Bonus Mothers & Blended Households – Half 2

Thanks for all of you guys’ superb 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 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 wanted might have been completely different for me rising up, was that when my mother and father received divorced they might have been buddies (I really like each my mother and father very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, nevertheless it was onerous 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. 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I might fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my mother and father would stroll me to the gate and then you definitely sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself. I even have plenty 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 develop into fairly impartial at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however anyhow…), however ya I nonetheless all the time felt that awkward pressure each time they had been in the identical room. I bear in mind even on my marriage ceremony day worrying about ensuring each mother and father felt they received equal consideration and love. And perhaps that was one thing I created in my head, nevertheless it made me need to make it a precedence after we received married that now we have 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 recent state of affairs, it is going to take plenty of time.  However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually needed completely different for our youngsters.

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 via. 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 choices about faculties and such. How do you take care of that side? 

A. Lengthy story brief, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is among the onerous components 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 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/mother and father, 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 children, and so forth. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and generally share photos of the children from college or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes via 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 while you’re a step father or mother (not all the time the case, however a minimum of in my state of affairs) even when you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you’ve little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans generally. For me, anyone who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s generally onerous. For instance, after 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 rapid solutions for issues 😂 and he’s like I haven’t talked to her but, and I’m all properly name proper now, what’s the maintain up 😂😂 I ultimately realized that 1) generally you don’t get rapid solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you may’t count on rapid responses on a regular basis and a pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your individual children, so it’s a must to plan forward a bit of additional. 

Q. Do you’ve full custody? How typically 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 now we have 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 a bit of completely different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we all the time make sure that to plan all our “huge journeys” after we can go collectively as a household. For instance we often do a giant 2 week journey each summer season and we all the time try 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 yr, I might for positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We have now a lot enjoyable after 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 notice after you’ve children of your own- each mother and father need as a lot time as they will with their children. If it’s a problem to get extra days or swap schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and notice their different father or mother needs to hang around with them as a lot as doable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disenchanted events, however its sort of an “it’s what it’s” state of affairs. However actually it all the time seems 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 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 undoubtedly made it a bit of more difficult, particularly now that they’re in a number of sports activities, and Mara and Wes are in two completely different faculties (junior excessive and elementary) they go at completely different instances. Everybody has completely 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 suppose I wouldn’t truly 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 father or mother what I used to be doing once I was with my different father or mother (even now generally, truly haha) as a result of I didn’t need 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 suppose I can’t know 100% for positive since we aren’t with them 24/7. 

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

We haven’t had plenty of 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 children’ mother if we might take them however aside from that, there haven’t been plenty of instances when we have to cut up up firsts.  

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

It’s sort of modified through the years. We all the time cut up Christmas – I do know thats not as well-liked. 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 follow the schedule. After they had been youthful, one individual 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 might get within the mentality of attempting to verify all the pieces was ‘truthful’. However in a blended household, it’s not possible to make all the pieces 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 now we have 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 essential 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 fascinated 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 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 an internet group of different blended households, I might search for one which’s objective is a constructive household atmosphere – there are such a lot of that may develop into tremendous unfavorable 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 once they had been youthful? 

A. Sure, however nothing main.

Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you are 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 via all the pieces 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 pay attention, which they’re children and generally they don’t haha, they may get a special chore. However I try this actual 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’re 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 youngsters 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 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 youngsters they want care for their duties, which is basically what we’d do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m a bit of extra lax about chores or choosing up after themselves is earlier than they go away, however throughout the common daily, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is basically good about being constant regardless of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this publish! A number of you’ve 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 e-book and share as a lot as I can, so I’ll save that for the subsequent few posts, together with suggestions for bonus mothers and suggestions for bio mothers since I received just a few 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