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 really like with the ability to convey 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 mother and father bought divorced they might have been mates (I really like each my mother and father very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, nevertheless it was onerous at occasions feeling that stress). They lived throughout the nation from one another, so that they didn’t need to see one another a lot. Once 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mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my mother and father would stroll me to the gate and then you definitely sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself.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 believe that is additionally a part of the explanation I discovered 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 mother and father felt they bought equal consideration and love. And perhaps that was one thing I created in my head, nevertheless it made me wish to make it a precedence once we bought married that we now have a great relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the children by no means felt that stress 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 scenario, it would take plenty of time.  However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually needed totally different for our youngsters.

Time, time, time! I believe all of it simply takes time, however I really like speaking to their mother in regards to the youngsters 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 youngsters video games and occasions, it’s in a great place.

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

A. Lengthy story quick, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is among the onerous elements of being a bonus mother, you’re keen on your bonus infants and assist increase them however in my case I’m not likely a call maker. I imply each day what we’re doing Cody and I determine, however larger 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 scenario, Cody and his ex work out particulars for essentially the most half. Clearly there are occasions when Cody continues to be at work or out of city or one thing so I decide up/drop off the children, and so on. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and typically share photos of the children from faculty or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes by means of them.

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

A. One factor that took time for me to appreciate and perceive is that if you’re a step mum or dad (not at all times the case, however no less than in my scenario) even if you happen to all get alongside, on the finish of the day you will have little say over holidays, faculty schedules, actually simply plans basically. For me, anyone who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s typically 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 instant 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) typically you don’t get instant solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you may’t count on instant responses on a regular basis and a pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your individual youngsters, so it’s a must to plan forward a little bit additional. 

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

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

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

A. I believe our scenario 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 ensure that to plan all our “huge journeys” once we can go collectively as a household. For instance we often do a giant 2 week journey each summer time and we at all times 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 12 months, I’d for certain 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 at all times journey collectively nevertheless it doesn’t at all times work out that approach. That’s one other factor you understand after you will have youngsters of your own- each mother and father need as a lot time as they’ll with their youngsters. If it’s a problem to get further days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and understand their different mum or dad desires to hang around with them as a lot as attainable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disillusioned events, however its sort 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 dwell 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. But it surely has positively made it a little bit 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 assume I wouldn’t really understand how a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, typically I’d really feel nervous telling the opposite mum or dad what I used to be doing once I was with my different mum or dad (even now typically, really haha) as a result of I didn’t wish to make the opposite mum or dad really feel dangerous, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that approach but additionally I assume I can’t know 100% for certain since we aren’t with them 24/7. 

Q. How do you cut up up firsts or particular occasions 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 occasions 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 at all times cut up Christmas – I do know thats not as widespread. I believe lots of people do each different Christmas. Thanksgiving and Spring Break we alternate yearly. Generally Easter falls over Spring Break, and so on. Birthdays have modified – typically we alternate years and typically we stick with the schedule. Once 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 believe everybody was hypersensitive and micromanaging time and issues have relaxed since then. I’d get within the mentality of making an attempt to verify every thing was ‘honest’. However in a blended household, it’s unattainable to make every thing 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 now have Mara and Wes with us so we will do all of it collectively as a household. I believe 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 it is advisable 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 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. If you happen to’re becoming a member of an internet group of different blended households, I’d search for one which’s purpose is a optimistic household setting – there are such a lot of that may grow to be tremendous damaging and that power will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers generally is 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 otherwise, so we attempt to say constant by means of every thing and that features with disciplining and guidelines. For instance: In the event that they make a large number 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 youngsters and typically they don’t haha, they are going to get a distinct chore. However I try this precise 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 typically 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 believe he gages my temper haha. I’ve been of their life over 10 years, and know they love me, however typically nonetheless fear “what in the event that they assume I’m the evil step mother!” So I believe you gage what feels most pure and comfy for you.

Q. Do you give your bonus youngsters chores?

A. 100%, however the entire youngsters 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 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 large number 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 youngsters they want deal with their tasks, which is absolutely what we might do with Beckam and Ollie. So the occasions when I’m a little bit extra lax about chores or choosing up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however in the course of the common each day, they do the identical issues my youngsters 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 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 subsequent few posts, together with ideas for bonus mothers and ideas 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’re keen on your bonus infants!

XX, Christine