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New baby in step family - how can I help?

(6 Posts)
ItAlwaysPours Wed 08-Dec-10 09:19:47

So my soon to be ex-husband has recently dropped the bombshell that his current girlfriend is 3 months pregnant (they've been together nine months-he started dating her a week after moving out apparently).

So now I just feel lost, I never imagined that within the first year of seperating, I would have to deal with the breakdown of the relationship, coming to terms with being a single parent, dealing with a new partner on the scene (for him) and now a new baby.

The thing is, he is never going to win awards for father of the year - at one stage this year, I was having to supervise his contact with his own daughter (my ex-step-daughter)as he had hurt her (involved hospital trip). And when they first started out he told me that the reason that her first marriage broke down was because she made the dad choose between her and her step-daughter so she doesnt exactly inspire confidence either (although apparently he shouldn't have told me that).

So my question is....anyone any idea how I can make this new addition to their family easier for my son (4) and step-daughter (12) as I don't trust that they will deal with the situation considerately.

My son is still only just coming to terms with the fact that we aren't going to get back together and that mummy and daddy don't live together any more. And my (ex)step-daughter is going through a load of issues at the moment, and has only met this new girlfriend 3/4 times in the last 9 months.

wannabeglam Wed 08-Dec-10 20:06:50

Does your ex-step-daughter live with you? If not, can you talk to her mother and work something out together for her?

I think you're going to have to walk a tightrope between acknowledging their concerns and their grief, and encouraging them that it will be nice to have a little baby in the family. Very hard, because I'm sure you're grieving still too.

I do feel for you.

ItAlwaysPours Thu 09-Dec-10 07:36:15


Not really looking forward to it - but am a like to be prepared/overthinker type of person and making sure that I do whatever's best for the children (all of them) is my way of dealing with it.

I think my biggest concern is that my son (4) is already starting with the "I don't want to go and see my Dad, he never does anything, I just watch tv all the time" stuff - which of course I turn around and say no honey you have to go - you'll miss him if you don't and "big" up his Dad and all the things he can do - give him ideas of what he can do with his dad etc.

But what happens if when the baby comes along he is sidelined even more (they have no "place" for him there, when he goes to stay at the moment, he sleeps in their bed and they sleep on the floor/sofa in the front room so its not a home to him iykwim) and he is picking up on the fact that his dad treats him like an inconvenience already.

I can't figure out what the best of a bad situation is for him (my step-daughter is already screwed beyond reason because of all the lies/constant parental fighting over the years and I'm doing my damnedest to make sure son doesnt have that kind of life). Before the baby was considered, I fully expected that the Dad would be one of the ones that loses contact with his son within 2 years - he's just that type of person (even making phone calls is too much effort) but now the baby will be on the scene - thats a lot of emotional investment for my son. So what is the least emotionally damaging way forward or how can I mitigate that inevitable emotional damage?

And I know I am overthinking it - but I still have lots of issues around my own childhood and desperate to make sure that despite the seperation my son doesnt inherit the same issues of lack of confidence, insecurity, inability to trust etc.

alwaysright Thu 09-Dec-10 11:34:06

Hi, My EXH had a new baby in the summer and like you I was worried about how the dynamics would affect my DS, he is 6yo and up until then a only child, he's very sensitive and has only just accepted that we won't ever all live together (we've been divorced 4 yrs!).

All you can do is to just continue showering him with love and affection your end, so even if he does get pushed out a bit their end, he will feel loved and secure when he comes back to you, in time he will start to open up and tell you how he really feels about the dad/baby situation.

I hyped up the baby when EXH's partner was pregnant i.e. "oh the baby is so lucky to have a big brother like you" "you can tell the baby all your favorite bedtime stories...." etc.

Are you on talking terms with you ex?? tell him your fears and that your son (and his daughter) needs to hear reassurances from him.

Can't offer advice on step daughter sorry!

ItAlwaysPours Thu 09-Dec-10 12:36:49

Thanks :-)

Guess I'm just going to have to hope that my love and affection are enough to keep him rounded and happy, and try not imagine problems before they actually come up.

Ex is useless on these types of things. When i was the one pregnant, it was me that was conscious of step-daughter's feelings and me that did the research (there is quite a bit of guidance out there for the new family) and me that did everything to make sure that she wouldnt be excluded/provided all the reassurance, kept her involved, made sure that she still had special time with us each individually, explained why things might seem "unfair" but aren't - I think thats what worries me.

alwaysright Mon 13-Dec-10 12:58:57

As my stepmum always says to me "don't go up the bloody path to meet it!"
I always try to think worse case senarios and how I can prevent them, but the truth is you can't and you'll just have to take it a stage at a time i.e. pregancy, then bith, then new born bit, then baby etc....

Try to deal with their feelings a stage at a time, instaed of the big picture! you'll manage it, Mums are heroes!! :-)

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