I don’t really like the term “Blended Family”. Nor do I really care for the term “stepmom” either, but that’s a different blog post.

What Does “Blended Family” Mean, Really?

I couldn’t figure out why it was referred to as a “blended family” nowadays instead of a stepfamily. It was always referred to as a stepfamily when I was growing up and there were not that many of them. I was intrigued, so I did some research.

During the research, I discovered the term “blended families” was traditionally used for couples of mixed races.  Then the term changed to include families where there are at least one stepkid and an “ours” kid. However, with the “Step” in “stepmom”, “stepkid”, and “stepfamiliy” starting to take on a negative connotation, over time the definition changed yet again. According to “Segen’s Medical Dictionary“, the current definition of a “Blended Family” is:  “A family unit comprised of both biological and adopted children, and/or with children of different races, and/or a family with step-parent relationships arising from remarriage with parents who already have children from a previous marriage or relationship”.

And I can’t help but laugh at the definition of the word “blended” by itself. The definition of blended means “well-mixed”. Ha! That is so far from the truth for a lot of the blended families, especially in blends that are only less than five years old. It takes, on average, eight years for a blended family to blend, or “mix well”.

The Blender Hurts!

Apparently, years two to three are when the stepmoms feel the blades of the blend cutting them up. Maybe stepmoms are the fruit on the top. It’s all fun and games until the blades hit, and they hurt, and then you get so overcome with pain, you are numb and then you are happy with the blend! Just kidding! Sort of.  Blending is hard. Marriage and relationships are hard without the blend. Don’t try to force the blend, put it on the lowest setting. It will take longer than full force Ninja Super Strong Speed on the mixer, but it will be a lot smoother ride.

Ron Deal, President of Smart Stepfamilies, says stepfamilies should be cooked in crock pots, not in blenders. Great analogy! I would even add to put it on low heat and let it cook slower and longer! There’s a reason for this! It takes time. As mentioned above, the average time to “blend” is eight years! You cannot rush it and expect good results.

There’s Hope!

If you have been hurt by the blades of the blender, please take some time to learn to Nacho, so you can heal, and so we can help you step back and re-engage in a healthy role for you and your blend.

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