Blending a Blended Family

“I have 7-kids and 3 grandkids!”

This always raises eyebrows! And honestly, I love seeing the surprised look on peoples faces when I share this with them. That surprised look remains until I tell them, “I have a blended family”.

Then I get the “head nod” of understanding as if saying, “Ah, that makes sense.” When Ryan and I met, we were both going through a divorce after both being married for 18 years. He has 4-kids and I have 3 kids.

The blessing for me is that Ryans kids are amazing! They welcomed me with open arms from the very beginning and have loved me as their step-mother and friend for over 12-years.

Yet, for Ryan this has been a very different story. With anger and hurt come hate.

And unfortunately my boys were innocent bystanders to this.

What I don’t realize is that the whole family must relearn how to interact and socialize while discovering where they fit in the overall situation and ALL families have growing pains, and the trip to becoming a perfectly balanced blended family is rough, yet the bonds that are created afterward are most definitely worth it.

I’d like to think that I would have done things much differently today if I would have known how hard it was going to be on my children.

Yet, it doesn’t do anyone any good to look back on all of the mistakes I made.

What I do know is that you hold on tight to those that love you and accept you and pray from those that aren’t quite there yet.

Merging, as a blended family, is one of the most challenging tasks I will ever go through.

The different opinions are competing, trying to determine where you fit in amongst your new family is hard. Figuring out where the borders lie and how to not cross them never stop.

Yet if there is ONE thing that has gotten us though the “HARD PARTS” and why we’ve been able to thrive in the chaos it’s because:

#1 – We always put each other FIRST

#2 – We respect each other, no matter how hard it is, to make decisions together, as a married couple FIRST.

#3 – And remember that at the end of the day, each person wants to experience love and feel wanted.

If you can do those things, you got this!!!


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Kristie Belliston


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