Blended Family

Blending the Holidays: How To Embrace the Season as a Blended Family

By Alison Neihardt

The holidays are upon us. There are parties to plan, school activities to participate in and gifts to purchase. Oh, the fun! For blended families though, finding cheer at this time of year often requires both careful planning and flexibility.

Woes all around

For many blended families, holiday activities can be stressful for both adults and kids. Kids worry about going back and forth, whom they’ll spend Thanksgiving with, or who will come to their school parties. Adults fear the possible drama that holiday expectation and tradition can stir.

In the best-case scenario, both parents spend the holiday together or split the time, or both parents come to the school holiday function. If they are pleasant with each other, even from across the room, this is what kids hope for. This is what adults hope for. This does not always happen though. Here are some tips to consider:

Communicate kindly

Try your best to be kind in the heat of the moment and not say or do something you might regret. But avoid being a doormat—setting boundaries is important, too. There are ways to stand your ground without being rude or nasty.

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The View from a Blended Family

By Stefanie Tschirhart-Baldwin

Eleven years ago, at age 29, I was newly widowed with a young daughter. I’d always valued our nuclear family, and, as I grieved the loss of my husband, part of me knew I would remarry someday.

And I did, to a man who also had daughter. There were some valleys along the way as we established our unit, but we always trudged on toward a summit far from nuclear. But in the end, that never mattered one bit–not with a spectacular view like this.

Getting established

When my now-husband first reached out to me, I blew him off. I knew he also had a 2-year-old daughter, the same age as my own, but I didn’t want to date a man with kids. Fortunately for us, though, he was persistent, and I eventually agreed to a playdate with our girls. We hit it off, and our quad grew closer and closer that first summer.

My husband and his daughter spent most of his parenting time at the house that I shared with my parents; it was easier for childcare when he was working. When his daughter’s mom questioned where their daughter was living, we decided to make it official.

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