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I have an amazing step-dad, but we didn’t fall into the blended family mix as he had no previous children to add to our brood. My incredible guest speaker today, Esther Hutchison, discusses her Brady Bunch (plus one) life and the struggles that come with blended families.

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We don’t know what we don’t know! I didn’t fully understand what I was getting into with a blended family beforehand. I am currently playing the role of wife and mother in a blended family of nine. I have been on this blended family journey with my husband for the past six years, and I can honestly say it been one of the biggest challenges of my life! We did the best we could to prepare ourselves for our blended family, but with seven children between the two of us, life has its share of twists and turns. I mean, it would be difficult enough raising seven kids in a conventional family. Life can get pretty crazy considering all that goes along with a blended family: shared custody; two families suddenly combining in one household to do life; and all that goes along with being in a blended family.

Struggles Blended Families Face

One obstacle we have had to work to overcome in our blended relationship is trust.

You might ask, “Well, why would you marry him if you don’t trust him?” I do trust my husband, but I am talking about a different kind of trust here. After we got married, I realized that I didn’t trust he could or would treat all of the children equally. I feared favoritism. My lack of trust in my husband caused me to go on a crazy woman cycle. I questioned everything he did. I asked him questions like, “Why are you doing this for your kids and not mine?” or “Why do we do the fun things when your kids are around?” What I didn’t notice is that we were doing things with my kids regularly since we have them full time. When his kids would come around, he wanted to make it special for them since he only has them half the time.

A second big challenge in our blended family has been unrealistic expectations.

After we said “I do”, I naively expected we would be a big happy family. Well, I knew there would be some challenges, but we would be running like a well-oiled machine, for the most part, I thought. My reality was very different! For example, I was expecting everyone to love each other right away, but my husband’s youngest didn’t like the idea of sharing his daddy at first. The rest of the kids were distant towards each other in the beginning as well. These are just a couple of examples that reminded me I had brought an unhealthy set of expectations into my new marriage.

Lack of trust and expectations can and will cause serious issues in the marriage.

The way I dealt with the lack of trust was to remind myself who I married. I focused on the positive things my husband was doing for my boys. I chose to believe he cares and he loves them instead of letting fear control me. It was not easy, and almost six years later, I still need to check myself from time to time! I learned to accept and appreciate my reality rather than my false expectations. My reality is we don’t have a traditional family, and I’m perfectly fine with that. We have to be creative and flexible with traditions, family events, etc. Our house is crazy, hectic, and unpredictable at times, loud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Major Struggles Blended Families Face

Sometimes, when we don’t know what we don’t know, it can be a good thing. With all these trials comes great reward. If I had known what I didn’t know before marrying my husband, I may have let fear control my actions, and I could have missed out the many blessings this big blended family has bestowed upon me!

Two Major Struggles Blended Families Face

Esther Hutchison GuestEsther Hutchison and her husband, Jay are Relationship Coaches/YouTubers, who are followed by thousands and whose content from their channel has been featured in the DailyMail. Esther’s experience lends her heart to passionately motivate people to grow closer in their marriage and families through their hardships and mistakes. Esther and Jay live in Florida with their big blended family of seven children. Sign up here for her free weekly family/marriage tips.

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