When Children Mix Like Oil And Water

Today’s family dynamics are much different from the stereo typical Cleavers, Andersons, or later the Cunninghams.  There are still many households out there where mom is the birth mother and dad is the biological dad of all of the children. There certainly is nothing wrong with this.  If they are happy and it works for them then that is all that matters.

What works for others may be two moms with one, both, or neither, being the biological parent, or two dads with the same scenario.  There are single moms and single dad households, due to either divorce or death. There are moms with kids married or living with dads with kids full-time or part-time.  Some go on to have children together and all live happy lives.

Then there is my family.

This is not the first marriage for either my husband or myself.  He is husband #2 and the final one I might add, I am wife #3, and probably the last.

We came into this relationship twenty-one years ago with the understanding that I did not want a man around full-time, and he did not want a woman with a ready-made family.   I was just coming out of a ten-year marriage that if not for my four children would have been a total mistake. I’m sure he would agree. My husband had already been through two marriages and five children.  He was certainly not looking to take on the responsibility of four more.

Somewhere in the first couple of months together we realized something had gone terribly wrong with that understanding and we were a couple.  A couple of whats is still up for vote. After everything we had gone through separately, we had managed to find the one other person in life we were supposed to be with.  No matter how much we dislike each other sometimes.

Next step was introducing the kids to each other.  It would only be his two youngest as his oldest were not in the picture.  (I have yet to meet my oldest two step kids and have pretty much given up on that)

I’m sure we were all nervous and the kids were probably a bit scared, but we forged ahead.  I had visions of a house full of kids, all getting along, all playing together, one big happy “every other weekend” family.   Oh my Lord was I wrong! My girls got territorial about their things, my step daughter got very possessive of her dad, and the boys were ages 9, 5, & 2.  Too much of a span as children.   It didn’t work and it wasn’t going to work. We had to alternate weekends.

One weekend was my kids and one was his. It sucked but it only lasted until they were teenagers.  Then they all turned against us. Right after our wedding, contact with his youngest two pretty much stopped. They wouldn’t come out because there was nothing for them to do, and mine had started moving out one by one.  It was the most horrible time in our lives.

It was about that time hubby’s ex #2 and I tried to get his children from marriage #1 out to see him. He was going through a trial treatment for Hepatitis C and we didn’t know if he was going to make it. She knew the kids from when they had been together and she knew the other ex-wife. It never happened and his other two broke contact also. My pipe dream of a big happy family went out the window. Somehow though, he made it through the treatment, his HCV became undetectable, and we managed to stay together.

Many years later, 2005 as a matter of fact, while saying our goodbyes to my father, my husband got the call that he was going to be a grandfather. We weren’t sure what that was going to mean for us.  Seven years had passed with little to no contact and now there was a new baby entering into the mix.  It was all mute as our lives went on for probably another two years without another word. Then out of the blue contact was made again. A huge airing of hurt feelings, disappointments, and bad blood was exchanged via email. Grandpa was invited to see his grandson for the first time.

We tried after that to get all the kids together. They were adults after all. We, or maybe I was hoping they would have something in common besides us being their parents.  Nope. They were polite and civil, but there was no connection there. I threw in the towel once again and accepted the fact that for two people who blend together perfectly our children will always mix like oil and water.

The last time we had five of them together in one place was for my 50th birthday party.  It was such a rare occasion that I made them pose for a picture.

 546599_3810686353270_770226545_n
Top to Bottom, left to right
Michael, Beth, Guilia, Joe, Jim, me, Danielle

Since that picture was taken we have had two more grand-babies, and soon another wedding.  Still everything remains his or mine. We go to everything we can, but it is starting to get a bit complicated and we are having to choose between our kids.  No matter how much I shake my head I can’t get the oil and water to mix.

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About ramblinann

I live in Massachusetts and always have. I sell healthy holistic pet food as an independant rep with Life's Abundance. That is done mostly from home on my computer. When I'm not working for myself with the pet food, I am sitting behind the wheel of a big yellow school bus.
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7 Responses to When Children Mix Like Oil And Water

  1. Wowser, that sounds complicated! I don’t think that you should give up though. You don’t know what kind of impact you’ll have on all of the kids around you. (Grown and little.) I think that the best lessons I learned from my parents were the ones that they didn’t know that they were teaching me. My mom has boundless stores of patience and is kind to everyone. My dad is very strong-willed and stands up for what he thinks is right. I remember being a teenager and thinking that my parents (and the world) owed me something. I would become angry and resentful at pretty much everything that they did, but no matter how much of a terror I was they let me know that they will always be there for me and that if I need help, I just have to ask.

    Be patient and welcoming. They will notice. 🙂

    • ramblinann says:

      Wow you were angry and resentful as a teenager? Sorry I had to ask. You are in good company with the rest of us. LOL Funny thing is I always wanted “The Waltons” and sort of ended up with “Roseanne” The older they get the more I’d like to think we had something to do with them being such good people.

  2. Karen says:

    Maybe oil and water will never mix but the end result of a bit of shaking and stirring gets you something that’s pretty darned good. 🙂 Your spirit shines through your post. Thanks for your story, Ann.

    • ramblinann says:

      Now that my mother lives with us it might be the perfect excuse to have parties here. At least during the summer when we can be outside. That might be the shaking needed to get them all together. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. nivaladiva says:

    Great post and nice to see your face, Ann. I agree with the comment above. Don’t give up. if you and your husband show them love and keep communication lines open, that’s the most important thing. You never know, they might come around more as they grow older and have more children themselves.

    • ramblinann says:

      Thank you, it is hard because now they have things going on and they always seem to fall on the same day. We don’t get to see our oldest grandson in school programs because they live an hour away, but I am hoping he starts playing some Saturday sports. I was looking forward to being a sports grandma. 🙂 You are right, as long as we keep the lines of communication open things will work out somehow. Oh and that face was after a night of no sleep because the girls from work kept me over night at a casino. I try to avoid cameras all together, but wanted a pic of the five kids that were there.

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