Blended families, like Kate Hudson's, are challenging — but they're also unique

Kate Hudson surprised everyone with news that she’s expecting her third child, a baby girl.

The actress, 38, made the announcement via Instagram with footage of her gender reveal party, complete with hot-pink balloons, confetti, and a euphoric reaction from Hudson and her loved ones.

Kate Hudson, shown with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa, is expecting her third child and her first with him. (Photo: Getty Images)

“Surprise! If you’ve wondered why I’ve been so absent on my social channels it’s because I have never been more sick!” Hudson wrote in the video’s caption. “It was the most sick first trimester of all my children…We have been trying to keep this pregnancy under the radar for as long as possible but I’m a poppin now! And it’s too darn challenging to hide, and frankly hiding is more exhausting than just coming out with it! My kids, Danny, myself and the entire family are crazy excited! A little girl on the way.”

Hudson already has two sons: Bingham Hawn, 6, with ex-fiancé Matt Bellamy, and Ryder Russell, 14, with ex-husband and Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson.

Hudson and boyfriend Danny Fujikawa, her unborn baby’s father, went public with their relationship last May at the Hollywood premiere of Snatched, starring Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn. In March 2017, a source told People of the romance, “Kate’s a free spirit who has always been attracted to musicians. But Danny also appeals to her because he is talented, bright, and cosmopolitan like she is.”

The source added, “Kate’s enjoying herself. At this point it’s not serious.”

Of course, that’s different now. Going forward, Hudson’s family life will be even more wonderful — and full of unexpected challenges.

Hudson is part of the growing trend of blended families, which is on the rise, according to 2014 data compiled by the Pew Research Center. Not only are two-parent households declining, but divorce, remarriage, and cohabitation are increasingly common. “There is no longer one dominant family form in the U.S,” per Pew. “Parents today are raising their children against a backdrop of increasingly diverse and, for many, constantly evolving family forms.”

Those families often encounter a set of emotional and logistical challenges, says Deborah Gilboa, MD., a parenting and youth development expert. “One big hurdle is that daily schedules get more complex because each child has his or her own needs, passions, and abilities,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “That requires parents to be super-organized, clear, and draw boundaries.”

Because children rarely distinguish between siblings that are half, step, or biological, Gilboa says, parents should be mindful of each other’s unique circumstances in regard to finances and availability. So, she notes, “that way, you’ll help prevent situations in which a child feels excluded because, for example, only one sibling received a gift.”

Also, adults in blended families have the added pressure of managing their own emotions — in maintaining positive relationships with their ex-partners, they must often do the same with extended families and, in some cases, new romantic partners. At family events like birthday parties and graduations, emotions can get complicated.

However, there are many advantages to any type of growing family. “Kids in large or unconventional households usually have more diverse life experiences and flexibility,” says Gilboa. “And because their own families are unique, they become more open-minded and accepting of others.”

She adds, “At face value, it’s easy to see how blended families could be problematic, but handled positively, they’re great opportunities for kids.”

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