Quantcast

How My New Partner & I Navigated Blossoming Into A Blended Family

We grew as a family and now he calls her his daughter. I couldn't be more grateful.

Motherhood

I never thought I'd be a single mom. My daughter was 1 when her father and I decided to break up. The relationship wasn't worth saving. We knew we weren't compatible and that we were just two kids who had to become adults overnight. It was a struggle. After we broke up, I thought, Who would want me now---young, broke, and with a child?

Little did I know, God was laughing at me as I made plans to move forward with my life alone. Less than a year after breaking up, I befriended a guy who would later become my man.

I did very little dating before recommitting. Even though I wanted everything to happen organically, I became vocal about what dating would look like as a single mom. I was clearer than ever before about my wants and needs in a relationship. The top priority was finding someone who understood my role as a mother and cherished that.

It started with a simple conversation that included my expectations, priorities, and duties. (It's helpful to note that during the beginning of our courtship, I was awarded sole custody of my daughter. This made it very easy for me to maneuver through our relationship with very little resistance from her father.) After three years of dating, we combined households. He took on the full-time parenting role and our family was complete.

Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Well, our union wasn't without faults.

media.giphy.com

We grew up in two different cultures with separate ideologies of what parenting looked like. I was raised in a single-parent household with a strong-willed mama, while he was raised by two traditional Nigerian parents. I knew that the only way to make this work was to work together, so we did. We set rules of engagement and talked about what his role would look like.

My new bae did not have to compete with her father. He needed to grow into his newfound position, and I had to give him the agency to do so.

We were very candid about the growing pains of a new living arrangement, which I credit to having a powerful breakthrough in our relationship. After six months, we finally hit our stride as lovers cohabitating and as parents. We made decisions together, from her diet and bedtime, to how many hours she spent using electronics. Our goal was to raise her in a loving environment, and having a shared vision allowed us to focus our energy on creating the outcomes we wanted to see.

Before he moved in, I asked my daughter her thoughts and concerns. She was three at the time but her age was not a factor for me. I wanted her to feel included in such a major decision. She was raised with the freedom to speak her mind and ask questions. This time was no different. Although she couldn't grasp the concept of us moving in together, she did understand changes were happening. She wasn't too keen on having another authority figure in the house. In fact, she was resistant.

There had never been a man in our house before then. (Truth be told, I wasn't used to living with a man, either. My father moved out when I was 9.) While she enjoyed our overnight sleepovers and vacations leading up to this point, those experiences weren't enough for her to fully convert. This was a huge problem for us.

We couldn't get to pure bliss if we weren't all on the same page. The solution started with intention and came to fruition with time. He took a concerted effort to win her trust and full respect.

He would help with her homework, and we'd all spend time together. Meeting her where she was and not where we wanted her to be allowed us to keep the peace in our household. We grew as a family and now he calls her his daughter. I couldn't be more grateful.

What's Next For Us

We're going into our third year of living together. Our blended family allows us to combine jollof rice and jerk chicken on special occasions while leaving room for the traditions that we create. My daughter is surrounded with love from both sides of our families and has a host of aunties, uncles, and cousins. I especially love how accepting his family was of us. They protect her like their own. I knew he was the one when I saw how he honored his family. I look forward to marriage and raising another child together.

Just give me a year or two. No rush.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Kissing is such a fascinating thing — to me. The reason why I say that is because, if the person you are exchanging a kiss with is someone who is good at it, it can be the sexiest, most special and most exhilarating thing ever. On the other hand, if they aren't so good — it's just gross. I don't know about y'all, but kissing is such a big deal in my world that I once broke up with someone, in part, because they totally sucked at doing it. It was like, no matter how hard I tried to explain to them what I needed in order to feel like we were in "kissing sync", they would continue to go off and do their own thing. All over my face (yuck).

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

We have witnessed Halle Berry go through many ups and downs in love, but it seems like she may have finally found the one. The Bruised star is dating R&B singer Van Hunt and she spoke with ET about the love in her life during ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, which took place on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.

Samari Ijezie is the creator of The Female Economist, a platform created to challenge and disrupt the stereotypical gender norms within the financial industry while educating millennials of financial literacy. However, before founding this financial literacy company for women and marginalized millennials, she had a career in fashion and style as a model that started in her preteen years. Though she briefly kicked off her modeling career at the age of fourteen, it was short-lived because soon after high school, Ijezie decided to go off to college but later had to drop out during her freshman year due to not receiving financial assistance in the next term.

Keep reading... Show less

Many people love October for the new fall fashion fits, changing weather, and never-ending horror movies. And while all of those are valid reasons, there's another one that should be added to the mix, the fact that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like many, cancer has impacted my family personally, and I'm well aware of the forever effect it can have on individuals, loved ones, and survivors. That's why I appreciate that this month serves as a personal reminder to donate, foster community, and volunteer toward a fight that affects so many of us.

Keep reading... Show less

There's that old wives' tale that sex before a sports match is a major no-no for athletes, but when it comes to us everyday folk, consistent lovemaking does the mind and body good. In fact, sex and productivity can actually go hand in hand. A recent multiple-university study found that professionals who had sex the night before going into work had "more positive moods" that increased work engagement and job satisfaction.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success

"You can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do."

Latest Posts