Stars' Sweetest Quotes About Becoming Stepparents
These celebrities agree that stepping into the role of "bonus" mom, dad — or Momala! — has changed their life forever, for the better
Heather Rae Young
"The kids are a huge part of our lives. I'm raising the kids with Tarek and I love being a 'bonus mom.' I love kids. I never knew I was going to have kids in my life … They're my babies and I love them. I'm just so happy and fulfilled."
"I have a stepfather in my life who's one of my heroes. I love my stepfather and I look up to him and he's like a father to me, so I have a good inspiration in my life for how to do this and the kind of stepdad I want to be. And I take it very serious.
"But I also have a blast with it, I'm not gonna lie. I don't take it so serious that I'm not enjoying this time because I really am, especially now that we're five years into this thing. I can't imagine my life without these kids now."
"This year, I had the great honour to become a stepmother, and have had the most remarkable time going back over some of my most favourite stories at bedtime."
Beatrice's bedtime story skills will continue to come in handy, as the couple is expecting their first child this fall.
"I have two beautiful stepchildren, who are the same age as mine. It's funny because when I became a stepmother, when I knew I was going to become a stepmother, I was like, 'S—, I have no idea how to do this. There's nothing to read. What do I do? Where do I step in? Where do I not? Like, how do I do this?'
"It's been a really interesting challenge for me and I love them. I've learned so much about myself through the process."
— on her relationship with husband Brad Falchuk's teenage children Brody and Isabella, whom he shares with ex-wife Suzanne Bukinik. Paltrow shares daughter Apple, 17, and son Moses, 15, with ex-husband Chris Martin.
"Being a stepdad ... has taught me, really, what love is like, what life is really like, [and] how God intends us to love. One of the greatest gifts in the world is children."
— to Good Morning America on his relationship with stepson Future, 7, whom wife Ciara shares with her ex, Future. The Seattle Sehawks quarterback and "Level Up" singer also share daughter Sienna, 4, and son Win, 11 months.
"Divorce is difficult. But Craig, Glennon and I make a choice every day. We make sure that the kids' lives are as least disrupted as possible.
"Craig gave me the biggest gift in allowing me into the family dynamic. He gave the kids permission to love me."
"It's been now 10-and-a-half years I've been in their lives and they've been in my life. They've grounded me.
"I will say it took years, though, I'm not gonna lie. It did take two or three years to adjust, just our relationship with the kids. But I have to say I'm very lucky. I feel very, very lucky that I had my insta-kids — I call them my bonus children!"
"I don't like the word 'stepmom.' I like the word 'bonus mom' because I feel like it's a blessing in my life. I feel so lucky that I got to have an extra wonderful little angel in my life."
— on her relationship with Jack, 13, whom husband Tom Brady shares with ex Bridget Moynahan. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and the supermodel also share son Benjamin, 11, and daughter Vivian, 8.
Vice President Kamala Harris
"As a child of divorce, I knew how hard it could be when your parents start to date other people. And I was determined not to insert myself in their lives until Doug and I had established we were in this for the long haul.
"[After we met], Cole and Ella could not have been more welcoming. They are brilliant, talented, funny kids who have grown to be remarkable adults. I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.
"A few years later when Doug and I got married, Cole, Ella, and I agreed that we didn't like the term 'stepmom.' Instead they came up with the name 'Momala.' "
"Whewwww! Buckle that seat belt, girl! It's tough but you have the opportunity to REALLY impact their lives.
"ROCK IT and be a strong foundation for them!"
— to a fan who asked for advice on being a bonus mom. Her husband Jason Aldean shares daughters Keeley, 18, and Kendyl, 13, with ex-wife Jessica Ann Ussery. The "Blame It On You" singer and the former cheerleader are also parents to son Memphis, 3, and daughter Navy, 2.
"I think my relationship with her has been so successful because I never tried to step in as her mommy. She has a good mother, who I have tremendous respect for ... and I put myself in Kim's shoes: if my children ever had a stepmother, I'd want her to let me be number one.
"When I met Ireland, I said to Alec: if she is not ok with our relationship, I cannot go further. Family is first and she needed to be ok with me. We have never had a fight or a bad moment. Nor have I with her mother. Ireland and I love each other and she knows that I am here for her ... and I know that she is here for me."
— on her relationship with husband Alec Baldwin's daughter Ireland, 25, whom he shares with ex-wife Kim Basinger
Hilaria and Alec also share six kids: daughters Carmen, 7, and María Lucía, 4 months, and sons Rafael, 6, Leonardo, 4, Romeo, 3, and Eduardo, 10 months.
"When we married, they were still little girls, and they had to approve of me, they had to say 'It's ok for you to marry this woman,' so we all got married. We exchanged rings, they wore little wedding dresses — they were pre-teens. I'm a bonus mom, 'stepmom' sounds very Cinderella to me!
"They're just lovely young women, and now we're all friends."
"I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I'd rather be than with them."
— to PEOPLE on her relationship with husband Dwyane Wade's daughter Zaya, 14, sons Xavier, 7, and Zaire, 19, and nephew Dahveon, 19. The retired NBA player and the actress also share daughter Kaavia, 2.
Jada Pinkett Smith
"When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package ... period! If I didn't want that ... I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey ... I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him ... his mother.
And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other ... but we have learned to LOVE each other."
— on her relationship with husband Will Smith's son Trey, 28, and his mother, Will's ex-wife Sheree Zampino. The Red Table Talk co-host and the actor also share son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 20.
"I jumped into the deep end with Lucy. I mean, Alexia was already 4. I was an extra dad … The only way I can describe it — it sounds stupid, but — at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how his heart grows, like, five times its size?
"Everything is full; it's just full all the time."
— to Parade on his relationship with stepdaughter Alexia, 22, whom wife Luciana shares with ex Arbello. The actor and his wife also share daughters Isabella, 14, Gia, 11, and Stella, 9.