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Worried and concerned about DP's children from previous relationship.(11 Posts)
DP and I have been together for 9 months and have got to the stage where we are thinking of introducing each other to our children. He has a 6 year old son and I have a 1 year old son. I am very worried about this prospect because all I ever seem to hear are horror stories, how the children hate their prospective step parents, how it causes friction and stress.
I think it is easier for my DP because my son is only 1 so he won't really understand and if the relationship continues for a long time (which I hope it will), he will have always known DP to be in his life. I am worried more about my relationship with his son as he is older, can remember a time his parents were a couple, has more understanding etc. I am an extremely caring woman and would never treat his son differently from my own. I have very little experience of blended families.
I know I can't live in our own bubble forever if I want to continue the relationship but I am hoping I can hear some positive stories that will quell my fears
I don't want to sound harsh however you are his dad's girlfriend.
You have only be together 9 months.
Don't even try to parent him or see yourself as a step parent.
Just treat him the same as you would anyone else's child and give it time.
If there are issues pass them to his dad and let him deal with them.
Blended families have their issues, just as normal ones can.
Don't play favourites, make sure you spend time with him and promote the relationship with your son - his brother.
You'll be fine, and 9 months is fine in terms of meeting him. You're not his Mum but that doesn't mean you can't, or shouldn't, play a parental role but you need to be consistent and fair.
I met my stepsons when they were 12 and 18, and I was 20. It was fine. They had never known their dad with anyone except their mum because he had never introduced them to casual girlfriends, but had divorced their mum when they were 2 and 8, and had raised them single handedly since then. I just made friends with them - it helped that they saw their dad was happy. Getting pregnant with their little brother almost immediately certainly wasn't planned but in hindsight it helped to cement us as a family.
Nine months isn't long at all, and I wouldn't overthink it as regards perspective step parenting, but just meet him and get to know him as part of your BFs life. Sounds like you're putting too much pressure on yourself as it's very early days in terms of a long term commitment.
My DSC were 4 and 2 respectively when I met DH. We waited a similar amount of time before I met them and just did things like meeting at the park for short periods to begin with.
I felt it was really important they didn't feel I'd taken over their time with their dad so we built up time together really slowly. I didn't have DC of my own but, in your position, I'd do things like the park, children's farms, funfairs etc where there will be things both your DS's will enjoy despite the age gap.
As a PP said, leave parenting his DS to your DP and just concentrate on having fun all together to begin with. The important thing is that neither of your DC feel their time or relationship with their mum/dad is under threat because of you and DP's relationship. I was lucky, my two took to me straight away and me and DH tried really hard to make us being together a positive thing in their lives.
My advice would be take it slow, make sure the DC still get time alone with mum/dad and keep their feelings at the forefront of your minds while everyone adjusts to you being together. It can work brilliantly though, my DSC are 18 and 20 now and still come for tea twice a week so we must have done something right
Getting pregnant with their little brother almost immediately certainly wasn't planned but in hindsight it helped to cement us as a family
I'm sure Gretchen isn't suggesting this as a game plan!
As others (and you yourself) have said - no "favourites. This may be harder than it sounds because your son is still a baby, and will need the sort of attention that your DP's son might perceive as preferential, even when it isn't. Give him time alone with his dad, and of course, never, ever criticise his mam.
I've never been in this position, but possibly what my cause slight problems is that you are being catapulted into a mothering role with a child whose personality you don't yet know, and whose developmental needs for support, discipline and stimulation will differ greatly from that of your 1 year old. With your own child your awareness of his needs grows with your baby - here it will be unknown territory.
DP's son is also of an age where he would probably be becoming cheeky and increasingly independent anyway, testing boundaries on an almost daily basis, so be prepared for that, and be aware that it isn't all you - it's the stage he's at.
I'm sure you'll manage well - your post shows that you are thoughtful and don't just expect step into his life as though you had always been there. Take an interest in what he does and talks about - but don't overwhelm him (it might be hard not to if you are trying to make him feel welcome and loved). You may - in fact will - make the odd mistake, but if you are truly caring of him he will see that (children are very perceptive) an respond to it. Hiding has good advice - especially about making sure your relationship with his dad doesn't seem under threat in any way.
As I say - I have no experience of this, but the posters who say 9 months is too soon surprise me - it seems a reasonable enough time to me.
My advice to you would be don't expect too much and take your lead from the child. My DiL is amzazing with my son's children from his first relationship. She has done so much for them and they are very polite to her well behaved in the home but their is an emotional distance between them.
She has been in their lives for 12 years and at first I think it used to upset her. Now she has learned that it is not personal. They are middle teens now so hopefully as they mature into adulthood the relationship will become easier.
and promote the relationship with your son - his brother
The OP has been with her partner for 9 months but her child is one. They are not brothers.
Be careful with the message your boyfriend gives his son about your relationship.
My then 5yo met my new boyfriend and his also 5yo.
A year after they met, and one holiday and 3-4 overnight UK trips, we split up.
She was OK with it because I had never positioned him as her stepdad or a permanent feature in my life. She knew that I was dating and that dating did not mean forever.
We had fun trips out, but he was never part of parenting her.
My advice is to keep it light and don't get over involved. You are just dad's girlfriend - and not in any way a step parent.
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