My Family Isn't "Blended" and That's Okay

True Confessions: I do not like the term "blended family."

It would be wonderful if I did, because there's something about the whole 'step' prefix that's more than a little hard to swallow, but even so, I do prefer it to "blended" and there's one very important, very simple reason why:

It's not fair to Jessica.

It is not fair to her to use a term that implies that her life was not incredibly and irreparably changed when her parents got divorced.

Let me make this 100% clear - I am not saying it should not have happened. I am also not saying it was not the best choice for Jess, because I truly believe in the long run that it was.

However, I also don't think it's fair to use certain labels over others just to make the adults in the situation happy.

Maybe for Chris and I, our family is "blended"- since Chris and Jess are related, and now Chris and I are married, so the three of us are "blended together" to create our own family. Okay, fine. I'll give you that.  But do you know who's family isn't blended?  Jessica's.  Her family is, in fact, the complete opposite of blended - her family is divided, geographically at the very least.

With the divorce, for Jess, came physical separation.  And her situation in particular was quite distancing, as it became significantly more difficult for her to see not only each of her parents but also her beloved older half-sister, a very important part of her life.

This would, by the way, still be the case even if we all lived in the same state - in the same town, even. This is just the reality of the situation - if her biological family does not live in the same home anymore, there is divide.

Even in the best of circumstances.

Even in situations where the parents are communicative and kind and lovely and want what's best for their children 100% of the time.

Regardless of the circumstances, a child of divorce experiences a separation of his/her family with the divorce.

And again, I'm not at all saying that this wasn't ultimately the best decision for all parties.  What I am saying, though, is that calling our family "a blended family" discounts the feelings and experiences of one of the most important people in it: Jessica.

And I'm not okay with that.

We are a family, absolutely. We are a close, funny, hilarious, sweet, ridiculous, emotional, strong family. But we are not "a blended family" and that's alright by me.

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