Blended families, minimalism and compromise…

I’m a busy mum with two kids of my own – a son (12) and daughter (10).

And kind of like The Brady Bunch, I’ve inherited another two kids with my partner, who has primary custody of his son (16) and daughter (11).

Four kids. Yikes! I often wonder how on earth this happened to me. But it did!

Mixing families is never easy. Over the last few years, as we’ve introduced our kids to one another, we’ve all had our share of ups and downs, and we’re doing pretty well, I think.

But with mixing families, we also have to make some concessions. One of the concessions my partner and I decided we wouldn’t make was on giving the kids space of their own.

Our options, when we first moved in together, were as follows:

a) Put the boys in together (16 and 12) and the girls in together (11 and 10, but from different families in each case, and my daughter has special needs and doesn’t sleep well)

b) Put his kids in together (a 16 year old boy with an 11 year old girl) and my kids in together (a 12 year old boy and a 10 year old girl with special needs)

c) Give the oldest (his 16 year old boy) a room of his own and make the others share in some way

d) Give the youngest (a girl with special needs a room of her own) and make the others share in some way.

None of the sharing options worked well. So we settled on a different option altogether, and decided that all of the kids needed their own room. Their own space.

It was hard finding a home that was big enough on our particular budget, and in the end, the home we’ve found is beautiful and in an ideal position, but it does need some work. We’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and get busy! That was the compromise we were willing to make.

The compromise we made also meant that my dream of owning a smaller home went out the window. I’m now the minimalist with a five bedroom home!

I’m the minimalist with the five bedroom home!

What I’ve learned from this is that people are more important than ideals. The house is bigger than I wanted, and I feel like an old fraud, preaching minimalism while living in a big house. But it is what we need, for our particular circumstances, with four kids from two families and one of those kids with special needs.

The truth is, minimalism means own what you need, and nothing more. If you need a big home, then buy the big home and don’t feel guilty. I need a big home, every square foot of it will be used.

My version of minimalism might be different from yours, and yours might be different from the next person’s. Have what you need, and be content. We’re looking forward to moving into our new home, and everyone having space of their own.

Sometimes space is a good thing. Especially when you’re blending families 🙂

5 thoughts on “Blended families, minimalism and compromise…

    • Hi Helen – Yes, we really felt that way.
      Having a blended family is a juggling act at the best of times.
      It’s all about caring for each member of the family, and making sure that nobody feels left out, second best or left behind. It’s been hard to do that at times, and I’m sure that each of the kids has sometimes felt like they’re not getting the attention they need (didn’t we all feel that way growing up?) but we’re doing our best. Part of that is recognising that the kids need space and time to grow together.
      I think we’re doing okay. I hope so! 🙂
      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

      • I’m sure my daughter, who is an only child, feels she doesn’t always get the attention she needs!

        In Britain, incidentally, legally children of different genders must not share a room over the age of nine (I think), so that would have made one of your options impossible, anyway. And I think it would be a bit cruel to force children who don’t know each terribly well to share, so you definitely did the best.

        Like

    • Hi – My dream is still the tiny home, or the house bus. It might just have to wait until I retire, that’s all! 😉 But we’re doing okay. When I see how excited the kids are about the new home, and moving, I can’t help but think we’ve made the right decision 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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