The Brady Bunch made it look easy, but are blended families really as straight forward as we’d like to believe…

For many couples with children from previous relationships, creating a blended family presents the ultimate challenge. Right from the beginning of the process, those attempting to combine their existing families will inevitably face resistance because the harsh reality is, nobody really wants a blended family. Despite this, many families find a way to do it successfully. So do blended families really work and what’s the secret to making sure that nobody gets left behind?

Individual Needs

Sharing her story on 9Honey, Victoria Bright says that she definitely underestimated just how challenging blending two families could be. “One thing my partner and I stupidly assumed was that, due to the kids all being of similar age, they would eventually bond and maybe, just maybe, end up being friends,” she wrote. “But five years down the track, that doesn’t look like it will ever happen…the kids wouldn’t have naturally been friends if their parents hadn’t split up, so forcing them to be friends was never going to work.” Victoria acknowledged that she had struggled to connect with her stepchildren as they blamed her for their parent’s divorce, despite her repeated attempts to assure them that the decision had nothing to do with her. “I could tell, just by looking at them, that they didn’t want to believe me,” she said.

A Common Struggle

It seems that Victoria is not alone, and many couples spend years attempting to blend their families successfully. Patricia Papernow, a psychologist and author, told The Washington Post that its all about adjusting expectations. “We talk about blended families and have a vision of becoming one, but that’s not reality,” she said. “If you act as if becoming ‘blended’ is the goal, you can set yourself up for feeling like you’re failing.”

We have so much admiration for couples that manage to sustain a healthy relationship and manage the challenges of a blended family, and if you’re struggling just remember that if the Kardashian/Jenners can do it, you can too!

Do you have any tips for a happy blended family? Share them in the comments below.

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  • I’m sure it would be difficult for everyone in the beginning…. but like everyone said..persistent love and care could come to the rescue.


  • Not from personal experience, but watching from close to me, I have seen the many trials and tribulations that blended families have to deal with. It’s extremely hard and frustrating but, with work and commitment, can turn out to be one of the happiest families in existence!


  • I imagine there would be so many factors at play here – not all non blended families work


  • I haven’t experienced one myself but I’ve seen plenty and they are all different so many different factors and depends on the individuals involved.


  • Although many are successful it is something that is hard to achieve and it cannot be forced upon the children – either they will get along or they won’t and there’s nothing much that can be done about it.


  • In away I am glad that I had left home when I had step parents. My step mother was ok, not a bad woman but her children were not that happy with my father in the end they won out and kept their mother away from my father in that she had to chose her children or my father.
    My step father tries but I can never accept him as a father as I did not need someone else trying to run my life. My sisters really like him and his children/ grand children, I have never really met them.

    I think not trying to be their friend but stand your ground there has to be some middle ground. Do not give into your step children but treat them as your children. Even if it was a bad divorce do not try to replace their own mother/father but be there if they need help.


  • yes they do provided the parents work together instead of against each other and trying to “won” the divorce/separation. A united front stops the kids playing parents off against each other. I am a mum and a step mum


  • It can work with some effort. Good luck to this woman and her situation.


  • I think that many are very successful.


  • It either works well, is “okay” or doesn’t work at all. I worry about just having a new partner with my kids, let alone one who has a child or kids. But then again, maybe that would make it easier. My youngest would be happy as long as they were nice and included her, as she doesn’t have a father or any paternal family at all. My older kids are very close with their dad so it would be hard with them.


  • It is much easier to adapt with babies and toddlers than it is with older children.
    A know a family – the Mum already had a son, she re-married and they have 2 more boys. Her son from her first marriage is jealous of the elder one and quite violent towards him. (Her) son is so scared of him he avoids physical contact with him. We have tried discussing it with the eldest one. So far his reply is he hates him and his Step Dad and threatened both of them.


  • Blended families can work but depending on situations. We all now every situation is different. But so far in my experience its worked. My partner has no children nor the desire for children or the problems that come with them. But i have 4 children, the children lived with their dad but i had them on weekends and 7 week holidays etc. my partner was amazing with them as much as they pushed our buttons. They are grown up now . At the moment and for the last 10 months, ive been co parenting and raising my baby nephew. My partners sisters baby. Before the baby was born, his mother approached me and asked if i would help her raise the baby as father isnt around and never will be. I agreed and so drom day one, the baby has had 2 parents, just not a mum and a dad. He has a mum and me, his aunty but im referred to as JAMMY. J stands for the first letter of my name and A stands for aunty and MMY stands for mummy. The babys mother and my partner, whom are brother n sister, had a fight when bubs was 6 months old which i got pulled into but the babys mother and myself worked things out so things didnt change. I still raise the baby too. He is with both of us 50% of the time mostly. He has 2 homes, 2 families, and is very happy,loved and so wanted


  • It does depend on ages and personalities – every family set up is different.


  • It sound like a very hard situation..


  • I think that if you push too hard, sometimes that can be the thing that makes it not work.

    • I agree – respect and knowing boundaries goes a long way.

      • Yes, I agree with this! Just try to be patient and respect one another as you’re all in it together!


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