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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query relationship. Sort by date Show all posts
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Parent Teen Relationship

How To Build A Closer Relationship With Your Teenager


Having teenagers around the house can be tough and challenging. If you take the right approach, it can also be a happy, rewarding experience. Your child is now grown up and able to interact and connect with you on a deeper level, which is an exciting milestone. So, what do you need to do to build a closer relationship with your teenager?
Keep scrolling for some advice to consider as you strive to build a closer relationship with your teenager and get to know them better. While this is often a difficult task, it's possible, with the right strategy and attitude. Stay patient, some days are easier than others and building a stronger relationship with your teen takes time.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Parent Teen Relationship Advice

Spend Quality Time Together

Build a closer relationship with your teenager by committing to spending quality time with them. You can stay indoors and let them teach you how to play their favorite video game or get active together and do activities such as going kayaking, going to the movies, going out for a bike ride, or simply taking a walk on a nice, sunny day. Know that if anything should happen to either of you while biking that you’re protected under the law if you’re not at fault. Contact The Compensation Experts should either of you have a cycling accident and would like to know if you have a case to seek compensation for your damages or injuries.

Practice Open Communication

Another useful tip for building a closer relationship with your teenager is to practice open and honest communication with one another. It's tough at first. When your teen feels comfortable talking to you, you'll likely hear things that surprise, upset, or even hurt you. Bite your tongue and listen. This is a great way to create trust and get on the same page without counseling. Making assumptions or not conversing much will likely cause a lot of conflict between the two of you. It’s okay to have disagreements, but each of you should try to refrain from yelling, name calling, or other forms of intimidation and instead focus on sticking to the facts and speaking in a respectful tone of voice.

Be A Good Listener

In addition to communicating well, you should also work on being a good listener with your teenager. You can build a closer relationship with them by refraining from judging and instead simply opening your ears and listening to their opinions. You may learn a lot from them when you’re open and willing; they too will appreciate that you're taking the time to hear their side of the story and viewpoints on the matter. Take a deep breath and repeat back what your teen is saying at the time instead of having their words go in one ear and out the other and immediately giving your opinion on the topic at hand.

Show A Genuine Interest in Their Life

Build a closer and deeper relationship with your teen when you show an appreciation for and an interest in their life. For example, this includes asking about what’s going on at school and attending their sports games or activities,. You’ll connect better and be more admiring of each other when you respect one another’s lifestyle and choices. Encourage them to try different extracurricular activities and then be there to cheer them on no matter how it is they decide to spend their time.


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If Mama Ain't Happy Ain't Nobody Happy: The Family Relationship

Family Relationship Challenges


What’s the biggest relationship challenge in your family? How do you keep everything together, day in and day out, day after day? Time commitments, financial responsibilities, and emotional needs of each family member can take a toll on your happiness. Those people pleasers who need to take care of everyone often forget to take care of themselves. In my situation, I never wanted to spend money on personal needs (including health care) if it would take away from things my kids needed or wanted.


For years, we didn’t have health insurance, so any health setback caused major financial problems. I also didn’t take care of myself in other ways. I cut my own hair, never had a manicure until I was fifty years old, wore the same old clothes year after year, never went out to lunch with friends, never even saw my friends, and never indulged in frivolous things that I might want for the house. I considered any of that selfish.



This sponsored post contains Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are my own.



if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy quote song



It’s important to take care of yourself. You’ve probably heard the quote, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain't nobody happy.” I’m sure there’s some truth to this. You can put on a happy face, but if your needs aren’t being met and you have nothing to look forward to, your relationship is going to suffer- even if you're not the one causing the majority of the turmoil. I know it’s difficult. I used to see other women spending too much time on themselves, ignoring the needs of their children. They’d go shopping for themselves several times a month while their children wore clothes they’d outgrown. I never wanted to be like that, but I took it too far the other way. You’ve been there. We don’t have to be martyrs to be mothers. Taking care of yourself, puts you in a better place. You’ll be better equipped to tackle those relationship issues with your partner. Communication is a key factor in the downward spiral of relationships. When communication is poor, everything else becomes difficult.




Eventually, lack of communication breaks the partnership. In my relationship, the more I tried to communicate with my partner, the more difficult the relationship became. There are things couples need to discuss. Things that can’t be swept under the rug. Plans for the future, health of your children, plans to make about family events to attend, even how each of you are feeling about the status of your relationship. When you have a partner who won’t talk to you about any of it, you’ve got a problem that needs fixed. Parents need to keep a united front for their children. They need to work together as a team for the greater good of the family, even if it means sacrificing the personal desires.


