Mai 1, 2023

I know a thing or two about blended families

My blended family story begins about 17 years ago. With my older daughter and my partner at the time, who took on the role of father for her. It felt completely natural and because the biological father was not present, we lived together as a family without "disturbance". With my second daughter the family was complete.

Almost 8 years ago, the next stage in my life - and in the lives of my kids - started. Separation and a new relationship. Not only a new man entered my life, but also two children - at that time aged 4 and 7.

In my boundless naivety I had the romantic idea that we were all happy now. The children suddenly had two "siblings" and an additional caregiver. Could there be anything more wonderful?

I was unsure how to act. On the one hand, I wanted to be close to the children, to build a relationship and to shape life together with the respective ex-partners as co-parents. On the other hand, the kids resisted, the ex-partners were not very enthusiastic and my partner was increasingly stressed - and I was super frustrated, offended, angry. I felt unaccepted, misunderstood, felt the rejection.

As time went on, more and more tension arose between my partner and I - the kids started playing us off against each other - his kids didn't want to be with him when we were together. Mine were terrorizing him when he was here. And we were in the middle - torn, insecure, inauthentic, not knowing what we actually wanted.

It all came to a head in a temporary separation. It could not go on like this - this situation was unbearable for all of us.

After a month without contact, we knew - we love each other, we belong together. But this is not the way. We set everything back to the beginning.

We agreed that the needs of the children had to come first, but it still had to be clear that we would not let them dictate our lives. We made our point - and even between the ages of 6 and 14, they could understand that we loved them and perceived their needs, but there were simply things that were out of their control - like our relationship with each other.

I set clear boundaries for myself. I no longer put myself in situations where I could only lose, but I wanted to build a relationship that was independent of other relationships. Not "daddy's girlfriend", but Uschi - my friend, person of trust, bonus mom, ... how this relationship would be defined I left to the children - and to time. I was there, kept my boundaries and my feelings and increasingly managed to be available in all situations. I wanted to understand them, to get involved, to be patient and, above all, curious.

This also included listening to myself. I defined my intentions for the relationship with the children: I am there for the children, turn to them lovingly and remain in my power. I listen to my inner voice and am authentic. - Without condition!

Patience and understanding, not only for others, but also for myself, is the key to a harmonious relationship with my bonus children. Through the difficult start, I was able to build an even more intimate connection with them.

My role as a bonus mom has evolved over time and I pride myself on being authentic and meaningful in the lives of my bonus children.

I have learned that the role of bonus mom is not about replacing or imitating a biological mother, but rather about building a unique relationship with the children. It takes time, patience, and a lot of love, but it is a rewarding experience when you see how you can make a positive impact in the lives of your children.

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