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Challenge: Raising Siblings

Four Days Maternity Leave

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How are things going? How are the kids adjusting? Are they all getting along?

Fine. Well. Yes. (And other more flowery sentiment.)

How are YOU doing? Ha! That's a question very few people ask. Because honestly, they don't want to know. But if they did want to know (if YOU, dear reader must know) let me tell you this...

I knew early into the relationship with my husband that not only was he the right one, but that his family - his girls, were the right ones. I had a deep love for him, and for his girls. This was the easy part. What I didn't have a damn clue about was how hard all of this would be. I read a book or two. Listened to a few people who had merged families before, who told me it was hard. But who were they? They weren't us. We would do it better. I always do it better. (My ego is quite impressive when given the chance.)

Turns out, there's no "What to Expect, When You're Expecting - a WHOLE NEW FAMILY". I was good at being pregnant. (One time with my perfect son. With no morning sickness. And a 45 minute labor... It’s okay to hate me for this.) I could plan for that. There were milestones, measurements along the way, checklists and rules. None of that applies when bringing together two different families in hopes that they become one.

And I was wrong. This has been the hardest thing, AND one of the best things I have ever done.

A small list of my realizations along the journey...

  1. I thought we could move in together 24 hours before the wedding, go on a honeymoon - care free, and come home to a new family. Poof! It didn't dawn on me until after that there were three kids in the house, and that most of the time children are added to the family there is maternity leave...12 weeks in some cases. I had barely four days.

  2. It never occurred to me that children fight. What!?! I had an only child. My sister and I were almost 7 years apart. What did we have to fight about?

  3. Kids are messy. My husband is messy. Sure. True. But the pure volume of the mess and the laundry is just remarkable.

  4. Why are we out of food again? Who is eating all the food?'s ALL the people in the house.

  5. Moms with three kids don't NEED bigger vehicles, they WANT bigger vehicles because it's like adding an extra closet to the house.

  6. There is no day that is predictable. Everything will change all the time, and that's the only thing you can count on.

  7. Pillow forts are awesome, and should be kept up for several weeks in a row. At least that's what I've been told.

  8. Marriage is stressful. It's also beautiful and really good with an awesome partner.

  9. Hearts grow when people are added to a family, no matter how they are added.

  10. Ex-people can be hard to get along with. No matter the best of intentions, how much everyone involved are trying to be reasonable, decent adults, sometimes we all just think the other ones suck.

  11. Everyone is still on a journey with their own grief. Just because there is a new marriage, new family, and new hopefulness, doesn't mean that the mourning over the first family is totally over.

So how am I doing? Awesome. Exhausted. Terrible. Failing. Really well. Really happy. Sticky. Frustrated. Tired, really tired. Confused. Crumbling. Juggling a lot. Thriving. Building. Okay.

Thanks for asking!

You can read more at, www.astepintherightdirection.l...


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