How should we tell dss as and when we know we're having a baby

(26 Posts)
K8eee Tue 30-Apr-13 14:09:33

Basically the above question, im not as of yet pregnant but am bracing myself for when i am!

We've been given an earful from dss dm, that she doesn't want to find out through dss and that we HAVE to tell her first. Tbh I don't want her knowing anyway and in my opinion I feel the best way to tell dss is when we have him to stay, and tell him face to face; rather than over the phone when: 1. He'll be distracted by the tv or a computer game or something else as he is very prone to this (much like dhsmile) and 2. Dss dm will end up having a go at us for not telling her first if we told him over the phone. In a way I kind of look at this situation as you would breaking up with a partner/boyfriend (you don't do it over the phonegrin)

I hope I don't sound selfish or make my dh sound nasty but am after some opinions on how you would deal with an awkward ex and announcing your pregnant to dss.

purpleroses Tue 30-Apr-13 14:19:19

She's hardly going to not know at some point.

Tell DSS when he's with you, and drop her an email or phone all at the same time so she knows by the time she next sees him. Or even tell her first if she wants, but do it when DSS is with you, so that you and DP can have the fun of telling him yourself.

K8eee Tue 30-Apr-13 15:39:39

Oh I know I won't be able to hide it from dss but I very rarely ever see her. Last time was Xmas.

I'm glad were not the only ones who think we should have the fun of announcing it. It's not her business anyway, but she's the type to try and find an excuse to have input.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 30-Apr-13 15:56:24

Assuming that your DSS is younger than a teen, then his Mum is a key person to provide him with support as he comes to terms with his Dad having another baby and h becoming an older half-brother.

When you're ready to 'go public' with the pregnancy, tell your DSS when he's with you, let his mum know (by email/phone) that you've told him and then give him lots of love and support and leave your DP to deal with any fallout from his ex - the last thing you'll need is stress!

K8eee Tue 30-Apr-13 16:29:06

Yes a few years off yetsmile I wouldn't want to annoy her anymore than it would anyway. I just don't like how she dictated that she needed to know first.

We have prepared him for it so he knows it'll happen (hopefully naturally!) I'd love him to come to a scan so he feels as involved as he can. I know dss dm won't like it but I don't want him to think he'll not be part of our family. He thinks its great having a potential brother or sister in the pipelinesmile

purpleroses Tue 30-Apr-13 16:41:07

She probably just wants some time to get her head round it first. She's unlikely to want to share the happy news with her DS herself - as she probably won't be sharing his delight. But it's a bit easier to let your DCs be happy about something that you're not if you've had a little time to get used to the idea.

Just tell her that you'll make sure she hears any news direct from you, and not from DSS or anyone else.

Hospitals aren't overly keen on siblings coming along to scans anyway, and assuming your DSS is either at school or with his mum in the week, he's unlikely to be free. But you can get him plenty involved in other ways, looking at baby books, choosing toys, etc. None of this needs involve his DM at all.

K8eee Tue 30-Apr-13 20:14:47

From what we have gathered she's out to 'poison' dss against us and potential new baby. She's already done the 'your stepmum doesn't like me or love you' and then he confides in me very sensibly and I have to explain how I have never been nasty to his mum, I like her and love him to pieces. It did reassure him but for how long I don't know. She has now claimed that dss has said I am pregnant and have got to go to hospital?!?!?! News to me! Dh said this to her and she thinks we're lying when we have interpreted anything like this to dss.

I didn't know that about siblings, thanks for telling mesmile good ideas on the involvement for dss too. Shall keep those in mind

purpleroses Tue 30-Apr-13 21:03:46

How old is DSS? Could he be confused? If you've been talking about planning a baby with him, he might well have got his wires crossed. Or simply repeated back to his mum that you're going to have a baby, and she's assumed you're already pregnant. That would explain her being a bit put out that she hadn't been told directly - it's a bit difficult to know what to say to a child who appears to believe something that's not the case as far as you know. Certainly better to make sure she is clear that she'll be told direct when you are pregnant so she can help make sure DSS understands properly.

She may be an evil witch intent on poisoning DSS against you, but more likely she's just feeling insecure in her relationship with DSS, and a bit jealous of her ex in moving on in his life and having a new baby with someone else. Might as well try and make things easy for her, and hope she relaxes a bit over time.

pootlebug Tue 30-Apr-13 22:33:32

We told DSS in person when he was with us, and texted his Mum straight after so she'd hear it from us rather than him, and already know before he got home.

It helped in that we got to see his initial reaction first hand (I was watching him very carefully - he was very happy and excited and wasn't a good enough actor aged 9 to fake it imho). When he went home his Mum wound him into a state and we had several months of phone calls/emails etc about how upset he was about it all. I am sure his Mum would argue she was just looking after him "Are you sure you're not upset? Are you sure you don't feel pushed out in any way?" and not trying to stir. I strongly felt if we had allowed her to tell him she'd have given the information as 'bad news'.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 30-Apr-13 22:46:15

If you've been talking about planning a baby with him, he might well have got his wires crossed. Or simply repeated back to his mum that you're going to have a baby, and she's assumed you're already pregnant.

