Thanks for all of you guys’ wonderful responses and dms after my Part I post 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 convey 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 needed might have been totally different for me rising up, was that when my dad and mom received divorced they might have been associates (I really like each my dad and mom very a lot and I do know no household is ideal, however it was exhausting at occasions feeling that pressure). They lived throughout the nation from one another, so that they didn’t should see one another a lot. After 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mother I'd fly on my own (I don’t know in the event that they nonetheless do that, however I began at like 5 or 6 years outdated and my dad and mom would stroll me to the gate and you then sit in again row by flight attendant and do the flight by yourself. I even have quite a lot of enjoyable reminiscences with tremendous type flight attendants who would play video games and stuff with me. I believe that is additionally a part of the explanation I realized to change into fairly unbiased at a younger age, and touring alone hasn’t ever actually scared me however anyhow…), however ya I nonetheless at all times felt that awkward pressure at any time when they have been in the identical room. I keep in mind even on my marriage ceremony day being concerned about ensuring each dad and mom felt they received equal consideration and love. And perhaps that was one thing I created in my head, however it made me wish to make it a precedence after we received married that we've relationship with Cody’s ex, in order that the children by no means felt that pressure or stress, and so we might all go to the children 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 contemporary state of affairs, it'll take quite a lot of time. However as a child who has been on that facet of divorce, that was one factor I actually wished totally different for our youngsters.
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 a lot of the youngsters video games and occasions, it’s in place.
Q. Do you get a say in making all the selections about faculties and such. How do you take care of that facet?
A. Lengthy story quick, I've no say haha. Cody talks to me about it, however that is without doubt one of the exhausting elements of being a bonus mother, you like your bonus infants and assist elevate them however in my case I’m not likely a call maker. I imply each day what we're doing Cody and I resolve, however greater 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 state of affairs, 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 children, and so forth. 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 children from faculty 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 understand and perceive is that if you’re a step mum or dad (not at all times the case, however at the least in my state of affairs) even should you all get alongside, on the finish of the day you might have little say over holidays, faculty schedules, actually simply plans basically. For me, any individual who likes to plan forward and be in management, it’s typically exhausting. For instance, after we have been attempting to plan a visit and I'd ask Cody if he had texted the children’ 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 finally realized that 1) typically you don’t get speedy solutions as a result of she has a life too clearly and you may’t count on speedy responses on a regular basis and a couple of) issues take longer to coordinate and plan than it will with your individual youngsters, so you must plan forward a bit of additional.
Q. Do you might have full custody? How typically and the way lengthy do your bonus youngsters stick with you?
A. We've 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 state of affairs is a bit of totally different as a result of we LOVE to journey and in addition journey fairly a bit for work, however we at all times make sure that to plan all our “large journeys” after we can go collectively as a household. For instance we normally do an enormous 2 week journey each summer season and we at all times try this with all the children. (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 12 months, I'd for certain attempt to make it work to incorporate everybody. We've a lot enjoyable after we journey with all the children and Beckam and Ollie love being with Mara and Wes as a lot as we do, so we want we might at all times journey collectively however it doesn’t at all times work out that means. That’s one other factor you notice after you might have youngsters of your own- each dad and mom need as a lot time as they will with their youngsters. If it’s a problem to get further days or change schedules for journeys, attempt to have perspective and notice their different mum or dad desires 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 sort of an “it's what it's” state of affairs. However actually it at all times looks like one thing is lacking after we journey with out them.
Q. Do they go faculty half-hour away? How does that work?
A. They used to stay 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 undoubtedly made it a bit of more difficult, particularly now that they're in a number of sports activities, and Mara and Wes are in two totally different faculties (junior excessive and elementary) they go at totally different occasions. Everybody has totally different practices and schedules after faculty, 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 understand how a lot they're selecting to share. I do know as a child, typically I'd really feel nervous telling the opposite mum or dad what I used to be doing once I was with my different mum or dad (even now typically, really haha) as a result of I didn’t wish to make the opposite mum or dad 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 certain since we aren’t with them 24/7.
Q. How do you break up up firsts or particular occasions with their mother and also you guys?
We haven’t had quite a lot of firsts the place we will’t each present up someplace to help them. For his or her first time to Disney, we did ask the children’ mother if we might take them however apart from that, there haven’t been quite a lot of occasions when we have to break up up firsts.
Q. How do you guys deal with holidays/birthdays?
It’s sort of modified over time. We at all times break up Christmas – I do know thats not as in style. I believe lots of people do each different Christmas. Thanksgiving and Spring Break we alternate yearly. Typically Easter falls over Spring Break, and so forth. Birthdays have modified – typically we alternate years and typically we keep on 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 things was ‘truthful’. However in a blended household, it’s unimaginable to make all the things 100% truthful.
We might even have traditions that we do yearly with the children, 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 occasions.
Q. Do you are feeling you might want to know different bonus mothers for help? I don’t have anybody in my life.
A. I do know like one or two different bonus mothers however now that I’m desirous 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've 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 unfavorable and that power will simply detract. However I believe bonus mothers generally is a nice help 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 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 things 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 pay attention, which they're youngsters and typically they don’t haha, they may get a distinct chore. However I try this precise factor for all the children.
There are 10000% occasions 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 occasions 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 comfy for you.
Q. Do you give your bonus youngsters chores?
A. 100%, however all the youngsters have weekly chores (– one factor Cody and I each really feel strongly about is instructing our youngsters work ethic, in order that goes for all the children 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 tasks.
Do I ever really feel responsible about it? There are some occasions 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 youngsters they want handle their tasks, which is absolutely what we might do with Beckam and Ollie. So the occasions when I'm a bit of extra lax about chores or selecting up after themselves is earlier than they depart, however in the course of the common each 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 submit! A variety of you might have questions or recommendation about coping with organic mothers or establishing a bond along with your bonus infants – I’m actually wish to be an open ebook and share as a lot as I can, so I’ll save that for the subsequent few posts, together with suggestions for bonus mothers and suggestions for bio mothers since I received just a few questions from you guys too ❤️ I’ve cherished listening to from you all about your individual blended households and the way a lot you like your bonus infants!