Are you considering marrying someone who has kids? Blending families can be a challenge because of the established dynamics that exist before you enter the picture. There will be changes that will need to occur in order to make the transition. Here are some of the things that you should consider before you blend your families.

Housing Concerns

The size of your home and space restrictions could be a large point of contention in blended families. You may need to buy a home together. That way, you can start your new family in a large enough living space. This would eliminate some of the threat level when it comes to your new family feeling as though you’re encroaching on their way of life.

Financial Matters

The blending of finances is another potential challenge when it comes to blending families. If financial decisions are not made in unity, it can put strain on the whole family. You will need to decide, for instance, whether to open a joint checking account. Make sure you and your spouse-to-be are on the same page when it comes to how you will budget your money.

House Rules

Every house has slightly different rules when it comes to the things that kids are allowed to do. Make sure to thoroughly discuss your respective views on house rules, making compromises if necessary, in order to establish rules for the children. Additionally, make sure you determine a clear plan for how you and your future spouse will enforce these rules. It can be awkward, especially in the beginning, for a stepparent to discipline his or her stepchildren. For this reason, be sure to communicate as a family about your involvement in enforcing house rules.

Family Bonding Opportunities

Both before and after you get married, take the time to bond with your spouse’s kids so that you can have some common ground with them. If you have children, include them as well so that no one will feel left out. This could include you taking them to a sporting activity or even to the park. You want them to get to know you outside of the relationship that you have with their mother.

Investment in Marital Relations

A marriage is not without its ups and downs. Adding in kids to the mix can make it more of a challenge to keep the marriage thriving while dealing with the day to day issues. Set aside time to spend together (weekly, if possible) without the additional pressure of the children so that you can reconnect every so often.

A blended family situation means that you need to be able to tackle the challenges that will ensue with the situation. Discuss these topics before you decide to move forward with the situation so that everyone can be on the same page. You don’t want your first fight to be because you didn’t know what you were getting into when you decided to become a blended family.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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