I was having the hardest time getting to sleep last Tuesday night when I began to wonder–What would be so bad about reaching out and making contact with my bonus daughter’s Mom? Why, I asked myself, have I been so intimidated by the thought of communicating with her?
As a bonus parent, we are placed in a troubling position. We are not only responsible for the relationship with our significant other, but also responsible for fostering a relationship with their children. During the course of these relationships, we are bound to be informed about the faults and shortcomings of the person that our partner created those little miracles with. Therein lies the problem– It is difficult to reach out and be friendly with someone when often times most of what we know about them is negative.
I decided not to let that negatively impact me any longer– that it made no difference in my life what went wrong in my husbands previous marriage. All that matters now is that we are happily married and that I love his daughter. Suddenly, it became important to me that I begin to feel comfortable with the idea of reaching out to her mother.
My bonus daughter is beginning to reach the age where she may not always feel comfortable talking to her dad about certain things during her visits with us. I wanted her mom to feel secure knowing that I was there for her in those times of maternal need. I wanted her to know that I welcome the opportunity to be more involved (as involved as I can be from a few states away) with what Maddy is up to, and that I am desiring to communicate about important things going on.
So I did it…
I asked my husband, “What would you think about me sending BM an email?” And we went from there; Discussing the possible outcomes, discussing what I was feeling and what I would include in my first communication. Once I had received his opinion and encouragement, I took the leap!
I kept it short and endearing- Thanking her for sending along some school pictures during the last visit. I explained my desire to bridge the gap between us and open the door for communication. And then, I waited. A full hour before I hit the Send button. Once I clicked the mouse over that button, it was as if an elephant stood and removed himself from my shoulders. Phew!
Next came the hard part- waiting and wondering all night if I would even get a response.
The following afternoon I texted my husband to express my disappointment, having decided it was unlikely that I would get a response. Within twenty minutes of that initial text, my phone alerted me of a new email and I found her response waiting for me.
It too, was short and endearing– She let me know that she was certainly open to communication and that her daughter was quite fond of me, and she was glad. She truly put things into perspective for me by saying, “The more loving adults Maddy has in her corner as she grows up, the better off she will be.”
I could not agree more, and I am incredibly blessed that I get to be one of those loving adults.
Tell me about how you bridged the gaps in your relationship with the other parents in your children’s lives.