I wanted to explain a little bit about a statement I made in my previous post about me not thinking about my bonus children.
I attribute this to one thing. I am a wife all of the time whether I am physically with my husband or not. Myself and my bonus children’s mothers are mothers all of the time whether we are physically with our children or not. I am only a bonus mom when I am physically with my bonus children and they are in my care. My role doesn’t change but my capacity within my role varies greatly depending on whomever else is around.
Ever since my husband and I married, we had a child(ren) with us every other weekend. Our child(ren) filled weekends were very busy with child activities and visits to our families. On our “off” weekends, I used to say we could finally act as a normal newlywed couple but we never knew what that was. When the children weren’t with us, all we did was talk about them. When the children weren’t with us, we didn’t have a set schedule and it felt odd having a free day so to speak. It was hard for me to try to appreciate it just being the two of us on those weekends because I was deathly afraid that if I did, I would dread the children’s presence.
I did everything I could to prevent myself from ever feeling like “the children were taking my husband away from me”. At times I put my marriage in jeopardy for the sake of my bonus children. In truth, it wasn’t for their sake. I behaved gallantly towards them as a measure to protect myself and my feelings. I was over the top to prevent me from being seen as the evil stepmother or being the victim of my blended family. Because I knew that was the reality of so many bonus moms I fought tooth and nail against myself and my marriage to prevent it from becoming my reality as well. I was very green then; wet behind the ears. At my basic level, I am an all or nothing kind of chick. I have grown some since then and I’m beginning to understand the balance of Christ (reference Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
As I began to grow into my bonus momhood, I began to enjoy my husband and wife time just as much as I enjoyed my bonus children time. I also realized that as permanent as I had hoped to become in my bonus children’s life, that was subject to their mothers. Over time, I had to accept that my role as bonus mom only exists when my children visit their father. When I finally accepted that truth, I became dual minded. Because my role as bonus mom occurs two weekends a month, I think like bonus mom about 8 days per month (two extra days for planning their visits). Of course, if we get the children more or less, summer vacation, holidays, etc, it varies but it is never constant because my bonus children do not live with me. My husband is not the custodial parent.
I am a wifommy ALL THE TIME. My husband and my daughter are my primary focus. I think for them daily. What’s for breakfast? What’s for lunch? What am I cooking for dinner? If I wait an extra day to do laundry do they have enough draws to make it? Is there bread in the house? Do we need milk? Those are daily thoughts. Outside of God, they consume my mind. Making sure I do for them is my job ALL OF THE TIME.
My daily thoughts and the daily thoughts of my bonus children’s mothers are probably the same. The difference being that they are thinking about their child(ren) and I am thinking about my husband and child. The precarious position of the bonus mom is that I think we are expected to think of and care for our bonus children all of the time. That is just not the case. Not because we wouldn’t but because we can’t. What good would it do for anyone if we did? Would that change anything? Would daily thinking about if we had enough underwear for our bonus children make a difference in anything? No. It would not. Yet, I still feel the pressures that being a good bonus mom means you have to do this long list of things that someone has made up and expects you to follow and at the end, you still aren’t good enough to be considered a good bonus mom. Why? Because of the age-old reason. “You are not the mother”. Well, you can’t argue with that now can you.
I am not aiming to be a “good” bonus mother, whatever that means, anymore. (Of course, I have to remind myself of that every time one of my bonus children are mentioned.) As with every other aspect of my life, the standard of my role as bonus mom is Christ. I aim to please Him. If, in my desire to please Him, someone else is satisfied by my actions, so be it. If in my desire to please Him, someone is pissed off at me because of my actions, so be it. Christ is my standard and no one else.