BC Bonus Mom Advice and Support

Good morning/afternoon beautiful Bonus Moms!

I’d like to know how many of you are now, will be, or have been for some time…Stepmoms in beautiful British Columbia, Canada? Or do you know some friends, family or acquaintances/colleagues that are going through a rough time adjusting to a blended family unit or becoming a step-parent?

Have you felt a total lack of support going through the every day battles, roller coaster of emotions and strain on your relationship? Do you wish that there was some sort of help in a world where the main focus tends to sway toward the bio-parents and their children? Do you feel there is a lack of professional or social support groups? Counselling/Coaching? Legal help? Even retreats to de-stress, learn and re-group your physical and mental well-being?

Please feel free to comment and/or contact me as in the upcoming months I will be training under the amazing and nationally renowned Jenna Korf (Certified Stepfamily Foundation Coach & Author of ‘Skirts at War: Beyond Divorced Mom/Stepmom Conflict’.

Once completed I will have some great news for all of you BC Bonus Moms!

If you are looking for a FB page for information on all of the above, the below link is going to be it.

Bare with me as I get started out and proceed through training for certification but please use the tools and support that we can all provide to  one another on this journey!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/848785481891933/

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I WISH Things Were Different…..

I DO.

I wish things were different, better.

I KNOW that I wish it was better for the kids, but I WANT it to be better for ALL of us that is involved in this constant never-ending roundabout that you just can’t seem to exit.

YES. I am a step-mom. NOT the “wicked” kind either, contrary to how I am portrayed.

For ALL that I read these days, it is very sad and unfortunate that it appears that the BIOLOGICAL Mother that is the “wicked” one. That the so-called roles are reversed.

I often sit and wonder, “why”? Now that I am a step-mom I am shocked and stunned at how many of us are out there with damn near the SAME stories. We go through the same thing. Which leads me to wonder, does this happen to ALL women, or men, that go through this separation/divorce when they have children?

Is it a natural neurological “switch” that goes off for bio parents that makes them react in this same way? As in “fight or flight” or “survival of the fittest”? Or does the situation lead to an environment that exists or is created that pulls the psychopathic, narcissistic or socio-pathic tendencies to the forefront?

I just DON’T know.

I simply can’t logically compute the situations that people put themselves, or their loved ones in. ESPECIALLY children or when it is due to bitterness. When a split is initiated by the one that is continuing to cause the drama it is just is one of those moments that make me go “hmmmmm”…..

Now, I am a HUGE lover of biological parents. Funnily enough, I have my own! 😉 I have never wanted my own children, (until I met my husband, but unfortunately…so late in life…it isn’t an option for us now), I always put my career and myself first. Relationships were last. Although, I have the utmost respect and admiration for those that want to and do bring little ones into this world, and BE a true parent, I just never felt that urge.This doesn’t make me any less of a woman, nor does it make me SOMEHOW incapable of being a step-mom. I still have all the parts, and last time I checked, I was a living, breathing person with a heart and mind.  😉

So to be totally CLEAR. I love bio parents. The ones that do their due diligence to truly keep those children safe and out of harms way. Now, NO ONE is perfect. NO ONE…but…there are ALWAYS choices to every single thing that us as adults do. Unfortunately, when emotions are running high…a lot of parents let that go ‘out the window’. There are a lot of WONDERFUL bio Moms and Dads out there, unfortunately, we don’t have one of those…but MAN…I wish that we did!

I also don’t particularly like the “old adage” of “Well I gave BIRTH to them, so ‘I’ am a real Mom”. Sisters, let me tell you that popping one out, simply doesn’t constitute being a REAL Mom. True…you GAVE BIRTH but that is it.

Some people give birth and walk away. Some people are drug addicts/alcoholics and can’t care for their babies. Some people are unfit mentally or physically. Some people are too young and not ready. Those children are given up, fostered, adopted by those that CAN and WANT to bring up those children the best way that they can. Worse than that, some children continue to live in that dysfunctional, unstable and unloving environment.

Just because you have a vagina doesn’t mean you are fit and able to BE a parent, excuse me, a “Mother”.

What can be JUST as detrimental to a child, are those parents that split (for the sake of the children continuing to endure an “un-loving/abusive/dysfunctional” parental relationship), yet that very behavior that they split for, continues and is now heightened.

