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 might have been totally different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom bought divorced they might have been associates (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, however it was exhausting at instances feeling that stress). They lived throughout the nation from one another, so that they didn’t must 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mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and then you definately sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself.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 plenty of enjoyable recollections with tremendous variety flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I believe that is additionally a part of the explanation 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 stress at any time when they have been in the identical room. I bear in mind even on my marriage ceremony day being concerned about ensuring each dad and mom felt they bought equal consideration and love. And perhaps 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 a superb 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 can take plenty of time.  However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually wished totally different for our youngsters.

Time, time, time! I believe 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 many of the children video games and occasions, it’s in a superb place.

Q. Do you get a say in making all the selections about colleges 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 likely one of the exhausting components of being a bonus mother, you’re keen on your bonus infants and assist elevate them however in my case I’m not likely 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 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 choose up/drop off the children, and many others. 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 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 comprehend and perceive is that if you’re a step dad or mum (not all the time the case, however at the very least in my scenario) even should you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you’ve gotten little say over holidays, faculty schedules, actually simply plans typically. For me, any individual who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s generally exhausting. For instance, after we have 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 speedy 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 finally realized that 1) generally you don’t get speedy solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you’ll’t anticipate speedy responses on a regular basis and a couple of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your personal children, so you need to plan forward somewhat additional. 

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

A. We’ve got joint custody so it alters. Proper now, each different week we’ve 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 believe our scenario is somewhat totally different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we all the time be sure to plan all our “massive journeys” after we can go collectively as a household. For instance we often do an enormous 2 week journey each summer time 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’ll 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’d for certain attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We’ve got 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 however it doesn’t all the time work out that approach. That’s one other factor you notice after you’ve gotten 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 further days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and notice their different dad or mum needs to hang around with them as a lot as doable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disillusioned events, however its type of an “it’s what it’s” scenario. However truthfully it all the time looks like one thing is lacking after we journey with out them. 

Q. Do they go faculty 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. However it has undoubtedly made it somewhat tougher, 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 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 understand how a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, generally I’d 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, truly haha) as a result of I didn’t need to make the opposite dad or mum really feel unhealthy, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that approach but in addition I suppose I can’t know 100% for certain 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 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 break up up firsts.  

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

It’s type of modified through the years. We all the time break up Christmas – I do know thats not as in style. I believe lots of people do each different Christmas. Thanksgiving and Spring Break we alternate yearly. Typically Easter falls over Spring Break, and many others. Birthdays have modified – generally we alternate years and generally we stick with the schedule. Once they have 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 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 part was ‘honest’. However in a blended household, it’s inconceivable to make every part 100% honest.

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’ve 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 instances.


Q. Do you are feeling you should 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 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 after all 🙂 We’ve got 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. For those who’re becoming a member of an internet group of different blended households, I’d search for one which’s aim is a constructive household surroundings – there are such a lot of that may change into tremendous adverse and that vitality will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers is usually a nice help for one another. 


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

A. Sure, however nothing main.

Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you are feeling like you possibly can 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 way of every part 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’ll 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 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 generally 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 children chores?

A. 100%, however all the 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 have 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 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 deal with their obligations, which is admittedly what we’d do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m somewhat 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 admittedly good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this submit! Plenty of you’ve gotten questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond along 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 ideas for bonus mothers and ideas for bio mothers since I bought just a few questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve beloved listening to from you all about your personal blended households and the way a lot you’re keen on your bonus infants!

XX, Christine