Bonus Mothers & Blended Households – Half 2


Thanks for all of you guys’ superb responses and dms after my Half I put up 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 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 might have been completely different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom obtained divorced they’d have been buddies (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, but it surely was arduous at instances feeling that pressure). 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mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and then you definately sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself.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 a whole lot of enjoyable reminiscences with tremendous sort flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I believe that is additionally a part of the rationale I realized to develop into fairly unbiased 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 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 obtained equal consideration and love. And perhaps that was one thing I created in my head, but it surely made me need to make it a precedence after we obtained married that we’ve a superb relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the youngsters by no means felt that pressure or stress, and so we might 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 recent scenario, it’s going to take a whole lot 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 children.

Time, time, time! I believe all of it simply takes time, however I really like speaking to their mother concerning 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 superb place.

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

A. Lengthy story quick, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is without doubt one of the arduous components of being a bonus mother, you like your bonus infants and assist increase them however in my case I’m not likely a call maker. I imply day after day what we’re doing Cody and I resolve, 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 scenario, 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 choose up/drop off the youngsters, and many others. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and college scheduling and typically 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 along with your step youngsters’ schedule?

A. One factor that took time for me to appreciate and perceive is that whenever you’re a step dad or mum (not all the time the case, however at the least in my scenario) even in case you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you could have little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans generally. For me, anyone who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s typically arduous. For instance, after we had been making an attempt to plan a visit and I’d ask Cody if he had texted the youngsters’ 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 nicely name proper now, what’s the maintain up ?? I ultimately realized that 1) typically you don’t get speedy solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you’ll’t count on speedy responses on a regular basis and a couple of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it might with your personal youngsters, so it’s a must to plan forward slightly additional. 

Q. Do you could 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’ve 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 slightly completely different as a result of we LOVE to journey and likewise journey fairly a bit for work, however we all the time be certain that 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 season and we all the time do 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’ll 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 positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. Now we have 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 might all the time journey collectively but it surely doesn’t all the time work out that means. That’s one other factor you understand after you could have youngsters of your own- each dad and mom 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 dad or mum needs 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 type of an “it’s what it’s” scenario. However truthfully 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 slightly tougher, 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 assume I wouldn’t really know the way a lot they’re selecting to share. I do know as a child, typically I’d really feel nervous telling the opposite dad or mum what I used to be doing once I was with my different dad or mum (even now typically, really 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 means but additionally I assume 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 a whole lot of firsts the place we will’t each present up someplace to assist them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the youngsters’ mother if we might take them however apart from that, there haven’t been a whole lot of instances when we have to cut up up firsts.  

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

It’s type of modified over time. We all the time cut up Christmas – I do know thats not as well-liked. 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 – typically we alternate years and typically we follow 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 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 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 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 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’re feeling you have to know different bonus mothers for assist? 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 ? 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’d search for one which’s objective is a optimistic household setting – there are such a lot of that may develop into tremendous unfavourable and that power will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers is usually a nice assist for one another. 


Q. Did you do any self-discipline after 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 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 hear, which they’re youngsters and typically they don’t haha, they’ll get a distinct chore. However I do this precise 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 typically 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 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 suppose I’m the evil step mother!” So I believe you gage what feels most pure and cozy 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 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 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 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 maintain their obligations, which is absolutely what we’d do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m slightly extra lax about chores or choosing up after themselves is earlier than they go away, however throughout the common day after day, they do the identical issues my youngsters do. (And Cody is absolutely good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)

Okay that wraps up this put up! Loads of you could have 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 guide 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 obtained 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 like your bonus infants!

XX, Christine



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