June 1, 2018

Raising a blended family like a boss

By Bonnie Conrad
Contributing Writer

Do you know what is great about having a blended family? My son has the honor of having two amazing men in his life, his biological father and my husband. With Father’s Day right around the corner, I love sharing my family’s story.

Co-parenting is never easy, and it is something that a lot of blended families have a hard time coping with. My story, however, is not a negative story. My ex-husband’s wife and I are very close friends. Yes, you read that correctly. We talk all the time on the phone.

It was not always like this. In the beginning, it was rough, and harsh words were shared. But we all grew up and realized, it really is all about the kids. We both extended an olive branch from each side. We now work together to maximize each other’s time with our son. This is not called “dealing with them,”; this is called acting like an adult.

My son was born in 2005, and in 2009, his father and I got a divorce. We got a divorce because we did not get along as a married couple anymore. In 2010, I met my husband; it was truly love at first sight. When he married me, he also took on a whole new extended family – one that would change the way people thought everywhere we went.

It has now been almost eight years. Our son’s family comes to visit us at every duty station when they bring him home from the summer. We have spent multiple holidays together, the most recent being here at Fort Irwin for Christmas.

If I could give one piece of advice to blended families in the military, I would say, be the adult you want your kids to grow up to be. Family is family, whether it’s the one you start out with, the one that you end up with, or the family you gain along the way.

Editor’s note: Bonnie Conrad is a contributing writer and a military spouse at Fort Irwin. This is her first column for the High Desert Warrior. Have questions, personal stories to share, or ideas for topics you would like her to address? Email ntcupdate@gmail.com with the subject line “Irwin Life”.

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