Bonus Mothers & Blended Households – Half 2

Thanks for all of you guys’ superb 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 like with the ability to carry a extra open dialog round blended households and motherhood as a bonus mama.


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

A. Im actually grateful all of us get a protracted. 

One factor I needed may have been totally different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom bought divorced they might have been buddies (I like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, however it was arduous at instances feeling that rigidity). They lived throughout the nation from one another, so that they didn’t should see one another a lot. Once I would go to go to my mother I might 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 numerous enjoyable reminiscences with tremendous type flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I feel that is additionally a part of the rationale I realized to turn out to be fairly unbiased at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however anyhow…), however ya I nonetheless at all times felt that awkward rigidity each time they have been in the identical room. I bear in mind even on my wedding ceremony day worrying about ensuring each dad and mom felt they bought equal consideration and love. And possibly that was one thing I created in my head, however it made me need to make it a precedence after we bought married that we’ve relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the youngsters by no means felt that rigidity or stress, and so we may all go to the youngsters 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 it is a contemporary state of affairs, it would take numerous time.  However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually needed totally different for our children.

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

Q. Do you get a say in making the entire selections 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 among the arduous components of being a bonus mother, you like your bonus infants and assist elevate them however in my case I’m probably not a choice maker. I imply daily what we’re doing Cody and I resolve, however greater selections 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 state of affairs, 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 youngsters, and so forth. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We just lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and generally share footage of the youngsters from college or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes by means of them.

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

A. One factor that took time for me to appreciate and perceive is that if you’re a step dad or mum (not at all times the case, however not less than in my state of affairs) even for those who all get alongside, on the finish of the day you will have little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans generally. For me, any individual who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s generally arduous. For instance, after we have been attempting to plan a visit and I might ask Cody if he had texted the youngsters’ mother to verify sure days work and I might need rapid 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 finally realized that 1) generally you don’t get rapid solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you’ll’t anticipate rapid responses on a regular basis and a pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it could with your individual children, so it’s important to plan forward a little bit additional. 

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

A. We have now 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 state of affairs is a little bit totally different as a result of we LOVE to journey and likewise journey fairly a bit for work, however we at all times make sure that to plan all our “huge journeys” after we can go collectively as a household. For instance we often do an enormous 2 week journey each summer time and we at all times try this with all the youngsters. (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 are going to nonetheless take Beckam and Ollie on a spring break journey). If your loved ones sometimes solely goes on 1 or 2 journeys a 12 months, I might for positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We have now a lot enjoyable after we journey with all the youngsters 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 however it doesn’t at all times work out that manner. That’s one other factor you understand after you will have children of your own- each dad and mom need as a lot time as they will with their children. If it’s a problem to get extra days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and understand their different dad or mum desires to hang around with them as a lot as attainable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disenchanted events, however its type of an “it’s what it’s” state of affairs. However truthfully it at all times looks like one thing is lacking after we journey with out them. 

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

A. They used to reside 10 minutes away from us for like 8 years and just 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. But it surely has positively made it a little bit more difficult, 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 instances. Everybody has totally different practices and schedules after college, 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 assume I wouldn’t really know the way a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, generally I might really feel nervous telling the opposite dad or mum what I used to be doing after I was with my different dad or mum (even now generally, really haha) as a result of I didn’t need to make the opposite dad or mum really feel dangerous, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that manner but in addition I assume 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 instances with their mother and also you guys?

We haven’t had numerous firsts the place we will’t each present up someplace to help them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the youngsters’ mother if we may take them however aside from that, there haven’t been numerous instances when we have to break up up firsts.  

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

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

We might even have traditions that we do yearly with the youngsters, 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 will 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 instances.


Q. Do you are feeling it’s worthwhile to know different bonus mothers for help? I don’t have anybody in my life.

A. I do know like one or two different bonus mothers however now that I’m desirous about 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 have now 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. Should you’re becoming a member of a web-based group of different blended households, I might search for one which’s objective is a optimistic household surroundings – there are such a lot of that may turn out to be tremendous damaging and that power will simply detract. However I feel bonus mothers could be a nice help for one another. 


Q. Did you do any self-discipline after they have 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 otherwise, so we attempt to say constant by means 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 try this actual factor for all the youngsters. 

There are 10000% instances 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 instances 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 cozy for you.

Q. Do you give your bonus children chores?

A. 100%, however the entire 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 youngsters clearly). For us it simply wouldn’t make sense if solely Beckam and Ollie have been doing weekly chores and Mara and Wes simply sat on the sofa. We’re a household and all of us have duties.

Do I ever really feel responsible about it?  There are some instances 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 handle their duties, which is absolutely what we’d do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m a little bit extra lax about chores or selecting up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however in the course of the common daily, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is absolutely good about being constant regardless of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this submit! Quite a lot of you will have questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond together with your bonus infants – I’m actually need to be an open guide and share as a lot as I can, so I’ll save that for the following few posts, together with suggestions for bonus mothers and suggestions for bio mothers since I bought a number of questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve beloved listening to from you all about your individual blended households and the way a lot you like your bonus infants!

XX, Christine