Blended families are currently the fastest growing family form in the UK. Statistics say about 1 in every 5 families consists of a blended family. I believe it’s much more than that, considering 1 in every 2 marriages end in divorce and after that a lot of people choose not to officially marry but just live together with their partners.
I was a single mother of 4 children when I met my Boaz.
I have a lot of women who ask me how I’ve done it and how the children adapted to having a new daddy in their lives.
I never thought my children will ever end up having a step-dad. I never thought that one day I will be part of the UK’s statistics of blended families. It’s not something that we openly talk about, yet this is becoming the most common family structure in modern society.
It’s not the easiest of family dynamics. There are a lot of challenges that comes along with blended families. It can be an emotional roller-coaster, but there are also more blessings than challenges, in my personal experience anyway. I was coming from a very dark place, so the blended family has actually been the light.
In this introductory article on blended families, I won’t go into much detail. I will keep it short, and speak about introducing Boaz to the children.
This is probably one of the most difficult and important phases of a blended family. If not handled well, things will fall apart before they even start.
The children will be coming out of another family unit, which probably included their biological father. And now everything has fallen apart. There will be a lot of emotions, pain, hurt and probably anger.
My children had lost their biological father to a cult/church. They had spent almost a year praying for God to restore their biological father back to sanity, and make him of a sound mind again so he could come back to them.
But after a while, it all became rather exhausting, we all realised that he was gone. No amount of prayer would ever bring him back. He had chosen the cult/church over the children. So it got to a point where we all just had to let go.
So in a way, the children had grieved their biological father and had come to that place of accepting that he was no longer there. In a way it was like he had died. They no longer had any relationship with him at all. He was gone.
The children had seen me cry a lot, saw my pain and agony. I would often go to them and say, let’s pray that your father will love us again, please let’s have faith he will come back to us restored.
The whole process of praying for their father to come back had become gruelling and a burden to them. Letting go off him gave them some sort of peace and closure, though it was painful.
So after I went to the Beffta Awards in 2014, I was blown away by the man who was to become my Boaz. He also played a big part in helping me let go of the past, it was now time to look ahead.
We started to chat and somehow I started to laugh again. I had got to that point where the children never saw me happy, I was just sad all the time and in a very lonely place.
‘Mum why are you laughing whilst chatting on the phone, have you gone crazy’. They would ask me.
The change could not be missed.
My happiness and sanity meant a lot to them.
So I could not help but blab to them about this guy who had come to sweep me off my feet and make me giggle like a schoolgirl.
They had not met him yet, but I showed them his music videos, his pictures and played his music to them.
‘Oh my gosh, he’s a celebrity,’ my daughter would gush.
Then my first son started singing opera imitating his voice.
So somehow before they even met my Boaz, the children had grown to love Nino. They connected with his spirit, and literally fell in love with him, without meeting him.
So for months I dated him, well over chats and phone-calls, and the children looked forward to the day Nino would come home.
My daughter was upset. She looked me in the eye and said, ‘Mum, you can’t break up with Nino, he is the one’.
So I had to be 100% sure with Nino. I told him I have 4 children, was he really sure he could take me on and my brood.
‘It doesn’t make a difference how many children you have’. He told me, ‘What is yours is mine, even the shower gel in your bathroom is mine.’
The rest became history, they saw him in the flesh and embraced him.
So to cut the long story short, that is how I introduced my Boaz to my children. They could not wait to meet him. We went on a weekend break, so it made meeting Nino for the first time more exciting and memorable.
It was a lot easier for me because the children had gotten over the fact that their biological father was gone. They didn’t see Nino as a replacement, but rather a new beginning. A fresh start. A new journey. They just wanted me to be happy, if I was happy then they would be happy too.