BLENDED FAMILIES

Updated: Aug 31, 2018


(Image courtesy of http://www.blackhistorymonth2014.com)



What is a blended family?

“In a blended family, or step-family, one or both partners have been married before. One or both has lost a spouse through divorce or death, and may have children from the previous marriages. They fall in love and decide to remarry, and in turn, form a new, blended family that includes children from one or both of their first households (African American Blended Families, 2014).”


When I think of blended families, I instantly think of celebrities such as Kevin Hart, Ludacris and Neyo who all have beautiful blended families that I’ve been watching over the years on social media and within my own family roots, I’ve seen positive images of a blended family.  I realize that the quote above focuses on blended families as a result of remarrying someone, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that a large portion of our African American families are blended long before the wedding vows are said or once the marriage has been dissolved due to divorce or due to the death of a spouse.


When I was married, a million light years ago, I enjoyed my blended family.  Mainly because I was able to love on more children without me having to personally birth them.  I love children, most of my adult life, I’ve been surrounding by children either within my family or me working with children of all ages.  I believe that with true honesty and the ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of the child(ren), blended families can be very helpful in the lives of the family unit, overall.


Per the usual, when looking for personal opinions about my topics, I posted a Facebook status, inquiring about what others thought about the topic of blended families and here’s a response that I can totally agree with:


“It’s tough Felicia, but when you truly love the person your with, they love your children and u love theirs it’s worth it.” – LLG


The celebrities I mentioned above, have no doubt had their fair share of working the kinks out I’m sure, to have what we see now on social media.  You will go through a growth period in any relationship especially dealing with children whom are not yours.  Not all divorces end up in the courtroom with the parents battling over custody issues as we see on television.  Just the other day, Neyo, his ex Monyetta Shaw whom he has two children with, and his wife, Crystal Smith, who has two children with Neyo also, were all at a kids event…..TOGETHER!

Who says that the mothers of your children can’t get along?  It’s possible people, it’s possible.  The problem to me happens when one of the parents still have feelings for the other parent and uses the children to manipulate the custody agreements that were put into place.  Now women, I have to say this, but it usually shows that women get jealous of the father’s new partner and start tripping and not letting the father see his children, and then let the games begin.


I’m a mother and I’ve had my share of dating men with children and even married a man who had children way before we started dating and got married.  Never once, did I or would I do anything to harm a child.    I never too much got involved with the whole “baby momma” …. ”baby daddy” drama.  I stepped in when asked and kept it moving, when my presence wasn’t required.  I have three children of my own so I already have the title of mother and I was not trying to take the place of a child’s mother, I simply and biologically can’t do that.


The next celebrity couple I love with a blended family is Ludacris and his wife Eudoxie.  Together they have three children and Eudoxie’s sister whom she is raising in the United States.  So that’s a total of four girls between them.  Eudoxie shows pure love whenever she’s around his two children that are not hers.  She dresses the smaller girls alike, teaches them French, etc.  I love the term “Bonus mom” instead of “Stepmother” because stepmother just sounds so evil thanks to Disney’s story Cinderella. I think that women and men can add a bonus to the family that already exists instead of taking any value away from them.


What can we do to help blended families?  Are you in a blended family, share tips in the comments that helped you blend your families together successfully.


References

African American Blended Families. (2014, January 9). Retrieved from http://blackhistorymonth2014.com/410/african-american-blended-families/

© 2018 by Kheiston Tilford. Kheiston Tilford Consulting and Services