Melissa Griffith juggles life with a pre-schooler and high-schooler. So, what’s her advice for making a blended family work?
Name: Melissa Griffith
Occupation: Stay at home mom and wife
Kids: Sawyer (4), stepdaughter Emma (14)
HFM: What is your favorite part about being a mom?
MG: I am a family/active junkie. So I love being able to enjoy all the fun museums, parks, festivals, shows, sports venues, kid-friendly restaurants and destinations Houston has to offer! We do not have a free day that we don’t fill with some fun Houston adventure! I’ve loved watching the kids learn about the world through experiences.
HFM: How do you think your previous careers have helped with your family life?
MG: My previous jobs were all over the map, from software engineer to event planner to travel agent. But now that I manage the schedules of volleyball playing, how-many-school-events-can-they-pack-into-one-week high-schooler and soccer-playing, Little Gym playing, play dating pre-schooler, my calendar management skills have become more fine-tuned than ever!
HFM: What advice would you give to a new “step” parent?
MG: This is a tough question, because the answer depends on so many things: parenting situation, blended family makeup, ages of the children. Parenting step-children is hard, but so is parenting natural children. There are a few truths that I think most step-parents will find universal: it won’t always be perfect, and forgive yourself when it’s not; you’re not the child’s mother (or father) so manage expectations and don’t try to force a typical parent/child relationship or replace one. Backup your spouse and discuss differences of opinions behind the scenes. In reality, I think I will be better at addressing this question when I can look back on myself in 10 years!
HFM: What is a go-to meal everyone in the family enjoys?
MG: When my husband has fresh tuna from a fishing trip, we like to make sushi or spicy tuna tostadas or just grill up some tuna steaks. Otherwise, anything I can make in the crockpot is a family favorite because it lets us get to all our after school activities and still get home and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. The easiest one I’ve found is to cover seasoned chicken breasts with verde salsa and set in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours, then shred the chicken with 2 forks and serve on tostada shells. I also participate in a freezer meal club with some friends. We make enough frozen meals for the group each month then have a swap. It’s wonderful because I always have a healthy home-cooked meal to grab out of the freezer!