Dear Kitty,

Dear Kitty,

Today I am going to answer questions that were posted on FaceBook. I had a bunch of ideas of topics, but I was more interested in answering questions from y’all. So if you have something that you would like me to write about, answer, etc. You can ask me over “HERE” and I’ll answer your questions.

Question #1:

How does your blended family not kill each other? Y’all have a lot of kids learning to live, love and share together
(I’ve actually wondered this for a while now) – B.G.

That’s a good question, B.G. and one that I’m not sure I have a definitive answer for at this time. All I can say with certainty is that there has been no deaths yet.
Currently we have the following age groups in the house (and I have rounded ages up with upcoming birthdays to keep it simple)
3yo – girl
5yo – girl
5yo – boy
7yo – girl
7yo – boy
15yo – boy
20yo – boy
Sharing is a big struggle with any kids in the same household, but especially when you all of a sudden cram a bunch of strangers in the same house.
Bedrooms are shared, bathrooms are shared, toys are shared and time with parents are shared.
I didn’t come into this blended family with lofty expectations that it was all going to flow perfectly and that we would be a model family for “Blended Family Weekly” digest. I started this with the understanding that the kids didn’t ask for this and they don’t have to like it.  In fact, I don’t expect them to assimilate into perfect relationships, because there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.
Here is what I expect and all that I ask:
You can not like each other, but you will be respectful of each others’ boundaries.
Each child has a toy or items that are brought from their life before our blending. These items I have encouraged that they be selfish with and I help them protect them from the other kids. It’s my way of acknowledging their individuality and that their interests are something that they don’t have to share in such a large family. I try to show that I recognize their life before so many siblings and that they are worth cherishing on an individual basis. That’s a boundary that I think is healthy and should not be crossed.
Everything else we have to share. I can’t imagine all of a sudden waking up one day and having many multiple kids my age that I have to live with and share with, but it’s just something we have to do. It’s not an option, but we can negotiate on a individual basis. This requires each child to communicate their needs vs. their wants.
If one child needs time alone or has a new toy, we try to provide a space for them to decompress alone.
If one child seems to need more attention, we have secret get-aways with a parent.
Tattle-telling is frowned on and the children are redirected to solve problems to the best of their ability among themselves before a parent is required to step in.
As parents we have a united front when it comes to the kids (honestly, we still struggle with this from time to time because we both had lives, marriages and parenting styles that became habits before our marriage to each other)
With my stepchildren, I mother, but I am not their mother. I don’t force them to see me as their mother, but they will respect me as a mother. (Did that make sense?)
Relationships take time and we try to understand this with dealing with the children in this blended family. I can’t expect for them to all love each other as family, but I can require that you respect each other as family and as individuals.
Question #2
What about writing about blogging — how you fit it into your schedule, do you plan ahead and how far, do you belong to any websites that you’ve found helpful..
Blogging/writing is an essential part of my life and something I am very selfish with, because it is part of me that makes me Alycia.
My writing on my blog is reserved for morning hours when all but the two youngest are in school. After they have breakfast, they are set to a task or activity that takes about an hour. This is my time to write or read with no interruptions.
Writing for other sites or when working on my books is usually an all day affair where my computer is left on and I stop from time to time to write down ideas or articles as they come to me. Unless I am working on something with a deadline, it takes about 3-4 days to complete and edit an actual article or chapter.
For the other sites or books, I have a program (Scrivener) that allows me to use a bulletin board feature to keep me on track and on topic. It also has a feature of index cards that I use to jot down ideas that I want to expand on later. This method is also tied into an app on my phone in Google Docs that allows me to write small thoughts on my phone when I am out and sync it later with my computer notes.
If I am writing for an outside source, I tend to present them with 5-8 topics that I can possibly write on and we narrow it down to 2-3 topics that  fits best for both of us. This allows me to have some creative breathing room so that I’m not tunneled into a possible block by a specific focus.
I do not plan personal posts ahead, but rather focus weekly on a certain “inspiration” point. Perhaps a song or article evoked a certain emotion for me, I tend to write on that emotion for a week. By writing what I am “led” to write on, I tend to find that I connect with my readers more than if I just write on scheduled topics that my heart is not in.
I read only a handful of other sites and usually only visit them once a week. My writing personality gets bogged down if I have too much “input” from other writers.

Categories: October Diary Entry

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. What’s the deal? I liked your post and it gave me a frown. Now you know why I just text you with my comments. LOL

  2. Love this! I’ve never heard of Scrivener before, so I’m Googling it now. I’m glad to know that you don’t plan ahead — I don’t (read can’t) and I’ve always wondered if I’m the only one. *grins*

    Your blended family is amazing.

  3. I am in awe of your blended family….we are not completely “blended” yet but we have 13 yo girl, 12 yo girl, 12 yo boy, and 9 yo boy. I wonder if we will be able to handle the craziness of the teen years and sports and activities. It is very interesting to read how others handle their workload and manage their blogs.

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