Being a “bonus” mom, isn’t for the faint of heart.
If you’re going to marry someone who has a child, make sure it’s something you’re ready and willing to take on.
I wasn’t, and honestly, most days, I’m still not. But, I do it every single day because I love this sweet girl that doesn’t have my blood. I won’t let something so simple stop me from wanting the very best for her, even on days I don’t feel like that’s me.
You scroll social media and see all of these beautiful “blended“ families and what great stories they have to share. Blessed are the ones who have this, and I ask you not to take it for granted. Ours isn’t what I picture, but for the most part it’s good. We can keep face for Averi, and that’s what matters most.
Averi recently started her endeavor with softball, and being the ‘bonus’ mom, I’m often overlooked. Conversations don’t come my way, parents just look and give half assed smiles, but I’m grateful for our new coach who is very good about being inclusive towards us. I’m just not her real mom, and who wants to mess in something they don’t understand?
I’ve tried. I’ve put in the hours, worked hard, been graciously kind and generous, and I get dull responses, funny looks, and still put in more than the bear minimum, because that’s who I want to be.
I struggled for an excruciatingly long 3-4 years because I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t love and bond with her exactly like I did with first Luci, and then Jax. I don’t love her any less, but there’s a gap that I could never figure out.
Social media was a large part of this, but bless the soul of my therapist and the truth she brought to me when I confided these awful, gut wrenching feelings to her. I was entirely sure I was a broken human who was incapable of love, and feared the worst.
Are you ready for real and raw?
That feeling isn’t necessarily possible. Yes, we can want, wish, and force ourselves to believe that we feel the same about a child who is not ours verses how we feel about our own, but it is not possible. There is a bond that is created when we grow these tiny humans and then bring them into the world that isn’t easily attainable with one we did not.
I do so love, cherish, and adore Averi more than the moon and stars. Just like my own babies. But, the bond, the weird lack of something that I feel? That’s normal.
Like, entirely normal.
But it’s easier to be sunshine and rainbows for the world of social media. It’s all about who looks the best, acts the best, makes the best food, loves their family the most, and the list is endless. Social media made me feel like a failure as a bonus mom, when in fact, I was entirely on track.
It’s lonely being the bonus mom who tends to get left behind and overlooked.
My time with her is short, and it’s made shorter at times. So, I work extra hard to make sure she knows how I feel, how important she is here.
I’m not complaining, but my heart is sad. My heart is sad that this is what things have always been, regardless of effort, and now they’re only shittier as someone passed on my own personal feelings towards a situation and it was entirely misinterpreted. Thank you, internet world.
I remain quiet, I smile, and no one needs to know I’m hurting.
This is a wholesome reminder that I am a human. A human with her own feelings, her own struggles.
Maybe this is you. Maybe you struggle to fill that void and can’t understand what you’re doing wrong. But, you need to know that you’re not wrong. You’re doing your best and that’s what these littles need.
See, we may not have that bond with them that comes from growing them and all the fancy other things, but we have our own special bond with them. One we don’t have with our other littles. One that can’t be explained or fully understood unless you’ve been there, unless you have your own ’bonus’ little.
It gets better.
Slowly, with time, it does get better. It’s easier to deal with being the odd one out, the one who feels invisible, the one who busts ass to make everything be the absolute best it can be.
Just remember, not everything is going to be perfect all the time. Cut yourself some slack. Take a breath, a step back, let yourself feel important for a minute.
Because, you are.