Updated: Mar 23, 2021
When we began dating, we quickly found out that we had whole lot in common. We both love to cook. We both love to travel. We both love Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman way too much. But more than anything, we both have an immense love for our children. Because of this protective Daddy nature, we had each stated that we would never introduce our children to someone we were dating until we knew that it was very serious. That was easy enough to say, but what do we do when the relationship actually does get serious, and its time to be introduced to kids? How does that work? Well, we believe everyone has to write their own story, but we're happy to share ours with you.
Jaime's kids, Delaney and Cooper, are older, so we knew that we wanted them to be a part of the process. Jaime started by having a conversation with each of them individually to explain that he was dating and share some details about me. The most important part of this conversation was Jaime giving each of them the ability to express when they were ready to meet me. Cooper initially stated he was ready, but Delaney felt like she needed some time. She was apologetic, but I sent her a note to tell her not to apologize because I was very proud of her. I expressed gratitude for her honesty and admiration for her ability communicate her needs. I told her that I was really looking forward to meeting her, but also was more than happy to respect her need for more time.
This note really went a long way. Shortly after, Delaney was performing in her school play and asked if everyone could come to see her - including me. The performance was wonderful, with both Jaime and I cheering entirely too loudly. We then went out for dessert and began the process of getting to know each other as a new family.
Since my kids, Sawyer and August, are significantly younger, a different tactic had to be developed. We began by introducing the boys to Jaime via FaceTime. This allowed them to see Jaime from a safe space, and allowed me to answer any questions they might have before ever meeting in person. Jaime decided to send the boys little gifts from time to time, which certainly went a long way! When the day came to meet in person, Sawyer and August were incredibly excited to see him. August especially immediately bonded with Jaime, making those two special buddies.
Then came the time to have our children meet each other. This too began with FaceTime calls. The kids really enjoyed getting to talk to each other, sharing silly stories and joking. The boys spent entirely too much time talking about poop - much to Delaney's disgust. When it came time to introduce them to each other, we knew this was going to be a monumental moment. We planned a trip to Louisiana, and allowed the kids to take ownership of the trip by choosing activities they would like to share with each other. We spent a week exploring the French Market, holding alligators, playing at parks, and eating way too many donuts. The shared experience really brought everyone together, and we left the trip exhausted and emotionally full.
Again, we strongly believe that everyone has to write their own story and our process for blending our family is not the only way to do so. But it definitely worked for us, with four smiling faces, and two happy daddies.