Blending Healthy Families: Family Desires
Welcome to the Blending Healthy Families Blog!
This week we’re touching on desire.
No, this isn’t a talk about sexual desires (but maybe one day) it’s about our desire to have a different schedule in our blended family.
My beloved business coach, Hannah Deindorfer stated, “Desire exists in the not having.” I started applying it to every aspect of my life.
I’ll start by sharing the example my she shared with us. Think about a piece of chocolate cake. For me it would be a german chocolate cake, loaded with icing - still warm - accompanied by a scoop of french vanilla ice cream.
Now, take it away. Tell me I’ll never be able to have that again.
Maybe I can manage it for a while, but then the cravings kick in. It’s all I think about. It’s all I dream about. So I feel like I need to cheat - I need to manipulate a situation to make it so I’m fulfilling my desire.
Now, let’s apply that to the blended family. Whether it’s agreed upon in or out of court, most blended families have some order that tells them what to do with the kids. Think of your situation while I go through mine.
Our schedule is roughly 2 days with Dad and I out of every ten. On paper, it equates to every other Wednesday night/Thursday night and every other weekend. We desire the kids so much more than that. The “not having” kills us.
In the past, we’ve reacted in ways that didn’t lead to a positive outcome.
I would blame - both my husband and his ex.
“If only would would’ve done XYZ when you were married, she would have let you have the kids more.”
“If only you two would have practiced better communication, then I wouldn’t have to do it.”
We would weasel our way into the kids’ time with their mom.
“We can take them to XYZ.”
*Asking the kids if they wanted to stay later before asking mom*
Other negative reactions could be, purposefully not returning the kids on time, changing schedules at the last minute or asking for more time although you wouldn’t be able to make it quality time.
Now, we react in ways that are positive and show the kids we are working together.
We show up for their activities.
No matter who’s time it is. We make the time for the kids - not “mom’s time”/”dad’s time.” But, we don’t intrude unless their mom asks for help with transportation, meal or other coverage.
We have become slower to anger.
Before responding, we see what other information comes to light, we pray about it and we let the dust settle and see if the item at hand is actually a problem before kicking it up more.
Other positive reactions could be, looking wholistically at what works with the family and amending the court agreement. It also helps when you seek to give more than you get - and the other parent does the same.
Don’t get me wrong, it has not always been this way - that I have had the patience or the desire to be calm and positive in every situation. I’m not even always positive now. But one thing I keep coming back to is how to fill the desire with something that matters.
What is something you like to do? Is it dance, go for a run, watch Netflix, bake? Or maybe you get satisfaction out of cooking fancy meals or deep cleaning the kids’ rooms when they’re not there.
I turned a corner from the negative reactions to the positive reactions when I slowed down to fill the desire with something that brought me joy. Oh, but Tricia, that sounds so selfish! It’s not really.
Imagine your kids watching you in each of these reactions. By showing up for yourself, you’re able to have more positive reactions and the blended family unit as a whole becomes more positive.
You wouldn’t dive into the chocolate cake every time you feel the urge. You learn moderation. You learn when you really have to divulge in the sweets and when you have the strength to use other coping mechanisms to satisfy that desire. Heck, you may even learn that the desire is a deep-rooted issue that stems back to being dumped in high school - oh wait, that’s me. Anyway, the boundary isn’t closed, it’s just firm and respected.
And we need those in all aspects of our lives.
Do you find yourself disregarding your own feelings and allowing the bitterness to slip through, instead of leaning into the desire and learning how to positively cope with it?
Now, for that chocolate cake...
If I can't get my stepdaughter to bake it for me, I turn to Gem City Bakehouse for the sweets.
Check out her menu at https://www.gemcitybakehouse.com/.
She's rounding out her Farmer's Market schedule, putting the finishing touches on her Treats of the Month Club, and about to open up for Custom orders this winter.
Catch her if you can!