My family calls me Martha Stewart . I am that person that loves making memories. I love it all; making homemade desserts and food to hot chocolate. I love playing Holiday music while the decorations are being put up. I am the one that’s always grabbing a camera to freeze in time one moment of being happy and around loved ones. There’s so many crazy negative things that happens without our control ; I tend to put a lot of energy in creating and celebrating the positive ones I can. I’ve gotten out of my bed at 2 am to go to Wal-Mart and get ingredients and decorations; to decorate while my little cousins slept; just so they would be surprise of the morning birthdays celebration. When I buy gifts I always like to come up with a theme specifically to the person I am gifting and will go to countless stores virtually or physically just to get the right things to make that one moment special for the person. I am the person who truly believes if you had to drive and hour to only get fifteen minutes with your loved one; well I keep a good playlist on my Spotify; so let’s go. This has always been me since I can remember. So when I married the loved of my life and gained a daughter, you could only imagine all the memories I couldn’t wait to create with her.
As a Bonus Mom you will find yourself in a very special dynamic situation. I know Bonus Moms who live with their gained daughters and sons; step moms without a continuous or any interaction with their gained kids to step moms like me; who family setup is through sharing holidays. What this means is that the Holidays are rotated each year, where one parent gets the child for Thanksgiving one year and the following year the other parent gets the child. Christmas is split up but rotating in a similar format. Each holiday is shared so that the child can get the love and memories from both of their families. So as a Step Mom what do we do?
First and foremost you should always cherish the holidays you get to include your gained kid(s) with the family. I always thinks it best to truly include them. My family has always been so kind and awesome in including Uni (my gained daughter nickname by the way). They go out-of-the-way to schedule traditional family events to accommodate our schedule; to always remembering her when buying gifts or sending holiday cards. I always think it is a great gesture to support and foster an environment so that they feel ok to call their Mom; or make a gift while with us. It is all about trying to create a cohesive environment for the child. If you keep that as your number one and only objective then you can be a huge part of that child fond memories of their holidays.
It saddens me when I see the focus shift from that one simple and loving goal to adult emotions overload. No adult issues should ever take precedence of a child sharing a holiday with the parent they are supposed to be sharing with. Now in a utopia Bonus Mom world, holidays would be spent together, drinking eggnog with old classic movies playing; but sometimes that journey takes a while; Sometimes that journey isn’t possible. What happens if plans changes? As a Bonus Mom I take responsibility and accountability for my actions and will gladly step up and take it for any only adult for the sake of the child. This means never pointing finger. Never talking negative. I am a firm believer in never placing the heaviness of Adulthood on a Child in their Childhood. I have seen it far too many times and the person who loses is always the child.
A Golden Rule is to create those moments for your family. Love is an amazing thing. I love every moment Uni and I get to share, not just with her Dad and our Bullmastiffs but the moments we get to share just her and I . We have a wall in our home that I call Moments of Love and it is random pictures I have captured over the years of just really good times. I print them as canvases and place them on that wall so that we always have a visual of what really matters and who we are becoming as a family. I look forward to the that growing for many years to add graduations, more holidays, weddings grandchildren and whatever else life moments bless us with.
Happy Holidays and if you have your gained child – celebrate it make them feel included, if you don’t have them – don’t forget them . I quick one liner or phone call to wish them happy holidays stays with them. Here’s to being the Best Bonus Mom you can be one love moment at a time.