Like the deserts miss the rain.

Our family holiday in the Stockholm archipelago was just great. Of course it’s a must see city surrounded by islands and water, with great food and a relaxed atmosphere. But the best part of it was that we spent 10 whole days and nights with all our children, and some lovely girlfriends, and some dear friends. Imagine dinners filled with discussions and laughter long after sunset, kayak trips to the grocery store, early morning dips in the lake, family cooking with the best fresh salmon I ever had…

The week after the family vacation is a real bummer. Anyone who ever went to summer camp will recognise the feeling. After intense feelings of bonding and joy, you feel alone. Yes, even lonely.

Raising children in a blended family is not easy. But is it harder than in a classic family? I guess some emotions are just different. As a parent, you have to miss them a lot. You are forced to let go every time they go to ‘the other side’. How will they spend their days, what experiences will they live, will they miss me? And once you are settled in your blended family, you also start missing ‘the new ones’. It’s important to show them it’s good to be excited to go to ‘the other side’. That you are OK with it and understand ‘the other side’ is just their other family, just as important and valuable as yours is. Yes, I did cry many times when my children left on Sunday evening. But I always kept in mind what it’s like for them. They always have to miss the other parent. They have to get used to a new extra parent. And when they are around, they have to share you with other kids they never asked for. As in any new relationship, children in a blended family also need time to get to know each other. Respect that and do not try to force it. Spend some of your time alone with your own kids. Not all activities have to be done with the whole blended family. Missing and being missed is part of every blended family. Do not fight it, but embrace it. Your children will become more autonomous at an early age, giving them a good set of tools to live life at the fullest once they are all grown up. As Arne said on holiday ‘We are lucky to be part of this blended family, as we really learn to connect with very different people, learn to listen to others, learn to share’. It literally brought tears to my eyes. Finally, let’s be honest, having some time without your kids every 2 weeks also has its advantages, hasn’t it? (title from the song ‘Miss you’, Everything but the girl)

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