Blended Families


Managing Blended Families

In the “Where’s the Lemonade” podcast, blending families is explored with a delightful twist, akin to creating a smoothie with different ingredients. Darren & Paige joyfully share anecdotes about navigating the mix of personalities, like finding the right balance of fruits and nuts (We have both in our family) in a blender. Listeners are treated to a refreshing take on the challenges and triumphs of merging households, making it a flavorful journey full of laughter and love.


604 - #6.4 Co-parenting, Money, and Adult Children
In the world of blended families, navigating issues related to co-parenting adult children can be complex and challenging. Some familiar questions might center on the financial responsibility of each parent in relation to costs like college fees, health insurance, and other unforeseen expenses. This post examines the convolutions faced by co-parents, particularly with regards to shared-cost decisions and financial commitments to their adult children.

513 - #5.13 How Young is too Young to Leave Your Kids Alone?
Darren & Paige, the hosts of Where's the Lemonade? recently sparked debate with their episode discussing whether leaving young kids unattended is okay. While opinions vary on appropriate ages and circumstances, most agree child maturity levels differ.

512 - #5.12 Event Etiquette in Co-Parenting
We just had a wedding!! Julianne and Boyd were married this past weekend and it made us think about the balancing act that they had to do between 3 different families. How can we help them in their balancing act? There are always going to be big events that you have to attend with your coparent and possibly a significant other. How can we make this easier on the kids?

511 - #5.11 Nacho Parenting
Darren and Paige have heard about Nacho parenting and always thought it was definitely not for them, but they only had heard about extreme Nacho parenting. After a dive into what it really is, Paige is not totally against it; she can see why some families would adopt this type of parenting in a blended family.

509 - #5.9 Two Households, Two Sets of Rules
Let's start with a frequently asked question in divorced households: When my child goes to their dad’s house, he has different rules. When they come home, they think they can do whatever they want. I am tired of the battle. How can I help them adjust to the different house rules?

506 - #5.6 You Asked, We Answered
This week Darren and Paige asked their listeners to submit questions that we have not addressed on the show. Some of these questions were hard to answer but we did it anyway.

505 - #5.5 Don't Say That!! Dumb Things We Say to Kids of Divorce
Are we saying the wrong things to our kids about the divorce??? Probably!! We think we are saying good healthy things to help our kids thru the divorce, but are we?

504 - #5.4 The Horrible First Year Revisited
The first year of blending families can be pretty tricky and downright horrible. In this episode, we talk about the challenges of throwing two families together and how we dealt with the obstacles we ran into.

416 - #4.16 It's Summer Time!! Screen Time How Much is Too Much?
Ok, so here we are again in the summertime!! It is a beautiful time of year. Kids are home, enjoying a nice break from school. It's time for them to relax and chill. But what happens when their chillin involves hours and hours of screen time each day? How much is too much? Do we as parents ban screen time completely? Or limit it? Do we keep them super busy with other things? Let's dive in and see what we can figure out.

413 - #4.13 Wise Considerations before Blending Families
Darren and Paige decided to tackle, should you blend these two families? It can be a colossal mistake to blend families too quickly. (says the couple who combined very quickly) There are some essential things to know before agreeing. (Do you like camping, do you want a dog, or do you want more kids??) The need for companionship can drive you too quickly.

407 - #4.7 K-Drama
On today's episode Darren & Paige talk about their excursion into watching Korean Dramas. Ok just one K-Drama Crash Landing On You, but they are considering watching another one.

405 - #4.5 Balancing Act Between Fun and Strict Parenting
Madeline and Paige were talking the other day about different parenting styles. Some are too lax; they just want to be their kid's friends. Some are too strict, hovering, helicopter parents. Some are too serious; where is the fun? 

404 - #4.4 Living in Two Households
In this episode, Darren talks to three of his kids about what it is like to have two households as teenagers? What it is like now that they are adults? and What advise they have for other kids that navigate two households?

311 - #3.11 The Over Communicative Ex
Does your spouse spend too much time on the phone with their Ex? Does the Ex just walk into the house and help themselves to food? In this episode Darren & Paige look at the Over Communicative Ex. The problem is not the Ex it is your spouse. They cover some practical tips to establish boundaries.

