When someone joins into a relationship with someone else who already has a kid, the woman often becomes the dreaded “stepmom” if they get married. Oh, stepmom: the word for the mom who isn’t the “real” mom, the person most love to throw under the bus, before anyone or anything else.
I was that dreaded “s” word once. Thankfully, I have since then graduated to a “Bonus Mom” (well, at least in my eyes I have). Still, there are and always will be those tough moments when dealing with loving and caring for a child that is not yours by birth. Here are the top five hardest parts that come with being someone’s Bonus Mom.
- Learning to accept that no matter how much you do (or don’t do) for your Bonus Child or Children. Their biological mother (a.k.a, “Bio Mom”) will almost always be “best” in their eyes—and remember most kids aren’t afraid to remind you of it!
- Learning to listen—without getting upset or jealous—to stories about their Bio Mother from your bonus child, even stories about the Bio Mother and your current spouse when they were together, even as much as you don’t want to hear about her at all (and you especially don’t want to hear past love stories).
- Knowing your “mom” boundaries and remembering when to just let certain things go, because you’re not necessarily their first mother.
- Dealing with attention-craving Bonus Kids and clingyness towards your spouse, especially without creating a fuss!
- Dealing with Bio Mother drama, while not lowering yourself to her level. It’s so hard if she is constantly stirring up trouble, but worth it when you can walk away and know you’re more mature having taken the high road.
These were defiantly the top five hardest parts when I first became a Bonus Mom. I am very fortunate that I no longer have to deal with Bio Mother drama, and the attention-craving has almost completely dwindled away. I am living proof that even the rockiest and most tried relationships can be renewed—you have to be willing to adjust and to adapt.
Love your bonus kid as if they were your own first, respect the Bio Mothers wishes within reason, but never let her bully you or intimidate you. Have faith, pray often, and stay mature and strong! Lean on your spouse and communicate regularly about how your feeling and how things are going. By doing these things and giving it time, you’ll begin to see this relationship flourish for you all—just know your not alone even in the hardest times.