The patchwork family

Patchwork Family Video and Theme Song (September 2018).

A broken marriage is a tough life cut. But every sixth divorcee marries again. Many of these new families are patchwork families - giving a whole new meaning to the desire to have another child.

Complicated Family Relations

With the increasing number of divorces and divorces, having children with more than one partner is not uncommon today. In this way, common bodily children are created in patchwork families. And that has the consequence that the children already brought into the marriage have not only step-siblings, but also half-siblings.

BabyCenter mother Sandra knows her way around complicated family relationships. ""If I think about it, then I have a sister and a biological brother, two half-sisters, five step-sisters and three step-brothers - plus all their children! "", she says. ""Sometimes it really is not easy for me to remember everyone. Although Sandra was determined not to put the same strain on her daughter as she herself had to endure, things turned out differently than planned. Her relationship broke up and she separated from her daughter's father. Now she is expecting a baby from her new partner and they both want to get married next year. ""My daughter will then be a stepdaughter and have a stepfather and a half-brother."" And Sandra assumes that things will get even more complicated: "" Although my dad's dad does not have a new relationship yet, I'm sure that's going to be another issue we need to deal with when he finds someone. ""

She comes from what she calls a ""wonderful family jumble"" as one of seven children, one of whom is a stepbrother and another a half-brother, who tells of a funny anecdote from her family history her sister married the step-son of her biological father. ""The poor vicar was visibly confused when he noticed that both already had the same surname,"" sa she laughs.

Despite all the complications, Andrea appreciates the liveliness in her family and says, ""It was crazy - and good - to grow up as part of such a big family. There were no secrets and we shared everything. ""

Andreas's family is a great example of how, after a broken relationship, you can take the chance to be happy.Because for them meant ""to get another child"" to create another branch in the already very branched family tree and to bring the members closer to each other.

Big Age Difference

For two people who already have children from previous relationships, having a family reunion or another baby together can bring a big difference in age between half and step-siblings. That's not necessarily a disadvantage. BabyCenter mother Debbie lives with her second husband, their mutual one-year-old daughter Larissa, and Debbie's eleven-year-old son, Jack, from their first marriage in Leicestershire, UK. Clearly, Debby sees an advantage in her patchwork family and welcomes the big difference in age between her children. She says:

""Jack helps me a lot. He gets on well with his sister. At the moment they share a room and he never complains if she keeps him awake. I like this big difference in age, because then I can go to the toilet in peace or wash the pots and leave Jack with Larissa for a moment alone. Larissa admires Jack. She has a photo of him that she always kisses when he's at school. ""

Natasha is also grateful for the big difference in age between her children. Biba, her eldest daughter, is in her final year of college and often helps with Taren, Natasha's baby. Natasha sees the age difference as positive: ""Although my mother and sister live nearby, I love being able to leave whenever or for whatever reason is needed. Taren can stay at home with her babysitter - her sister. The person closest to her, except me. ""

Happy Patchwork Families

Bringing two families together for a new one is never easy. For the children, it will be hard to cope that their birth parents will never find each other again, and they may be jealous of step-siblings or a new baby. But it can work and often does, as many BabyCenter members report. For example, Jackie and her family: ""I have a ten-year-old son who still sees his birth father on a regular basis, even though we're divorced. I am married again and we have a two year old daughter. We are all very happy, my second husband is a wonderful dad for my son and the kids get along really well. Probably our family is not up to standard, but we feel pretty normal. ""

Another BabyCenter mom who became happy in a patchwork family is Kathleen. She has a step-son who is the same age as her daughter. ""They are only two weeks apart in age and they get along very well. ""In Kathleen's Patchwork family, it's not the kids who find it hard to make that transition.""The only problems in our family are from my not-so-happy ex-boyfriend and my husband's difficult ex-girlfriend,"" she says.

Restarting

Life can be tough for single parents and their children. For some it is normal to find a new partner and have a baby with him. But many are worried about the renewed disruption that it could bring to their existing children after they've gone through a parent's loss or separation. This is a very emotional matter and many people probably do not feel ready for this risk.

But maybe one day they will take heart and follow the many examples of single parents taking the risk and being very happy with their patchwork family. A happy example is BabyCenter mother Lisa. The new partner came just in time for them. When she separated from her boyfriend and became a single mother to her little son Jack, everything felt very bleak - until she bought a new mini.

To find out more about her car, she put a question in a web site forum and began a correspondence with a lovable Dutchman named Marcel. It quickly became love and they got married after Marcel moved to England with Lisa and Jack. She has never felt happier and is now very excited because she is expecting a baby from Marcel. According to Lisa, Jack is already a ""great father"" who loves him like his own child. ""I love the fact that this child is born out of two cultures,"" says Lisa. ""Together with Marcel, I decided to raise the baby bilingually. I'm also learning Dutch to talk to Marcel's parents. I love them all very much. ""

Renewal

Even if patchwork families split up again, this can be done by mutual agreement. Natalie has not only experienced the separation of her parents, but also the end of her mother's marriage with a new partner. But it was not all bad. Natalie says, ""My stepfather cheated on my mother and that's why many find it very strange that I want to keep in touch with him, especially because he has not been part of my life for very long. But my mother and stepfather are still friends and friends as well. We're all celebrating Christmas together this year. ""

Leaving the Standard

It's no wonder folk love stories of cruel stepmothers, evil stepfathers and ugly step-sisters rather than a patchwork family. If ""they lived to their happy end"" did not come true on the first try, then it can apply to the future - with a new relationship, a new family, and new children.Although not everyone lives together in harmony, as the Bradys did in their 60s television series ""Three Girls and Three Boys,"" many patchwork families get along well. Maybe we should stop paying close attention to the grueling divorce statistics and rather celebrate the working patchwork families.

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