Last year was the first year I got to plan and prep a little girls birthday party. I had just moved in with her dad and I brought along 2 pure white cats. They are old, shed like crazy and my sweet Sophia (one of the cats) is crazy scared of the tiny human. Stella (the other sweet pea), has stolen the hearts of all including the tiny human. We were approaching her birthday and she asked for a kitten party! She wanted all her friends and family to bring their cats to our tiny out grown condo and celebrate her turning 6. She thought it would be all butterflies and rainbows. She was happy with a “Rainbow Kitten” party we held at a nearby park where the kids hit a yarn ball piñata and adopted mini plush kittens.
We had this piece of artwork done by an old friend and amazing artist: HERE
This past September we put together a “Rainbow Unicorn” party to celebrate this sweet girls 7th birthday (if you are curious, she has already asked for a rainbow mermaid party next year). During that year between 6 and 7 the tiny human said to me “Amber, I tell my friends that you are my step-mom”. She had a sweet smile across her face and I mirrored that expression while holding back sweet tears. We walked hand in hand into the grocery store and I told her “I tell my friends that you are my step-daughter”. Suddenly, I had this strong feeling to be better, work harder, and love and laugh often. Now I have this little girl looking up to me. She is at that age of being a sponge from her surroundings, and I will be damned if I impact her negatively.
I have been searching the inter-webs high and low for additional support. My thoughts have been “I don’t know how to be a step mom, I’ve never been a mom unless you count being a parent to kittens. I am clueless and if her life sucks it will be all my fault” ok end rant. Let it be well noted that these inner thoughts are not worth the self-doubt. Also let it be known that positive resources from a step-mom perspective are lacking. Through this journey leading me to step-mom life I learned a term from another wise woman. I will tell the story of the journey later, but for now the term “Bonus-Mom” was introduced into my vocabulary. Before I even knew that I may be a child’s “Bonus-Mom” my step-mom and I replaced the word step with bonus. It has really impacted our relationship positively.
I have been working very hard on a special project that I am happy to announce. I have been writing on positive tips from a Bonus-Moms perspective. Adam and I have been naturally implementing these tips into our co-parenting and they have been great for our tiny human. We have had numerous conversation around being a blended family and how we can call work together. It is cliché that the other female figure in a child’s life is the evil step-mom. It is my hope and prayer that this will help other woman who are striving for a positive perspective on co-parenting. Through trial and error I have developed a few words of wisdom that have works for our family.
Now before I start talking about this subject, that can be sensitive, I want to add a disclaimer. It is important to create boundaries (which we will talk about soon) and be open-minded. What is currently working for us may not work for you. As a matter of fact, as my bonus daughter gets older and our families grow these tips may not be utilized in the same way. It is important to have open dialogue, remain selfless, and never fight in front of the children.