For me, self-care felt like a selfish, personal desire because my partner took up all that empty space for himself. He worked all the time or found extra things to do to help others, just to avoid coming home and facing real life problems. These problems ranged from my serious illness where I was bedridden for months, to house repairs, financial responsibilities, and even mental health problems the kids were facing. I couldn’t run off for a haircut or even a doctor’s appointment because there was no safety net. He couldn’t seem to  find an hour to give me a break and if he did, he’d use that hour to sleep - not to watch the kids. So, everywhere I went, I took the kids. Everywhere. 



Check out this old post about a family excursion, see any red flags?



Let me tell you, this is not only unhealthy for you, it’s also unhealthy for your kids. We all need time apart from each other. The kids feel it too. They need options. They need time away from the family.  Sure, we attended homeschool groups, summer camps, special events, 4-H and any other free or low cost activity I could find, but none of it made the pitfalls in our broken family any better. It just kept our mind’s busy enough to make it through another day- or so I thought.


Mama needs time to feel good about herself. Sure, you may think you don’t want to jog or join a walking club. You may think you can cut your own hair to save money for the greater good, you may think a vice here and there, maybe a pint of ice cream or bar of chocolate, are good survival mechanisms, but in the long run, if your always the one making sacrifices life’s not going to turn out like you hoped.


Remember when you started your relationship with your partner? You took care of yourself, you took showers- maybe even relaxing baths, you did your makeup, and bought yourself a flattering outfit. You went out to lunch with your friends. You had dinner dates with your partner and even did activities that you both enjoyed together. You probably even talked about your hopes and dreams for the future. Don’t let yourself get lost in the shuffle.  If it's not too late, fix it. If it is too late, do yourself a favor and try to fix it before throwing in the towel.


Don’t try to wait it out and hope it will get better. There’s no need to feel guilty about taking time for yourself.. If you can’t possibly spare the money or feel like spending money on relationship counseling would set you back financially, there are many affordable online counseling services out there. ReGain is a great place to start. There are  plenty of self-help articles and videos that can kick start your decision making process and help you decide what’s best for your family. 


Life balance is important. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t decide that you must've done something to deserve your current situation. Sometimes, you can’t fix it on your own, sometimes the answer is right in front of you, but the outcome will have unavoidable consequences. On the flip side, sometimes, if you make small changes in your personal life, if you start taking care of yourself and taking pride in your own achievements, everything else will fall into place. Your children won’t suffer from a parent who takes care of themselves, when Mama is happy, there’s a far better chance that everyone else is happy too. Don’t wait until it’s too late. 


Your happy ending is waiting for you.



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Mommy, you look beautiful.


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Healthy Family Advice

Can't We All Just Get Along?

The last few articles have been on the subject of mental health and the breakup of the family unit. As the family situation changes, so do the matters of family concern. Of course, how you deal with these changes affect the future mental health of your children, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. As mentioned in a previous article, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My advice is this, self-care is a key element to a happy, healthy family, but be careful, don't over do it.

                                                  This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

healthy relationships how to get along self care  quote


If you’ve come off a long-term, unhealthy relationship, chances are you’ve been neglecting self-care. Self-care is key to your happiness. Newly separated or divorced individuals might choose to jump out into the dating scene. At first, it's exciting and new. If you've been in a bad situation, going out on dates and having fun can feel like self-care, but you need to be careful that all that good time fun having doesn’t lead to an even more unhealthy rebound relationship. Just like our children, we need to make healthy choices.

Practice being alone. I can’t emphasize this enough. Spend time alone. As much time as it takes for you to get over the pain. And as much time as you need to grow as a person. Learn from your mistakes and take care of yourself.  As I age, I see intelligent women jumping into relationships. Perhaps, they’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Maybe they’ve never held a full-time job. Some never had the chance to go to college. They’ve never managed their own finances. Often, they feel like they just can’t handle the responsibilities of taking care of themselves and their children. So, they go out on a man hunt. The goal is to find a better man than the last one. Some are looking for a man to meet their financial expectations, others are looking for companionship, and some are looking for a father figure for their children. Whatever the reason, they jump into a relationship too soon. Been there done that. 


