Have you asked yourself when does blending a step-family actually start? Does it start the day you move in? Does it start after a wedding ceremony? My book approaches the topic of preparing to blend as new step-family from the perspective that you're preparing for life under the same roof. This is a very fair and sensible place to start. However, what I've learned is that learning how to blend actually starts while you're dating. While two partners are getting to know one another through the dating process, they will invariably encounter challenges with how to interact and schedule around the kids. If the dating has progressed where one or both are spending time in the other's home, spending time with the kids or even taking vacations, you've got a myriad of blended family scenarios you could be faced with. Depending on the stage you're at with dating, you may not have developed the rapport, honesty, openness that you might find in a marriage. This makes confronting those early, new blended family challenges potentially all that more difficult. For the sake of a short blog, I won't try to create the roadmap how you and your dating partner navigate all the challenges. My advice is to communicate openly and often when facing any blended family challenge. Confront those obstacles, share how you feel and show each other commitment to working through them. Believe me, you're apt to face some big ones even while dating. If you and your partner can be successful addressing them as they come up, that bodes very well for a future blended step-family living together!
Hmm, this might just be the topic for my next book!
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!