It’s something I hear from friends about us blending our family. The comparison doesn’t bother me. While it was a campy, 70’s sitcom, and it wasn’t always perfect in the Brady household, Carol and Mike got a lot right in successfully blending their family.
Just like the Brady family, blending our family of seven isn’t without challenges. I don’t use “challenge” in a negative way; it simply describes for me the extra level of thought that goes into everything from meal planning to vacation activities. It isn’t difficult, but rather a challenge to get it right.
Sean and I have a goal that our love for each other should not negatively impact the children. We are going to extraordinary measures to ensure the kids see our union as bringing something new and special into their lives–not taking away. They gain siblings, an extra parent, and a lot of really fun family times. It doesn’t mean being uprooted and having a huge shift in their routines, or feel they are losing love and attention.
“Yeah, why does Marcia get everything? Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” ~Jan Brady
My latest focus on blending our family is related to our current trip. We are with our four youngest kids in Asheville, NC. With diverse interests, there was potential a child or two would feel left out or not have the best experience. To ensure success on this trip related to activities, we all created Asheville wish lists (top three favorite activity ideas), knowing we are guaranteed to do at least one thing on our list. I want each of us to feel we did things we wanted to do, and that we made great family memories here.
“Put on your Sunday best kids; we’re going to Sears!” ~Mike Brady
At times I think about my level of focus and wonder if I am more concerned than I need to be related to blending. But what I realized is, it’s all the small moments strung together that make up childhood and family memories. It’s the little things like making our vacation wish lists, laughing hysterically at dinner at most meals, having family game nights, making various meals I know the kids enjoy, doing craft projects as a family, and more. All these small things are expressions of love and time to bond for any family–blended or not. I recognize there isn’t anything too small to do for my family to make each one of them feel whole, loved, and happy.
And, as we saw in the early 70’s, the Brady parents were able to raise children from previous marriages to feel loved and happy–even through the drama and less-than-perfect moments.
“Ohh, my nose! Now I will never be a teen model!” ~Marcia Brady