Healthy Family


I got married while still in college. It was okay. Just okay. I wanted to be happy, but we were young and a lot was missing in the relationship. At that point in my life, the idea of a wedding was more important than the idea of a marriage. We were friends and companions struggling to find common ground, but something was always missing. Both of us had placed our focus on gaining knowledge and prepping for a career and little attention was given to intimacy. As starving college students, there was no money for fun things and then we jumped into buying a house, and then another house, and then it all just got way too overwhelming. There was simply no fun to be had.

Eventually, we talked to friends, family, and clergy. We attended counseling. It all pointed to the same thing, we just didn’t have the same goals or the same outlook on life. We ended the relationship in an amicable fashion. And that’s when my real troubles started. I briefly dated, but playing the field has never been my thing. Dating in your late 20’s is an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ugh. It’s a brave new world. With my thirtieth birthday looming over my head, I really wanted to settle down and start a family before it was too late. I had some great men to choose from, two were truly amazing with interesting careers. One was neither amazing, nor did he have a great career. He was lucky to hold down a job. But he had what I wanted. A little girl. My family doctor and the counselor both advised against any serious relationship or even dating after the first year of a breakup, but my biological clock was ticking. Tick tock. Having been told I likely could never have children, I jumped at the chance. 

However, that wasn’t the only thing. He was fun. Oh so fun! He loved to dance, hike, bike, play sports, cook, and clean. One day, he called me one of the “cools.” I had been feeling lost. I was never cool. I wanted to do all those things I felt I’d missed out on in high school and college. Except I didn’t. I was still that goody two shoes inside. His risky lifestyle stressed me out. We fought. Among other things, he drank. He was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. It was like a dark movie from one of those cable tv channels for women. That was my first rebound.

After that, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pick myself up again. I had a lot of counseling. I saw a psychiatrist. I took various medications. Was I suicidal? Not really, but it seemed like life had gotten the best of me. I felt like a failure in every way imaginable. No kids, no career to speak of, and no real chance to recover from all the despair because, in my head, I was old. Oh, so old. I turned to online dating. It was uplifting to have so many men interested in dating me. It was also terrifying. That was the start of rebound number two. Not only did I not wait a year to date, in only a few short months I had moved in with a man and was pregnant. At the time, it seemed like he had everything I wanted. A good job, two kids, pets, a nice home. He was a widower and that (like the alcoholism before him) fulfilled my need for codependency. I had something to do, people to take care of, and dreams to fulfill. Except, we were less compatible than the previous rebound relationship. Shortly after my son was born, I became pregnant again.

Things weren’t ideal, but I always questioned myself. Why not? Maybe I was the problem. I should’ve been content. I was determined to make it work. I mean, after all, he wasn’t abusing me. He yelled a lot. It triggered old feelings from the previous relationship. I cried a lot. It made him mad. I cried more. It was an endless cycle. We barely knew each other. We met online. We were both lonely. As it came to be that he was my only friend for many years, we were really never friends. We both tried. The harder I tried, the more difficult it got. And now, there were kids involved. I didn’t want to break up the family unit. I didn’t want my kids to come from a broken home. Ugh, the damage I did to all of us by trying to stick this one out. We were the absolute opposite of compatible. I will spare you the gory details.

I had so many health issues. I spent months in bed, with nothing more to do than reflect on my past. I knew it had to end. But I was scared. Could I do it alone? Was I strong enough? I started stepping up my game, working harder from home, seeing various specialists and improving my health, and building credit. Once I knew what had to be done, I still wasn’t ready to do it. Things finally worked out in a way that made ending the relationship the most logical decision. It was difficult, but I didn’t need to seek counseling. I threw myself into my work, my writing, and the remodeling of my new house.

After years of thinking about it, deep down, I knew if I were ever to have another relationship again, I’d have to be strong. I’d have to take care of myself first, I’d need a break. I wrote down the pros and cons of dating. Months passed. I thought about what I wanted. What I needed, who I wanted and why. I realized I didn’t need a man to be happy. But I wanted that companionship that had eluded me for most of my life.


Why it's okay to Need a Man


It was always the same set of traits that had always led me to the same conclusion. But, I didn’t want to make the wrong choice with the right choice. So, naively, I  attempted to play the field again, but I didn’t date. I just talked. I talked to several old friends and acquaintances. This time no online dating, no strangers. I weaned them all out. I settled on one for an attempt at dating. We talked for weeks before meeting in person. I knew him from high school. He seemed to fit the criteria. But low and behold, it was a mistake. A big mistake, but one I wanted to cling to because I was sad and lonely. I had basically given up. I was about to turn fifty. There was no more time for mistakes. If I thought dating in my late twenties was hard - whoa. In your fifties, it’s a whole new frontier. Casual dating wasn’t an option for me. 