I agree - it's quite a big concept for a DC to take in, that a couple plan a baby - even if you think they are old enough to "understand"!

My DSS is 9, and it was only a few weeks ago that DP had to correct his understanding about "where babies come from". He had assumed that they "just happen" and couldn't work out what we meant when we were discussing the baby-boom of the millenium and how couples had "planned" to have a baby in year 2000; he was trying to work out how you "stop" the baby growing in Mums tummy once it's there!

The other reason that many couples choose to wait until a pregnancy is established before sharing with younger DC's is to prevent the DC's being exposed to as much of the loss and grief that accompanies a miscarriage or other complication. Once you tell a DC, then you can guarantee that their schoolteacher, friends parents, bus driver and anyone else they meet will be told that " K8eee is going to have a baby"!

K8eee Tue 30-Apr-13 22:50:20

Pootlebug this sounds exactly how I think things will pan out. Dh and ex haven't been together for 5 years but apparently she is one of the sorts who gets very emotionally attached to people easily. Only word of mouth so I have no idea how true this is.

I can understand she may feel jealous and upset but there is no way she should let dss see or feel this. Easier said than done I know.

Totally agree with the 'bad news' element to the announcement and this is why I was set on us telling him. Glad I have agreement smile

Purple, dss is nearly 7. We haven't mentioned anything to do with a hospital, doctors or anything and its strange how its randomly come up as we don't bring it up in conversations with him, he freely wants to speak of it. All we have explained is how they will be related to him, we won't love him any less and he will always be allowed in our home.

Regarding the relaxing over things it took time for her to accept our relationship but its good now sort of

NotaDisneyMum Tue 30-Apr-13 22:56:32

its strange how its randomly come up as we don't bring it up in conversations with him, he freely wants to speak of it

Well, he's probably overheard conversations between you and his Dad then - at 7 years old, he's not going to suddenly (and coincidently) get the idea into his head that he will have a younger half-sibling.

He really won't understand the concept of "planning" a baby. Most 7 year olds don't really understand the fact that they have to wait 6 months between being told that there is a baby growing in Mummys tummy and seeing their baby sibling - plenty of DC's I know of that age will ask their parents "is the baby coming today?" every day for the duration of the pregnancy no matter how many times the process is explained to them.

I understand that your plans for a baby of your own are exciting for you - but I'm not sure that it is appropriate to include a 7 year old DC in those conversations - particularly when one of their parents is not involved in those plans.

randomtask Tue 30-Apr-13 22:58:15

Slightly different situation (DSS lives with us) however, we told him knowing that he would be excited and he really was. We also made sure he knew before it was 'public' so he got some of the excitement of telling other people.

Also, although hospitals can be funny about scans, DS (with both of his brothers) came along during a school holiday midwife visit and got to hear their heartbeats-absolutely loved it!

K8eee Wed 01-May-13 07:10:13

God I must look really selfish sad I really hadn't thought that he would look at it that way. I'm glad you've brought that up. Thanks ladies. We have noticed dss is taking things in a lot more these past few months and repeating things to people. Only simple things like his mum is going on a date. She didn't want us to know but as soon as dss knew he was so excited he felt he needed to tell us, bless himsmile I have said to dh that we need to try and not make the conversation too 'adult' for him as you have all said its not for small earssmile

Random, that's what I was thinking. I was hoping it would make it a bit more 'real' for him.

Also, do I sound selfish not wanting dh to take dc with him when he picks dss up from his mums? Or am I being over the top? I just don't want her having any involvement in our children, and only see then if it is really necessary.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 01-May-13 08:13:24

By the time your baby comes along, your DSS may be well on the way to secondary school and independence, so he may be making his own way to your home, meeting Dad somewhere or any number of other arrangements!
You may be delighted to have a 10 minute break from your clingy, demanding toddler and happily wave him or her off in the car with Dad to pick up DSS!

Stop worrying! Focus on you, and your family, and try not to obsess about your DSS mum too much; it will all work out, even if its not quite what you had in mind when you dreamt about having your own DCs. We all give up ideals when we get involved in relationships with men who have DCs from previous relationships.

purpleroses Wed 01-May-13 08:27:16

Planning a baby's exciting - it's quite natural to want to share your excitement with those around you, and nice that you're already thinking about how to include DSS. But you'll probably need to get used to biting your tongue, because unless you want the entire world knowing as soon as you've done a test, you'll need to wait before you do tell DSS.

Your concerns about not wanting your DH to have the baby with him when collecting DSS do sound a bit odd to me. What's his mum exactly going to do to the baby whilst it's sitting in your DH's car? I get that you want this baby to be "yours" and special, and not shared with someone you don't particularly care for (like DSS is), but it will be, whatever. And you may find that DSS is actually really keen to show his mum his new sibling, and you'd feel a little cruel in trying to stop him.

But it's all a long way off - you can't really know yet how you'll feel when you have a DC. I'd just relax for now.

