It was the first ‘gathering’ I had at home as a teenager. I had instructed mum that she was to stay upstairs in her room and watch T.V, while I had my friends over. I had also instructed her that ‘he’ was not to come.
Once my 20 or so friends had arrived and mum had greeted them at the door, I ushered her upstairs to her bedroom and thanked her. I gave myself an internal hi-five, everything was going to plan.
Until… ‘he’ arrived.
My stepdad walked through the front door with sausages in his hand and I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t stop there, he came outside to greet all my friends and all my friends started to greet him. “Hi Mr. Dawson, how are you?”
I sat there fuming. Giving my friends the eyes (you know the bulgy eyes you give people when you really want them to shut up? Yeah, those ones). Why would he do this? I told him I didn’t need him to bring food. He isn’t my dad! Stop trying to be my dad.
"He isn’t my dad!" Image via 'Blended', Warner Bros.
Why did mum invite him? Was it mums personal mission to see me squirm with discomfort and awkwardness?
Of course not, we were both navigating our way through our new ‘normal’ and we didn’t have a road map for directions.
Blended families have become the ‘modern family’ of our generation and let me tell you, it’s not always easy to navigate them. But, it is very possible.
The first step: open up the lines of communication. This is the back bone to blending families.