I have said before that I HATE being called a blended family. I didn’t bring a child into this marriage which, in my opinion, is how someone is labeled as having blended family.
All of my married life, whenever I met someone whom I was going to see again or we were in the same place for a long period of time, I would explain my nuclear family dynamic. Because my bonus sons are only seven months apart, there are five months where they are the same age. When exchanging family information with a soon-to-be-acquaintance, this information stumps the other person and I find myself giving in to the unspoken question from the other person by explaining how that can be. After nine years, I have finally grown tired of this.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in conversation with soon-to-be-acquaintances, and we were having the where-are-you-from conversation. Someone mentioned that they taught at an elementary school. I volunteered, as a point of commonality, that two of my bonus children attended that same school at one point. Well that did it. That was the information that sparked the whole explanation. The soon-to-be-acquaintance asked normal questions that any mom would know. She did not know that I was the wife of the non-custodial father. How could she? When I talk of my children, I speak of them as just that. MY CHILDREN. No other identifiable information. Still, it was that awkward (for me it’s awkward) speechless space where I can literally feel the questions folks want answered.
Honestly, I know I don’t have to say anything but if it were me, and I was the one doing the asking, I would ask for them to explain that. (We are getting to know each other aren’t we?) So, instead of dealing with the interminable silence, I answer the unspoken question. “My husband had children before we got married.” Depending on the setting, that small bit of information will lead to other questions like, “Where do the kids live? Do you see them often? Do you get along with his mother? There are two mothers?” etc. I’m not doing this anymore.
I declare to absolve explaining my nuclear family to soon-to-be-acquaintance. I will now answer all unspoken questions with the following statement: “We have a blended family”. Any further explanation will depend on if that acquaintance relationship buds into a friendship. I have spoken.