS work together for the good of them who love God and who are called according to His purpose.
Until next time, Be Blessed