There are two schools of thought on this term. Let me first explain what it is. When you are a stepmom there are many ways in which you might be referred. One of them, that seems to be more popular among the adults than the children involved, is “bonus mom”. You’re not “the mom” but you’re a bonus, an add-on, an appreciated extra. I can see why women would want to use such a positive term.
The two schools of thought are this, and there *is* no in between –
1. That it’s a horrible term, used to oppress stepchildren and their biological mothers.
2. That it’s the best of both worlds and that everyone loves using it. It’s a nice way for step kids to acknowledge their step parent and for the step to not be called “mom”.
I find my school of thought to be somewhere in between, and also different from where I would have stood on this issue even just a year ago. I see memes saying that step parents are “better than” parents because they *chose* to love a child instead of just having one be born to them. Being a mom myself, I can see why people bristle at this thought. It implies all biological parents are sub-par to step parents. Being a stepmom and having been a stepmom to kids with an inactive mother previously, I also get the memes.
I’m sorry, but it has to be said – we are not all the same!! Let me repeat in caps because that’s like yelling on the internet right? WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME! Our situations are not the same. Our families are not the same. The biological parents we deal with are not the same. And stepparents are not all the same.
One thing that seems to be majorly lacking in blogs that are shared on the HuffPost or other such outlets is that one major disclaimer. We are not all the same people.
If a stepkid calls you a bonus in their life, take that and be happy. If it only happens at your house, it’s none of the other house’s concern. If you the step gets called “bonus” anything at the other house, it’s that parent’s right to say “Please don’t do that here.”
If the child doesn’t call you that but they are respectful to you…what more do you have to concern yourself with?
I think we get so caught up in emotion that we don’t take the time to think about how simple *some* of these “problems” really are.