When I hear the phrase “blended family,” I don’t think of “blended” as in “one homogenous entity.”

Instead, I think of a blender. How you toss in some stuff you hope will kinda go together— strawberries here, mango there, handful of kale, maybe a couple of those little tangerines — then cram them all in a confined space, slam the lid on, and mash that frappé button down ’til you can pour out something edible. (You hope.)

Except blending a family takes years, even under the best of circumstances. And in a high-conflict situation, those blades feel sharper. Cut deeper. Each person has to sacrifice more, work harder, slice more significant pieces of themselves away.

But you know, the love feels sharper, too. Deeper. And the peace you eventually achieve feels more meaningful.

Life as a blended family feels more serious. Like your relationship with your partner and your envisioned family and your sanity are all at stake. And maybe they are. But you know what else?

You can’t make a blended family without a blender.

There’s no simple transition into becoming a blended family. There’s no graceful way to waltz into becoming a stepparent. Figuring out the ins and outs of your relationship with someone else’s kid is confusing and messy.

And that’s okay. It’s okay if your attempts at blending your family have so far landed somewhere in between imperfect and disastrous, it’s okay that being a stepparent feels more challenging or stressful than you imagined, and it’s definitely okay for you to feel disappointed about that.

It’s totally normal to not fall head over heels for your stepkids right away. Maybe you never will, and that’s also okay. And your stepkids probably won’t be so hot on you either, which is also normal and okay.

The kids will be fine. You will be fine. Everyone will find their way. Because there’s no one “right” way to blend a family. The best way to blend a family is by doing what’s right for your family, not what’s right for anyone else’s.

The goal of Blended Family Frappé is not to help you create the perfect blended family. Ain’t never gonna happen. Perfection doesn’t exist.

Instead, the goal is to help you carve out your own little corner of calm amid all that stupid chaos. Extend a friendly hand into the oftentimes isolating reality of stepparenting in the trenches.

Because as much as you feel like you’re alone, you are not alone. I have been there. Every stepparent on the planet has been there. And we’re all figuring it out together.

You got this. 

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