Misadventures in Baby Raising

http://misadventuresinbabyraising.blogspot.com/

Misadventures in Baby Raising is where I share my mis-adventures in parenting four children and two step-children, review products that are of interest to families, talk about and share my favorite recipes and so much more!

Allison is a winner of Top 25 Moms with Blended Families - 2012

What aspect of being in a blended family has surprised you?

I think the aspect of being in a blended family that has surprised me most is just how easily it can work! I grew up in a blended family that wasn't always cohesive so I never really experienced a blended family that worked. When I married my husband I came into the relationship with two children from previous relationships and he came in with two children of his own and though it wasn't easy, but we made it work!

When I gave birth to our son and then a little over a year later our daughter, my husband and I seen a transformation in our children and their relationships with one another, it was like the births of the babies bonded them all because together! We truly have a modern day "Yours, Mine and Ours" going on, it woks for us and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

What's a good tip for preventing sibling rivalry?

I think that sibling rivalry is something that almost every family is faced with, no matter how close the children are! My oldest daughters fight constantly about the silliest things, but at the end of the day they always have each others backs and to me that's what matters most, that no matter how much they disagree they are always there for one another!

One of the things I've found that really prevents my children from arguing and from being so competitive with each other is having them spend time together working on a project that takes the cooperation of two people to be successful; if my oldest daughter's get in trouble for arguing with one another, my plan of action is always to make them spend more time together! It doesn't have to be an academic project, it can be something as simple as planting flowers or cleaning up after dinner. By making them work together to reach a common goal, they learn to work together without arguing and when they come to an argument they can almost always work it out between the two of them.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to moms who are about to become part of a blended family?

Be patient and don't give up!

If I had a dollar for every time I thought about giving up early on, I'd filthy rich!

I'm not going to lie, being part of a blended family is hard, it takes work and it takes the cooperation of all family members to make it successful! It doesn't happen over night so being patient while everyone (including you) gets adjusted to a new way of life, sometimes a new house, new rules, new authority figures is extremely necessary!

It's also extremely important to treat all of the children the same and not favor your own children! I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was for me to do this in the beginning, but I quickly realized that as hard as it was for me, it was even harder for my step-children! In the beginning I did small things like buying each of my children a candy bar when I went to the grocery store and forgetting to buy my step-children one, it wasn't done intentionally, it was done out of habit, but seeing how disappointed my step-children were when it happened made me realize pretty quickly how important it was that I always did the same for all of the kids!

It's been nearly six years and now I think of my step-children as my own and I haven't forgotten to buy two extra candy bars in a long, long time!

What are some creative ways for a couple to incorporate their own children from previous marriages into their wedding day?

Allison

My husband and I didn't have an actual wedding, but we made sure to include our children in our vow ceremony by having them stand up with us as we were saying our vows. My step-son and my son stood up with my husband and all three of my girls and my step-daughter stood up with me. It was a special moment for not only my husband and I, but for our kids as well because they actually felt like they were being "married" into the family that we were creating together!
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