Amy Urbach is the founder of Blended and Bonded. http://blendedandbonded.com/ She and Eric have been married for 6 years. They have 5 kids. Amy has a 21 year old daughter that is a Junior in college majoring in Marriage and Family Counseling. Amy also has a 17 year old son, he is active in band and wants to go to culinary school. Eric has a 13 year old son that is very active in sports, an 10 year old daughter and a 8 year old daughter. Both girls are active in dance and twirling. We are honored to have Amy partner with us for Blended Family Month at Awesome Marriage.
Nobody gets married thinking, “Someday I’m going to get divorced, remarried and live happily ever after”. But all too often many people find themselves in that very situation. Statics suggest that either you, someone in your family or someone you know are in a blended family.
I have learned that life experience is the best way to reach out to others. Sometimes it can be as simple as sharing your story. Although as difficult as times may be, I am thankful that my experience may offer some comfort to others. Support in this life of blended families is key.
It is easy to look at all the things that go wrong with blended families. It is easy to dwell on the lack of control we may feel at times, or the negative behavior of others. When we make a choice to focus on the things we can control and the things that we can change, we then gain back control and peace. It is when we realize that we can only control our environments and actions that we can have a heart of gratitude. It is our attitude that determines whether our kids will be angry, insecure, frightened or emotionally hurt. As adults, we must make a choice to take the burden off our children and allow them to be kids and freely love everyone.
My husband and I have a very busy life. We are a family of 7. I have two children and my husband has 3. I come from a blended family. I have had a stepmom since I was 5, my kids have a stepmom and I am a stepmom. I have seen, first hand, all angles of blended families. As Ron Deal says, blended families don’t have a family tree, they have a forest. Although the ideal situation may be to never have to deal with the forest of a blended family, I am thankful for all of the family I have. I have two sisters and a brother that I may have never had otherwise. I am so thankful that my stepmom and I are great friends and can spend time together. I remember, as a kid, times were not always smooth and easy, but she kept a steady course and cared to fight the fight. She is now a good friend that I thoroughly enjoy spending time with and thankful to have in my life.
I am thankful for my kids’ stepmom as well as the relationship I am able to have with her. I won’t say that I don’t experience times of jealousy or frustration, but I know she has a good heart and my kids’ best interest at heart. I am thankful for her involvement in their lives as well as their fathers. I am thankful that my ex-husband and I have been able to look past our differences and hurts and work together for the greater good of the kids. There are times of disagreement and conflict, but stepping back and looking at the big picture has worked for us.