This weekend, my husband, stepdaughter, and I attended my sister’s high school graduation. My inquisitive 8-year-old asked me how I was related to the graduate, and thus, a detailed family tree conversation ensued.
You see, I have 4 half siblings: one half brother and sister on my mom’s side and one half brother and sister on my dad’s side. My dad’s on his 5th marriage, so I had to explain that the mom of the sister she had just seen graduate wasn’t the same stepmom of mine she had just met; that was another stepmom from 10 years ago.
Let’s just put it this way: blended families are COMPLEX. I just hope my little one’s family tree isn’t quite as disjointed as mine.
I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation. Surely I’m not the only one out there whose life has been affected by divorce again and again… and again. My life couldn’t be that big of an anomaly, could it?
So, naturally, I did some digging. And you guys, some of the things I learned in my research about blended families and stepfamilies truly blew my mind. The impact of divorce is REAL.
15 Mind-Blowing Facts about Blended Families
1 – THIRTEEN HUNDRED new stepfamilies form each day. (source)
2 – LESS THAN HALF (45%) of children “do well” after divorce. (source)
3 – ONE QUARTER of children with divorced parents have severe social or emotional problems; whereas, only 10% of their peers from nuclear families do. (source)
4 – ONE THIRD of all Americans are members of a blended family: as a stepparent, stepchild, or other blended family member. (source)
5 – More than THIRTY PERCENT of remarried moms with custody don’t work outside the home. Alternatively, 7.5 percent of remarried dads with custody don’t work outside the home. (source)
6 – ONE HALF of all American children’s parents will divorce. Of these same children, nearly half will also witness a divorce from a parent’s second marriage. (source)
7 – SIXTY-SEVEN PERCENT of 2nd marriages end in divorce. The percentage is even higher for 3rd marriages. (source)
8 – In 2010, Americans paid 41.7 BILLION dollars in child and/or spousal support. (source)
9 – Stepdads are MORE COMMON than stepmoms. (source)
10 – EIGHTY PERCENT of custodial moms receive child support, but only thirty percent of custodial fathers receive child support. (source)
11 – Couples going through their first divorce have an average age of THIRTY YEARS OLD. (source)
12 – Your risk of divorce decreases by 14 PERCENT if you grew up with happily married parents. (source)
13 – FORTY-THREE PERCENT of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (source)
14 – NEARLY 30 PERCENT of children whose parents have divorced live in a household with an income below the poverty line. (source)
15 – THREE QUARTERS of blended families express frustration at the lack of resources available to them. (source)
That last one stuck out to me the most (naturally, I am a stepmom blogger) and really motivated me to ensure more quality resources are created for blended families. I truly believe that blended doesn’t mean broken, and that divorce doesn’t have to ruin our children’s lives.
Do those 3/4s of stepfamilies a favor and share this page with your friends, family, and social media followers. Let’s all commit to sharing and disseminating resources as we find them so that no stepmom feels like she doesn’t have adequate resources. Because the effect of divorce is real.
PS: Looking for more information on how to avoid becoming part of the 67% of stepmarriages that end in divorce? Read more here.
PPS: Looking for more stepmom resources? These are my favorites.