Having Dreams and Dealing With Reality

by - September 05, 2018

I didn't think my life would have ended up the way it did; this is certainly not what I had in mind when I was sixteen-years-old, planning my life, and envisioning my future family. I pictured myself finishing school, meeting someone, starting my career; my career being successful, and then a kid or two just before I turned thirty. It was going to be me, my husband, and my child living happily within our newly purchased home... If only it were that simple, but alas, life has a weird way of turning out and a funny way of showing you just how naive and unrealistic your dreams can actually be.
Seven years later, although my life is not what I envisioned, and I may have gotten my family sooner than I expected (and even though it started before I entered the picture), I can happily say that I wouldn't change a single thing. Despite there being very challenging and stressful days/weeks (to say the least), my life has ended up being exactly what I needed.

In these long yet short four years since I entered this family, I have learned and grown so much (if I do say so, myself). Choosing to raise, care for, and nurture a child that I did not give birth to, and was just getting to know, has probably been one of the most challenging, stressful, and rewarding roles I have ever taken in my twenty-plus years of life. And I am so happy that I chose to stay, instead of leaving like I had intended to do during the start-up of my and Charles' relationship.

Although being a bonus mom (stepmother) was most definitely not the plan, I am beyond grateful I was given this opportunity to help raise another woman's son. Jr and I have grown so close, he comes to me now, with certain problems and success stories, before he goes to his dad, and the feeling is so amazing. I may not have given birth to Jr, but I do view and take him as my own son and I am happy and relieved to say that despite our differences, Amanda (alias) views me as another parent for Jr too.

Me, Charles, Jr, and Amanda have come such a long way since day one. And although Amanda and I have not spoken to each other for quite a long time now, we are still on the same page when it comes to our son, and I suppose that's all that matters and what counts. It's one of the things that I learned while being a bonus mom: it's okay to have differences and arguments, just don't allow it to affect the child. Which has made me learn how to keep myself in check because the last thing I want Jr to feel or see is the three of his parents arguing and not on great terms.

Keeping the environment healthy and stress-free for the child(ren) is one of the best things you can do for them, especially if you're separated. Our children deserve to have parents who can work as a team. No matter if you aren't getting along at the time.


Co-parenting isn't asking for permission; it's about discussing your child's needs and wants and deciding (together) what is best.

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17 comments

  1. Beautiful post....I've watched my wife be a mom to my kids as well and all I can say is that my kids and I are very lucky to have her in our lives! A step parent can bring awesome perspectives to raising kids.

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  2. Wow I just have to say I think it's amazing that you took someone else's child on so young and have such a positive outlook on co-parenting with not only the dad, but also the biological mother!

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  3. Wow, this is such an impactful story. I come from a very polygamous family and wish we all got along together but that’s akways just been a dream. Loved reading this

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  4. Wonderfully inspiring post, I personally think the idea of what society deems a "traditional family" is changing rapidly. The new norm is not our grandparents or even our parents norm. I personally think it's just all about being happy without labels, stigmas and pre-conceived ideals.

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  5. Amazing and appreciate you sharing your story. Some people find situations like this to be rather difficult but through your story they now have hope.

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  6. I planned my life similarly to yours; finish school by 22, bustling career by 25, and having my first child by 30. Instead I'm still in school at 24 and I became a mom at 22. Go figure :)
    I'm impressed that you chose to stay with Charles and be a bonus mom to Jr, plus you have a respectful relationship with the biological mom. Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. I admire you, you have such a big heart!

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  8. I love your attitude about being a bonus parent! All children need someone to love and nurture them!

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  9. I can speak from the perspective of a step child, blended families can definitely be tough, but they still can work! I also know about life throwing us curveballs and having to turn lemons into lemonade. Sounds like you’re making the best of things, which is all we can ever do!

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  10. Wow congratulations, you and Jnr's other parents sound like you are doing a fantastic job making him the priority. So many custody battles turn sour, and so many children suffer. I know it isn't easy, but well done!

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  11. I really admire step parents and their strength,it sounds like you have a beautiful blended family. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. You have written your heart out. Life is never stable and most importantly it is unpredictable. But everything that is happening is for a reason - for a good reason! Keep up doing what you love to do!

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  13. I love that you call him "our" son. I'm a bonus mom too, although the kids were grown and out of the house before we got married. There's no "his" or "mine"--it's all "ours." We have five kids and four grandkids, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  14. Absolutely true! Step parents are a gift!

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  15. It takes a village to raise a child. It's wonderful how you all work together!

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  16. Such a lovely post! A child's extended family can offer them so much if they work together. I believe that raising kids is a task that is intended for more than just the parents anyway.

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  17. Great mom! You inspire many others to do what actually is needed to be done instead of what has become a stereotype.

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