There are many undercurrents to being an bonus mom. There are many lines you cannot cross. Other lines you have to toe very lightly. It’s like a mine field. You have to be very careful where you step because there could be someones toes underneath every place you try to land your foot. To make an exhaustive list of all the no-no’s or areas you have to be careful about would take up volumes.
The relationship between an bonus mom and her bonus child is directly proportional to the relationship between the bonus mom and the child’s mother. If they have a good working relationship, then the relationship the bonus mom has with the child will be good. If they two woman have a strained relationship, the bonus mom and child will feel the strain in their relationship. There will be a closeness that will not develop because either the bonus mom or the child (or both) are afraid of any negative reprocussions.
As an bonus mom, our role is to be the Mommy in your home. You are not their mother but you do represent a mother to them in your house. You wash their clothes, you make the meals, you bandage the owies, you get up in the middle of the night to make sure they are still breathing etc. You are not the Mommy but based on what you do for them, you certainly mimic the role in your home. Because of this, you do create moments and memories that create an opportunity for closeness and a more cemented relationship; something deeper than I-only-tolerate-you-because-you-are-married-to-my-dad.
It is a hard spot to be in. You want the child to love and accept you but you in no way desire or want to be your bonus child’s mother. How do you love on the child and look to be closer to them so that they know that you love them and that you are trustworthy without stepping on any toes? Even thought I am specifically talking about stepping on the child’s mother’s toes I do know that there are some bonus moms out there that feel the strain soley from their bonus child. I don’t have any experience in that area. My bonus children were young when my husband and I married. My husband also introduced me to them after we had established that our relationship was going to end in marriage. It was not something that he nor I took lightly. Until we were married, as far as priority was concerned, I was an extra. His bond and loyalty was to his children alone. Of course, once we married, that changed. According to the Bible, the priority of serving a family is spouse then children regardless of which came first.
I am still at a loss of how to connect with my bonus children. We have made fantastic strides but there is still so much uncovered terrain. If we take two steps forward, or attempt to make any steps, we go back three. It is so frustraiting at times that I can understand why some bonus moms quit; not on their marriage but on their bonus children. In effort not to divide your family a bonus mom looks to include everyone and have no one stand out like a sore thumb. No one is to be made to feel or look like an outsider.
I can’t control anything. I’ve stopped trying to. I can’t safeguard things that are not in my hands to do. I will not safeguard things that are purposefuly neglected by others. It’s a tough road but someone’s got to do it.