Separations/divorce whether with good intentions or not, appear to take on a world of their own…and one of chaos. The people become evil. Like characters in some psychological thriller. The children end up being the victims…although one or both of the parents claim that they are.

Why do they use the children as pawns in the games that they play? This happens on the BM AND BD sides…it’s not restricted to one, it can be both.

Now, being an “outsider” and non-bio parent, perhaps I see things in a different light…a clearer one. I don’t have that bio-bond that most do…but dammit I have the values and honesty, love and logic that can see the harm that gets caused EVERY day. WHY can’t a destructive blood parent see them? Is the resentment…..anger….bitterness or jealousy REALLY that bad?  They SAY they don’t care about their ex…or their new partner…but EVERYTHING they do is about you. They just can’t move on. It’s an obsession….and can be a scary one.

Are they fearful of their child loving someone else? (Don’t be silly bio parents…a child can NEVER love another adult figure more than their parents…unless you give them reason to….so DON’T!).

Are they still in love with their ex and can’t let go?

I could never understand anyone totally and utterly despising someone that they have never met….(ie: BM hating me). I TRULY don’t. You don’t know me….(other than what her stalking uncovers). Do you really want to be THAT idiot that ruins the way your children look at you for the rest of their lives, and not only alienate the other parent but the step-parent too? It’s all to the detriment of the kids. Don’t they GET that?

Kids are not as resilient as everyone likes to think. What I see in my SK’s is sheer proof. The behavior, the way they talk…..the way the come to me, YES…’me’…when they want to ask me about “why Mommy this” or “why Mommy that”….or “why is Mommy and Daddy still arguing” etc. etc. When they are too scared to say something to us for the fear of what Mommy will say if she finds out. Or is scared about us doing something as when Mommy does it, it hurts…or she gets angry. When they question why Mommy has pictures of you on her computer….are you friends? UGGGG!!

Those are MINOR and just the tip of the ole iceberg. But they are all the truth…and they happen all the time and they ARE effecting the children.

The courts, the lawyers, the bad mouthing the other parent, the attempt at arguments in front of the children (or the flying off the handle fits of rage)…even the un-stable home environment that they STILL have in their custodial residence. A home still filled with bitterness, a broken family filled with rage and no new partner to help smooth the edges and help the guardian parent and children be more settled and stable….mostly as they won’t LET that new partner “fully into the relationship” due to wanting $$ from them and the ex. It’s a vicious circle and no way for children to grow up.

You have to make the best out of a bad situation. Sure…you aren’t always going to be “happy” with every choice your ex makes but at the end of the day, attempting to work together as civil as possible will wreak the least of havoc on your children. It shouldn’t BE all about money and who gets what….it’s actually quite pathetic. We are all born with capable minds and bodies that can turn our hands to something to take care of ourselves and our families.

Being strong and truly independent…or a carer/parent/guardian…means that you work to take part in caring for your family and children. You don’t live off the system, your ex…and your new partner.

I mean, why is it that the ex husband and his new wife are the ones that have ALL of the financial onus for the children? How is THAT fair? I have NO place, I mean NOTHING to them and I am NOT their Mother….yet it’s A-OK for me to house them, feed them, buy them clothes, toys, take them on trips, wash their clothes, clean up after them, kiss their boo boos and listen to their days? Hmmm….seems to be some sort of problem RIGHT THERE. I can tell you that due to the fact that almost all of my husbands earnings go toward a woman who chooses to sit on her ass at home and have him pay for her and the kids…ALONGSIDE her new man, that me….”I” am the one that pays for 80% if not more of what your children need and want. ME. Yes….that’s right. The worthless TOAD pays and takes care of YOUR children. Interesting eh?

Having your ex, his wife and your new partner take ALL the financial burdens of supporting you and your family is not cool. THAT isn’t being strong, that is having other people continue to do everything for you as you are truly NOT capable or don’t want to. Don’t plead poverty…and the whole “woe is me single parent doing it all on your own” to anyone that will listen to you, when that is the farthest thing from the truth.

