Becoming a blended family…sorta

How to survive a long-distance relationship as a single parent.

Step 1: I have no idea. Help!

Hello, friends and readers.

Let me give it to you straight: this former over-sharing mom blogger has been reminded of why she….wait…I am going to stop talking in the third person now. A couple weeks ago, I was reminded why I closed down Solo Mama blog. Let’s just say that some readers can be a little “extra” with their reading/comments/online ‘research’. I recognize that it is a choice I make to share information about myself and my little family on a public space. And so anything I have written or posted is up for public consumption. But sometimes I am reminded of why that makes me so uncomfortable and I take a step or two back.

No doubt about it, I’ve formed some great friendships – online and in person – thanks to blogging. I met the love of my life through my Solo Mama blog, so I’m living proof that blogging does work as well as – if not better than – Tinder and OKCupid. Okay, okay, I jest… Just sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable knowing that someone is up at 3 am reading every single post I’ve written since the dawn of time 2012. Is my writing that good? Or is my life just that much of a circus that someone reads about it as if it were as compelling as a Margaret Atwood novel?

So that being said, let’s get down to the sharing. (Can’t stop, won’t stop).

Evelyn and I leave for Florida on Wednesday. We’ll stay with Bri and her daughter for a few days before we head back home to Toronto. We are both really excited and we’ll have lots of fun in a part of the world that we don’t get to see as much as we’d like, with people we don’t get to see nearly as much as we’d like.

This is the second time the girls will share space, despite the fact that Bri and I first met in person in October 2016 . Those of you following along have likely noticed that Bri comes to Toronto a lot more often than I go to Florida. It’s easier for her to travel on her own than it is for me to travel with a small child. Her daughter isn’t able to come visit us in Toronto and so, the only chance all 4 of us get to be together is when we’re in Florida.

It…sucks. I’m not gonna lie. Do you want to take a guess at how many times I’ve wished we live in the same city? If you guessed “countless”, you would be correct. It’s challenging enough to try and be a “blended family” for anyone but then put 1400 miles between you and your love interest and that makes things just that much harder. Add travel challenges for one of the kids and it’s even harder. Add work schedules to consider and that makes it even harder. Add kids’ personality differences and…I think you get my point here. None of this is easy. And if Bri wasn’t as wonderful as she is, and if this love and connection wasn’t what it is, then one or both of us would’ve thrown in the towel by now. Because really who does this unless they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of the expense and effort and missing is completely worth it? (And it is).

In an ideal situation, our children would have a chance to gradually get to know one another – play dates, moving to sleepovers, moving onto extended stays in each other’s homes and eventually sharing a home. But in our situation, we don’t get the luxury of the gradual introduction. We don’t get the opportunity to let the girls spend time together but then get space from one another. Instead, we’re all under the same roof for 24 hours for however long we’re together. This poses some challenges, to be sure, but it also just makes me sad. Not the togetherness but the lack of opportunity for it.

Pity parties are a regular thing over here in my corner of the world/world wide web. 

For my own selfish reasons, I wish Bri and I lived in the same city. But most especially for our children, I wish that.  All the wishing in the world won’t change things, and so we make the best of it. We extend understanding to our children. To Bri’s daughter for having (almost) strangers in her space and throwing off her routine for a few days. To Evelyn – who is used to quiet and having space –  for being in a new place and around people constantly. To both of them for sharing their moms’ attention and affection.

First family portrait, courtesy of one of Bri’s friends

I am counting down the days/hours/minutes/seconds until we’re all together again. Adventure and love await us in South Florida.

We will watch our two girls get to know one another a little better.

We’ll stay up too late playing Scrabble and drinking wine, only to have one or both of our kids (both of whom are terrible sleepers) wake up the moment we decide to lay down and try to sleep.

We’ll go to the beach, visit some of Bri’s family, and hold hands throughout the duration of the 5 days.

We’ll deal with small children who squabble over toys and jump all through the house (and sometimes off the walls).

We’ll fall in love a little more and find ourselves wishing – once again – that we hadn’t messed up the geography part of our life’s plans before we were born.

We’ll sort it out eventually but for now, we’ll smile a lot, laugh ’til we cry, and cry again when it’s time to say goodbye.


14 thoughts on “Becoming a blended family…sorta

  1. I’m both excited that you get to spend time with Bri and her daughter and I’m also so sad that you constantly have to deal with the physical distance that separates your family. I hope you make wonderful memories on this trip! Enjoy the beach, wine and scrabble!
    Also for what it’s worth, I don’t think there is ever an ideal way to combine a family. You two will do great with your instant visits because you are both amazing moms and because you don’t have any choice in the matter. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Your confidence in me/us means a lot. ❤

      You know those people in your life (I'm sure Mr. MPB is one of them) who you KNOW you'll have fun with no matter what you're doing? That's what Bri is to me so I'm sure no matter what we do (even if we wake up 50 times a night thanks to shitty sleepers) we'll have a good time!

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  2. I hope you all have an amazing time together! Also, when I binge read a blog it’s because it is relatable, real, well written, and most importantly because I crave glimpses into other peoples’ lives, heads, and hearts. For instance, I’m on and off binge reading MPB’s adoption tagged posts because I accidentally unfollowed her years ago and need some filling in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This person was local which always skeeves me out – I get weirded out when a Toronto person binges because I “worry” (for lack of a better term) that they know me or I work with them or something…my own fault for being so open about who we are on a public blog, I know!

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      1. TBH, I do that sometimes. But, its not to creep out the person, I don’t anonymous creep but with profile. 🙂 Sometimes you just read an article and form a kinship with the person and want to know more. or sometimes, its an article about a painful moment / emotion for the blogger and I feel sad and want to know more. But in such cases mostly, I am tearing up reading more and have to stop myself.
        In either case, I leave a comment 🙂 But I hear you about it being scary.

        I was stalked online once, and it completely freaked me out for a long time because that person left no profile information etc.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve done it too – I’ve TOTALLY binge-read on people’s blogs! I just get freaked out a little because I have also had a stalker and I guess I have a little PTSD. I’ve also had people feel like they KNEW-knew me when I knew absolutely nothing about them, thanks to my over sharing blog! But yeah – I’m as guilty as the next gal on the binge reading. I do try to leave comments tho to say ‘hey! I read this whole thing and your writing is great!”

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  3. I’m with you in that I walk a fine line between “well, I put it out there” and “yikes, this person is really intrusive” and I still haven’t found a balance I’m comfortable with, but password protecting older posts makes me feel a little more in control. I mean, if you need to read what I wrote in 2014, just ASK ME, I guess is my deal.

    I’m happy you get to spend time together, but hoping for a time when this is easier on all four of you. Until then, cheers to you all for making it work regardless of how hard it can be. ❤

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    1. Thank you! I’ve got a post-visit update living inside my brain now that I need to type out before the memories aren’t so fresh.

      And I think the password protecting old posts solution makes a lot of sense. My entire old Solo Mama blog is all private now. I’ve lost a lot of connections with former readers, but all of my favourites seem to have found their way to this one, and I like that the audience is smaller/more intimate anyway.

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  4. I am massively annoyed right now because I have followed your blog at least 3 times, but apparently it never actually worked because I have not seen a single one of these posts. I just thought you weren’t writing! I have some reading to do. I am so mad at WordPress right now. (Also because I am in the midst of trying to launch a new wordpress site for work and it has been HELL, so WP is totally on my list today.)

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    1. I just checked and it looks like you’re subscribed this time around! WordPress has been a real bear lately. I hope your work WordPress launch is going more smoothly now!

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