Being a Stepmom - The Good and the Ugly

by - February 04, 2019

So, I'm a stepmom. I'm not sure what that means to you - I can' t read minds - but to me, it means the world.

I became a stepmother (or “bonus mom”) at a very young age; I had just turned nineteen, to be exact. It’s been several years since then, but I can still remember the first time I laid eyes on the handsome little boy I now call son, as if it were yesterday. His hair was lighter, longer; his face, arms and legs chunkier, and he was so tiny. I remember how he would burst into our bedroom early in the mornings, throw his bottle at his father's face (yes, literally) and demand it to be filled, I've never laughed so hard as I watched it happen for the first time, I was both shocked and amused. 

I cannot tell you enough how this life that I am living now, is not the life that I had planned or wanted, but I am beyond grateful and glad that this is the life I do, in fact, get to live and experience. Since becoming a stepmother, I seen parts of myself that I am not exactly proud of; in fact, I am rather disappointed and disheartened by who I was just a mere two and a half years ago. Since then - fortunately - I have seen myself grow into the woman and (bonus)mom I am now today; someone, I am sure, who is still far from being perfect, but someone I am now proud of.

I have a home, an amazing little boy, a supportive and caring partner, and wonderful furbabies; I’m in school, I’m very close to getting into this welding course I have my eye on, and I am only a year or two away from finally graduating high-school! I may be almost seven years late, but better late than never… right? After obtaining my Adult Dogwood ( fancy name for an adult high-school diploma in British Columbia), I am going to be working towards several things; Social Work, being one, and interior design, being two, I’m not sure what the third thing is, just yet, but it’ll come to me.

Now, I would be lying if I said life as a bonus-mamma was always great and easy - it is far from, believe me (if you’re a bonus mamma too, then you probably don’t need the context - you know!). Not even two months into my relationship with a single father, I knew the role I would be taking on as his child’s stepmother would be unnecessary difficult and stressful. Dealing with a high-conflict Bio-Mom (who will only be known as “BioMom”) is one of the most stressful things imaginable, things started off great and amazing - we all got along - but then out of nowhere her true colours came out to play and things have been a little hellish since: childish arguments, pettiness, slander, vindictiveness, and lies, to shed light on only some of the things we have had to deal with - and still do.

You have no idea how often I thought of calling it quits and leaving, just because I didn't want to deal with the stress anymore, but I couldn’t - because I would like to think that my love for these two (Charles and Charlie - my partner and stepson) are much, much stronger than the challenges thrown our way. I would love for she and I to be able to work together and get along, not only for our son, but for our sake as well, and god knows I’ve tried - multiple times - but it's clear that won’t ever happen. 

I’m in no way saying that only she is always the only one in the wrong either, no! I know full well that my partner and I have done things that we’re not proud of - the difference being, we strive to correct our errors and we try to learn from that lesson as best we could so that we don’t make such mistakes in the future, not blame others and pretend to be the victim of every bad situation we create for ourselves.

After reading all of the above, you are probably wondering why I don't just leave, instead of staying in a situation that is obviously more difficult and stressful than it has to be, the answer is simple. Charles and Charlie are my family. Charles is my partner and Charlie is my (step)son. I didn't want this life, but somehow, this life chose me, and it turns out this is the life I have needed. Things are only difficult when it's time to interact with BioMom, when she is on a power-trip (when she's not, she's actually pretty decent); other than that, my family has nothing to do with her and things are normal and great - this will probably confuse you, so allow me to explain as best as I can before my inbox becomes flooded with judgement and angry moms.

Charlie is HER son, I know that, Charles knows that, and Charlie knows that. BUT, this family is not hers. She has parental rights and she gets him every weekend and holiday, and she has a say when it comes to Charlie (naturally, she's his mother), but other than that, our family does not concern anyone aside from the three of us only.

Charlie's relationship with me and BioMom are completely different, he knows who his mother is; but I've been raising, loving, and caring for him as my own, for almost five years, so, yes, my relationship with him is motherly. I stay because although I did not give birth to him, he is my son, and mothers - no matter what kind of mother you are - do not abandon or give up on their family.

To sum it all up, there will always be pros and cons for everything, but unless you are a stepmom, you will never understand the pain and stress we go through each day. We are overlooked, mistreated, frowned upon, ignored, and it seems nothing we do is okay in the eyes of society and (most) bio-moms. Why do we continue? For our family. Because we are strong and we are amazing and we do NOT have to apologize for loving our family the way that we do.

If you’re a bonus mamma dealing with a HCBM (or just want to chat with a fellow stepmom) please do not hesitate to reach out! I’m always looking to support my fellow stepmoms, and looking for support, myself.

Until then, I hope everyone has a great day!

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