309 - #3.9 The Silent Ex Spouse
Does your ex-spouse communicate with you? Or is it just silence when you try to co-parent. Listen to Darren and Paige talk about techniques to open the communications channels and improve co-parenting.

307 - #3.7 (Don't) Die hard in Traditions
In this episode we revisit traditions. We start questioning some of the traditions we stuck with when we first blended after one of our kids mentioned how busy Christmas is and how it would be nice if it was a bit slower.

305 - #3.5 Disneyland Dad Syndrome
Disneyland Dad Syndrome is real and affects blended families every day. It is so prevalent that there is a legal definition for it. So how do you become a Disneyland Dad? How do you deal with a Disneyland Dad? Darren & Paige give their insight into this problem in Blended Families.

303 - #3.3 Pass the Xanax : Dealing with Anxiety in a Blended Family
Blended families bring lots of new stressors into a relationship. Anxiety is high and sometimes your attempts to help your family to blend just increases the anxiety for everyone. In this episode, Darren & Paige talk about causes of anxiety and how to deal with anxiety in your family.

302 - #3.2 The Lemonade of Blended Families
There are many studies on the adverse effects of divorce and the trials of blended families. In this episode, Darren & Paige are only looking at the Lemonade of blended families. That is right put on your Rose Colored Glasses and look at all of the benefits of a blended family. If you want all of the hard things that come with a blended family check out all of our other episodes. :)

222 - #2.22 Don't Judge Me
Blended families get judged. No doubt about it. The kids get judged, they come from a broken family, they are going to have issues in school, and in relationships in the future. And the adults do too. They didn't try hard enough in the previous marriage, they gave up too easily, or be careful around them. In this episode, Paige and Darren explore the judgment they have made and have been victims.

221 - #2.21 Even Stevens in a Blended Family
In this episode, Darren & Paige try to figure out how to keep things even between the kids, the ex(s), and the different houses. This is not an easy task! In fact, we find that it is impossible and probably a waste of time and effort. Time to swallow your pride and do what is best for the kids and not worry about keeping up with your ex.

218 - #2.18 Back to School with COVID and Blended Families
Darren & Paige talk about the big decision on where to educate the kids. Due to COVID-19 and restrictions of being in person face to face. Tough decisions had to be made on what to do with the kids education. Once the decision was made making it all happen and as painless as possible is the next trip. Find out how we navigated the uncharted waters we are traveling.

217 - #2.17 When Kids get Married in a Blended Family
Find out how to throw a COVID-19 wedding when children of a blended family get married. Something that could be over the top stressful turns out to be wonderful and very low stress. Thank you Jacob and Andie.

214 - #2.14 Fighting the Stereotypes of Divorce and Blended Families
COVID-19 and the corresponding quarantine has brought out some interesting stereotypes that we have seen over the last 3 months. This recognition of stereotypes has given Paige and Darren an internal look at stereotypes that they have had about divorce and blended families. In this episode, we expose the different stereotypes of divorced people, their blended families, and how to overcome those stereotypes.

213 - #2.13 Quarantine Fatigue (Week 8 of COVID Pandemic)
COVID-19 got you down. Quarantine is playing a number on our emotional and physical selves. In this episode listen to how Darren & Paige handle their Cabin Fever. Will anger and anxiousness take over or are there some things they have found work to ease the stress of uncertainty.

212 - #2.12 Feeling like Multiple Families
Nine years ago when we got married we had the perfect vision of blending our families. Of course, we wanted it to be like a nuclear family with white picket fences and a dog. What we ended up with was several different family groups and plenty of lessons learned. But we love our blended family and constantly nurture and feed it. Check out how we got there in this episode.

211 - #2.11 Episode 2:11- Dealing with Stress (Covid-19 Week 3)
We have noticed an uptick on blended families have issues in their families that just seem insurmountable. Stress from the COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty in health, job stability, and the economy is driving wedges in relationships between husband and wife and kids. In this episode learn how to identify the signs of stress, their causes and how to deal with stress in a productive way.

209 - #2.9 Adjusting to Everyone at Home (Covid 19)
In this episode find out how Darren & Paige handle the first week of having everyone home in a Shelter in Place order by the state of California due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Are we going to grow closer together or drive each other crazy?