I took a few weeks to get myself together. I pulled out my list again, and this time, I realized what I always needed had always been there. Sometimes, you just need a friend.


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Are you Struggling to get Along with your Family?


For the next series of posts, we're going to stray a little bit from our regular article topics. We often talk about parenting and share advice for parenting teens, but we've rarely talked about the relationship between two parents. Whether you're married, living together, or co-parenting after a separation, that relationship is a key factor in your parenting success. We want to model healthy, mature relationships for our children, but that is often easier said than done, especially, when you throw in all the expenses of raising a family. However, there are online sources that can help with most of life's struggles. If you're looking for free online relationship counseling, we've got your back.



Is it time to take a look in the mirror? Free online relationship counseling.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Is it time to take a look in the mirror?


As you know, we have a series of mommy bloggers who contribute posts to this website, they also help with our Digital Marketing business. As we get new clients,  we sometimes discover that different clients' needs are better suited to one staffer as opposed to another. Sometimes, it's due to work ethic, ability to communicate on a particular topic, or even a staffer's personal passion (or lack thereof)  for a subject. As the editor-in -chief of this website I also have faced conflict of interests, time constraints, or personality clashes with certain clients' content topics. One that particularly comes to mind, is what, at the time, I saw as a lack of interest in the subject matter. 


After working with the client for several weeks, I came to realize it wasn’t a lack of interest that I was facing, but a lack of personal courage. While speaking to the client each week, I enjoyed the conversation and even felt a kindred spirit with her. On the flip side, I dreaded our weekly consultations. I'd find a dozen reasons to put off those weekly calls. I was consulting her on the best way to promote her articles, so calls were a necessary part of the work week. I felt miserable after our calls. I was trying to avoid that feeling. The client was a divorce consultant... 


Every week, she had shiny, new articles to share and we’d discuss the best way to market them. As I read the articles to prep the marketing strategy and create striking image text, I’d become depressed. These articles were hitting home. I soon realized, I was her target demographic. I didn't like the way it made me feel. It was a slap in the face, a weekly reminder that I needed to make a change in my own life.


I also didn’t like that I was broke. I could easily benefit from utilizing her services, but I couldn’t afford it - or wouldn’t. The fee for the program was $1000.  Most of us don’t have the budget for an unexpected $1000 monthly expense. If we do, our budget considers it an emergency fund  for broken water pipes, a new furnace, or other homeowner’s expenses. The kind of things that  you and your partner would share the blow of the expense. “Sorry, Honey,  I used our emergency money for a divorce consultant.” Yeah, that’s not going to go over well for anybody, right? Keeping those kinds of secrets is exactly why you need a relationship consultant. So, most of us suffer in silence, hoping it will all work itself out. It won’t.


Fast forward two and half years later, here I am. Those articles were the catalyst I needed to start the process of removing myself from a very broken relationship. This meant shaking up the lives of many people, making difficult decisions, and hoping that I was doing the right thing. In the end, I made the right choice. Things aren’t easy, life comes at you way too fast, but emotionally, I’m in a much better place. If only I’d taken advantage of other free online marriage counseling or the many online mental health services sooner, I could’ve avoided some issues and been more prepared to help my children deal with the upheaval it placed on their lives. 


We’re still working out the bugs, but all in all, it was the best decision for everyone involved. Sometimes, you just have to step back and evaluate your situation. Change is scary. If three years ago, someone would've told me that I’d own my own home, be responsible for the note on two cars, two houses, and all the other expenses that take their toll on a head of household, be a single parent with two teenagers in public school, and working outside the home, I would’ve told you that you that I couldn’t do it. Me, the advocate for “You can do it!” would’ve said, I’m not strong enough or capable enough to pull off the life of a professional single mother. I would've rather rolled up in a ball and never got out of bed. 


At the time, I didn’t realize that I was depressed. I had a series of health setbacks. I’d become comfortable in my unhappiness. It was a mess, but at least I knew how everyday was going to play out. Ugh. They all played out the same way. There was no hope for the future, only hope to make it through to the next day- to survive another day. My kids had been feeling the same way. Are we all Disney happy now? No, far from it but, even in these trying times, we all have hope for the future. Stay tuned for more on this story.



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Emotional Issues from Childhood Follow You To Adulthood

Are Your Personal Intimacy Issues Affecting the Family Unit?

