A day in the life of a bonus mom.
Here is a peek into one day as a bonus mom. This day felt particularly challenging.
First and foremost, it’s important for me to say, I TRULY love my kids bio-mom. She did the best she could at mothering her kids. By no means, do I ever want to disrespect her. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have the chance to bonus mom these six wonderful kids. She loves each of her kids and they feel and know that. (My next post will be the story of how she and I met).
Having said this - I think it’s important to share real feelings and real experiences for the women out there who are currently experiencing these situations, and for the women considering becoming a bonus mom.
A stepmom will pour her soul into nourishing her stepchild, but guaranteed, that love isn’t always the love their kid needs.
Tonight is an example of my life from zero to six…err, seven.
October 16, 2020
I have just “recovered” from Corona
Pesach (Abba / dad),
Hodaya or “Hodi” for short (bio daughter to Pesach and me
Mom - ME
Mama - biomom
Abba just spent 10 days in bed with a fever and horrible cough. Pregnant Mom had a bad headache, flu like symptoms and stomach issues. (Oh yea, did I mention I got pregnant again)? Hodi was having a hard time sleeping at night, and was more sleepy in the day. Six bonus kids, thank G-D were negative, and therefore spent 3 weeks at their mama’s house until we all tested negative.
2:30 PM – Bonus kids arrive home to Abba and mom’s house.
2:45 PM – feed whoever is hungry and begin six lice treatments
4:30 – finish lice treatments
5:10 – Abba takes oldest son to Jerusalem for a dentist appointment
Pregnant mom is at home with seven kids – helping youngest kids with showers, watching a movie with the older kids
5:30 – Hodi goes down for a nap since she missed her earlier nap because she was so excited her siblings came home
6:00 – mom orders pizza for the kids
7:15 – Pizza arrives
7:40 – kids are done with dinner, Abba and eldest come home and eat.
8:00 – Mom puts Hodi to sleep and goes into her room to “lay down for a minute.” Abba says it’s cool if mom goes to sleep for the night. (This is where we already know – the night seems too smooth…)
10:00PM – mom wakes up. The house is quiet. Mom goes downstairs and does the dishes. Abba fell asleep in the boys room putting them to sleep. Abba comes downstairs – we write the zoom schedule for tomorrow. Abba is ready for bed. Mom wants to watch some tv.
11:00 – youngest girls (6 and 7) wake up crying. 6 year old wants to be at mama’s and doesn’t want to sleep alone. (The kids were used to all sleeping together in one bed at mama’s house). She wants “someone” to rub her back. Mom to the rescue. Girls both begin crying and mom tried a guided relaxation meditation. Girls are still awake but mom promises to come back and check on them soon.
11:20 – Mom goes to check on the middle boys (ages 8 and 10) – they’re awake. 8 year old can’t sleep. He has had issues sleeping for as long as I’ve known him. (1.5 years married). I rub his back and tell him I’ll come back to check on him.
11:38 – 9 month old Hodi wakes up crying. Rock her to sleep.
11:45 – girls are still awake. They want to stay up all night. I tell them since there’s no school tomorrow to enjoy their sleepover but to keep the lights low.
12:15 – mom is watching tv and hears hyperventilating. 8 year old is crying and still can’t sleep. He misses mama and wants to teleport there. There’s nothing mom can do at this point, other than rub his back and tell him I’m sorry he’s so sad and I can only imagine how hard it is going back and forth between parents’ houses.
12:45 – Abba goes to console 8 year old.
12:55 – here I am – documenting the day and listening to the girls chatter away downstairs…
12:59 – girls come to talk to me to let me know they don’t want to sleep alone. They want to sleep with a parent.
1:20am – 7 year old comes upstairs crying bc she fell off of her bunk bed ladder and 6 year old wants abba to rub her back because “she’s bored”
Bonus mom feeling defeated – WHY THE HECK ARE THESE KIDS UP AT THIS HOUR?! When they live in two extremely different houses – one being a free for all with no rules, and the other trying to maintain a sense of order – you are left with kids who are totally confused, and parents who are very frustrated!!
My husband and I have been married since February of 2019. Until August of 2020 we had joint custody. The kids would go back and forth between their parent’s house every other day. To the kids, Abba’s house is all rules and mama’s house is way more fun. (There were no boundaries at Mama’s, no bedtimes, sleepovers in Mama’s bed every night and no school if they didn’t want to go). Note to self: I love Mama but we obviously have very different views/opinions about parenting. I’m not throwing Mama under the bus.. Just have to be honest with my own feelings.
In 2020, the custody arrangement changed for the kids to spend every other weekend at mama’s house, and the rest of the time, at Abba’s and my house. These three consecutive weeks at mama’s due to corona was a lot of time to be over there.
As adults, we know kids need structure. It was breaking my husband’s heart to watch his kids grow up bouncing back and forth between such extreme houses. Obviously, children should see and have a relationship with both their biological mother and father, but to what extent? When a child is suffering (as in not having BASIC needs being taken care of), something needs to be done, right?
After being married for three months, my husband brought up the idea of full custody.
I told him I wouldn’t last in this marriage if we were to take the kids full time – quite yet. I felt like I was drowning. I rarely had time to even have a full, thought out conversation with my husband because we were so busy with the kids. I needed to learn communication skills, boundaries, and to figure out how HE AND I were going to make it as a unified front, before we could have all of his six kids, full time.
Before we were married, this is a topic which came up. He knew that the kids would most likely end up with him full time and asked me if I was prepared for that. Who on earth was I to think “yea sure, no big deal?” I mean, now, a little more than a year later, I can say there are definite perks about having the kids full time – but for our first year of marriage, and our first “ours” baby, it was very necessary for us to have every other day as newlyweds.
(written in 2020) I’m new to being a “mom from birth” – meaning, I’m just learning how to raise my own biological daughter but I know when she needs nurturing. This comes naturally to me, so I try to do the same for my bonus kids. But on the receiving end (meaning from the older 6 perspective), it’s hard to know how deeply my actions are helpful, or if I’m kind of like the bandaid, just covering their wounds.
(A quote found in a stepmom support group. Author unknown)
So folks, there you have it. A day in the life of “From Zero to Six.” I wonder what the future will bring :)
If you’ve read anything that resonates with you, or have any questions, please comment! I’m here to connect :)