My post earlier this week was about being away from my blended family during my extensive business travel. I found this quote from Thomas Jefferson today. It is true for me; when I travel alone, I have time to reflect on things that I am often too busy to think about when I’m with my blended family. Now, don’t get me wrong… I LOVE traveling with my kids and my husband too! It’s just a different experience; travel with my blended family is filled with amazing experiences!
Not only do we live in two states which alone makes life crazy!
I travel a lot for work – especially in the Spring and Fall. This travel often means that I am away from my children and my husband (and often the entire family) over weekends. Our weekends are sacred – it’s the time we get to really “be” together.
While I am away, I try to focus on the positive — some of those positives include:
1. I get to “test” the places I want to travel with my husband
2. Thinking about my first trip to _____ (Italy, Paris, etc) with my sweet little girl
3. Considering how my awesome son would “see” the architecture in every city I visit
4. Bringing great wines home to share with my guy
5. Being reminded of how important my family is – “absence makes the heart grow fonder”
As a mother, I hold myself to a very high standard. I’m lucky that I had a great mom that help instill such a standard; however, as a working mom, I often feel guilty for being away from my kids, my husband, my family. This quote helps me balance life. I work to provide for my children. Ultimately, regardless of where I am, my most important job is to make sure they know I am with them, behind them, supporting them, and love them!
My birthday was a few days ago and I had a great day with my kiddos.
First message of the day was from my wonderful husband. We didn’t get to spend the day together due to the distance between us and my birthday occurred in the middle of the week. He did send me beautiful flowers which were waiting for me when I got home from work. So sweet!!
The second message I received was from my ex-husband. Here’s the text:
“Happy birthday!! Wishing you the best and expressing my gratitude for you and your love of our kids on your special day”
When I observe negative outcomes of divorce, which unfortunately for many happen often, I am thankful that my ex and I have been able to maintain a relationship that focuses on the best thing for our children. An involved mother and father, even if they don’t live in the same household, is a positive for children. I am so appreciative of the ability to provide an example of respect and gratitude to my children through my relationship with my ex each day. If only others could put their feelings and emotions aside and focus on the importance of both parents in a child’s life!
Yesterday in a Yoga-lates (what is that?!? Yoga-lates is a combination of yoga and pilates) class the instructor was provided imagery during the Savasana pose (a reclining, relaxation pose) at the end of class. She started by asking us to imagine a lush, green forest within which there was a waterfall. Then, she asked us to visualize a leaf in the rushing water. On the leaf, we were instructed to put all of those things that needed to be “let go”.
As I thought about that image and the things in my life that I need to “put on the leaf”, the stresses of being in a blended family and the many negative issues that can invade the family came to mind. Each time I consider the negative forces from ex-spouses, nay-sayers that don’t support our approach to modern, blended family life, intermittent difficulties with children, and other misunderstandings in our own relationship, I have committed to putting these issues “on the leaf” and letting them ride away down the rushing waterfall. There are many other positive points to focus upon in our modern, blended family. They will be my committed focus!
Today is National Step Family Day!
Although being a step-parent or a step-child is not always easy, it can be a great experience for all. Forming relationships that are long-lasting is not an easy task and requires dedication and patience. Although there may be days that it seems easier to throw in the towel and give up, envision a future where perseverance pays off!
As many of you know, peppering your children with questions about their social lives, school day, or pretty much anything, is not the most effective way to get a conversation going! We have a fun, yet highly informative, way for you to learn more about your children. At our family dinners, we play a game called “Where will you be?” Each child takes their turn telling us where they will be in 5, 10, 20 years (you choose the number of years from now). The idea is to get them talking about WHERE they will be, WHAT they will be doing, and WHO they will be spending time with. We started this when we first became a blended family. In those early days, our youngest was about 3 years old! Her answers were cute and usually a play on something one of the older children had mentioned – my, how our lives have changed. Now, she talks about graduating from high school 10 years from now! This “game” is a no-pressure way to understand more about your children’s hopes and dreams – what college do they want to attend? where do they want to live? what subjects excite them? where do they want to travel? These are all amazing things you can learn from a “game”.
Try this with your blended family tonight!