Being a single parent is not easy. When it comes to dating as a single parent, the struggle is real. So, the day that you find yourself in love and thinking about merging your family with another, well, it is an unexpected and exciting day. There are so many things to consider and often the logistics of the merge takes center stage. Whether you are gay or straight there are endless things to consider beyond the renting of a U-Haul.
Here are 5 things to think about when are merging families with same sex parents:
Your children may love and support you but may not be ready to tell their friends about their family. Give them time to adjust to the new family. Don’t have the expectation that they will want to march in the Pride parade with you or put an HRC sticker on their car. This is a big change and they will feel it in many ways. Provide a safe space for them to talk about their feelings. Don’t force it.
Family time does not have to include the entire family. When we are blending families we often have this vision of how things will go including how you will all spend time together and it will be perfect. Remember this is new for your children and they still need time with their family of origin. That does not mean your newly- formed family or new partner is not important. It just means that your children still need time alone with their parent.
Let the young people work out their relationships with each other. Just like number two, we have this idea that our kids will all get along. That may not be the case. Let them work things out on their own. You provide the framework and even provide a suggestion once in a while. But, they need to create the relationship.
Be prepared for different parenting styles. You can love each other and know each other and love each others’ children but you will still parent differently. This is a tough one. Talk about this ahead of time. Be ready and get help if you need it.
You are responsible to model a good marriage. Give yourself time to figure out the new dynamic. There will be plenty of bumps in the road but ride them out as a team. You are the example for your children. They need to know what it looks like to be in a partnership with someone.
Blending families is never easy. Blending families with same sex parents comes with a few extra things to consider. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the process. Do not hesitate to reach out for help.
Our member therapists are specialists in helping the LGBTQ community and allies. We can help you be successful. Contact usfor an initial consultation. It is a journey worth taking.