Life as a parent is challenging enough, and when you throw in navigating life as a:
- Newly married couple
- 2nd wife to your now husband
- Co-parent with your now husband’s ex-wife
- Stepmom to your bonus child
- Shared custody parent of an outdated court order that no longer represents your family situation
Things all of a sudden get a heck of A LOT more complicated.
I logically knew what I was signing myself up for when I made the commitment to spend the rest of my life with my husband, yet I had no idea how much emotional investment it would demand of me on a day to day basis as we establish a rhythm for our new life, in our new home, as a new family, navigating new routines that will best serve all of us.
I look at new moms who have just given birth and all the TLC she receives as she adjusts to new motherhood, and wonder why no one ever checks in with the new stepmom to see how she is adjusting to her new season of bonus parenthood? One that not only involves a new relationship with a child (or multiple children in some cases) but also a relationship with said child’s biological mother…..whether it be a healthy or unhealthy relationship.
The reality is, as a stepmom, we often don’t have say in a lot of things as we blend ourselves into family dynamics that have grown and evolved with the kids. Often times we’re reacting to demands from our husband’s ex and forced to go along with decisions even though it doesn’t align with our values. Often times we wonder what our role is with our bonus children and how do we not overstep this boundary (because I get that it can be hard to see your child call another woman “Mom”).
The reality is our schedule changes constantly with the back and forth between homes…..navigating shared birthdays, holidays and any special family events, and I’m not going to lie that it can be tricky some days to switch gears from our routine with my bonus daughter at home with us to our schedule without her.
Yes! This is a role I voluntarily embraced with open arms and would NOT choose any differently if we were to go back in time. But it’s been a challenge to find others who can relate to the things I’m feeling and have candid conversations about a rather taboo topic. Perhaps you can relate to this too…..in which case I’m inviting you to leave a comment or reach out privately.
The reality is, divorce, separation and step parenting are the norm for many families and we could all use some support navigating these unknown territories together.
So this little corner on the internet is going to be the new home of The Blended Family Diaries…..a place to share my family’s everyday parenting experiences of raising little humans from the lens of an early childhood educator, co-parenting, Bonus Mama doing my best to give my family the very best of me.