I have heard over the years that single parenting is hard: financially, emotionally and so much more. I stand corrected. Stepparenting, by far, is THE hardest job one can have. Sure there may be the stepmom or stepdad out there who would have a difference of opinion, however on the whole I think most would agree.
When my boyfriend and I first decided to move in together I had thought this will make it easier, all the kids in the same school, same schedules, etc. I WAS WRONG. Please don't misunderstand me, I love my stepchildren; they each have their strengths and unique talents and personalities. What I have discovered is that my daughter and I are generally quiet, calm people with our own set routines, likes and dislikes and no matter what you do each person (and family) is different. Making two families one is a challenge (to say the least).
About two - three months into this journey the newness and fun of it all wore off. I found myself in the bookstores seeking out self-help books for Stepparenting and Blended Families. That wasn't much help, there were a handful of books and I walked out with Stepparenting for Dummies and Dare to Discipline (that one was for him). Neither of which have been read. I have sought the advice of those who have been there and done that and after all this I have concluded it takes PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE. A virtue I have never had much of. I love my family. (I know I keep saying that as though I need to assure myself that indeed I do.)
A year into this we have been creating all new routines and likes and dislikes. I write this blog to reach out to those other families who are experiencing the challenges of making two families one; dealing with the other parent; clothes going back and forth and more often than not never coming back, yes especially the "nice" clothes; the sports equipment you can't remember if it is in one car or the other, one house or the other; and any other challenges I have yet to mention. So if you have anything to share, be it advice or venting, please do.