Real Struggles of A Bonus Mom

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Bonus mom. The meaning of this is basically that of a step mom but in gentler terms as to not be viewed as evil such as Lady Tremaine in Cinderella. A bonus mom is a mom by choice due to love. She chose to be in a relationship to care and protect a child that is not biologically hers but she has love for the child as if it were her own

This is not to be confused as a job she does every day, it is a life style which at first may seem simple and fun, eventually growing challenging and hard work.

When a bonus mom comes into a child’s world, it is a new exciting thing for many children. If the child is young, they view the woman as someone new that will play with him or her. The bonus mom starts out as a new friend for them not viewed as a parent. As the relationship moves on in milestones (1 year dating, 2 years, engagement, marriage) the relationship with the child and bonus mom has two ways of evolving.

One of these ways is going from good to great. The child is so excited to have another mom in their life. Someone to make her dad and new family life happy and fun even with the bumps in the road.

…or it can go the way mine has been going. Good, bad, good, great, horrible, scary, good, etc.

The relationship with my bonus daughter I’m convinced is just normal but no one tells anyone these things. My struggle as a bonus mom has been a lot less than simple, fun and easy. Do we have fun times? Of Course. Is raising a child ever easy? No Way.

When I go places with her I always get comments of “She is so cute!” or “How sweet she is!”. This can be true some of the time. I find myself in a constant struggle to tell how she is 80% of the time, not just in this moment.

While we have much time to bond and build a good relationship, it is also broken down just that often as well.

There are many stages children go through when in a situation like this one. One of which I have explained, the excited stage of something new. They also go through others including jealousy, protection, anger and strong willed.

Jealousy comes when she realizes the bonus mom is not leaving and she now has to share her territory including the most important factor, Her Daddy. She realizes that the attention isn’t solely on her all of the time but must be shared or even redirected during an important conversation.

Protection comes when she realizes that this woman, her bonus mom, is doing things her mother has done or should be doing for her. She may feel the need to build her mother up and fantasize that her mother does the same things, but better. While her mother may be an excellent mom or not much in her life, the child may always feel the need to protect her biological mom to make a point. She may not mean to hurt feelings or possibly do it purposely, it will always hit a soft spot in the bonus mom’s heart making her feel like she isn’t doing good enough.

Anger and strong willed may go hand in hand. Depending on the child’s personality, strong willed may be something ingrained in them. The change the child encounters may bring these characteristics out. Triggers may be less attention when they demand it or are trying to get it in the wrong way like poor behavior. Other triggers can be decisions made that may not include the child like they may have previously been included in. Arguments with strong willed children are very difficult and often lead to physical fights hence stemming the anger.

There may be many other stages that children go thru along the way but these are the things most bonus moms will not divulge.

We have our fair share of ups and downs and I’m not ashamed to express that being a bonus mom is not all rainbows and unicorns all the time. At times it can create a divide, be stressful, and make me as the bonus mom feel so alone in this. One thing I know is that I love my life, this little girl and her daddy and would not trade it for the world.

In the last 4 years I have learned more about myself and grown up so much. While I may not be my bonus daughters favorite person, I know she has taught me so much about life and how children should be raised.

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