Good relationship now but baby on the way.(3 Posts)
Hi I am in need of advice. I have a sd and ss (under ten) and we have a good relationship, we have them every three weekend and school holidays. We are friendly close and do far it's been a very loving transition for all parties involved. My DH and I are now looking forward to having our own kids (just got my BFP) and I can't help but question how everything should be approached. How early would you tell them, would you include them in scans etc.. Helping chose a name etc.
I am much more of a buddy then a step mom and I know it could be just as easy as them accepting me in there life or we could be harder for them entering their preteens.
I think you have to go with your instincts on this one - I can tell you what I did, but of course it might not be the right approach for you.
I became pregnant when my SD was 14 and my SS was just turning 12. My partner and I were not living together then; he was a LP so lived with the kids fulltime. My relationship with the kids back then - SS and I were very close, lots of talks and cuddles. SD and I, not so much, lots of tension there.
My biggest issue with SD has always been that she tries to control things, and DP let her get away with it far far too much. So that affected how we handled the pregnancy - we didn't want to encourage her to feel like a third parent or like she had too much say over our decisions. She did say things duringthe pregnancy like "well, you obviously can't have any more; you are too old"!
Anyway - in our case - DP told the kids himself, without me present. We thought that would allow them to express their feelings about it more easily. I went over to their house that evening. When SS went to walk the dog, I went with him, and we talked about it, which was nice. I was pretty worried (and still am!) about it screwing things up between SS and I - we'd been close, and I didn't want him to feel rejected when I had so much less time or attention for him.
We told them at about 4 months, I guess. Like I said, there were some risks to the pregnancy, and I wanted to be sure it was 'sticking'. I also had plans to see my parents around that time, and I wanted to tell them in person; I was a bit worried about the kids letting something slip before we announced it at my work, or it getting around before I could tell my family myself.
We didn't take the kids to the scans or anything. (I had some problems, so we were getting scans every few weeks to check on the baby.) Partly this was because DP didn't want them to miss any school, but it was also my preference. I wanted to share those moments with DP alone. Also - SD was insistent that the baby "had to" be a boy - I didn't want her to find out it wasn't and be a pain in the ass for the rest of the pregnancy!
We told the kids what names we were considering, but never suggested that they had any input into choosing. As far as I was concerned, that was up to us. When they have kids, they can choose names then! (Actually, long story, but SD pulled a stunt about that - telling someone that we had decided to name the baby after that person - before we had made any decision - becasue it is what SD wanted - awkward!!! I'm still angry about it!)
The kids were actually really happy about having a new sibling. For SS, I think it was reassuring. For SD, I think it was preferable to having me around - if she could have had the baby but not me, she would have! In the long run, though, the baby became the force behind a lot of positive changes, and it has made us all feel more connected to one another, I think. The kids love her to bits.
Anyway - long post, sorry - in my case, I chose to keep the kids involved in conversations about the pregnancy, but not to give them an active role in decisions. That was right for us.
My DSD was 4 when I got pregnant with DD and 5 by the time she was born. DH told her (after telling her mother) so she could ask questions and so he could reassure her. He massively overthought it as she took it all in her stride and didnt need any of the reassurance he had practised and went back to her toys very quickly!
DSD did come to one scan as it happened to be on a day when she was with us during the school holidays. She seemed to like it and I didnt have any strong feelings about it and her mother told me she thought it was nice that DSD had been included and that DSD had told her all about it.
We didnt ask for DSD's opinion on names but we learned to take her suggestions seriously and say we'd think about it (after DH laughed at one suggestion and she got upset).
DSD made her preference for a sister very clear but we didnt tell her the sex as we'd decided to keep that between DH and me.
When DD was born, we made sure that, after our parents, she was one of the first to meet DD, that DD bought her a present, and we made sure she had loads of cuddles with DD and a special picture to take home with her. We also made a massive deal out of how special and important it is to be a big sister. DD is 6 months old now and seems to have a special bond with DSD - no one can make DD laugh like DSD can and we make sure DSD knows this.
DSD loves DD very very much and DH is no longer who she wants to spend time with when she's at ours.
Hope that helps and good luck!
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