205 - #2.5 Why Blended Families Fail
When we first got married we believed that love would conquer all. Blending families would be as simple as moving all of our stuff into a house and making it a home. Successfully blending families is hard work and takes some careful planning. we learned some invaluable lessons over the years. In this episode find out what worked and what completely failed in our attempt to bring two families together.

202 - #2.2 Getting Organized in the New Year
The Christmas clutter leads us to start an early spring cleaning and organizing. In this episode, we uncover our deepest darkest secret, we are Organizational Posers. We hide our inability to stay organized by putting all of the stuff in a couple places in the house (Office, and Garage). We learned some tips on how to survive the dreaded post-Christmas de-clutter.

201 - #2.1 Goal Setting in a Blended Family
We have been setting goals with our kids every year at the beginning of the year since we started blending families. We would spend a day after new years day and talk to the kids about the importance of setting and achieving goals. We would write our goals down and then put them in a box in the entertainment center. Then the next year at New Year's day we would dust off the box and look at the goals stored inside. These weren't goals, just forgotten wishes.

139 - #1.39 Managing Christmas Stress
Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect and give thanks. But it is often a time of stress, college kids returning home, and in-laws visiting. All of the normal pressures of Christmas Expectations is compounded when you add a blended family. Sharing time with your kids, duplicate presents, and who gets to take the kids to the latest Star Wars are just some of the things you have to worry about.

138 - #1.38 An Attitude of Gratitude
In this episode find out how gratitude helps fight depression and anxiety by re-wiring the brain. Find out how we have tried to teach our kids real gratitude, what works and what we did wrong.

137 - #1.37 Competing with your Ex to be the Favorite
Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Competition between ex(s) only magnifies the bad feelings and contention in the relationship. Many times kids can feel this tension and can even become the center of the competition, feeling like a pawn in a highly competitive chess match. In this episode, we talk about how to avoid competition with your Ex or your Ex's spouse.

136 - #1.36 Step Parent Boundries
In this episode, we talk about setting and sticking to boundaries as a step-parent. Boundaries with step kids and ex-spouses.

134 - #1.34 Retrospective on 8 years of Blending families
In this episode learn why it is important to take time to frequently renew your relationship. In our recent time away we recorded this podcast about the last eight years of our marriage. Find out our highs and lows and what we learned from it all.

133 - #1.33 Decorating for the Holidays with going Insane
Decorating for the Holidays is a great tradition that turns a house into a home. For Paige and Darren, this was critical to helping their kids feel somewhat normal after blending the families. Even though we love the way our home is decorated, Darren's aversion to a disaster of a garage and piles of boxes made this time a year a time of dread and anxiety. Find out how we made our way through this.

131 - #1.31 Surviving Middle School Kids in a Blended Family
Find out how Darren & Paige handle Middle Schoolers that are going through The Change from perfect little kids to tweenies and teenagers with raging hormones and attitudes as they try and learn to become adults. Throw a blended family and two sets of parents and problems become even more difficult to manage.

127 - #1.27 Back to School Boohoo Woohoo
The fall brings kids going back to school or even leaving home to go to College for the first time. In this episode, we talk about the perils of back to school in a blended family and the emotions of sending kids off to college for the first time.

125 - #1.25 Friends and Divorce
Friends are yet another tricky subject in divorce. Who gets what friends after a divorce? Does your new spouse make friends with your friends? What happens if you are in the same social circles still? Are there people that want to be friends with both you and your ex? It gets complicated really fast. In this episode, we talk about the pitfalls and traps and how to avoid them.

124 - #1.24 Dealing with Child Support and Alimony
When people get divorces there is a huge financial explosion. All of the assets you have built together are now going to be exploded and divided. Not just two ways, lawyers will get their cut as well. But your financial obligation does not stop there, it is just the beginning. The emotions around money in divorce, alimony, and child support are pretty raw. In this episode, we investigate those feelings and how to deal with them.

123 - #1.23 Divorce Dog, Disneyland and Skydiving
Right after a divorce is hard for everyone. You and your kids will be going through all ranges of emotion. You have a tendency to act based on those emotions of fear, guilt, sadness, and anger. Many times, this leads to uncharacteristically doing things you would not normally do. Like, getting a dog even though you are allergic, or skydiving, or heading to Disneyland. In this episode, we explore those first few months after a divorce and how to try to not overindulge your kids.

