A VERY BLENDED FAMILY BY ELEISE HALE
Eleise is a mum to one gorgeous, ridiculously active 6 year old girl and wicked step mum to a teenager girl doing her HSC and step-step mum to an 18year old boy who ran away to the Navy, she calls these her bonus kids. She has been part of a blended family for 4 years and is always learning.
She writes about her struggles with the relationships with the 8 parents who raise three awesome children and the complex nature of the blended family. She was a step child and now a step mum so she often reflects on her own childhood to try and make best decisions for her family.
Outside of her blended family Eleise is an accountant, married to an auditor and lives in beautiful Wollongong. She loves to cook, run half marathons and can get a little obsessive about living a healthy life. She hates cleaning and holds steady to the idea that a clean house is a sign of a wasted life. The whole family lives a crazy busy life, encouraging each other to make the most of each day and live with gratitude.
1) Tell us what your blog is about and what inspired its conception?
I started blogging before I met my husband and wrote about my local area and reviewed cafes and events. When I started dating my husband I really struggled with the new dynamic of being a blended family and I couldn’t seem to get my head around our situation. I started googling forums for step mums and I was shocked by how much of it was negative. I wanted to write a new blog to document my difficulties but also the positives and lessons I learnt along the way. I found the blog much cheaper than therapy and often used it as a way to communicate with my husband.
2) Who is your ideal reader and what do you hope they can gain from your blog?
My ideal reader is other mums in blended family or step mum roles who just want to love their step kids and enjoy their blended family. Being a blended family can be horrible some days so I want my readers to see that although I have crap days sometimes there is light at the end of the tunnel and it can become more positive. I sometimes get emails from step mums reaching out for some positive support they adore their husbands but their new blended family just isn’t working, they don’t want to hear horror stories they want to hear that there are positive steps you can try to improve the situation.
3) Where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time and will the topic continue to be as prevalent?
I think blended families is a growing topic, more parents are reaching out for information and trying to make their unique family work. With the number of kids in blended families growing I think that blogs are a great way to share experiences and maybe get some tips from other mums who have already been through the same situation.
4) How do you continually find content for your blog?
It is usually easy, having to deal with 8 parents and 3 kids, marriages, babies, sports, different school, and of course running, ideas comes to me. Our life is crazy, finding content is easier than time to write it down.
5) How did being a step child help you become the step mother you are today?
My dad died when I was 4 so I was a pretty messed up kid, in my early teens life threw me some huge curve balls and that didn’t help. I was pretty horrible to my step dad and my mum. I often thought about what they could have done better as parents, now as a step mum I try and put those lessons in place. I love my step dad now and have a great relationship with both of my parents. During the difficult days I think about how hard it was on them and they survived.
6) How do you cope being a parent to a kindergarten and two teenagers? It would require such different parenting styles due to the age difference!
I will admit that some days I feel torn at each limb. One child gets up at 6am every morning whilst the others want you to stay up until midnight every night. One wants to go shopping the other wants to go to the see a kids movie. We found that we need to break up often and give the kids individual time. My daughter and I go to the local cafe for coffee and milkshakes on Saturday mornings whilst hubby and the teens sleep in. The teens require more emotional support where the 6 year old needs help with everything and a lot of time. Miss 16 likes to go on dates with my husband and I to restaurants we can’t take the youngest. I am very lucky to have in laws who are happy to babysit.
7) How do you find the time to blog, being a step mother, mother, wife and tax accountant? What’s the secret?
I went back to work full time in May last year, it certainly has been a challenge to continue blogging. I see blogging as something that keeps me balanced so it is just like writing a diary. We don’t watch much TV so I blog in the evening when the youngest is in bed. I think the real secret though is low expectations, my home is far from perfect and good enough is well….. good enough. I try to prioritise what is important to me and my blog is part of my journey.
8) How did you keep up with your ‘balance’ for 2014 and how will that help you keep this year’s resolution of ‘simple’?
When I decided on my word for 2014 being balance I knew I had a tough year ahead. Our eldest was starting in the Navy, the middle child was starting her HSC, the youngest was starting school and I was selling my business and starting work full time. I knew that we needed to keep balance to survive. When I started working full time, my husband used some leave to structure part time hours to help with the transition and balance. We often sat down through the year and asked ourselves how could we balance things better, often it meant giving something up or splitting up our team to divide and conquer. 2015 is all about simple, this word came from balance because so often last year, simplify was our answer. I tend to over complicate things, so I want to focus on simplicity.
9) Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
If you love writing, just write. Don’t worry about statistics, write from the heart.
THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Eleise Hale and would like to follow her blog, here are all her pertinent details.
Blog: A Very Blended Family
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