In a world where over 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, it's pretty reasonable to say that a lot of kids are a part of blended families. Every blended family is different but there are some things that are pretty universal.
1. Some times you forget that your stepfamily doesn't know all your friends.
Everybody has friends who they may not see for an extended period of time, but when you're in a blended family it's possible that your new family members may not know your friend. This is especially likely if you have friends that you usually hang out with at one parents house, but then bring to the other parents for the first time. For example, one of my little brothers has a friend over who my stepdad has never met before, but no one thought to introduce the kid to my stepdad or stepbrother until the kid had already been at our house a few hours.
2. "Us vs. Them" feels like a very real thing some times.
Now, this might be something that goes away over time or it might be something that sticks around forever. This is especially relevant if one family moves into the house of the other family instead of everyone moving into a new house together. For at least a few years there is a pretty constant barrage of "That blanket is ours." or "Don't use that broom, it's my dad's!" Not everyday is a constant fight, but there are definitely times when it may seem as though what should be one family, is actually two separate families barely coexisting in the same space.
3. Your step-siblings may have different rules than you and it drives you crazy.
Every body parents a little differently, and when you start combining families that have been separate for a long time there are always some disagreements as to how things should be done. This is especially frustrating when one family has been accustomed to very strict rules while the other has not. As a teenager in a blended family, you may see your step-siblings get away with things you definitely didn't as a kid, and things your siblings can't get away with either. But, you also know that the bonds among siblings who have been raised together may make it hard to not be biased sometimes.
4. Your schedule revolves around figuring out shared custody schedules.
When you try to make family plans—or even just individual plans—you have to figure out which siblings will be home, if any. And since the times that all your family members (step and otherwise) are all together may be limited, it can be hard to find an open time that your parents don't already have something planned.
5. School nights can be super crazy if your siblings or step-siblings are in extra curriculars.
When you start combining families, you're bound to end up with kids going to different schools. In my family's case, that means four different schools for four different kids (not counting me in college). When they're all involved in sports or clubs, that means having to choose which kids' events to attend and then rotating to make sure everyone gets equal (or close to equal) support. It may also mean that you don't see each other most nights because everybody is in a different place.
6. When your parent and step-parent fight or disagree you're instantly defensive of your parent.
It doesn't matter how logical the argument may be, or how much it may be none of your business, it takes a lot of willpower not to stand up for your parent all the time. You've lived with you parent for longer than your step-parent has, so you have become accustomed to your parents' mannerisms and likely know when they're upset before your step-parent does. It can be extremely difficult to not always want to scream at your step-parent to stop being so oblivious and realize that your parent is upset.
7. You've wondered—at length—what it would be like to be in a nuclear family.
This has probably been the theme of your daydreams more times than you can count. You've wondered how peaceful it would be to not have to maneuver the messy world that is a blended family. You've considered exactly what it would be like to come home every night to your mom and dad and siblings without having to consider if the whole family will actually be together.
8. You wouldn't trade your crazy, chaotic family for the world—most days.
There are definitely days where all you want to do is escape the mess of your family, but most days you're extremely grateful for these crazy people in your life. Whether it's your parent, or siblings, or step-parent, or step-siblings, you love them more than anyone else, because they're your family—no matter what.