Today we have to go to my fiancés cousin’s baby’s baptism. As a heavy metal listening, anti-organised religion, mildly antisocial homebody, this is a daunting event which mean getting dressed up, going to a church (and hoping I don’t get struck by lightning), and dragging along 4 equally dressed up children who also have no desire to be in a church watching a religious ceremony.
Why don’t we just not go? Family. We love our families, and we are definite believers in putting your own discomforts or wants and needs aside for those you love. It’s about an hour out of our lives, to show family we care and help celebrate their beautiful baby. That being said, we have a teenager. Kill me now. He’s in that “I don’t want to do anything I don’t like” phase, which is compounded with the reality that he knows he’s old enough to stay home and look after himself.
Our blended family is quite new, and the extended family don’t know me and the kids very well yet. It makes it extra hard because right now we need to attend as much as we can, to be involved in family life, to integrate ourselves properly. Our new family are so wonderful too, they go out of their way to make us welcome and they get worried if we aren’t at an event. I have been so lucky to end up with such an amazing extended family. This does mean, our eldest needs to attend more than another teenager generally might be forced into – and I know he’s resenting me for enforcing it.
This is a challenge for blended family parents for sure – and it brings about a word I use a lot, because it’s so relevant – “balance”. Finding that balance of allowing a sullen teenager to stay home and play Xbox, vs forcing them to man up and do what’s right for their family. In this situation, at this point in time, the balance is tipped towards dragging him to more events.
I just have to hope he eventually understands why and doesn’t hate me in the meantime. We talk about the reasons why, and concepts of family and doing things for other people but, come on, he is a teenager for Christ sake. I can’t expect much from him can I? If he gets through the day without me having to kill him I’ll have to say a big thanks to him and try to make it up to him with some extra device time or something.