Gingerbreadlatte Wed 01-May-13 09:08:58

The suggestions to tell the dss then phone the mum sound good. She should find out from your partner.

How not to do it:

When I was 10, I was told my step mother was pregnant very casually one day by them both. They didn't tell my sister directly also present at the time - they just told me... Weird. She guessed anyway and we briefly discussed it... We happened to be on a rare holiday with my dad so not home again for a while.

Got home and didnt want to tell anyone. My dad hadn't thought to inform my mum (coward).

A couple of weeks later I went into my mum's room one morning to find my sister cosied up in my mums bed. Sister had told her. And also told her that i'd known for ages and deliberately held back the info.

Mother confronted with the facts and proceeded to not speak to me for 2 days for not telling her. I was the frigging scapegoat- once again: aged just 10.

Not sure the relevance of that but point is that the priority is to make sure people are told in the right order. Attending scans won't be fun for dss at that age anyway. Maybe a later 3d scan could be fun to involve him in?

Gingerbreadlatte Wed 01-May-13 09:13:48

Oh and re collection of dss.

My dad used to bring the two half siblings to collect us. Bring them into my mums house and parade them. Suspect it was to allow sm a Sunday lie in.

It was awful for my mum and inappropriate.

dignifiedsilence Wed 01-May-13 19:37:33

Just out of pure interest gingerbreadlatte why did it upset your mum so much? Me personally I would be upset if my dd was the last one to know. Did she still have feelings for your dad? Such a shame that you got the blamed like an adult (ignoring you). I wouldn't be bothered if my ex brought any of his children round because I'm over it.

bollockstoit Wed 01-May-13 19:53:06

My ex's new partner is pregnant. He phoned me to tell me, and to tell me that he would be telling ds that week, face to face. I was happy with the way it was done. There was no way I would have wanted him to tell me to my face, as tbh I shed a few tears over it (which I concealed from him). As we are all adults, we put ds's feelings first in all things. I don't feel the need to score points against ex, and he doesn't against me. Maybe you could all try and work together for the sake of your ss, and also your new baby?

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 02-May-13 08:59:59

Sent you a PM dignified

nicknamegame Thu 02-May-13 15:50:15

Op you do sound overly invested in your feelings about dss's mum and they're quite negative. What do you think she'll do to your future children? Has she given you a reason to feel the way you do?

K8eee Thu 02-May-13 18:34:48

If dss wants to show new baby off I'm more than happy with it but tbh it's a 5 hour drive so I dont think dh would fancy having to keep stopping to feed and change. He likes to get up there and back ASAP.

The negativity I have for dh ex is just that she has never ever been supportive of anything for dss sake. She always puts a dampener on things when we have him. When she speaks to him on the phone, she keeps reiterating to him how many days until he gets home, that he has a better time and more fun with her rather than us and that I'm not his mummy. I've never said I am, and have said to her that I never ever want to take her place. I think she feels that I am a threat as she is a single mum and me and dh are a little unit and a better unit when we have dss, but I don't like to rub her face in it that she isn't with dh anymore. She has done a brilliant job at bringing up dss, and we have both told her that. I wish there was a way that I could win her over but she doesn't like me having a say in anything sad

mumandboys123 Thu 02-May-13 19:51:50

but you ARE rubbing her face in it. You quite clearly see yourself as superior with your 'better unit' than mum who is nothing other than a 'single mum'. You're planning a pregnancy, have told her child and she now has to put up with what are no doubt endless questions about a baby that doesn't actually exist yet. It's kind of like her having to listen to her child saying 'daddy is having sex, regularly' over and over again...!

And have you even considered what will happen if you struggle to get pregnant?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 02-May-13 20:40:48

I wish there was a way that I could win her over but she doesn't like me having a say in anything

K8eee You don't have a say in anything.

Your DH and his ex have a responsibility together to parent their DS - if your DH chooses to discuss it with you then that is HIS choice; not something that his ex has to welcome, accommodate or accept. You are an outsider in this process - no more involved than if your DH had sought professional advice, or the opinion of a sibling, friend or colleague. You do not have a stake in the raising of your DSS - you are a bystander who is impacted (sometimes significantly) by their decisions..

Whatever 'model' you have of how blended/step families work, forget it. Read the threads by SMs here on MN and you'll see how unrealistic your desire to "win over" your DPs ex actually is.

nicknamegame Thu 02-May-13 21:10:58

I have to say I really think you're giving way too much thought to this... When you're pregnant with your own lovely baby you won't have time to wallow in thoughts of what dss's mum thinks. If she's asking to be told that you're having a baby, I don't really think that's unreasonable given that she will be supporting your Dss with it all on a day to day basis. I found out my ex's gf was pregnant when I saw her 6months gone on the doorstep...really not cool. You seem to have set yourselves up in a bit of 'us' and 'her' camp, which I imagine might feel isolating and threatening to her. Perhaps try and let go of that and focus on your self. You might find that things settle down between you both before then anyway and you get on better.

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