'Yours, Mine & Ours': Barbara and Ron

Barbara and Ron have only been married for two months, but their blended household of eight is already out of control.


"When I met Barbara, I had been a widower for about two years. My precious wife died suddenly. Never again would I imagine anything being so difficult as waking the kids up, and telling them that their mother is dead," he recalls. 

"I never wanted to get married again. But when he asked me to marry him, I didn't even hesitate," Barbara says. "I never thought I would have six kids. I'm nuts!"


An added challenge is cramming eight bodies in a house that was built for two people. "I feel like we're a pack of puppies on top of each other," Barbara complains. "After the wedding, Ron brought Jake his stepson; Nick his nephew; and Emma, his daughter into my house with my kids: Tom, Cece, and Trent. Ron and I have permanent custody of Nicholas."

Eighteen-year-old Cece shares a room with Emma, who is half her age. Cece comments, "There are three 15-year-old boys hitting puberty, just battling hormones. My family is the Brady Bunch from hell!"  

"Did you guys think about what the challenges were before you did this?" Dr. Phil asks the couple.

"No, not at all," Barbara says. "I thought it would be easy, not thinking that there are 15-year-old boys that are all hitting puberty right now. And they have such different personalities. I never thought that it would be just chaos."

Dr. Phil finds this interesting. "You didn't think that putting eight people ... compressed in this space would be a problem, let alone the dynamics and the personalities?"


Ron says merging the families was a risk he had to take. "I saw problems coming, but my main intention was to marry this woman," he says. "Although I knew we were going to be cramped together, I saw six good kids who could work together to make it work."

"You said if it was up to you, you'd have five more," Dr. Phil observes.

"Well, I would love to have more kids, yes. It's fun! Makes me feel young," Ron says.

"What do you need from him that you're not getting?" Dr. Phil asks Barbara.

She replies that she wants her new husband to help out more with discipline. "I always seem like I'm so strict. I'm the one who's yelling at the kids all the time and telling them what to do," she says, conceding that
Ron does back her up. "But I'm there all the time. I don't know how to deal with so many different personalities in the house."

"Does she need more help from you than she's getting?" Dr. Phil asks Ron.




Dr. Phil brings all six kids up on stage. "So, how do you ever get any privacy? Two of y'all are living on the porch, right?"

Jake speaks up. "It's me and Nick." 

"And this gets cold, does it not?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, very cold," Jake informs him.

Ron elaborates. "This is temporary until the basement is complete. Then we're going to move in the basement and give up our room for them."

Trent expresses his frustration with the cramped living situation. "We argue constantly. We are always in each other's faces. We argue over the tiniest little things. We have to share everything."


When Dr. Phil suggests that they come up with a family plan, Barbara says, "We have done that a couple times. We sat everybody down and said, 'Look, we're together in this. And we need you guys to get along.'"

"And what happens?" Dr. Phil asks.  

"It's OK for a day or two, and then it goes back to everybody bickering and fighting again," she says. 

Turning to Cece, the eldest girl, Dr. Phil asks how it feels to share a bedroom with an 8-year-old. "Well, I'm at school most of the time during the week, and then whenever I come home on the weekends, it's very tough to have to come home and worry about if she's going to be in the room," she says.


Young Emma says it's not easy for her either. "Sharing a room with an 18-year-old is sometimes hard because she has a lot of posters up, and a lot of people I don't know," she says.


Addressing Barbara, Dr. Phil says, "First off, you said that you look at all of these children as yours because you're wanting to be a mother and be loving and all. But the problem is, you got Jake and Nick who are not yours. And I can just tell you, that deciding that you're going to become the mother for Jake and Nick, it's not going to work. You don't have a history with them. To put you in the position of trying to mother them, discipline them, guide them in that fashion — it won't work for you. It doesn't work for anybody. If you blend two families, and you've got teenagers, the stepparent is not going to come in and be the primary disciplinarian ... The two of y'all have to make a plan where everybody plays by the same rules, and you two support one another."

Dr. Phil says th

at the constant bickering and feuding in the household is caused by reflexive biting. "If you put too many people in too small a space, no matter how docile they are, it can really create problems," he explains.


He applauds their efforts for trying to blend their families. Since Ron and Barbara have been married for two months but never had a honeymoon, he has a surprise for them. "We want to send you on an all-inclusive trip to Fiji!" he says. The couple will fly Air Pacific for a seven-night stay on the island, a trip valued at $15,000.


As Barbara covers her mouth in shock, Dr. Phil has more gifts for them. "With eight people living in a small, three-bedroom house, space is really big issue ...  The people at Ameriquest,  who are really good about creating families and homes and bringing them together, wanted to give you guys $100,000 to help this family. "


"That's unbelievable!" Ron says, stunned.


They will also receive a new dining room and bedroom furniture from JC Penney's Chris Madden Collection, worth $15,000. Bosch Home Appliances is providing $15,000 for a new stove top, range, dishwasher, refrigerator and washer and dryer.


Dr. Phil also thanks Barbara Palmer, Senior VP of Ameriquest.