Stepchildren come to us in all shapes and sizes with individual histories of their own. While the adult partners in a remarriage celebrate their relationship, the stepchild may still be mourning the loss of his or her old family. No matter how much time passes, this child will still harbor a secret wish that their dad and mom will eventually go back together.
In a way, it almost makes matters worse if a stepchild cares for his new stepmom. Aside from the sorrow he may harbor over the initial divorce, now he has to deal with a sense of guilt and betrayal for loving a new mother figure. A common fear of children of divorce is that they, or something that they did, are the reason their parents divorced. So take these fears and guilt, wrap them all up and squish them into the heart of a little kid, and you have the makings of one obnoxious stepchild. From the child's subconscious point of view, it may be much easier to just hate that new woman or cause enough trouble so she'll go away -- that way, the stepchild won't have to deal with all the bad feelings he doesn't understand, anyway.
So, what is a Bonus Mom™?
Many of us work very hard to be a positive influence in our stepchildren's lives, but we are still saddled with an outdated negative label that suggests that we are wicked or mean and possibly do things that are not in the best interest of our stepchildren. If you are a stepmom, you know it's no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and most of all, patience and love.
In the workplace, when you meet your goal, you get a bonus. That "bonus" is a reward for a job well done. In a stepfamily, our reward for a job well done is to use the word "bonus" rather than "step". It's the ultimate goal...to be a bonus family. And, if you're doing the absolute best you can, you're a bonus mom.