Bonus Mothers & Blended Households – Half 2

Thanks for all of you guys’ wonderful responses and dms after my Half I publish 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 having the ability to deliver 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 wanted might have been totally different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom acquired divorced they might have been pals (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, nevertheless it was exhausting at instances feeling that pressure). They lived throughout the nation from one another, in order that they didn’t should see one another a lot. After 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I might fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and then you definately sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself.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 a number of enjoyable recollections 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 discovered to change into fairly impartial at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however in any case…), however ya I nonetheless all the time felt that awkward pressure every time they had been in the identical room. I bear in mind even on my wedding ceremony day worrying about ensuring each dad and mom felt they acquired equal consideration and love. And possibly that was one thing I created in my head, nevertheless it made me wish to make it a precedence once we acquired married that we have now a great relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the children by no means felt that pressure or stress, and so we might 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 contemporary state of affairs, it can take a number of time.  However as a child who has been on that aspect 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 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 means of. All of us sit by one another at many of the children video games and occasions, it’s in a great place.

Q. Do you get a say in making the entire selections about colleges and such. How do you cope with that facet? 

A. Lengthy story brief, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is likely one of the exhausting elements of being a bonus mother, you’re keen on your bonus infants and assist elevate them however in my case I’m probably not a call maker. I imply everyday what we’re doing Cody and I determine, however larger 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 essentially the most half. Clearly there are occasions when Cody remains to be at work or out of city or one thing so I decide 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 footage of the children 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 understand and perceive is that if you’re a step father or mother (not all the time the case, however at the least in my state of affairs) even should you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you’ve gotten little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans basically. For me, any person who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s generally exhausting. For instance, once we had been attempting to plan a visit and I might ask Cody if he had texted the children’ mother to verify sure days work and I might need fast solutions for issues 😂 and he’s like I haven’t talked to her but, and I’m all nicely name proper now, what’s the maintain up 😂😂 I finally realized that 1) generally you don’t get fast solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you may’t count on fast responses on a regular basis and a couple of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your individual children, so it’s important to plan forward slightly additional. 

Q. Do you’ve gotten full custody? How typically and the way lengthy do your bonus children stick with you?

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

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

A. I feel our state of affairs is slightly totally different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we all the time ensure that to plan all our “huge journeys” once we can go collectively as a household. For instance we normally do a giant 2 week journey each summer time and we all the time 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 are going to nonetheless take Beckam and Ollie on a spring break journey). If your loved ones usually solely goes on 1 or 2 journeys a 12 months, I might for positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. Now we 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 might all the time journey collectively nevertheless it doesn’t all the time work out that manner. That’s one other factor you understand after you’ve gotten 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 extra days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and understand their different father or mother desires to hang around with them as a lot as attainable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless dissatisfied events, however its type of an “it’s what it’s” state of affairs. However actually it all the time looks like one thing is lacking once 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 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. However it has positively made it slightly more difficult, particularly now that they’re in a number of sports activities, and Mara and Wes are in two totally different colleges (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 truly understand how a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, generally I might really feel nervous telling the opposite father or mother what I used to be doing after I was with my different father or mother (even now generally, truly haha) as a result of I didn’t wish to make the opposite father or mother 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 a number of firsts the place we are able to’t each present up someplace to help them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the children’ mother if we might take them however apart from that, there haven’t been a number of 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 all the time break up Christmas – I do know thats not as widespread. 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 keep on with the schedule. After they had 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 every little thing was ‘truthful’. However in a blended household, it’s unattainable to make every little thing 100% truthful.

We’d 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 have now 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 instances.


Q. Do you’re feeling you might want 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 after all 🙂 Now we 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. When you’re becoming a member of an internet group of different blended households, I might search for one which’s purpose is a constructive household setting – there are such a lot of that may change into tremendous detrimental and that power will simply detract. However I feel bonus mothers is usually a nice help for one another. 


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

A. Sure, however nothing main.

Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you’re feeling like you may 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 a different way, so we attempt to say constant by means of every little thing 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 may get a distinct chore. However I do this precise factor for all the children. 

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 suppose 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 the entire children have weekly chores (– one factor Cody and I each really feel strongly about is instructing 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 obligations.

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 decide 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 deal with their obligations, which is basically what we might do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m slightly extra lax about chores or selecting up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however through the common everyday, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is basically good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this publish! Quite a lot of you’ve gotten questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond together 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 subsequent few posts, together with ideas for bonus mothers and ideas for bio mothers since I acquired a number of questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve cherished listening to from you all about your individual blended households and the way a lot you’re keen on your bonus infants!

XX, Christine