Bonus Mothers & Blended Households – Half 2

Thanks for all of you guys’ wonderful responses and dms after my Half I submit about blended households and bonus mothers – I used to be doing a Q&A on tales yesterday and realized I by no means posted the half 2! I really like with the ability to deliver a extra open dialog round blended households and motherhood as a bonus mama.


Q: Do you get an extended with Cody’s ex-wife? Do you guys hang around?

A. Im actually grateful all of us get an extended. 

One factor I wanted may have been totally different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom received divorced they might have been mates (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, but it surely was onerous at occasions feeling that stress). They lived throughout the nation from one another, in order that they didn’t must see one another a lot. After I would go to go to my mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years previous and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and then you definately sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself. I even have loads of enjoyable reminiscences with tremendous form flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I feel that is additionally a part of the rationale I realized to grow to be fairly impartial at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however in any case…), however ya I nonetheless at all times felt that awkward stress at any time when they had been in the identical room. I bear in mind even on my wedding ceremony day being concerned about ensuring each dad and mom felt they received equal consideration and love. And possibly that was one thing I created in my head, but it surely made me wish to make it a precedence once we received married that we’ve a great relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the children by no means felt that stress or stress, and so we may all go to the children occasions and it not be awkward. Once more, this was not an in a single day factor, it took years to get to that time. Particularly if this can be a recent scenario, it should take loads of time.  However as a child who has been on that aspect of divorce, that was one factor I actually wished totally different for our children.

Time, time, time! I feel all of it simply takes time, however I really like speaking to their mother concerning the children and sharing pleasure for the issues they’re doing, or issues they’re studying or going by way of. All of us sit by one another at a lot of the children video games and occasions, it’s in a great place.

Q. Do you get a say in making all the choices about faculties and such. How do you take care of that side? 

A. Lengthy story quick, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is without doubt one of the onerous elements of being a bonus mother, you like your bonus infants and assist increase them however in my case I’m not likely a call maker. I imply daily what we’re doing Cody and I determine, however greater choices Cody and his ex spouse work out collectively. 

Q. Because the bonus mothers/dad and mom, are you concerned in communication to his ex or simply Cody?

A. In our scenario, Cody and his ex work out particulars for probably the most half. Clearly there are occasions when Cody remains to be at work or out of city or one thing so I choose up/drop off the children, and so forth. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a gaggle textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and generally share photos of the children from faculty or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes by way of them.

Q. How do you deal with frustration along with your step children’ schedule?

A. One factor that took time for me to appreciate and perceive is that once you’re a step guardian (not at all times the case, however no less than in my scenario) even in the event you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you might have little say over holidays, faculty schedules, actually simply plans on the whole. For me, anyone who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s generally onerous. For instance, once we had been making an attempt to plan a visit and I’d ask Cody if he had texted the children’ mother to verify sure days work and I’d need fast solutions for issues 😂 and he’s like I haven’t talked to her but, and I’m all effectively name proper now, what’s the maintain up 😂😂 I ultimately realized that 1) generally you don’t get fast solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you may’t anticipate fast responses on a regular basis and a pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it will with your personal children, so it’s a must to plan forward slightly additional. 

Q. Do you might have full custody? How usually and the way lengthy do your bonus children stick with you?

A. We now have joint custody so it alters. Proper now, each different week we’ve them for Thursday/Friday, after which the following week 4 days Thursday-Sunday.

Q. Would you ever journey with out the bonus children?

A. I feel our scenario is slightly totally different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we at all times be certain that to plan all our “massive journeys” once we can go collectively as a household. For instance we often do a giant 2 week journey each summer season and we at all times do this with all the children. (One exception is like spring break – we alter years with their mother for spring break so if Mara and Wes are with their mother these days, we’ll nonetheless take Beckam and Ollie on a spring break journey). If your loved ones sometimes solely goes on 1 or 2 journeys a yr, I’d for positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We now have a lot enjoyable once we journey with all the children and Beckam and Ollie love being with Mara and Wes as a lot as we do, so we want we may at all times journey collectively but it surely doesn’t at all times work out that means. That’s one other factor you understand after you might have children of your own- each dad and mom need as a lot time as they’ll with their children. If it’s a problem to get further days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and understand their different guardian needs to hang around with them as a lot as attainable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless upset events, however its type of an “it’s what it’s” scenario. However truthfully it at all times appears like one thing is lacking once we journey with out them. 

Q. Do they go faculty half-hour away? How does that work?

A. They used to stay 10 minutes away from us for like 8 years and lately they moved a pair cities away. I’m so grateful they’re nonetheless inside driving distance as a result of for me rising up, that wasn’t the case, so I’m simply grateful we nonetheless get to see them a lot. Nevertheless it has positively made it slightly tougher, particularly now that they’re in a number of sports activities, and Mara and Wes are in two totally different faculties (junior excessive and elementary) they go at totally different occasions. Everybody has totally different practices and schedules after faculty, so it will get busy however we’re glad they’re nonetheless shut.

