Released On 5th Oct 2020
Alison's blog: Blended family and new routines
September is for me the time to make “new years resolutions”, the time to get real.
The list of things to do starts piling up and so does the stress level.
This September feels bitter sweet for me.
Sweet, because I can finally breathe with the kids back to school and start focusing more on myself (how many weeks since I last did my nails?).
I didn’t expect how great it feels to see the other mums, have a relaxed chat at the school gates, go back to those coffee shops that were long forgotten and not having to stress about lunchtime.
Bitter because my 7 years old son will meet his dad’s new girlfriend.
I have been divorced from his dad for over 4 years and separated for longer, we had reached a somewhat stable routine (even though with his working patterns you can’t really have a routine) and I am the main custodian with my son only seeing his dad occasionally for a few hours (not my choice!). My son gets on with my now husband and adores his stepsister, our family feels so settled I sometimes forget that we are a blended family.
But this new relationship has the power to change the equilibrium and I am not sure how to handle it.
What if “the new woman” wants to spend more time with my son? What if my son and his dad will no longer have 1:1 time? What if she makes them drift even more apart?
What if she’s great and calm (she doesn’t need to do homework!) and my son likes her? How will I feel?
What is she’s a wicked witch and hurts my son? How will I protect him?
What if she’s just normal but has different ideas and values from me? Will she influence and change my son?
The head spins in many directions and I feel I have little control. I just have to breathe and feel positive.
I have asked to meet her first and plan how she’ll meet my son.
I think it’s for the best I show my son I am supportive of him meeting his dad’s partner (his step mum? Aaargh those words are too hard and I keep repressing them in my mind) and at the same time I am still in control (control freak? Oh yes!)
But as I think of preparing for this meeting my mind goes blank.
I’d take any business meeting with angry and difficult stakeholders over this. Being a parent is so difficult, but being a parent after divorce it’s even harder!
And then I remember my mantra: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time” and feel calm again.