The wants versus needs debate knows no more of a fertile feuding ground then in a blended family.
I’ve listened to and been apart of these conversations with girlfriends, family, coworkers, acquaintances. It all comes down to defining a “thing” as a want or a need.
For Jazmine’s birthday, I started to hound after face painting supplies to paint the children’s faces after I saw the cost to have a professional come to the party. I started to get tunnel vision and used buzz words/phrases such as ‘need’, ‘have to’, and ‘must’ when speaking of those supplies. It wasn’t until I took a moment and stepped back from planning to see what was really needed and what was a Mommy want that I was able to see things in perspective.
I remember another time when Jazmine was four or five months old, that I took her to the doctor for some bumps she had on her face. I told the doctor that the bumps weren’t bothering her and she had no other symptoms of any kind but that I made the appointment due to Mommy paranoia. The physician was relieved to see my honesty and eased my fears.
In blended families, each parent has to be honest with what is a want vs. a need; Mommy/Daddy paranoia vs. real problems.
This want vs. need issue is not based on the physical distance of the child and their non-custodial parent as I originally thought. I thought that if we lived closer (in the same school district) of our children, that the want vs. need issue would be solved. Ha! Wrong.
Organized sports, scented body wash/lotion, popular hair styles, current fashions, braces, extra curricular activities, the list goes on and on. Those topics are hot buttons for parents in blended families and, more times than not, these issues are caught in the want vs need debate. Those topics remain the same regardless of the sex of the child. (Axe body care wants our sons y’all). Each parent has a vision for their child. Each parent wants to see their thumbprint on their child. When either parent has an idea (self-professed need) for their child that is not agreed on my the other, it is taken personally and leads to an all out war. This war only comes if the ‘need’ requires time or money to back it. If time or money weren’t an issue, there would never be a war because that parent would be able to accomplish their ‘need’ without assistance. Required assistance is what drives the want vs. need debate. When help is needed to accomplish something, a permission of sorts is sought. If permission is not granted, then the battle begins because no one wants to hear that their ‘need’ is really a want.
(sigh)…And such the life of a blended family.