Is your relationship in trouble? Straying from our regular blog topics, we’ve been writing a series on mental health. Turns out something that sounds like a very adult subject matter, has a wider effect on our personal lives. Personal intimacy issues. Say what? 

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Emotional Issues from Child Follow You To Adulthood


Generally, when we think of personal intimacy issues we think about sex. However, personal intimacy can also mean emotional intimacy. Many people struggle with emotional intimacy and over time, this alone can break a relationship. You don’t have to be sexually active to struggle with emotional intimacy issues. In fact, emotional intimacy issues can contribute to sexual intimacy. 

Depending on your family situation, you could be setting your kids up for emotional disaster. How do you raise healthy, emotionally intelligent children? Obviously, if we had all the answers, everyone on Earth would be emotionally stable, but life happens, right? 

Depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, and a variety of other common mental health issues can lead to a lifetime of difficulties in interpersonal relationships. If you can’t get along with family members, you’re likely not going to get along with peers or co-workers and your intimate relationships are going to suffer.

If you notice a family member struggling with interpersonal relationships, what can you do? The first step is to identify the problem. What is causing the mental health issue? It could be a chemical imbalance, childhood trauma, abuse, or even neglect.

If your children suffer, the next step is to get help. Whether you seek out a therapist in your community or find help online, getting an outside perspective is key to improving your situation. If the family dynamic is suffering due to personal intimacy issues between the parents, there are many resources online that can help. 

However, I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to get both partners on the same page. Sometimes, one partner would rather throw in the towel than ask for help from an outside source. I’ve been told that if you need an outsider to help, it’s far too late. Other people may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about their personal intimacy issues. For more information on common intimacy issues visit this link:  https://www.regain.us/advice/intimacy/common-intimacy-issues-and-how-to-deal-with-them/

When parents aren’t emotionally or physically connected, the children often face emotional issues as well, and can suffer from neglect. Parents can get so wrapped up in their personal problems, that they neglect their children without even realizing it. The key to a happy, healthy family is to keep all of the cogs working cohesively. Immediately after the breakup of our family, as they watched me fall apart, my children seemed surprisingly well adjusted. 

However, whether they knew it or not, they were holding it together, trying to be strong for mom. As time passed and I grew stronger and more sure about my own choices, my children began to show the after effects of the reality of a broken family. They withdrew, became emotional, and even aggressive at times. It seemed their entire personalities had changed in a few short weeks. 

Not only were we dealing with the break of our family unit, but the raging hormones of the wonderful land of teendom had conveniently coincided with it.  While there’s no good time for a breakup, note to self, the early teenage years have got to be worse. If I had to go back in time and do it all over again, I would do it sooner. My relationship with their father wasn’t good for any of us. Our personalities were not compatible and no amount of trying or counseling were going to improve it.

I struggled with perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive disorder, admitting the relationship wasn’t meant to be was extremely difficult for me. It took my children growing up and becoming reasonable, rational human beings who could recognize that the situation was impossible to repair, to give me the kick in the butt that I needed to move forward with my life. Unfortunately, all of this took a toll on their emotional well-being. 

If you’re facing a difficult situation in your relationship, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek out help. Don’t wait until the issues are out of control and beyond repair. Though humans are resilient, many mental health issues can get worse over time. Be sure you’re doing everything you can to satisfy the needs of your children and protect not only their physical, but also their emotional well- being.

 

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Teen Angst



Feeling Disrespected by Family

Do you often feel cast aside and disrespected by family members?

Are you feeling disrespected in your relationships? Most of us feel disrespected at times, even when no one really means to show us disrespect. Parenting is hard, but being the mom is harder. Society puts pressure on moms to always do the right thing, to put on a happy face, and never to let the family see that you’re human too. How do you know when you’re just feeling emotional versus when the disrespect is out of control? Feeling disrespected by family stifles good vibes, what can you do?

Damned if you do quote
You're damned if you do and damned if you don't quote.

 This sponsored post contains Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

 

Kids will be kids. But when teenagers behave like teenagers, family relationships can get difficult. When do you choose your battle, when do you ignore the emotional roller coaster, and when do you jump on the parenting train to try to fix it? Is it just a phase or are they modeling the behavior of another family member? If your partner is disrespectful, chances are your kids will be too. Not sure if your partner has crossed the line? ReGain has a very eye-opening article that can help you decide.


