One confused bonus mom!

Gina - posted on 09/04/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am a mother of two boys and a bonus mom ( step mom) to a wonderful 3 year old boy. After a long custody case and a very long story my husband received visitation rights when he a little under 6 months old, at that time we had him every other weekend. By the time he turned 18 months we had him 50% of the time. I have always been very supportive of my husband being as involved as possible with the raising of his son, I wouldn't have it any other way. I have remained very involved is raising him when he is with us... literally took on the "mom" role during our time with him. I have always realized that I am not his biological mother but have done it all from bottle feeding, diapers, potty training, sick late nights ect. to the point where I have been told several times that you would never know he that isn't my biological son since we are very close. I'm not complaining just explaining my involvement. But now comes the hard part.. I find that when it comes to taking responsibility in every way with him I am 100% considered and involved. But, When it comes to decision making time between my husband and his biological mother my opinion doesn't really matter. Am I wrong for feeling like maybe I should distance myself and perhaps not involve myself as much as I do? What should my role be? I don't ever want to make him feel as if I treat him any differently than my own two boys. How do I protect my feelings and his?

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Gina - posted on 09/05/2014

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Thank you . I appreciate any advise i can get. I went into this situation with my eyes closed and an open heart... i took a big chance on hope, faith, and love and I cant say that i regret any part of it expect for the unrealistic expectations i had about how much control i would have over certain situations. I am blessed to have my such a wonderful husband and a bonus I get to share this bundle of love and joy!

Chet - posted on 09/04/2014

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First, I just wanted to say that it's awesome that you call yourself a bonus mom. That's a lovely way of phrasing it! :-)

When it comes to decision making, it is the biological parents that have the say. I don't think there is any way around that. I would try not to voice an opinion, or to expect your opinion to be included unless it's specifically asked for. I think though, you can interject pertinent information that you might have. As a person close to the child, you may know things that are very relevant when plans are being made. I think it's fine to draw attention to relevant facts that are at risk of being overlooked.

Really, you're kind of like a grandparent. Some of the most meaningful relationships young children have are often with a grandparent, but the grandparent doesn't generally have a say in parenting decisions.

As for your level of involvement, I'm not sure what you're imagining. I wouldn't try to emotionally distance yourself though. Kids can never have too many people to love them and look out for them. I would follow your step son's lead. Be what he needs from you.

There will be times when it isn't possible for your step son to be treated exactly like your own children. But in any family it's not possible to treat all children the same. Each child is an individual. They have their own unique situation, and their own individual needs.

The best thing to do is to set up the expectation that kids get what they need, and how much you get isn't an indicator of how much you're loved. We have four kids. They understand that if one kid gets news shoes it's just because they're old shoes were worn out. If one kids spends an hour with dad getting homework help it's because they needed homework help. Parents can get into real trouble creating an atmosphere where kids expect to be treated equally because it's completely impossible to do what's right for each kid and to also do the same for each kid.

I also wouldn't worry too much. You're clearly a very mindful person. Anyone who is watching and thinking so carefully will certainly make good decisions.

Dove - posted on 09/04/2014

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It sounds like you've been doing fine up to this point and I certainly wouldn't change how you take care of him and treat him like the other boys. Decisions about the child are up to the biological parents though. Your role is to support your husband in those decisions. Yes, you can certainly talk to him about your opinion, but whether or not it bears any weight really depends on him and the child's mother.

That's my opinion, at least.

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