Co-Parenting: Bonus

Last week some friends and I were discussing Mr. C and I and why I’m not rushing down the aisle. LOL. Multiple reasons, but love isn’t one of them. I explained that I’m not ready and we’ve just created this great space and relationship and do things in our own time.

I started telling them about Mr. C’s son getting accepted into the school he wanted to go to and how he was heading to college in the fall and I’m super excited for him. Sad for my man because he’s going to miss the hell out of his son, but excited that they are embarking on this journey together. Mr. C calls me for advice about college and questions he should ask and I try to dole out tips, information and suggestions. I like it. I feel like I’m providing valuable input.

One of the things that I may not have mentioned is that Mr. C raised his son by himself. He is an excellent father and one of the things that I love about him is that no matter how busy he was providing, he was always there for his son. That speaks volumes for me. He and I definitely have different parenting styles, but he loves being a dad. It works for him.

So, knowing that we are dating for the purpose of marriage it comes as no surprise that I’m excited about his son’s next phase of his life. I love being a mom and although his son is 9 years older than Munch and headed to college this fall while Munch heads to fourth grade, it warms my heart to know that I will have a bonus son when we marry.

My friends were asking “Bonus son?” I said “Yep, he’s the unexpected bonus I receive when I marry his dad. I didn’t have to give birth to him, but my life is immeasurably better because he’s in it.” They smiled. “I like that” said my friend.

Just like Munch and I are a package deal, Mr. C and his son are one. We are going to be a blended family someday and I don’t expect everything to be perfect, but I expect that we’ll try. I will be the bonus mom that won’t quit. The best bonus mom ever! He may get tired of me sending care packages while he’s away, but I honestly can’t wait.

Bonuses are a blessing. Unexpected blessings that are extras and while I will gain a bonus son, he’ll gain a bonus mom and a bonus brother. We’re going to be one blessed family.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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New Woman? Possible Wife?

My ex-husband and I attend the same church. I know it’s weird, but we both grew up in that church, met at church, dated, married, had a baby, blessed the baby and then said baby (aka Munch) got baptized at the church. Munch sings in the church choir, attends church school and wants to join the dance ministry (which I don’t know how he’ll do because we don’t have time).

But, the point is that my life is a big part of the church that I met my ex-husband in. I love my church. Great people, great pastor and great ministries. It’s definitely home. Have I thought about leaving? Umm, not really. I told Mr. C that if we got married and he wanted to attend another church that I would respect that but we would be members of both churches. I didn’t want Munch to feel like he couldn’t attend the only church he’s known. He said that he understood.

Now, a couple of weeks ago my ex bought his new girlfriend to church. I was shocked, not that she attended but that he hadn’t introduced her and that he was now bringing her to worship. But, the service was so amazing and I had a colleague that was attending and Lord knows that the holy spirit was filling that house of worship that I was literally crying out “Great is thy faithfulness”.

Well, after the altar call my ex’s new girlfriend comes over and gives me a hug and says “Hi Mom, I’m Y.” I’m shocked and I give her a big hug back and said hi. Well, we really didn’t get a chance to talk because I had my colleague there and it wasn’t the time or place to have a real conversation. But, I realized that I should let her know that.

I called my ex to let him know that I was very happy that his girlfriend came over and introduced herself but I would love the opportunity to sit down and have a face to face. We can meet at the local Starbucks if that’s convenient but that I had a colleague there and it wasn’t really the place to talk like we should. He said he understood and would let me know when’s a good time for them both.

Now, the reason that I’m pushing a sit down is because my ex wants her to drive Munch around without him or just be there. My ex explained that barring something traumatic that he would most likely be in it for the long haul which means marriage. I said “Well, I definitely think we need to talk then.”

Uh huh. But, I’m not worrying about my ex-husband because let me tell ya’ll that God has been so good to me that I just have to say thank you and release him to God. I’ll share more about my blessings later on, but let’s just say that God is moving all over and up and through my life ya’ll. You need to try him.

Here are some topics that I want to discuss with her:

  • Running her through CJIS for any records
  • Her parenting philosophy (she’s a mother)
  • Our roles and responsibilities

However, before I forget I wanted to let you know that I am looking forward to sitting down with the beautiful woman that my ex is dating. Yes, she’s got it going on and seems to be genuinely a nice young woman. I say that to say that I will never hate on another woman unless she disrespects me or my Munch. Anything shy of that “I’m all about sisterhood. Women rock!”

 

What do you think of my topics? Would you add any?

 

Whose Your Daddy?

This post is prompted by what I witnessed earlier this month when the internet was all upset over the fact that R&B singer and model, Ciara, shared a video of her family. She’s newly married and in the video her son asks Momma for a kiss. She gives him one. He then asks “Poppa” for a kiss. His new stepfather, Russell Wilson, is whom he is affectionately referring to as Poppa. Men were so upset at this. They felt as though the mother should stop her son from calling him Poppa because he’s not the biological dad.

So, I wondered what is appropriate for children to call the new spouse of their parent?  Do you find it offensive if a child refers to the other parent as momma, dad, poppa, mommy? Would you be okay with your son or daughter calling the new parent Mom, Dad, Poppa, etc? Does age matter? Ciara’s son is only 2 years old and she has primary custody.

In my opinion I think it boils down to ego. How we as adults handle what we perceive as someone coming in and taking our spot. Munch is 8 and my ego is not going to prevent my son from having a relationship with his new parent. I don’t say “step” because I don’t want my son to feel like there is some sort of irregularity with the new situation. It’s another person to love and share in the upbringing of him.

I could care less if Munch wants to call another woman mom. Why? Because I’m Munch’s mommy. That’s it and that’s all. That’s what he calls me. Honestly, if his dad should remarry and my son wanted to refer to the new parent as “Mom” because he calls me Mommy. I would be okay with it.

I wouldn’t feel threatened that my role is somehow diminished if my son wanted to call his dad’s new wife Mom. Nothing will ever change the fact that he’s my son. It just means that he has two moms who love the heck out of him.

Now, Mr. C said “Whatever, T. It’s a man thing. Your ex-husband wouldn’t be cool with your son calling another man Dad.” I laughed and said, “He’d be fine.” But, I really wanted to know. So, I asked him and you know what? He was fine with it.

He said that whatever Munch felt comfortable calling my new spouse he would support. It wouldn’t bother him because he knows that he’s Munch’s father and now Munch has someone else loving and taking care of him.

Pretty amazing huh? He wasn’t threatened. He felt that another parent loving our son is awesome and Munch would be blessed to have two dads. I liked that.

There are still some things that matter to us and one of those is what is best for Munch. Co-parenting has its own struggles but when you have two parents striving to love the heck out of their kids regardless of their own egos, it makes it easier. Don’t worry what your child chooses to call the new parent and just work on making the new parent feel included.

It won’t be easy, but trust me when I tell you that it really does take a village. That bonus parent is now a part of that village.