I didn’t even know that term “Bonus Mom” existed until months after I had become one. I was searching for the right title, something, anything that didn't have step in front of it.
You see, from the beginning I just didn’t believe that “Step-mom” was a term that applied to me. It implies a distance, space between the kids and me. I’ve always thought that if I really love Greg (which I do)How could I only “kind of” love them? How could I love them with space between us?
The day I became a Mom, is day I married their Dad. It wasn’t just Greg and I. It was all four of us. From the moment I fell in love with him, I loved his babies.
But I couldn’t call myself “the mom.” They have a mom, a great one. I don’t want to take her place; I’m not even tempted to try. I respect her too much.
Those first few months were the hardest. Where did I fit in? Why had God decided to make me a part of this plan? Even for a moment I wondered why I couldn’t have it easier. Why did these amazing kids feel like a heavy blessing at times? It was the strangest feeling, to carry a heavy blessing. How is a girl like me supposed to know how to be a mom, the extra mom; the Bonus Mom. I didn’t know. I cried a lot those first few months. It all seemed so overwhelming, so impossible. How was all of this supposed to work? Poor Greg, I’m sure it seemed that I needed constant reassurance. How was I supposed to know what was best for someone else’s children? Someone who was doing such a good job? What was my role supposed to be?
As the time passed, the heaviness of the blessing began to lighten. These sweet babies were becoming mine in a way; our own special way. No longer was I wondering how we fit in with each other, we just found our groove. I found my spot in their lives. My own special spot that includes loving them in my own way, having our own special experiences; horses, cows, four wheelers, I couldn’t be like their Mom. We aren’t the same person. I can’t fill that void for them, and I don’t need to. What I could do is add more love. More adventures. We are raising children as a team of four, children that have many opportunities.
Then PJ was his own special spirit, my first born but not my first child. I cried over the thought of never having one child, never having an opportunity to discover what just one felt like. Then I cried because it was such a blessing to have more than one.
My biggest fear was that I would feel differently about J and E than I did about PJ. How was I going to treat them the same, but love them differently? How would I keep them from knowing? I just didn’t know. I cried and prayed and cried some more, for months. When PJ was just a few weeks old, I realized something. I didn’t feel any differently about him than I did about my other children.
No different. I love them. All three of them. Love them, worry about them, miss them. They are my children.
The only thing that has changed since having PJ is that I now KNOW what I am missing while J and E are not with us. I don’t know how or if I will ever be able to forgive myself for all the things I am missing out on. All the things I just won’t be there for because of the distance, because of the circumstances.
Being the Bonus Mom is hard work. I won’t ever know, so I’m only speculating, but I bet the only job that is harder is being The Mom and sharing with a Bonus Mom.