As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday period, I’m thinking about our travel plans. What are LuckySevenFamily’s best travel tips for a blended family??
1. Water bottles and snacks are a must have – hungry or thirsty kids make for cranky travelers!
2. Headphones for all! Color-coded makes it even better – see my previous post on organizing in a blended family (www.luckysevenfamily/?p=192)
3. Speaking of headphones – for a long car or plane ride make sure everyone has at least one movie downloaded that was THEIR choice!
4. Have a few non-electronic games to play as well — math flashcards, Uno, license plate game, our favorite: “where will you be in XXX years?”
5. Give each kid a chance to choose something — kids love to feel they were involved in decision making and also feel that their voices matter!
Since it is Thanksgiving season — one thing on our list for travel is to have each child share something they are thankful for. They each have lots to be thankful for. For me, one of my top items will be LuckySevenFamily!!
When you choose to re-marry, you are making a commitment to many new things in life. I’ve committed to taking something new; my husband’s name. At face value, I have no issue with being Nerissa Beste. In fact, I love the idea of taking Russell’s name. Perhaps it is the romantic soul in me, but taking his name will demonstrate outwardly what we have committed to one another. Yet, life is not always about what we want; sometimes, there are others we must consider.
We have been married for more than one year and I still have not gone through the steps to change my name. One part of me says it is just related to the time it takes and the organization of all the paperwork. But, the other part of me knows that my children will be affected. Currently, I share their last name (I took my first husband’s last name when we married). Sharing a last name makes it easier on my children; there are fewer explanations to be made when you have a mom with your last name. I know it is something my daughter has considered because she has mentioned it in conversation. I do love that she is so comfortable to express her thoughts and feelings about sensitive topics with me; it bodes well for her pubertal years! If I listen to my heart, it is her words that are really holding me back. Her concern is that we will no longer share something that is part of her identity; of course, she didn’t say it that way but that is what she explained to me in her ten-year old words.
So, how do I rectify this – Russell is wonderful in that he has never pushed the issue. Despite this, it does weigh on me. He has never asked me to change my name but I know it is what he wants. And, it is what I decided to do when we got our marriage license!
Sometimes, I wish I had never changed my name when I was first married. My daughter would have already faced the fact that we had different names; perhaps it would not have been an issue for her if she had grown up not knowing anything different. The cynic in me would suggest to any new bride that she keep her maiden name as there is a 50:50 possibility that she will face separation and divorce and have to deal with the name issue anyway! But, don’t forget, I have a very strong romantic side. It’s hard to think one should make a decision about their name based on considering a negative outcome like divorce.
Ultimately, legally, I have to do it; I put it on my marriage license! So, what does that mean? It means, I need to take the time to do it. To do the paperwork, but more importantly, to have the conversation with my sweet daughter that clearly has the same romantic soul as me.
What will I do? I will explain to her, that a name is not what makes us who we are. Our family is not a conventional family; what makes us who we are will never be a name. What makes us, will be our love for each other and the bonds we build over the years. I hope she will understand; if not now, later. Later, when she is dealing with the same question of what to do when she ties the knot!
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!