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Piece of advice for a pregnant step mom

(24 Posts)
photographerlady Thu 10-Jan-13 19:16:09

Hi there, I'm a step parent, my husbands two are with us at weekends (8 & 11) and I'm expecting our first come spring. We are about to tell the kids that they are going to have a little (half) brother or sister. For those that have been there if you could offer a little advice or experiences it would be so helpful.

I want to be as emotionally sensitive as possible, not just the pregnancy but onwards. It's all so new.

BigPigLittlePig Thu 10-Jan-13 19:23:01

I am a step mum to a 5yr old, and have a 6 week old dd. We sat her down with the scan photo and told her there was a baby in my tummy and it would be her brother or sister (realise you can be slightly more adult about it with 8/11 yr olds). She was v excited.

From that point on, I have involved her as much as possible - she has helped to pick things for the baby, pack the babys hospital bag, undoes the nappy (then runs away pinching her nose). So far we don't seem to have had too many wobbles, think the key is letting the other children know that they're still loved, and making them feel as involved as possible (and as much as they want to at that age).

Good luck, and congratulations!

AllChanges Thu 10-Jan-13 20:01:40

My DSS's are 13 and 16. They were fine about the baby but their mother hasn't been. It's a hard situation. I'm working on being more detached from them & letting their Dad deal with them, I have enough with a baby to worry about!

cassell Thu 10-Jan-13 20:43:22

My dsds were 18 & 15 when I was pg with ds1, dh told them on his own and they were and have been absolutely fine with it, they were excited about ds1, brought him (unprompted!) lovely presents, both of them have babysat regularly and now with ds2's recent arrival they have been the same.

I was worried how they would take it but they've been absolutely fine, I guess they were that much older and don't live with us so it didn't impact on them too much.

I make sure that as far as possible dh still has time with just them when they come over/when they've come on holiday with us so that they don't suffer from his attention being diverted to new dc.

ecuse Thu 10-Jan-13 21:42:59

Me and my sister were 11 and 9 when my little (half) brother was born and 15 and 13 when my sis was born and we were beyond thrilled about it. I absolutely adored having a little baby to play with. The only slight fly in the ointment for us was that our step mum perceptibly cooled off towards us once she had her own kids.

With hindsight now I have my own I think I understand this a bit, but there were times when we felt quite hurt by being left out when she, my dad and my brother and sister had 'new family time'. For example every year they would take us on holiday in the UK and then the four of them go on glamorous overseas holidays without us.

So I would say it's not only about making sure they get time with their Dad alone but about making sure they don't get the impression from you that they're the "b" family.

AllChanges Thu 10-Jan-13 22:46:36

Ecuse- that's good advice, it's hard not to get caught up with finally having a child of your own & wanting to be a family together. I definitely wouldn't want my DSS's to feel second class.

purpleroses Fri 11-Jan-13 12:27:19

My DCs were 8 and 11 when my ex told them he and his DW were expecting. DD(8) was very excited and delighted to have a new younger sibling. DS (11), somewhat less so - as he already has an annoying younger sister and was aware that the age gap would be such that his new sibling wouldn't be a lot of real company for him.

Their new half brother is a year old now, and both are quite fond of him. He's cute and they enjoy seeing him learn to do new things. Only complaints I hear are if he keeps them awake at night (ex's flat is v small so this is a problem). Be prepared for practical questions straight up - where will the baby sleep? Will their dad still be able to x, y, z with them.

Other problem is that ex's marriage is failing and their half brother may soon be moving 1000s of miles away sad but that's a different story...

photographerlady Fri 11-Jan-13 19:11:41

Thanks everyone for the advice, part of me is more worded about the kid's mother but so far are relationship is quite okay, telling her when I'm 20 weeks and then the kids after.

purpleroses Fri 11-Jan-13 19:33:06

Better buy some baggy jumpers then grin I was showing by 20 weeks even with my first. Good luck smile

Theydeserve Fri 11-Jan-13 21:21:27

Just be honest with all involved including the EX.

DO NOT DO what my Twunt and his new DP did, which was take the DCS aside tell them there was going to be a new baby but do not tell Mum.

The stress, sickness and fear in my DCs eyes when the youngest mentioned it to me and they knew they were not supposed to was dreadful. The eldest had worked it out, that all it meant was " Daddy won't want to see us as much -will he" was heartbreaking and true.

Oh and then she allegedly miscarried - try explaining that to a 6 and 4 yr old!

