That is a question most of us bonus parents always seem to wonder.
With the daughter I birthed I would be considered too involved. I make her appts, involved in all field trips (only missed one due to illness), attended every performance, planned every bday party, know all her friends, know who she’s crushing on right now, already talked to her about periods and all that, bought her all the female products and explained its usages despite the awkwardness, involved in her school, involved in all her sports to the point of being a volleyball coach for her team (and yes we won all games except one), have way too many girl talks, and so much more… but I think you get the picture.
But… with my bonus kiddos it’s a bit different. I would consider how much involvement before their mom believes I’m overstepping my boundaries and the tension starts affecting the kids?
There is never the right answer. As we all know, all families come in different shapes and sizes… Some families don’t have stepparents involved at all because the bio-parents are able to put their differences aside and work together for the betterment of their kids. Sadly, however, that’s not the case for most.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s better to be involved than not at all. How much better is it for kids to get the right care and double the love? So while some parents get jelly over the fact that another parent loves their kids as much as them, I see it as a blessing. That way all our kids grow up loved and feel #blessed☺️
So yep I’ve also been very much involved with my bonus kids. I’ve been to their field trips, volunteered in their classrooms, cheered them on many of their sports events, involved in obtaining prescription glasses for them, got labwork done for both kids and now we know what they are allergic to, started to get their dentistry work done, advocated for their rights to be heard, planned bday parties, planned play dates, attended many of their performances, and so much more despite the 3 hour + drive… but I think you get the picture…
Have I tried to not be so involved in their lives to avoid high conflict from the other family? Yes for sure! I tried for a short season by going to less games, less performances, less field trips, less pickups/dropoffs… until my bonus kids told me they needed me there for support and would rather deal with the high conflict than not have me there at all. And boy isn’t that a conflicting dilemma in itself?
It took a long time of trying to figure out where I belong in my bonus kids lives but ultimately I’ve learned that all our kids need as much love as I can give them in order to give them the best chance of becoming the best adults for the future. But I’ve also learned to listen to my body when it’s had enough.
And now that spring is almost here my weeks/weekends are about to be filled with field trips, daddy daughter dances, soccer games, gymnastic classes, volleyball practices and games (and nope no coaching for me this season), and two graduations for two of our 5th graders!
So listen to your bodies, be strong, know you’re not alone, and love on! 🥰