Blended Families

The Brady Brides
When I hear this term I generally think of remarriage and the "blending" of two families (multiple children and parents) developing into some sort of unit. Traditionally I think most people define it that way.

I have a new definition in my life. The blending of parents, as in my husband's widowed mother and my widowed father. No I don't mean they have any romantic interest in each other, but my father recently (as in last week) came to live in the same town with my brother and I. My mother-in-law has lived here all of my married life. I am well established in relationship and routine with her. My mother passed away almost three years ago, and my father has come up annually to visit, staying with my brother for generally six weeks. During that time he and my brother have been a part of holiday celebrations, Sunday lunches, and general get togethers. My mother-in-law has always been most welcoming to his inclusion.

Now my father lives here and we will be establishing a new type of relationship and routine. I am fortunate that my mother-in-law enjoys talking to my Dad and my Dad enjoys talking to her. They get along well and there is no "competition".

I have a friend who is struggling with "blending" with her son's wife's family. They all live in the same town and unfortunately there is some "competition". One family is extremely "hands-on" and practically lives in each other's business and one is more independent and likes to be a part but definitely not smothering. After two years they still struggle. Watching it has made me really pay attention and take notes (and start praying hard about any future daughter-in-laws).

We all have "blended" families.

Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.
  -- Reinhold Niebuhr