Parenting is weird enough already. You literally created a person and now are in charge of it. It gets even weirder when you enter a kid’s life and have to figure out how to navigate being a bonus parent. I have been on both sides: the biological mom and stepmom.
From the Point of View of the Bio Mom
As a biological mom, all I wanted when me and Trent’s dad split up was a good role model for my son. I wanted my ex to end up with someone who loved Trent as much as I do and would treat him like their own. I was lucky enough to find that. As a parent we are skeptical. If you are entering the life of a child that is not your own, expect skepticism. This is their baby. The best thing you can do is go out of your way to reassure them. I know that my son’s stepmom went above and beyond to be there for Trent and that gave me a lot more comfort than if she were to blow me off because I’m the ex girlfriend. Bio moms and dads aren’t crazy for asking questions or showing concern. Patience and understanding is key. When you extend the olive branch first it could really make a difference and relieve some tension.
Point of View from the Bonus Mom
Becoming a bonus mom is one of the most rewarding yet difficult things I have had to figure out. I gained two amazing little bonus daughters when I ended up with Chris. Adjusting to having three extra humans in my space all the time was extremely challenging. Setting boundaries and communication is so important between you and your partner. You HAVE to be on the same page. How much do they expect you to be in charge? Do they feel more comfortable taking care of discipline or do they want you to be more involved with it? I started by becoming the girls’ friend. I wanted to be a safe space for them. I made it a mission to make all the kids feel included and important so no one feels left out. I think a lot of times when there are mixed families there tends to be some feelings of resentment or favoritism.
All in all it’s difficult, messy, draining BUT it is so extremely rewarding. I can not stress how important communication is. I promise you that you can do this.