There are SOME bio moms or dads out there that DO the best they can, to the right things. They are fighting hard everyday for those babies. They are pulling all nighters, working 2 or 3 jobs and being parents. AND they are trying to co-parent with their exes and their new partners. THEY can do it…so why can’t everyone? If the person that you WERE with (“were” being the operative word here) was the reason for your un-happiness…shouldn’t you now BE happy if you aren’t with them? Why not truly be the bigger person and be thankful that you are now able to move forward with your life and they can with theirs and you both work TOGETHER to make those kids the best life that they can have regardless of their circumstances?

Me? I am JUST the “wife”. Apparently I have nothing to bring to the table whatsoever.

Truthfully, I am not their Mom. I don’t act like I am, I don’t tell them to call me “Mommy”. They have a Mom and a Dad. As I have been in their life since they were VERY little, they did go through a period where THEY chose to call me that. I don’t even think it was conscious. I just am that female in the home and they looked at me that way. However, once BM caught wind of it, they were told “in NO WAY are you ever to call her Mommy. She is not your Mom. I am. She is nothing but Daddy’s new wife”. So they stopped…well, they sometimes still do call me it, but when they do they are fearful that I may say something. I ignore it. I have always told them that no matter what, they can come to me, us, with anything…anytime. Bad or good. Our doors are open. I don’t have to have given birth to care…to be there….to love. Family is family…it’s not about DNA.

Sometimes, I DO wish things were different.

I wish that she didn’t (as I do for all step-parents in this situation) view me with the disregard and disrespect that she does. I wish that she didn’t call me names, slander me, disrespect and alienate my husband and I. In doing all this she is hurting her children and the views that they have.

These children WILL grow up to one day truly see, if they don’t already, who was the silly one in all this. They will start to think about all that they have seen, heard and even done themselves over the years due to levels of parental alienation that they were subjected to and will CHOOSE for themselves WHO was right or wrong. They will see where the problems laid….and who caused the earthquakes and roller coaster rides emotionally in their lives.

When they do…I hope it’s not too late. I hope that they CHOOSE to be stronger, to be better than the person that claims to have raised them the most. I hope that they don’t walk the same line or even live in a life or turmoil due to what was done to them, apparently, inadvertantly.

Is it THAT hard to just “stop”? Kids learn this in nursery school. “STOP”.

Whether it’s “stop, drop and roll”….”stop and look both ways” or to tell a stranger to “stop…don’t come any closer to me or I will yell”. SO, why can’t adults follow through on this simple act with their exes, their children AND their new partners?

STOP the anger

STOP the violent rage

STOP the name calling

STOP the legal battles

STOP putting the onus onto the other parent financially

STOP the parental/step-parental alienation

We as step-parents (and even bio-exes that we are with) are not expecting or asking for BFF status here. We are simply looking for some sort of civil communications when we HAVE to have it. We don’t want to chit chat with you or go for coffee. What we do want is to be able to talk to you if the other bio parent isn’t available and your assistance is needed. To be able to be IN your presence without a world war breaking out.

We want to live our lives in a somewhat calm and positive environment with our new partners and their children. We want to “make the best” of things, not the worst.

When the kids aren’t around, I don’t think about you. You are not my concern. I don’t live every waking moment thinking about you or how I am going to “one up you” to your children. YOU never cross my mind except when you are intruding on our time with the kids or OUR downtime without them. I don’t GET people like you….and I don’t want to. I am not you and I thank my lucky stars EVERY day that I am not.

In a “perfect world” you wouldn’t exist at all, but you do….and I am sure that you feel that way about me too. The problem is, if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else. You would treat that person the exact same way as you treat me. I know this….because you DID, to my predecessor. The only difference between her and I is that “I” am strong. I will NOT be chased away. I am not going anywhere….EVER.

THIS is how I KNOW it’s not “me” that’s the problem. It’s ANYONE that is in my husband and your children’s lives. The problem doesn’t lie with me, it lies my dear, totally and completely with you.

Still doesn’t change the fact that I do wish that things were different…..

