Once upon a time, I went off to college and got a degree in writing. I married and had a baby, worked at a newspaper, had another baby, worked at another newspaper, had another baby. Before long, I learned it was hard to balance kiddos and news and marriage and all the things that got tossed into the mixing bowl of “life.”
Later, after my marriage disintegrated and I was raising three kiddos essentially on my own (as in…I was the parent at home, but I had an AWESOME village of support), I went back to school to get a graduate degree in…Communications. So, I was spending a LOT of time researching and writing and I remembered how much I loved the art of storytelling.
I also began to notice there wasn’t a lot of positive blog action for single moms. The one I found and followed eventually got married. As I was approaching my second marriage, I also realized there’s not a lot out there for blended families. At least, I can’t find much. What I’ve found has been helpful and I know we all have stories to tell. I live with an amazing man, whom we shall call Mr. Awesome, and five…FIVE…children. We have some really great times, and some struggles. He is a counselor and has awesome parenting advice while being the most patient man with this (kind of) high strung mama.
I thought a blog, as we adjust to being a blended family, might be something that could help others, while giving me a chance to share some of the things we’ve tried to give you some ideas…or some “oopsies” so you can avoid them!
#minivanalonetime was a hashtag I started using as I escaped the house for runs to the store, or what I called the time I spent in the garage when I got home — a few minutes of blissful quiet in a house often filled with noise and busy-ness. I thought…maybe there was a blog in there…and turns out TONS OF OTHER MOMS use that same hashtag because THEY GET IT! Sometimes mamas just need a moment of quiet.
It was recently pointed out to me that there are not a lot of blogs for moms of older kids. Ours range in age from 10 to 18, so we are going through ALL the tween and teen stuff on a daily basis. With a delicate balance (in order to keep our kids’ lives private) I want to share a little about that, too.
And then, the curve ball (because life ALWAYS throws those). My kids’ dad petitioned and received 50/50 custody this spring. So now, after 8 years of being a full-time parent with just one – and then years later two – weekends off a month, I have to learn how to adjust to a blended family of five one week AND being without my children (or any children!) the next. The first week they were gone and I was driving my mini-van around town…alone time took on a whole new meaning.
mini-van alone time (noun)
- the time used to escape from parenting chaos to find some quiet in the confines of one’s glam-mama ride
- the lame time a co-parent cruises around town in an empty mini-van
- anytime a mama can get control of the radio, volume, and snacks in the family mini-van
And here we are… navigating down the highway of life in our mini-vans, sometimes sans kiddos, sometimes trying to escape those kiddos. Motherhood is a great ride, so let’s get buckled in and help each other find our way.