When I got married, I knew I was in it for the long haul. Even with the added pressures of being a Bonus Mom and all that entails, I was in it to win it. Somewhere along the way, I developed a thought process of “when they turn 18, this will all be over”. That’s a big fat lie.
THEY AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE!
You can take that as a comfort or a curse. I chose to take it as a comfort. I don’t know where that it-will-all-be-over-at-18 thought process came from. Now that I think on it, I blame child support. It stops at 18 so I thought my husband and I stopped at 18 too. (Talk about twisted thinking.) For Bonus Mom’s (and their families) our journey begins at 18. The child gains some freedom at 18 to decide where they want to spend their time and where they desire to live. You may get to stop paying court ordered support but you trade that in for more face time with your bonus children.
My oldest child isn’t even 13 yet so all I am speaking is conjecture. But, if I think about how much our oldest child does not know about her father, I would surmise that there is a part of her that wants to get to know him. I don’t pass up an opportunity to speak with grown folks, women especially, who grew up in a similar situation to my bonus children. I want to hear everything. I want to know all the things that hurt them, so I can avoid making the same mistakes. I want to know all the things that helped them so I can emulate them. In listening to those women, I hear that they do come home and by home I mean your home bonus mom.
Your husband will be elated but you may be apprehensive. I experience that now. With some of our children, their visits are hit or miss at best. I don’t like things that are unneccessary and one of our children’s mothers has a flair for the unneccessary. It is common place for that personality trait to … well, let’s just say sometimes, I need an Excedrine. That extra stresser can, and very often does, make the drop off and pick up exchange a bit heavy. Having this history can make the thought of life after 18 hard to swallow.
The bottom line is, THEY ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE so, and I mean this with love , GET OVER IT! They are children. They didn’t do anything wrong to be here. Your husband isn’t doing anything wrong by desiring to want to be with his child. We, as bonus moms, have to buck up and ride this out.
I am not talking down to you. My intention is not to hurt you bonus mom. I say this to help you though you may not be ready to receive the words. What I am saying to you, I have said to myself. It took me 7.5 years of marriage to understand it and when I realized that they really weren’t going anywhere, I acknowledged it publically to a group of ladies I was sitting with. Once you accept it, living life gets that much easier.