“To The ‘There’ Parent” a RE-BLOG/SHARE from “Scary Mommy”…………………………

So, I am posting/sharing this…not because it “directly” relates to step-parents/families but as it is about the single Bio parent with guardianship. It’s always good to see/hear the other side and then really delve into what truly corresponds to what…but it does relate to step-parents married to the “less than 50% parent”.
Now, there are a lot of Guardian Bio’s out there that totally deserve the respect AND I have no doubt that the below is true with regard to how they may feel at times….our BM has actually said it to my husband numerous times that he is “the babysitter” the “spotlight parent” that  “parenting is not all about fun and games”.
This is where I step in to step up for my husband, for all of the “Not There” parents who get treated like the above.It is NOT unusual for children to “look forward to” seeing the “not there” parent. Nor is it unusual for the “there” parent to not get the “shine” that the “not there” does all the time. That is unfortunately the way most separated parents OR courts have made it. Children will of course be comfortable in their “main” home, but the “there” parents have to realize that the “not there” parent is NOT being “not there” by choice. Or at least MOST of them aren’t!

They do the best that they can with what they are given. They have to CRAM all that they can into whatever little visitation time they get….the visitation that is not messed up or dictated to by the BM, regardless of court orders!

The amount of times that my husband gets called a “deadbeat Dad” is SICKENING. Really? Is that why we fight hard in court for the best of those kids? We pay all of the supports and as much of the activities as we can? Why we see them 3 times a week? Right….deadbeat. You have NO idea HOW lucky you have it.

If the “there” parents want some of that “shining glory” that the “not there” parents get…perhaps they should let down that brick wall….share more….give more visitation or split custody, then THEIR time would be equally as “great” as they think it is with the “not there” parent.

I can tell you now that it is NOT “shining glory” for the “not there” parent. It’s hell. There is no collaboration between two households to work on what is best for the kids. The “not there” parent gets intentionally left out of things, school events, concerts or is the LAST person to be contacted in emergencies or for anything else for that matter. Heaven FORBID they have to say NO to something that the BM wants or has to put work before some whim that is requested….

If the “there parent” were to spend a month in the “not there parent’s” shoes I think that they would grasp with open arms what they have and bless their lucky stars that they have what they do.

Stop worrying about what you don’t have and be thankful for what you do. Life is too short.

Hug those babies tight…spend QUALITY TIME with them…do what KIDS want to do, not what you want to do. DO things with them, don’t leave them to watch TV or play video games or any other handheld devices or leave them 50% of the time with other people whilst you do “your thing”. Realize that the “not there” parents SEEM more exciting because they are always TOTALLY PRESENT during the time that the kids are with them. They DO it all, SAY it all, ALL the time….as that is all the time that they have.

Again, I am in agreeance with the below, as it is true that the guardian parent DOES I am sure 80% of the time feel that way, but, out of all that the “not there” parent has to deal with, I am sure that this pales in comparison.

“To The ‘There’ Parent” a RE-BLOG/SHARE from “Scary Mommy”

You wring your hands in frustration when your kids won’t go to sleep at night — because you just really need an hour to yourself.

You  balance work, bills, life, and all the things a child needs while a person floats in and out of their lives like parenting is a hobby that can be engaged in at will.

Your heart breaks a little when your kids are on their best behavior when that other parent is around.

You bite your tongue because someone has to be the adult.

You’re the “there” parent.

It will always be just a little harder for you. It will always be just a little more frustrating. But that’s okay. The “there” parent isn’t as fun as the “not there” parent. Your arrival isn’t anticipated for days — your appearance in the house isn’t anything “special.” You are the constant in your kids’ lives. A “constant” is something that does not change. And there’s comfort in that.

Your kids will never have to “perform” for fear that their actions are in some way influencing the reason you don’t come around so much. Small defiances are the way they show you they’re not worried. They can be kids. You will accept them.

You’re there.

“There” may not be exciting or fun or anything special. But the mutual understanding that there’s nothing special about your presence in the house is a wonderful gift you give your children. They’ll never need to wonder if you’ll be present, so they don’t spend any time worrying about it. It doesn’t even occur to them to act any way but authentically around you.

Maybe their eyes don’t light up when you walk in a room — but it’s because there’s no surprise. The “not there” parent is a spotlight, that makes things amplified and fun. The “there” parent is a dim nightlight that quietly comforts. The spotlight is exciting, but the nightlight is essential.

It’s hard to be “there.” You’re taken for granted, you’re expected to perform, and you’re doing it essentially alone. But the payoff is something the not there parent will never understand.

Single, present parents – if you haven’t heard it in days, weeks, months… you’re doing a great job.

You’re there.