Let’s Get Blended!

by Chenai Mugunyani

Step-parenting is not as scary as people paint it to be, I think. Or rather, it depends…

I have a stepmother, we get along. The first time we met, my father introduced her to me as his friend, the following morning I saw them come out of the same bedroom and I remember asking myself, what kind of friendship is this, that is when it hit me.

We clicked no lies, I honestly pretty much didn’t care because I didn’t live with my father, I only saw him during the holidays and she acted cool, my dad’s side of the family didn’t like her, they tried turning me against her, I honestly didn’t care because she didn’t do anything wrong to me. Maybe it would have been different if we lived together, maybe. Anyway, we got to talk, she told me how she wasn’t in my life to take my mother’s place and how she would treat me the same way she would treat any other kid, this was all true, plus-minus 12 years later, I call her mom.

Had she been a mean person, I would be telling a different story, had she taken over my father and fed him poison and made him completely forget about us, or you know the Cinderella story vibes? Or had I been a child that wasn’t willing to accept another woman in my life, completely shut myself, got my guards up and made sure she would break up with my father, biased or not, the turn of events would be completely different from now.

I often ask myself if I can date a man with children, I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I think I do not mind, depending on the circumstances of course, thing is I have a great role model who made it look easy and made me understand a lot of things, she changed the societal script for me, she wrote her own story in my life and gave me a different perspective. This however solely depends on the blended family vibes, how each person treats the other and whether they are open to change and all.

If you have kids of your own, they will most likely get along, if not, do not force it. I get along with my ‘step-siblings’ if not for the features, you wouldn’t know that we are ‘blended’. I understand it takes a lot of understanding, maturity, and patience but it’s doable.

My takeaway life lessons coming from a blended family
• At the end of the day, in all honesty, you are not blood, do not try too hard.
• Know your place, there are lines you just must not cross.
• Be open-minded, I know some people are sent straight from hell and they make things so much difficult, don’t lose heart.
• Try openly talking about things, don’t hide stuff, communication is key.
• Be able to understand what you can and cannot control.
• Never assume you can take the role of being their ‘real’ parent, some decisions are not yours to make.
• Remember your relationship with your partner comes first, and, their kids come first in their lives.

How comfortable are you dating someone with kids? Whether you have your own or you don’t, is it something you would consider you don’t mind or it absolutely off the table for you?

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