Children with half siblings with both parents

(18 Posts)
TheWizardsWife Wed 20-Mar-13 12:46:49

My husband has a 7 year old (B) who lives with us just under 50% of the time, the relationship with his ex wife is not great.
The ex wife has just had another child (M) with new partner. The 7 year old adores the new sibling.

It must be strange for the 7 year old (B) to have half a life that the sibling (M) will never have anything to do with (I.e here with Dad)

If we then have children then surely this will become even more difficult as the 7 year old will have a sibling at either house that do not know each other.

I'm sure many families have experienced similar and I just wondered if anyone would share their experiences/solutions or am I over thinking this?

AnythingNotEverything Wed 20-Mar-13 12:53:23

I think this might be my family ...

My son is 12. He spend a third of his time with his dad. His dad also has a 5yo ds who is often with him the same days as my ds is. My ds also sees his brother (we consciously don't use "half" terms) at their shared grandparents.

I am 10 weeks with a new baby, so my ds will then have two siblings, neither of which he lives with full time.

I've been living this for a while, and you what I think? Kids have no concept of normal. It's the adults who find it complicated!

TheWizardsWife Wed 20-Mar-13 13:05:02

Yes, we have also steered clear of the term 'half', I just hope that stays if we are fortunate enough to have any!

Just pondering really, I wonder if they'll be an occasion the sibling wants to come here too, and is that weird or ok? This would be much simpler if the parents got on, but I think you are right, it is our problem not the children's currently!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 20-Mar-13 13:05:52

My SD has three brothers. Two here and one at her mum's. She doesn't seem bothered at all. I wouldn't worry about it smile

My DSD (8) lives with us and DD2 (3), visits her Mum, her Mum also has a DD who is three! We are cordial & occasionally I host playdates on pick up etc so that the two younger sisters 'know' each other.

DSD isn't bothered, it seems to be the younger DD's who want to stay at each other's houses 'like DSD do'!

I agree that it feels like there should be a 'family' connection when there's not one there. Birth mum's DD never comes to DSD's birthday parties, for example.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 20-Mar-13 16:10:43

My dd has 2 dd's wih her 1st partner and then 1ddd with her now dh.

her exP now has 2 dc's with his new partner so dd's eldest 2 have half siblings in both their mum and their dads house.

It's just normal life for them and they don't find it odd. I think it's hard for my dd youngest when they are at their dads but she is used to it. It's modern families isn't it.

I can see potential problems when they all get a bit older though as dd's exP is better off and takes the kids abroad for nice holidays which my dd's youngest won't get to do.

I've just read that back and confused myself!

SoHHKB Wed 20-Mar-13 16:22:17

I have 2 older step-brothers (my mum's dp's children with his xw) and a younger half-brother and half-sister (my dad and stepmum's children). I've never seen it as an issue in any direction. My mum used to have db and dsis round occasionally, I think because I wanted to see them. Everyone gets on if there is an occasion for them all to cross paths - birthday, christmas etc...

I have a dd (7) who is now proudly saying she has 2 brothers - xh's dp's ds (10) and my ds (8 weeks). It doesn't seem to be an issue for her although her dad can make mountains out of molehills sometimes and we were all at her birthday party smile

IME these things are only as much of a drama as you make them - good luck!

purpleroses Wed 20-Mar-13 16:32:43

It might feel a little odd to the adults involved, and complicated to explain to other people, certainly. But I don't think children find it particularly difficult to have half or step siblings that aren't related to each other. My DCs have a half brother via their dad, who I've only met in passing, and has nothing to do with my DP and DSC. It's not really a problem for them though. Just as they may have close school friends who don't really know their parents, or cousins on either side who're their close to but have never met each other.

They get used to a broader definition of family really. More of a network than a fixed unit. Your DH's 7 year old may like to draw it all out on a family tree to understand how everyone relates to each other - if that helps. Or may just grow up finding it all completely normal.

Xalla Thu 21-Mar-13 06:56:51

I have a DSD aged 7 who spends 50% of her time here too. My DH and I have two younger kids together (DS aged 4 and DD aged 2). Until now my DSD has only had siblings here but her Mum's pregnant atm.

I get where you're coming from. It does seem odd for her to have close relationships with siblings that her other parents doesn't know at all but to her, I think it just is what it is - she's never known anything else and doesn't really question it that often. Like Purple Roses has said, it's a different definition of family than what you and I are used to.

My DH and his ex don't get on at all so our kids have never been inside my their half-sisters 'other home'. To be honest, I'm not proud of this but even if she did invite them over, I wouldn't let them go. She smokes like a chimney and has a totally different set of values with regards to diet, child appropriate TV programmes and language etc to me.

I don't know how things will pan out once the baby at her Mum's is born but I'm not really expecting anything to change - I don't think the 'siblings' will ever meet each other apart from possibly at the odd school function or birthday party but even then, given that my DH and his ex don't speak, I don't think the kids ever would either.

