For the past 5 years, I have lived in a blended family. Of course, it wasn't always this way, and it was something my biological sister and I had to get used to. However, after years of living with and learning from each other, my not-so-related family has become indistinguishable from the real one. My "Brady Bunch" of a family has taught me a lot of valuable lessons throughout the years, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
1. Your house is always a train station
What I mean by that is people are literally always coming in and out. You never know who's home, who's not, who has friends over, or who's asleep. During the summers and school breaks, I would always come home and be surprised as to who was in the house and who wasn't. It seems as if the number of people in the house is always fluctuating but it's just something that you get used to and it's even weirder when everyone is home.
This one is a real issue. In my family, in particular, there are four teenage/young adult daughters. This means that the bathroom is quite literally always in use. Us girls are in there for every reason imaginable - showering, doing hair and makeup, and even making Musically videos (shoutout to Brielle for that one!). You eventually learn to maximize your time in the bathroom, so you can get everything done that you need to before the next person comes to use it. It's a lot of clockwork.
3. There is never food in the house
Four out of the six children in my blended family all live in my house, that is, when we're all home of course. This means that there is NEVER any food in the house. All the good snacks don't last a day, and the minute my dad's girlfriend goes shopping, it's a race to the kitchen to see who can score the best food first. We have about a day until all the food that was bought is completely missing, and we are left to fend for ourselves eating the objectively nasty food in the back of the pantry.
4. Family gatherings can get confusing
My extended family is very small. I have my immediate family, and then a few aunts, uncles and my grandparents. Naturally, I have been accustomed to only know a select few people in the duration of my life. However, after blending into this new family, I have had to learn the names of what seems like hundreds of more people all the while. This made family gatherings somewhat confusing at first, but eventually, they just became one big gathering of our "Brady Bunch" situation. As the years went on, they became more comfortable, which made for some serious laughs as well.
5. New friends to go on adventures with
I like to think that I have become exceptionally close to my step-siblings. Recently, we went on a mini-vacation to a cabin in the woods, staying all together for close to a week. Although the weather deterred some of our plans, the things we did inside held just as much fun. Through this week, I became closer with my family as a whole, and we even made an adventure out of just sitting on the couch. Life is a lot of fun when you have more people to experience it with.
At the end of the day, living with a blended family is basically one big adjustment period in life. As with anything you have to adjust to, you learn to find a routine with it and eventually love it too. Even though this situation was something that came out of nowhere, it is still something that has shaped who I am today. Besides, it gives me so much comfort to know that the five new people in my life who poke fun at me will still be there at the end of the day to offer endless love and support, the way my immediate family has all along.