Thanks for all of you guys’ superb 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 like having the ability to carry 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 completely different for me rising up, was that when my mother and father received divorced they might have been buddies (I like each my mother and father very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, however it was laborious at instances feeling that stress). They lived throughout the nation from one another, in order that they didn’t need to 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mother I’d fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my mother and father would stroll me to the gate and then you definitely sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself. I even have loads of enjoyable recollections with tremendous form flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I believe that is additionally a part of the rationale I discovered to change 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 stress every time they have been in the identical room. I keep in mind even on my wedding ceremony day being concerned about ensuring each mother and father felt they received 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 once we received married that we’ve relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the youngsters by no means felt that stress 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 this can be a recent scenario, it’s going to take loads of time. However as a child who has been on that aspect 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 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 a lot of the children video games and occasions, it’s in place.
Q. Do you get a say in making the entire choices about faculties and such. How do you cope with that side?
A. Lengthy story brief, I’ve no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is likely one of the laborious elements of being a bonus mother, you’re keen on your bonus infants and assist increase them however in my case I’m probably not a choice maker. I imply each day what we’re doing Cody and I resolve, however larger choices Cody and his ex spouse work out collectively.
Q. Because the bonus mothers/mother and father, are you concerned in communication to his ex or simply Cody?
A. In our scenario, Cody and his ex work out particulars for probably the most half. Clearly there are occasions when Cody remains to be at work or out of city or one thing so I decide up/drop off the youngsters, and so on. however the majority of communication is between her and Cody. We lately began a bunch textual content for sports activities and faculty scheduling and typically share photos of the youngsters from college or sports activities too, however most scheduling goes by way of them.
Q. How do you deal with frustration together with your step children’ schedule?
A. One factor that took time for me to appreciate and perceive is that whenever you’re a step mother or father (not all the time the case, however at the very least in my scenario) even for those who all get alongside, on the finish of the day you may have little say over holidays, college schedules, actually simply plans on the whole. For me, anyone who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s typically laborious. For instance, once we have been attempting to plan a visit and I’d ask Cody if he had texted the youngsters’ mother to ensure 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 effectively 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 pair of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it will with your individual children, so you need to plan forward a bit of additional.
Q. Do you may have full custody? How usually and the way lengthy do your bonus children stick with you?
A. We have now 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 a bit of completely different as a result of we LOVE to journey and likewise journey fairly a bit for work, however we all the time make certain to plan all our “large journeys” once we can go collectively as a household. For instance we normally do a giant 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 are going to 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 positive attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We have now a lot enjoyable once 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 however it doesn’t all the time work out that method. That’s one other factor you notice after you may have children of your own- each mother and father need as a lot time as they’ll with their children. If it’s a problem to get extra days or swap schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and notice their different mother or father desires to hang around with them as a lot as attainable too. Not saying it by no means sucks or their aren’t nonetheless disenchanted events, however its form of an “it’s what it’s” scenario. However truthfully it all the time seems like one thing is lacking once 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. Nevertheless it has positively made it a bit of 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 suppose 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 mother or father what I used to be doing after I was with my different mother or father (even now typically, really haha) as a result of I didn’t need to make the opposite mother or father really feel unhealthy, so I hope Mara and Wes don’t really feel that method but additionally I suppose I can’t know 100% for positive 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 loads of firsts the place we are able to’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 aside from that, there haven’t been loads of instances when we have to break up up firsts.
Q. How do you guys deal with holidays/birthdays?
It’s form of modified through the years. We all the time break 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. Generally Easter falls over Spring Break, and so on. Birthdays have modified – typically we alternate years and typically we persist with the schedule. Once they have 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 attempting to ensure all the pieces was ‘honest’. However in a blended household, it’s not possible to make all the pieces 100% honest.
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 are able to 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 it’s worthwhile 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 eager about 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 🙂 We have now 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. In the event you’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 damaging and that power will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers is usually a nice assist for one another.
DISCIPLINE/PARENTING FOR BLENDED FAMILIES:
Q. Did you do any self-discipline after they have been youthful?
A. Sure, however nothing main.
Q. How do you not step on any toes/do you are feeling like you’ll be able to 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 another way, so we attempt to say constant by way of all the pieces and that features with disciplining and guidelines. For instance: In the event that they make a large number 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 typically they don’t haha, they are going to get a special chore. However I do this actual 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 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 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 children chores?
A. 100%, however the entire children have weekly chores (– one factor Cody and I each really feel strongly about is educating 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 have been doing weekly chores and Mara and Wes simply sat on the sofa. We’re a household and all of us have duties.
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 large number and decide 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 duties, which is absolutely what we’d do with Beckam and Ollie. So the instances when I’m a bit of extra lax about chores or choosing up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however through the common each day, they do the identical issues my children do. (And Cody is absolutely good about being constant irrespective of the circumstances.)
Okay that wraps up this submit! Quite a lot of you may have questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond together 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 received a couple of questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve cherished listening to from you all about your individual blended households and the way a lot you’re keen on your bonus infants!