There is No Such Thing as a Bonus Mom

05.13.11

This morning I had breakfast with a girlfriend and tried to explain the unexplainable. She, in turn, shared her nonsense and we tried to make sense of the nonsensical. I’ve decided that shrugging a lot is probably the best way to go through life. Unless you’re a blogger, then commentary is the best way to get through life.

I wasn’t planning on posting today. I thought I’d just let the video of the mother who injects Botox into her eight year old daughter simmer and gather everyone’s interest. I thought I’d poke around Facebook and see what’s happening, but then I saw my friend Tracey mentioning LeAnn Rimes’ insistence that she’s a “Bonus Mom”. Wow.

Boundaries for Leann Rimes

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, what you are seeing in the larger text on top is Brandi Glanville sending a public message to LeAnn Rimes. Apparently Glanville is the first wife of Eddie Cibrian and mother to two boys with Cibrian. According to country music websites Rimes has talked about the fact that she was married to another man and Cibrian was married to Glanville when Rimes and Cibrian began their affair. Leann Rimes married Eddie Cibrian less than a month ago. The message states:

I told Eddie to please tell you that I think it is highly inappropriate for you to sing in my son’s class on Friday. Boundaries. (I fixed her typos because I like her)

Below that you see Leann Rimes’ profile which begins with WIFE, Bonus Mom….

My family tree is more like a vine than an oak. Making me an authority on shiny new stepmoms. There is no such thing as a bonus mom. The fact that she’s a 29 year old pop star who can count the length of her marriage in days can only add insult to injury.

What childless stepmothers will never understand is that love isn’t an adequate word to describe our pull to our children. When my children hurt I ache, when my children have a victory I celebrate, when my children look at their father with adoration I fall in love with him all over again. Some of these childless stepmothers will go on to make babies with their new husband, and I’ve watched friends go through a new kind of torture with that one.

As an adult, when I think of the people I need to survive in this world I think of my two children and my husband. I love my brother, my parents and their spouses, and I’d be sad if we had to live far apart from one another but I wouldn’t want to live another day if I couldn’t live with my husband and my children until they are adults and in their own homes.

That is motherhood.

A bonus mom simply doesn’t exist. A Bonus Mom is an arrogant title that second and third and ninth wives give themselves so that they can pretend as if they are loved deeply and wholly by their new partner’s children. A Bonus Mom is a perky newlywed who thinks that her designer gown and Queen for a Day party endears her to the world. A Bonus Mom is an absurdity and any mother who has put in the work, who has sacrificed parts of her life with no regrets knows that a Bonus Mom is, quite frankly, an idiot and a narcissist.

I know blended families where the children love the stepparents as if they were their own. I’m willing to bet that the deep and binding love didn’t pop up in the first few weeks of the marriage. I know adults who have their stepparents walk them down the aisle. Blended families aren’t instant, it’s not like adoption or birth, you have to wait for the kids to love you back.

Before step kids love step parents, they need to know that their real parents are loved and respected. By everyone.