Jada Pinkett Smith has started a new vlogging series called “Red Table Talk” featuring her daughter Willow and her mother Adrienne. The series will cover several topics from love, family, relationships and more – featured on Facebook Watch.
In the premiere episode titled “Motherhood”, Jada sits down with Will Smith’s ex-wife and mother of Will’s oldest son, Sheree. This is the first time ever that the 2 ladies have sat down to talk about their blended families and how hard the introduction to co-parenting was. It’s not a topic a lot of people are comfortable talking about, because 9 times out of 10 there are tensions, arguments, lack of trust, pettiness, animosity, hurt, anger… the list of negative connotations can go on and on. The fact is, blended families are a lot more common than you think. So common in fact that 1,300 new blended families are formed every day in the US, and over 50% of families are re-married or re-coupled after children. If it’s as normal as it seems to be, why do many find it so hard to do? In my experience, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding.
Being single for about 6 years, I was very clear on what I wanted in a partner. What were deal breakers for me, and what I could compromise on. Kids definitely wasn’t one of them. I knew motherhood was something I wasn’t interested in because I was so set on my career path. I was so focused on my goals, friends and traveling that I was completely content with life and had no intentions of slowing down. Life has a funny way of reminding you of whats really important though. Ironic enough, I moved to Utah to follow my love for radio, and that’s when I met my boyfriend and father of 3 girls, Jhay.
I met Jhay during the beginning of his separation from an 8-year marriage. Knowing his situation, and that the separation was still very fresh, I had no interest in any kind of relationship. We started out as friends (as most couples do) and soon after realized that we loved each other, and wanted more. Here’s where the complications of a blended family come in. He was, for the most part, a single father. The girls mother lives in California, so he has them full-time. What did that mean for me? For us? I had no idea how that would affect me and our relationship, as well as the girls and their mother. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead when everything was starting. It was so new, and we moved pretty fast, so we had to just take things as they came day by day.
You can imagine, ending an 8 year marriage with 3 children involved isn’t easy no matter how the marriage ended. In our case, the separation was very hard on all parties involved. A lot of arguing, disagreements, hurt, anger and pain. For those reasons, I had decided from the beginning that I would not get involved in his interaction with his ex. I was there to listen and give advice. For the most part, that has worked out for us. Jhay and his ex communicate well enough to where they can come to agreements and understandings when it comes to the kids. As for She and I, we have a very long way to go, but I’m hopeful that sometime we will be able to come to a common understanding and mutual respect for each other. Just like Jada and Sheree.
This journey has been far from easy for any of us. This was basically everything I thought I never wanted and ended up being everything I ever needed. Having a loving relationship with his girls is a feeling I can’t even explain. I’ve learned so much from them already, and I’m so thankful I’ve been given the opportunity to be in their lives. We have a long journey ahead of us, but I know as long as all 3 of us continue to do whats best for the girls, we will have a great and positive blended family experience.
This episode hit hard with me because Jada and Sherees relationship started out the same way mine and the girls’ mother did. I connected with Jada and her experiences with being introduced to motherhood, and it was also an eye-opener for me hearing Sheree’s side of things and how hard it was for her. This really taught me that patience and understanding are the most important things to focus on when co-parenting and living a blended family life.
Do you have a blended family? How have you coped with it all or what’s the best advice you have for someone new to it? I’d love to hear your thoughts @U92slc! Check out Jada’s interview with Wills Ex below.
In the premiere episode of Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith is joined by Will Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Fletcher for an intimate conversation around their blended family. Make sure to follow Red Table Talk for more updates and episodes!
Posted by Red Table Talk on Monday, May 7, 2018