122 - #1.22 Preparing for the Worst Day of Your Life - Navigate Kids Through the Separation.
One of the worst days in our lives was telling our kids we were getting divorced. Turns out it is also the worst day in the lives of our kids too. In this episode, we discuss how we navigated the tricky conversation that we had with our kids. Our approaches were very different but we found some common things that seemed to work, and some things that did not work so well.

121 - #1.21 Open Communication with your Spouse, Kids, and Exes
Open communication is important to any relationship. Don't mistake open communication for transparency like we did. Transparency is about visibility, open communication is more about how, when and where you communicate. In this episode find out how Darren & Paige muddle through their journey to open communication in their marriage.

118 - #1.18 Discipline in Blended Families
How do you discipline children in a blended family? How do you combine your two styles? How do you teach children across multiple households? There are many techniques and opinions on this subject. Now you get to hear our perspective on how we learned how to navigate this treacherous part of blending families.

117 - #1.17 Custody Scheduling Nightmares and Successes
Are you having a hard time figuring out custody schedules with your ex? Are you 50/50 and don't know if you should be a week on week off? Or are you looking at a 2-2-5-5? If you don't even know what these are you can hear the nightmare of scheduling when you have a blended family in this podcast. We discuss the pitfalls and successes we found in negotiating and working custody schedules.

116 - #1.16 Step Mother's Day
In this episode we discuss how hard it is to be a step-mom on Mother's Day, heck even Biological Mom's have a hard time with Mother's Day. Find out how we deal with this great day to remember the Moms in our lives.

114 - #1.14 Sandwiches (Mustard/Mayo) - Making kids feel special in a Large Family
Sandwiches might have nothing to do with treating kids as individuals, but in our house it does. Learn how just some small questions of our kids helped us find out how to treat them as an individual in our blended family.

113 - #1.13 Your Previous Life in your current marriage
Your history has a profound effect on who you are. When you are in a second marriage that includes your relationship with your previous spouse. Sometimes learning about your spouse's previous relationships can be difficult, but we have found over the years that it has given us a better understanding of each other, where we have come from and what has shaped and molded each of us.

112 - #1.12 Compromise in Blended Families- Know when the hold'm, fold'm and walk away
Every marriage includes different times when you have to compromise. In a blended family, there are even more opportunities to practice your compromising skills. In this episode, we explore different kinds of compromise and how best to work through the hard decisions you have to make.

110 - #1.10 Family Heritage Tour
Family Heritage Roadtrips help give your kids a sense of belonging and roots. With a blended family, it can be tricky if you don't plan things out carefully. This episode is a travel episode of our Heritage road, find out what worked well for us and did not.

107 - #1.7 Being part of a Bigger Extended Family (Blending into your spouse's family)
It can be really difficult blending families, imagine what is like to blend with 10 siblings. Blending includes not just your kids it includes your siblings and parents as well. In this episode, we look at the pitfalls and the success of joining a big family that already has a history with your spouse's former spouse.

106 - #1.6 The Horrible First Year - Overcoming obstacles when blending families
The first year of blending families can be pretty difficult, downright horrible. In this episode, we talk about the challenges of throwing two families together and how we dealt with the obstacles we ran into.

105 - #1.5 Family Road-trips survival of the fittest
This episode is about surviving and maybe even enjoying, road trips with your family. They can really be a time of bonding (or total stress!) with some preparation. Food, audible, games and electronics can get you through it!!

104 - #1.4 There is No Step in Grandma and Grandpa - Extending the blended family across multiple generations
How do you extend your blending family through the generations? Our parents showed us through their example of accepting and bringing our blended family directly into our family. We have learned as we are starting to add grandchildren that who they biologically belong to really does not matter. In this episode, we talk about how to make the blending extended beyond just our family. We have found that there is no step in Grandma and Grandpa, or Aunt and Uncle.

103 - #1.3 Egg's Benedict and Sausage Fondue - Building foundations through traditions
Establishing traditions is important to give your family (blended or not) a foundation that your children can hold on to when things are difficult. This can be tricky when you are combining traditions from multiple families. You have to figure out when to keep traditions when to blend them, when to throw them out and when to create new ones. In this episode, we talk about some of our challenges in navigating traditions in our blended family.

101 - #1.1 When life gives you lemons
The first episode of the Where's the Lemonade podcast where we talk about why we are podcasting in the first place.