So I had a conversation with a friend of mine who came to my daughters first birthday party about appreciation. It came up because, along with bringing her bonus daughters to the party, she also brought her oldest bonus baby's best friend, whose mom happens to be BEST friends with her fiancé's ex-wife. Did you catch that?? I'll explain it again LOL. She not only had her bonus babies but, she also had the daughter of her fiancé's ex wife's best friend. It was a mouthful and I had a few questions to say the least.
Questions because I know that my friend and the girls' mom have had their share of words and knowing how I share my thoughts with my besties, I'm sure stories of their war of words have been shared also. I really had to know how this play date arrangement came to be. She said that this is a regular thing and that the young lady comes over often, usually when the two moms go out of town together. Let me just say, my friend is amazing and goes above and beyond for her bonus babies so it was of no surprise that she agrees to this regularly. However, she began to tell me how it kind of bothered her that the mother of the young lady not has never said thank you for anything that she does for her daughter. My sweet friend has taken her to get her hair braided and has done her makeup on multiple occasions (My friend does the BEST makeup in the world BTW) without a word of thanks or even the smallest token of appreciation. To be fair, the young lady's mom has never asked my friend to do anything additional for her daughter, other than to allow her to tag along on visits but, should it matter? See a need, fill a need. Isn't that how the saying goes??
As a bonus mom, a thank you or any nod of appreciation is never to be EXPECTED. Even worse, sometimes our acts of kindness are questioned as to what our motives could be. That is why we have to be intentional in our actions. If we start something, finish it. If we promise something, follow through. If we say something, stand behind it. Get it? The standards for our actions are higher than anyone else because truth is, we have to earn the respect and appreciation of those we are blending with- even those who are 3rd parties in the relationships. It took time in my own family to gain the appreciation that I felt that I deserved. For a while, I felt like I was the babysitter, the cook, the maid, and that I was just there. It was only until I stopped looking and expecting a thank you that my mindset shifted. Once my mindset shifted, I was able to see past the lack of words and, instead, focus on the actions of those who I was serving. It was easier for me to notice the extra hugs, kind words, and kiddie drawings that were given to me more frequently. Also, please understand when I say serve, I don't mean as a servant. I mean as a mom, bonus or biological, you are there to serve your family. You serve them security, comfort, emotional support, and you are there for them in every capacity that they allow you to be. Once you come to your family from a place of servitude, your actions will be begin to be noticed and appreciated. Remember don't do anything in expectation, instead do everything with intention + purpose and the appreciation will come.