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Dear Bonus Mama, I see you...

Dear Bonus Mama,

I see you there putting on a brave face when someone asks your bonus child if you're their mom and she responds with "No, that's just my Step Mom". Even though that may be your role and it is the truth, you can't help but feel downgraded in the moment.

I see you as tears roll down your cheeks as you go unnoticed on Mother's Day. You always put the children first, support them at their soccer games, attend all of their Christmas concerts and cook every meal- only to be over looked because you simply don't share the same blood.

I see you sit there as an outsider in your own home while the family who was one before you reminisce about births, first steps and other accomplishments. The things you missed out on that you can never get back, and the realization that you will only be apart of future memories and a stranger to the past.

I see you watch your goals and dreams change as your world revolves around your new family and another woman who despises you just because you love her children like your own. You know in your heart that your intentions are pure but to everyone else you have a motive and are trying to replace her. Holidays, birthdays and vacations now become a scheduling war instead of enjoyment.

I see how angry you get when you continue to watch your bonus child be let down by their mother over and over and over again. You are their rock, shoulder to cry on and safe space. No matter how pissed you are at their mom, you continue to support their relationship, all while she creates negativity and blocks your relationship. Being the bigger person at times is the hardest fucking thing to do when all you want to do is just stoop to their level.

I see you taking care of those kids, making dinner, packing lunches, helping with homework while those kids are angry and confused and don't always treat you right. Some days you just feel like an employee of a shitty company with some tiny little asshole bosses.

I see you cringe as you watch the bad habits creep in from the other home that you know will only harm them in the future. All you can do is speak from the heart, encourage and hope they take the high road instead- one day at a time.

I see you standing beside your spouse when they are feeling hopeless and co-parenting isn't going well. I see you documenting, ironing clothes, building them up and showing up for court which is one of the most stressful situations he can be put in, you are his rock and that does not go unnoticed.

Most importantly, your children see you. They don't have to be blood to see who you are and what you do for them. You don't have to share the same last name for them to know who showed up to their hockey games, stayed up late to help them with a last minute project for school or who made their favorite meal for them on their birthday every year. It may not seem like it now, but one day those kids will look back and appreciate having a Bonus Mom like you.

We see you.

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