Blended Family: A Long Distance Marriage

My husband is Canadian and I’m Dutch. And the cherry on top? He has two boys from a previous marriage.

Also, we are masters of the long-distance relationship.

Even though I moved to Canada to be with him, we are technically still in a long distance relationship.

Matthew and I met in a local bar in Rotterdam, he used to work in Holland and I made Rotterdam my home not long before we met. I love it there and have fond memories of the city. The best memories were made with Matthew. Taking in the culture and exploring the endless restaurants and bars, sans kids, was how we loved to spend time together.

Then one day rumors started that he might not be working in Rotterdam for that much longer. His work had him living between Rotterdam and at home, in Canada, co-parenting his boys on 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off rotation.  

When the news hit it forced us to take a longer and more serious look into our relationship.

Fast forward 5 years, I live in Canada and Matthew still works away, mostly in Europe on the same rotation.

So yes, we have this long distance thing down to the t.

It’s fun

It’s challenging

It’s just what we have to do (right now).

I love it AND I despise it.

When I talk to fellow women whose husbands work away, we usually have one thing in common. We LOVE having time to ourselves. We have our own routines when they’re gone and then they come back home and mess everything up. What we basically need is an adjustment period those first few days.

There is just one thing I need more of than a little adjustment period.

I need time with him. We went from spending two years together without kids to me moving to Canada, becoming a stepmom and having my stepkids with us the entire time he’s home.

Date nights or impromptu get-togethers with friends came to a grinding halt.

I was thrown into a parenting role without a moment to think or digest what was happening and have learned a few things along the way.

ALWAYS make your relationship a priority. Carve out time together whether that’s for a morning coffee, afternoon lunch or hang out session after you send the kids to bed early.

SPLURGE on date nights - spend money on a babysitter! The actual activity doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as leaving after dinner to grab a drink while a babysitter watches the kids. Getting out of the house has been key to us staying sane.

At the end of the day when you become a parent, however that may happen, there’s no denying that your life will change for the good. Having my stepchildren in my life has been the best thing that has happened to me and there’s so much to learn from children every single day.

No matter how much I love spending time with them and my family, I also need one-on-one time with my guy.

- Gina