Archive for bonus mom

New Bonus Mom Advice

I had a girlfriend ask me the other night…… what would I say to a fairly new step mom who is trying to find her way in her new surroundings. I thought I would share it here in hopes that my experience might help easy someone else’s learning curve. I tend to not talk about the fact that I’m a step mom much just because I don’t “Feel” like a step mom. I just feel like a mom & this is my life & I have been given the gift of settling in to a sweet spot in my family. Sometime I tend to forget how different things where just a few short years ago. This question posed to me brought back all kinds of images & emotions. So here are the main things I learned early on & where my focus was as a new mom to children who I didn’t give birth to.
1. Rejection has nothing to do with you & everything to do with their hurting hearts. They are little people who don’t know how to, nor where they supposed to have to deal with this kind of situation. They are literally doing the best they know how with overwhelming circumstances they have zero control over.
2. You are there to love them. Not suck love from them! You have to find a way to be full on your own….. Don’t try to use them to fill your insecurity, pain or loneliness. Get filled up with prayer, meditation, personal development. But whatever you do don’t use them for your emotional gain. There will only be more pain at the end of that road.
3. Dad must lay down ground rules & teach them to respect you or you’re really in a no win situation. You both have to be on the same page about respect, discipline & how to handle it. You have to earn your own respect over time…. But first he has to show them!
4. Unconditional love is hard to give but even more so when you don’t have the bond between mother & child. I always focused on how much I adore my husband & I let that love flow over to them. Trust me there were moments I had no idea how I was going to love little people who were constantly rejecting the notion of me.
5. Learn to love their mom! Yep, I said it & whether you like it or not she is now one of the most important relationships you will ever have. If you guys are polar opposites look for what your kids love about their mom. See that instead of your differences. They love her & she’s not going anywhere. If you’re diligent you might just forge a friendship in spite of it all!
Let me just say this whole situation is one of the most complex that I have ever experienced & it’s also one of the most rewarding if you choose to let it shape you into a better person. Please don’t be fooled, I am no angle! The kids mom & I have had major fights, said spiteful things, disagreed & behaved like children ourselves. BUT we choose to say I’m sorry. We choose to grow up & put our pride aside. If you choose to be caddy & shallow, seeing who can one up the other, the kids are the only ones that get hurt by your foolish pride in the end.

Some times the most unexpected thing is exactly what was needed!

The first part of my life I never expected to have children. I had 13 nieces & nephews & children where just not apart of my plan. I realized what a huge responsibility they are. I did not want to give that kind of time, effort & energy. I realize now how very selfish I was. As a young person that is usually the case. I spent the first year of my marriage growing up! Not just to be a wife, but becoming a mother requires you to care about something more than yourself. I had no idea how very self centered I was. I also realized I wasn’t much of the “Christian” I proclaimed to be. Grace is easy to give when you are in the comfort of your very own box. God shattered my box & gave me a family that didn’t look the way I expected it to. Over the past three years I have learned that being humble is truly thinking of others more than you think about yourself. Grace is a daily gift that God gives you strength to give. I have also learned to never say never. What you don’t expect is usually what you need & God always knows you better than you know yourself. I have always had a lot of love to give. Now I know why. I have three little people who soak up every moment I will give them. I have discovered what my love was made for.

 

It’s not all about you.

I know that title stings a little. It’s a harsh reality that we better realize quickly. Life is not all about me!!! Remember you are not the only one with feelings. How confused these children must be. Two sets of rules, two sets of parents, five different personalities, including their own. Everything with in them is bound to loyalty issues, their devotion to the birth parent. They love you but don’t want her to see. It pains me when I look in my little boys eyes sometimes. If we are all together at an event for example. When we say our goodbyes he is not sure what to do. I see the conflict in his eyes & it breaks my heart. How horrible that he even has to consider this. He loves me completely but the loyalty he has for his mom, he doesn’t want her to know. Afraid he may hurt her feelings with the love he has for me. Each child handles this differently for him it’s an awkward quick hug & a beautiful smile.

Thankful I see it & understand. I am careful not to ask for too much & I give him plenty of space in these moments. I don’t try to hold him longer or kiss him or make a big production. Again, this is where prospective comes in. It’s not about me. It’s about loving these little people that were entrusted to me & helping them grow up as healthy as possible in a completely dysfunctional world. Everything comes back to your point of view. Perception is your reality & you can choose to write your own. I choose to love freely and give them a little extra grace.

 

Deeper than the depths of the sea!

Guard your heart Bonus Mom.

As a stepmom (Bonus Mom) you have the possibility of experiencing much pain. There are always going to be arrows thrown at your heart. The best reminder I can give is to keep perspective. In all walks of life this is everything. Your view on the situation determines if you get hurt or not. When the kids don’t tell you goodbye as they run out the door to meet their mom, when they call to tell dad goodnight & never give you a thought. First ask yourself “Why do I need that?” or “Why do I expect that?” The fact that you care is good. It means you love them. The reality is you were happy before these new people graced your life. So why are you all of the sudden needy toward them? I get it trust me. I had to deal with this & ask myself the hard questions.

Truthfully, this is not the way family was designed to be. That is why it hurts. You are giving all this love as if this was your own child but they are not. While they will develop love for you, you are not mom. You have to remember that or you set yourself up for heart break. Loving someone unconditionally means loving them weather you get anything in return or not. I don’t mean allowing someone to disrespect you or abuse you. I just mean you have to check your motives. You give love to give love. Not to get something in return. Remember why you are here. You fell in love with this amazing man who treats you like a queen. Being a bonus mom & sharing life with his children is a small price to pay for the love you get in return. If you are like me, you do what you do for him. Because you adore him & you want to make his life better in every way. Let this be your focus.