It is pretty much tradition to list things that you are thankful for, and this year I made a blended family specific list. I came up with 10 things about my blended family that I am thankful for this year.
I am so thankful for this man. He is the love of my life. I am so thankful for his strength, his sense of humor, his dedication to our family, and his ability to be a rock and stronghold for our family. Most of all, this year I am thankful that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. This past year has come with so many changes, and we have tackled them all hand-in-hand. I am so excited to see what our future holds!
My precious little (step)son. I am so thankful for him. He is so smart, kind, helpful, energetic, and funny. He has embraced me since the beginning, when he didn’t even understand what a blended family was. He is always so quick to offer a helping hand, and the first one to console anyone that is upset. He may be rambunctious, but he has such a large, caring heart. He also has the most perfectly timed jokes. I am so thankful for this sweet, funny, fortnite obsessed, little man!
My beautiful little (step)daughter. I am so thankful for her. She is so intuitive, happy, smart, athletic, and kind. Farrah and I have had such a connection from day one. She is my tiny best friend, and I am so blessed to be her Jekka. She is my sous chef, my ride or die, my yoga buddy, and my little stylist. She will always put a smile on your face, and she can always remember where I misplace my stuff! I am so thankful for this pretty, girly, JoJo obsessed, little girl!
4. My family
My family has been so supportive of my blended family. It’s not anyone’s dream family. Blended families can come with so many extra stressors. However, my family has been there for me every step of the way. If you saw my (step)kids out in public with my mom or my sisters, you would have no clue that they aren’t blood related. Noah and Farrah absolutely love them all, and I know that my whole family loves them right back. I am so thankful for such an understanding family that is so quick to embrace and love everyone.
5. Seasonal empty nest
This year is the year that I decided to be thankful for the silver linings in life. Seasonal empty nest is a small silver lining that comes with long distance blended families. This year I am adding it to my list of things I am thankful for in my blended family. I am thankful for the time I get alone with my SO. “Regular” families don’t get this alone time opportunity, and although this time away from our kids is so tough and heartbreaking, it is nice to have some time as a couple.
6. Not Taking Time For Granted
Not being with your full family 24/7 makes you so thankful for the time you do get. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure that I agree with that, but I do know that it makes you not take the time you do get for granted. I am thankful that being in a long distance blended family has opened my eyes to how fleeting childhood really is. It has made me conscious of every moment we do get, and it has helped me to be intentional about how we spend the time we get.
7. Embracing empathy
I have said it before, but I believe that empathy is one of the (if not THE) biggest assets a stepmom can have. This year I am thankful that I have decided to embrace empathy. It helps so much with being a successful stepmom and being successful in your blended family. Empathy helps you understand why your SO can get upset when you bring up certain topics. It helps when you are trying to understand why the kids mom is acting/reacting the way she is. Empathy can help you understand when your stepkids act different. Even having empathy with yourself can help you give yourself some slack during your stressful blended family trials
8. Letting go of being in control of everything
I am so used to being in control of everything. I like to have my finger on everything around me. I mean, it’s my life. However, in a blended family, you can’t be like that. Well I guess you can, but you won’t be very happy. Being a stepmom in a blended family, there are so many things that you can’t control. Recently I decided to let go of that need to control everything, and it has helped my happiness so much. I stopped stressing over things I have no control over. (I still stress over the major stuff, but I tried to follow Jamie Scrimgeour’s 3-3-3 rule. If it won’t matter in 3 minutes, 3 weeks, or 3 months let it go.
9. Being intentional
This year I am so thankful that I decided to be more intentional about my life. I have made so many changes because of this mindset shift, and I firmly believe that it has made me a happier person. This blog is the result of being intentional. I was letting my blended family stressors consume me, and I needed a healthy outlet. I also had a burning desire to help other stepmoms. I decided to be intentional with all of that time and energy that I was dedicating to wallowing in my stressors, and I am so thankful I did.
What can I say??? Lol Can’t leave out my favorite beverage. Gotta say, I am hella thankful for a big glass of dry red. Extra extra thankful that Wal-mart started carrying a pretty decent brand for just $3 a bottle!
So while we may have a heck of a lot to complain about in our blended families, take time to stop and think about what parts of your blended family you are thankful for this holiday season.
Love your family, love yourself, & live your happiest life.
xo – jessicanicole.