We've tried to be encouraging about the pregnancy for my DSD's sake - little things like I took her to choose her Mum a maternity dress for Mother's Day and my DSD is due to be here over the May half term but the baby's due around then so my DH has offered the week to his ex so DSD can bond with her new sibling.

We just muddle through really, I never know where we're really going with any of this stuff or what's for 'the best' shock

This is my DSS!

He is mostly resident with his Mother and has a now adult (half) brother who he grew up with. He also has a young (half) brother and (half) sister with DH and I.

We are lucky in that over the years DH's ex and I have developed a good relationship and DH's ex is very good at welcoming DSS's younger siblings into 'her' side of the family. They are always welcome in her house at change over times and have been invited to family events.

DSS seems very relaxed about it all. He started off referring to his older sibling as his 'brother' and his younger siblings as his 'half brother' and 'half sister', but now tends to refer to both brothers as 'half brothers'. Oddly, he tends to refer to DD as his 'sister' rather than 'half sister'. We don't ever say 'half brother/sister' so it's something he's chosen to do.

charfree Thu 21-Mar-13 10:30:50

Hi, we're in that situation too... My SS is 9, and then we have two children of our own (2 and 4) plus SS's Mum has two of her own. We tend to get together on SS's birthday, and as they live locally, also see each other regularly for drop-offs etc. I think it's important to remember that any kind of "normal" is OK, so long as it's consistent and without conflict. This is our "normal" family structure, SS has never known anything different, so I don't think he finds it weird at all. Families these days come in all different shapes and sizes. Like others on the thread, we never ever use the word "half"...a sibling is a sibling.

theredhen Thu 21-Mar-13 14:10:27

I have a similar situation, DS has a baby brother on his Dad's side but as I can at least manage some basic communicate with my ex, I don't feel it's such a big deal. I haven't seen DS little brother yet as he lives a fair distance away and ex always picks up and drops off without dragging the baby out which is fair enough, but I'm sure I will meet him soon enough. DS has a picture of him in his room at ours. smile

DSD lives with us, so spends most of her time with her step sibling (my DS), she also has a brother by her Mum who won't come to our house, so my DS and DP's DS never see each other anymore. DSS just stropped out massively a year ago and hasn't had any contact apart from a 30 min meeting to ask for money. hmm So DSD has a relationship with both my DS and DP DS but never at the same time.

newyearnewattitude Thu 21-Mar-13 14:31:21

We have a nice complicated situation in our family...

I have a DS (13) who's father is living with a woman who already had children and they have had more so at his dads house DS has 2 step sisters, a step brother and 2 half brothers.

My DH has a DD (17) who now lives with us. She has a younger half brother at her mums house.

DH and I have a DD (3) together so she is DS and DSDs half sister.....

it's really odd to think that there are 9 children all linked but only 3 are in contact with each other at the same time.... we've told the older kids that it will be fun in the future at things like weddings etc!! so many people!

flurp Fri 22-Mar-13 12:17:56

DD1 is my sons half sister.
If any one dares to call her that all hell breaks out.
They hate it - as far as they are concerned they are 100% siblings.
My DSC have a half sister and DP doesn't like them calling her their sister as she is the product of his ex wife's affair and it still hurts him a bit that she got pg with another mans child while still married to him.
This has caused some heated discussions in our house!!!

My SS has a half brother ( mine and dh's ds), 2 half sisters and a half brother (all with different dads to him and each other) on his mums side and at least 1 step brother (SS's mum's husband'd ds). It doesn't seem to bother him though.

Ds has no idea that SS has other siblings tbh. He's only 3 1/2 and it's never come up really. Ds is very unlikely to ever meet any of SS's siblings.

TheWizardsWife Fri 22-Mar-13 23:09:34

Thank you for responding to you all. I've really no idea about how this works.

Does anyone want the siblings to be part of their world/life etc? It just feels to me that a brother or sister should be made welcome. Disclaimer- sadly I don't think that would ever happen here, I'm not completely naive.
We just talk about and hear about the sister so much, it almost feels strange that we haven't met her, if that makes sense to anyone but me!

Stepmooster Sat 23-Mar-13 09:06:25

Hi WizzardsWife, I actually think it would be lovely for DSS to be able to have at least one birthday where all his siblings are present. It is however extremely unlikely, DH used to see DSS and his older half sister together on contact weekends, but one day got a solicitors letter from his ex telling him he wasn't allowed anymore contact with her. That was well before we met and now DSS has a baby sister here and another baby sibling on the way. I do wonder what will happen at things like DSS graduation and weddings, is he going to have to deny one side of his family the chance to be there?

purpleroses Sat 23-Mar-13 10:07:02

I'm on quite amicable terms with my ex, but still can't ever envisage his DS really being part of my life or my DSC's. He's only a baby so he's not going to be coming to birthday parties really. I did have DSD2 with me once when collecting my DD from ex's house, and we called in briefly and she met the baby, so she knows who DD is referring to. But can't see it going much further than that. DD would probably love to bring her baby brother round here to show him off to everyone, but Ex's DW won't even trust Ex to look after his DS, so I can't see her letting him out of her sight round here.

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