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BLENDED

Author: Kim Caines-Best

Gisele Bundchen, Gabrielle Union, Matt Damon, and Jason Momoa. What do they have in common? If you answered: attractive- ness, wealth, and fame, you’d be right. But did you know that all of them are stepparents?

According to smartstepfamilies.com, the Pew Research Centre’s 2011 and 2015 reports, stated that in the US, 13% of adults are stepparents; five years later these numbers have undoubtedly increased and in Bermuda, it is possible to presume there may be similar statistics. The reality is that if you’re reading this, either you are or you probably know someone who is a member of a blended family. Given the prevalence nowadays, discussing blended families is an important part of the parenting narrative. To normalise the stepparent experience is not only beneficial, it’s necessary to have this community’s voice as part of the family and parenting conversation.

It is for this reason that I am grateful to Bermuda Parent Magazine for the opportunity to provide blended families with a platform to share their experiences, to recognise and celebrate the diversity of the family structure.

In the coming issues, I intend to provide insight and information for you on this subject and to write on topics that you wish to learn more about – so please do get in touch!

Until I began my own blended family journey as a stepmom two years ago, I did not appreciate the dynamics, emotions and the various challenges that can be experienced.

If you’re reading this as a stepparent and you feel overwhelmed, sad, angry, frustrated or even content, I want to challenge you to appreciate where you are in your stepfamily journey and to not feel guilty for the emotions you may experience because your feelings are valid.

American Counselor, Tom Frydenger, once said, “becoming a blended family means mixing, mingling, scrambling, and sometimes muddling our way through delicate family issues, complicated relationships, and individual differences, hurts, and fears. But through it all, we are learning to love like a family.”

The blended family journey is not easy but what family journey doesn’t have its ups and downs? Wherever you find yourself, I am sure you are doing the best you can. You are not alone, and I am rooting for you.

Kimberley D. Caines-Best is a stepmom and the Founder of StepMoms Bermuda, a group that was established to provide a community for stepmoms on Island. The mission of StepMoms Bermuda is to: Support, Teach, Empower and Purpose. For more information, to learn more or to chat about blended families, email stepmoms. bda@gmail.com. BPM