I never intended to have six kids.
Hang on, hang on. This isn’t a tale of unplanned pregnancies and regret. It’s ju....let me back up.
Three years ago, I was a separated dad with two kids. And well, I met a girl. She loved me, I loved her – and her three kids right back. A little while later, we had a baby together.
Welcome to our modern Brady Bunch.
Now, we face the same challenges that any family does. Sibling rivalry, homework time, what Skylanders to buy. We have two critical differences though. One is scale. Six kids is a lot in today’s go-go-go, me-me-me culture. There are days that I feel I’m driving from theatre rehearsal to basketball practice and back. The second challenge is that we’re not actually one family.
We’re five families. My legacy kids come from two previous relationships. Her legacy kids come from two previous relationships. There’s a lot of negotiation and discussion for any given move with most of the kids.
It’s been a genuinely fascinating adventure thus far. Where once my girlfriend and I were in cities a hundred kilometres apart, we now live in one house with the kids, except when they're off at legacy families or university. We’ve got a good 18 months under our belts together and the initial chaos of blending a family is starting to make some sense.
I get a lot of questions from people about our family. “Are you insane?” “Is that as exhausting as it looks?” And, most commonly, “How on earth do you do that?”
Family Sized Blender is my answer. It’s my chance to show how I think it all fits, whether we’re stumbling or succeeding. We’re looking at issues for parents of big families, blended families, or anyone who likes being entertained by the thought of bathtime with three kids five-and-under (we make it work).
Over the next little while, I’ll be writing about some interesting stuff – negotiating with other parents, dealing with learning disabilities, what happens after your five-year-old has heart surgery. I may not have intended to have six kids, but here I am – and it’s a whole lot of wonderful.