- Gender and Relationships»
Things to Consider Before Marrying a Man With Children
The New Wife, The Step Mother
When you accept a proposal of marriage from a man who has a child, it's with the hope that your love will reign supreme for rest of your life. In reality, you are also agreeing that you won't just love him, you will love his children as well.
It is his desire that by accepting his proposal, you will love his child as you would love your own. Realistically, you can't play favorites between he and his children and if you have kids too, then it's definitely time to set up shop and lay down some fundamental ground rules and let the love begin!
Another important thing you have to remember is that along with being a new step-mom comes the "other" woman - the ex-wife. She does exist and she's not going away so you have to be a big girl, get over it and focus your attention and emotion on your family. Don't waste a single solitary moment worrying about whether or not he's still in love with her. If he was in love with her, it's likely he would still be married to her.
- Have meals together and allow the kids to help.
- Do something together as a family every week.
- Stay consistent about homework, school, shower times, bed times. - Kids like structure
- Begin new family traditions.
- Go to the park or to a favorite family place.
- Have "movie night" every week.
- If you own a PS3 or a WII, learn to play the fun games and laugh at what great dancers you really were in the 70s. Just Dance
- At the holidays decorate together, make it tradition. Play music, make special treats and play music. Kids will begin to look forward to it.
- Since I have a step-daughter, I'm teaching her how to cook.
- Build a huge fort in the house - get creative!
- Take the kids to a Theater in the Park production
Being a Step Mother
You've met the man of your dreams! Congratulations! Just wait. Tomorrow you might wake up and the dream has changed. Don't run off and get married after knowing each other for three months. This is more than a commitment you're making. You're taking on the responsibility of helping to make the lives of several people happy.
Meet his kids, spend time with them and get to know them on a personal level. It would be a devastating event to meet and marry a man only to find out that he has two angelic looking children who become total heathens in public, in grocery stores or generally in any social situation. If you haven't laid down any rules for the kiddos you're setting yourself up for failure.
Before you commit to anything, get to know the kids. Know them for at least a year so that you can spend all of the holidays and their birthdays with them. The longer you know the kids without being married, the easier the transition into marriage will be because they'll be more accustomed to your presence.
If you have children and have introduced them to his kids, give the kids as many opportunities as possible to play together, hang out and get to know one another.
Things to Discuss - starter list
- Sleeping arrangements for children.
- Children's eating habits - is it okay to skip meals?
- Can kids have sugary snacks any time they want?
- Do you prefer to feed kids healthy meals?
- What are your feelings about school, homework and education?
- Do kids have to do chores? Should they receive an allowance?
- How much television is okay? How much computer or video game time?
- Should kids be allowed to have friends in the house? Can friends help themselves to food/drinks/snacks?
- Will you provide your kids with cell phones?
- Who will be responsible for driving kids to and from school?
Rules for Blending Families
When you are blending a family, you have to consider many things. In existing households, there are preset dynamics and rules. When you introduce a new family setting, it's critical that you immediately establish the boundaries and limitations that you expect for all of the children and it's important that you stick to the rules you create. Don't single out, favor, baby or be too tough on any of the children. The best thing you can do is be consistent. Children will appreciate and respect the authority in a consistent atmosphere.
Before you and your new husband (boyfriend or fiancè) set up house, have an open and honest conversation about your beliefs and expectations of raising children.
There are many situations that you will have to work out as you go along. Some things you might decide to change because your original plan isn't working or perhaps you want to pursue a different approach. That's just fine. The important thing to remember is consistency with all of the kids.
Maintain the Honeymoon
The secret of our success has been that first and foremost we've been open and honest about everything from the beginning. We started this relationship knowing that we both wanted to have a family where our kids would grow into healthy, happy adults and that the two of us would always be able to speak to one another in a fair and healthy way. Our focus is always the children but we definitely take time for ourselves because we are the foundation of this family.
When a problem arises with the kids, and they do arise, it's important to remember not to panic. You're the adult and the kids look to you for their strength. Don't shrivel up and crawl into the closet. Be magnificent because your children believe you are and they look to you to see how to act. Your spouse will also take cues from you. In times of trouble, stay calm, take a deep breath and forge on. If you work together, there isn't a single problem you cannot conquer and if you should hit a bump in the road; if you need to back up and rethink things then step back, reassess and keep going as a team. After the smoke passes the two of you will feel great that you did it together and it will bring you closer.
One Big Happy Family
There's no way to know for sure if marrying a man (or woman) who has children will be a perfect fit. As long as you're willing to adjust your lifestyle to fit into a new and updated version, you should do just quite fine. Life and love are about making the commitment and sticking to them. When you enter into a relationship, you should continue to look for reasons why this relationship is the best one for you. Look at your spouse everyday and find reasons why you should always be together. If you focus on the positive and revel in what makes your family great, you are undoubtedly on the road to success.
Do blended families work?
More Excellent Reading
- Be an Awesome Ex-Wife and Step-Mom
Being an ex-wife and a step-mom is no small job. Here are some useful tips to keep the team working together in a happy atmosphere. Don't just make it look easy, make it convenient and simple too. You can do it.