Blended households account for a growing segment of the population. The term blended is used to describe a family in which the adult spouses or partners and their children from any previous relationships live together as a new family unit. Although this arrangement can work well to satisfy both the emotional and financial needs of the family members, the transitional period can be difficult due to emotional baggage carried over from past relationships. If you are a member of a newly blended family that is having difficulties in adjusting, these proactive tips can help you relieve the stress and begin the process of forming a cohesive new family unit. 

Arrange the Home to Ensure Personal Space Needs Are Met 

When two separate households come together as a blended family, the need for space can become a real source of stress. In many cases, neither of the former homes are large enough to comfortably house the combined family and this situation can cause resentment that becomes worse as time goes by. If the home you are living in does not have suitable space for each family member to enjoy both private and shared activities, searching for a larger home or finding a way to make more room in the current one is the best way to solve this dilemma. 

Look at every space in the home to see if there are any rooms that could be easily transformed into additional bedrooms or family use spaces. If the home has both an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room, consider turning the dining room into a bedroom. Attics, basements and even garage spaces have potential to add extra space, with minimal cost. 

Create a Family Schedule to Prevent Time Management Issues

In addition to space issues, newly blended families often have difficulties with time management. Some family members may feel ignored or forgotten when their activities or events are missed or postponed to make way for someone else's. To alleviate this issue, consider holding a monthly or weekly meeting where every member has a chance to add their events and activities to a family calendar. When there are conflicting events, the family can discuss all available options and decide on an equitable solution to the problem. 

Leave the More Difficult Issues to the Pros

Space and time issues are often able to be solved by working together as a family unit, but more difficult issues are best left to the expertise of a competent professional. Family or couples counseling from centers like Drake Counseling Services can be the best way to resolve personal and emotional issues that are stressing the new blended family relationship. When looking for a counselor, choose one that makes you and your new family members feel comfortable so that you can truly benefit from the experience.