“Bonus” Mom vs. “Step” Mom

Posted on Aug 6 2013 - 10:53pm by ADS

I choose to call my self a “bonus” mom, rather than a “step”mom. This is a trend that I have noticed in online “mommy” communities and one that I enjoy seeing.

Personally, the word “step mom” brings to mind the evil characters from animated movies. The evil, wicked stepmothers that no one likes.



Is it any wonder that real life step moms are trying to find a way to escape the negative connotations attached to their role of loving and caring for their stepchildren? Of course not!

I was prompted to share my feelings on the topic after reading this article from Jessica.  Here is an excerpt from her piece that I would like to share.

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.


To sum it up nicely, we have drastically different viewpoints of what it means to be a step mom, or bonus mom.

I began to wonder what the opinion of the masses is. So, what do you think?

 Either way, the title I have given myself and my situation works for me and my family and I will forever be a Bonus Mom. No matter what title you give yourself, we all have a beautiful job- loving out bonus children unconditionally.

Forever & Always

Forever & Always

7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anne September 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    So much hatred and ignorance. Unbelievable. It’s kinda ironic that I first heard the expression “bonus Mom” from a stepchild (Tami Butcher, the author of the book My Bonus Mom). According to her, childless stepmothers know nothing about love and sacrifice. Really? People these days are so prompt to judge without any real insight. What does she know about the sacrifices stepmoms make everyday, barely getting any credit for their hard work?

    • ADS September 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Precisely, Anne. No matter what you call them–bonus mothers, step mothers, etc.– We have chosen to love another persons child unconditionally and to care for them always. We understand plenty about what love and sacrifice means because we CHOSE this for ourselves. And I would never change a thing.

  2. Lala April 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Jessica Gottlieb is simply another bitter and catty individual with a lot of issues toward the stepmom community.

    I many of her posts and couldn’t help but think of the underlying contempt stated between and outright in the lines.

    I, personally, do not take individuals of her caliber seriously. In that very post there’s an exchange between Jessica and a custody mediator and you can see right through Jessica. It’s a shame. Someone with such a platform with a high school mentality. But I digress.

    I’m both bio & step. My stepdaughters call me “mama/mami” or “Izzy”…. Whenever I’m asked if I’m their mother, I simply say, “yes, I’m their stepmom.” End of convo.

  3. Christina M May 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I am SO proud of all of you ladies and for the men who are bonus dads. It is not an easy life especially when you deal with biomoms and their families that are so hateful. Keep on staying strong ladies and gentleman! Don’t let the hateful and ignorant things that people say get you down. You are doing what is right for all of your kids whether they are yours by birth or a bonus to you. I am so proud to have 4 children, two by birth and two I am a bonus mom to.

    The article by Jessica Gottlieb is just another load of crap by a bitter woman. All that matters is that the kids are happy and loved by all the parents in their lives. People with an outlook like this make me feel very sorry for them. They really miss out on how amazing blended families can be. No it’s not always easy and most days it’s a lot of work but it is totally worth it. Custody battles, lawyers, and court dates, bitter family members and lies to told children by bitter family makes being a bonus mom a challenge some days but I know in the end it will always always be worth it.

    Haters of good step parents or bonus moms or bonus dads you are really missing out on how good a coparenting relationship can be if you would just suck up your own feelings and work together for the kids.

    • ADS May 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Christina! Being a bonus parent is hard work, work that many don’t understand unless they’ve participated first hand. Keep up the great work!

  4. Dan December 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I happen to agree with her. Bonus mom or dad is just an invented word to try to feel better about being a step parent and license to step in the middle and act like a parent. Step parents have no legal rights and are legal strangers

    • ADS December 12, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dan. I will respectfully disagree with your opinion about the bonus title being a way to feel better about being a step-parent. And I am hardly a stranger. What’s there to feel better about? I’m perfectly content. Do you have experience as a step-parent yourself?

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