Q. Are they open to speaking about issues they do with their mother round you?

A. I really feel like they’re tremendous open with us, however I suppose I wouldn’t truly know the way a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, generally I’d really feel nervous telling the opposite guardian what I used to be doing after I was with my different guardian (even now generally, truly haha) as a result of I didn’t wish to make the opposite guardian really feel unhealthy, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that means but in addition I suppose I can’t know 100% for positive since we aren’t with them 24/7. 

Q. How do you break up up firsts or particular occasions with their mother and also you guys?

We haven’t had loads of firsts the place we are able to’t each present up someplace to assist them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the children’ mother if we may take them however aside from that, there haven’t been loads of occasions when we have to break up up firsts.  

Q. How do you guys deal with holidays/birthdays? 

It’s type of modified through the years. We at all times break up Christmas – I do know thats not as in style. I feel lots of people do each different Christmas. Thanksgiving and Spring Break we alternate yearly. Generally Easter falls over Spring Break, and so forth. Birthdays have modified – generally we alternate years and generally we stick with the schedule. Once they had been youthful, one particular person would get them the night time earlier than and half of their birthday, after which the opposite would get the opposite half of the day and the night time. At first I feel everybody was hypersensitive and micromanaging time and issues have relaxed since then. I’d get within the mentality of making an attempt to verify the whole lot was ‘honest’. However in a blended household, it’s unattainable to make the whole lot 100% honest.

We might even have traditions that we do yearly with the children, like carving pumpkins and adorning gingerbread homes. And we’ll wait to do these traditions till we’ve Mara and Wes with us so we are able to do all of it collectively as a household. I feel it makes the vacations really feel extra particular and we’re much more intentional about our time collectively throughout these occasions.


Q. Do you are feeling that you must know different bonus mothers for assist? I don’t have anybody in my life.

A. I do know like one or two different bonus mothers however now that I’m occupied with it I don’t know if I’ve ever actually talked to them a ton about it. My step mother is and I’ve talked to her in fact 🙂 We now have 2 step dads inside our prolonged household, however in any other case I really feel like my bodily circle of bonus mothers is fairly small. In the event you’re becoming a member of an internet group of different blended households, I’d search for one which’s purpose is a optimistic household atmosphere – there are such a lot of that may grow to be tremendous unfavorable and that power will simply detract. However I feel bonus mothers is usually a nice assist for one another. 


Q. Did you do any self-discipline after they had been youthful? 

A. Sure, however nothing main.

Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you are feeling like you’ll be able to self-discipline them? Do you ever put boundaries or is it Cody’s ‘job’?

A. I by no means need Mara and Wes to really feel like they get handled in another way, so we attempt to say constant by way of the whole lot and that features with disciplining and guidelines. For instance: In the event that they make a multitude in the lounge with Beckam, I wouldn’t solely make Beckam clear it. And in the event that they don’t hear, which they’re children and generally they don’t haha, they are going to get a special chore. However I do this actual factor for all the children. 

There are 10000% occasions I’ll say to Cody although, will you be the enforcer this time, I don’t need them to hate me.  And generally he’ll, and different occasions he’s like you might be nonetheless a mother to them, they love you and it’s okay for them to have penalties. I feel he gages my temper haha. I’ve been of their life over 10 years, and know they love me, however generally nonetheless fear “what in the event that they assume I’m the evil step mother!” So I feel you gage what feels most pure and comfy for you.

Q. Do you give your bonus children chores?

A. 100%, however all the children have weekly chores (– one factor Cody and I each really feel strongly about is educating our children work ethic, in order that goes for all the children clearly). For us it simply wouldn’t make sense if solely Beckam and Ollie had been doing weekly chores and Mara and Wes simply sat on the sofa. We’re a household and all of us have tasks.

Do I ever really feel responsible about it?  There are some occasions when it’s the final hour or two earlier than Mara and Wes return to their mother’s home and Cody tells them they should clear up a multitude and choose up the room, and I inform him they solely have 1 hour left and to allow them to simply have enjoyable. He says no, they’re nonetheless our children they want maintain their tasks, which is absolutely what we might do with Beckam and Ollie. So the occasions when I’m slightly extra lax about chores or selecting up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however throughout the common daily, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is absolutely good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this submit! A number of you might have questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond along with your bonus infants – I’m actually wish to be an open e-book and share as a lot as I can, so I’ll save that for the following few posts, together with ideas for bonus mothers and ideas for bio mothers since I received a number of questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve liked listening to from you all about your personal blended households and the way a lot you like your bonus infants!

XX, Christine