Get my Debut Novel: Allegedly Mystic


If your kids are suffering from the effects of your relationship, they may act out or become depressed. Children, especially teens, get frustrated by their lack of control over their life situations. Sometimes they feel like the situation is hopeless- no matter how hard you try to work with them. I’ve been down this road more than once. It doesn’t get any easier with practice. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and be prepared to be the bad guy no matter what you say. The old adage, “You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t,” starts to feel like the title of your life.

When I split with my partner of fifteen years, we all suffered with depression and the fear of the unknown. As a parent, watching your children suffer is painful. No matter how much you want to help, your help may not be the answer. Public school counselors can often help zero in on issues like adhd, autism, depression, suicidal tendencies, or other emotional issues. If you’re a homeschooler, finding an affordable counselor isn’t as easy. There are many online resources. This article might help a teen who is fighting to hold back tears when they’re feeling frustrated or angry: Why do I cry when I’m Mad?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this article from GoodTherapy shares a list of teen help hotlines and other free mental health resources. Your pediatrician can also do a depression evaluation survey, and based on the results, refer you to a family counselor. Many family therapists operate on a sliding scale. 


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After the upheaval in our family, the kids and I moved to our happy place. A little cottage on a quiet lake, where we could swim, kayak, and birdwatch to our heart’s content. The first few weeks we kept our minds busy by remodeling the house, but after a while reality set in, and we decided to try family counseling. No one really enjoyed it, we had to make some sacrifices to find an affordable therapist which ended up being an hour from home. By the time we got off the waiting list, much of the family dynamic had changed and the diagnosis was changed from severe depression to adhd. The counselor had to have a diagnosis for our insurance to continue to pay, but it didn’t really seem to fit our circumstances.

With other members of the family with adhd, we had some prior experience dealing with the ups and downs, and this really wasn’t the same thing. It was nice to have a neutral party listen to our problems, but it wasn’t really worth the trouble. It caused more stress on an already stressed relationship, because the kids didn’t want to go and the family dynamic continued to play out. I know that sounds counterintuitive. I know that I’m the parent and I shouldn’t let the kids overrule me, but believe me, this wasn’t good for any of us. At the time, an online therapy option would’ve been ideal. 

Finally, the best solution for our family came through the advice of our pediatrician, the kids needed their own life. They needed more activities that they enjoyed. Sure, we did homeschool groups, 4-H, and summer camps, but it wasn’t enough. My kids were at a place in their lives where they needed more, even if they didn’t want more. They also needed less. Less time with mom, less time with each other. We all needed some space to help distance ourselves from the previous situation.

The biggest battle we faced was a lack of real relationships. There were no close relationships so that the kids could see healthy family behaviors modeled. We lived over an hour away from any relatives, so extended family time was few and far between. It was definitely time for a major change. After some heartfelt conversations with the pediatrician, relatives, and close friends, we decided our life needed an overhaul. The biggest piece of the puzzle that we all longed for was a sense of belonging. So we packed our bags and moved back to my hometown where we could be closer to family that would provide a support network as we all stepped out into the real world for the first time in years. I took a part-time job as an activity assistant at a retirement home and the kids both enrolled in public school. Talk about change! Change is scary, but sometimes we need a catalyst to set our lives in the right direction. All of these changes have led me to a wonderful opportunity with our local Habitat for Humanity. Look for more updates in coming posts.

 

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Introducing Tracey and her Tempo


Tracey's Tempo

His, Mine, and Ours 
Our Life as a Big Blended Family   
Every parent knows that raising a family of any size and structure is a challenge. Every child has their own personality and the bigger the family,the more of a Master Schedule/Juggler you become.Then there are mixed families; couples that marry, or remarry, partners that have children from a previous marriage or relationship. This is the case for our family. In fact, in our case, things are even a little more complicated.


When I was introduced to my (now) husband, Mark, I had two young children, a five year-old son, Garrett, from a previous relationship (one of those short-lived “what was I thinking” relationships that change the course of everything), and a three year-old daughter, Ainsley, from a previous marriage.


Mark also had two children of his own, eight year-old daughter, Emma, and six year-old son, Alex, both from a previous marriage. Almost six years later, we now have a four year-old daughter, Olivia, and one more on the way, due in late September.


As you can imagine, schedules often overlap and clash and it is just something we have to work through. Sometimes it is asking for help from one of the kids other parents, sometimes it is Mark leaving work early to help, and sometimes we just have to let something slip through the cracks, which is always a disappointment but sometimes just needs to be done.