If you've ever experienced it, you know that co-parenting is a unique challenge. One of the biggest challenges is that there is no hard and fast set of rules to follow. The dynamics of a successful co-parenting relationship depend entirely on the relationships the adults in the situation have, not just to each other, but to their children. Co-parenting is often based entirely on trial and error; figuring out what works best for everyone can take time. And what was working at one point may not work forever. The co-parenting relationship is a constantly evolving one that becomes more complex as you add new people to it. But this blended family of 10 have figured out how to successfully exist together and it's pretty amazing.
Katie Blackmer doesn't just live with her husband Ben and their 4 children from their previous marriages; her ex-husband Stephen, his girlfriend Brandy, and her 2 kids from a previous relationship live with them too! That's right, Katie lives with not only her ex-husband, but also his girlfriend. Katie might actually be a saint. "It was so hard for me to have to give up my days with them at the beginning. I didn't want to share them, but I had to," Katie explains to POPSUGAR in an interview.
Katie and Stephen married young and had 3 children together, who are ages 11, 10, and 5. As their marriage went on, they realized that they were no longer compatible and decided to divorce. But if was important to them both that they remain equally involved with their children. When Katie got remarried to Ben, he just became another extension of the family, never compromising Stephen's relationship with his children. After Stephen was in a near fatal car accident that left him in need of constant care, Katie and Ben invited him to move in with them, no questions asked. Then only a few months later, Stephen met Brandy, and not long after, she moved in with her two young children, ages 7 and 9. And thus, a new kind of modern family was born.
To hear Katie explain it, their living situation is the most natural thing in the world. And for them, it absolutely is. With pretty much all of the younger kids being in some sort of competitive sport, having all hands on deck is the only way everyone will get to where they need to be. Katie says, "We are a team, we are number one fans for all of our children, and each other's support systems!" Frankly, that is the best perspective to have if you're going to be successful co-parents. So, hats off to Katie and her family for doing something so amazing!