Transitions Of A Blended Family: The Ties That Bond

Being in a blended family has had its own ups and downs over the past few years. Even more so after the loss of a baby. (See my last post, here.)

But amongst the chaos there is a fiery beauty. And the bonds made in our household are simply, forever.

How we’ve Transitioned over the years

Between elementary school, then middle school and then high school…. its easy when you have ONE family schedule but THREE? We choose to take on a lot so that all the kids experience living life outside of us.

That means more dads, more family members and lots more Miles from home. (Ha, puns!)

I’ll highlight a few that have really stood out lately since two years ago.

#MSfamily left to right: Kevin, Miles, Michael, Theodore, Danielle & Ellington

Body changes

Whew where do I start? Between foul smelling feet to death ridden armpits I’ve had my fair share of raging hormones. We talk often about body parts, sharing our bodies and how our bodies develop into adulthood. We also throw deep talks on masturbation, pornography and sexual orientation. All these make my kids squeamish but ignites my soul knowing that we have an “open door” policy. We’ve even gotten support from extended family with books too.

Brotherly dynamic

Just two years ago, I would hear my children playing together in the backyard throwing a football. Now I’m lucky to see all my children together between rages of “Bruh, you’re stupid”, after-school programs and the really heightened argument over something small. What have we done more/differently?

  • We have designated family times (mealtimes are sacred) where we all interact even with a wandering toddler
  • We overly communicate convos and actions we see outside our home
  • Less closed doors. Mostly physically. A part from the shower, even at bedtime the doors remain mostly open. (My oldest teenager boasts that he closes [and locks] his bedroom door when with other family so he doesn’t have to wake up as early. For real…) (This has changed somewhat since the baby likes “bathroom watching”)

Life, Death & Morals

This has really changed conversations within our family. Often times I speak of Ella Jo (there heavenly baby sister) and they nod and smile. But lately we’ve had more talks about life after death, our philosophies and personal moral compasses. When you experience death you think differently about life and thats challenged us as a family to cherish each other more.

Kevin + Baby Theo

New Dad (again)

As a single mom of two kids, life was already complicated when Kevin entered our lives. Together Kevin and I raised 2/3 of our kids from diapers. After a decade of life together and then losing our daughter Ella at 20 weeks we were not as hopeful we would have biological children together.

Then Theodore came the following Spring just after burying Ella Jo the Summer prior.

While I was still mourning and moving forward in my grief. Kevin was feverishly nervous excited as we began to progress further and further into our new pregnancy.

And then the unbelievable happened. He was a Dad again. The first day we brought Theo home he was like a mama hawk checking to see if the baby was breathing every few hours.

Our older children got to see Dad be a dad. That perspective changed how our children more deeply attach to Kevin.

Our children’s love for Theo comes from the experience of new things and they all bond through that child like curiosity together.

All while mama takes a nap… or two.

Danielle and eldest son Miles

What these seasons of change means for #MSfamily

Overall celebrating the loss and the wins our family has endured has been rewarding.

I’m reminded even more now how precious each life, each season, each month and each moment is after a very weary and difficult season of losing an infant.

I don’t fear the next thing because #MSfamily has weathered the storm.

We carry the ties that bond.

Photography by honeysagephotoco

Picture of octane


Creative, multi-business owner, published author, wife and mom of 3. Book Danielle to speak at www.daniellemeadowsstinnett.com.

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