Fairy130389 Mon 14-Jan-13 12:50:49

I am a resident sm to my dsd who is 7. I'm also 18weeks preggo.
I was really worried about how to deal with this with my dsd - especially as for such a long time it was just her and her dad so she has only really gotten used to having me around! We just made sure we sat her down, and told her together, I then made it clear that whatever she felt about it was fine - there have been a couple of very, VERY clingy moments and I get asked a lot if I love her and if I will always love her etc, and we just talk about the reasons why she might be feeling like that.

I also never refer to the baby as half brother or sister, as I think it's important that she knows that they are the same.

I have tried to involve her as much as possible - also, using a bit og artistic license works really well - ooh the baby likes it when you talk to it, it's wriggling around etc.

Time will tell if it pays off or not! I'm sure there will be hiccups along the way!!! good luck!

allnewtaketwo Tue 15-Jan-13 06:15:50

They deserve- she "allegedly" miscarried hmm. Not something you really "alledge", is it?

millie30 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:09

I was 5 when my (resident) stepmum had my younger sister. I was bought a little apron, doll and baby bath and used to bath my doll during bathtimes alongside mum and baby, and was always given little jobs to help with and included and treated the same. My sister was also never referred to as a half sibling. This was important for my sister as much as anything, as I also had older siblings and it wouldn't have been nice for her to be the odd one out.

Theydeserve Tue 15-Jan-13 22:15:58

It is something you allegedly do - when you are trying to draw attention to yourself and the pregnancy was not actually real.

Let me explain - my parent died, EXH loved alot. Everytime there is a problem with DCs, she has an even bigger drama with her DCs , health life.

2 days after my parent passed away, she was allegedly pregnant. Twunt tells our DCs just after the funeral and I took them away on holiday. All good for 6 weeks, then Twunt v unhappy and DCs told no new sibling. As we sorted out funeral etc, everytime he came to help etc, she texted constantly, was feeling sick tired unable to cope.

With her past attention seeking behaviour, I was extremely suspicious about the timing but had more important things to concentrate on. Drunken conversation from someone let slip that she had made it all up, as she did not trust him spending time with my family.

So alleged pregnancy, alleged miscarriage - happened when twunt was on a business trip for 5 days.

It takes alot to top someones parent dying but she managed it. What it did to DCs was not nice. She is scum

Rache1S Wed 16-Jan-13 13:32:21

I am Step-Mum to DSD (6) and 17 weeks PG with #1.
We started dropping it subtly into conversation while still TTC to test the water of how she would feel about it (seemed fine). One PG we stepped up the not-so-subtle hints which went straight over DSD's head but still seemed fine at the prospect, so once we told her she was going to be a big Sister and showed her the scan picture it really didn't come as a surprise to her and she was/is thrilled.
We also told DSD's Mum as a matter of courtesy and to make sure she was ready to field any questions.

BraveLilBear Tue 29-Jan-13 12:49:34

This is a really useful thread - I'm 15 weeks and have a DSS (10) who stays eow. My OH told him last week and apparently his response was 'so I'll be able to see it next week then!' which is slightly alarming for a nearly 11-yo who has two siblings from mum and stepdad but hey ho!

I wanted to be there when OH told him but he obviously decided the time was right. I was also upset/annoyed that OH didn't tell ex himself (courtesy) and when she texted saying that she'd just been told by their son that I'm pregnant, he ignored her on account of it 'not being her business'.

The last thing I want is DSS to become a pawn in this, but OH doesn't see it that way.

I completely echo the lack of half-sibling references. I didn't understand this myself initially, but my OH has a complicated sibling map - one HS from mum, a HB and SB from dad plus one FB - but he refers to them all as his brothers and sisters. I'm much more comfortable that my DSS sees his new brother/sister as a brother/sister not half-bro/sis as I think this will help him stay involved afterwards.

Lafaminute Wed 30-Jan-13 14:45:49

I had read that it is the decent thing to tell the skids mother first so dh told her and she went ballistic. We were married 5 years - together 10 at that stage so I really don't know what that was about. Anyway, she wept and cursed and then when he told sd (then 11) she did same and I remember listening to him grovelling and APOLOGISING to his ex and his dd for the fact that we were having a baby......I think the advice to tell an ex witch is not the best perhaps. SD was always lovely to her little sister, more so than I would have been in her situation as her father was never the strongest in that situation (as her dad), she already had a sibling but seemed thrilled to have a sister. Having said that they have no contact at all now which is a shame for both of them.

Stepmooster Wed 30-Jan-13 14:52:29

I would just like to say I believe theydeserve. My DSS's mum told him she was pregnant just after I had DD. DSS was so excited, although we were sceptical owing to her age. She later told DSS it was just a joke?!

DH told DSS first about my last pregnancy then his mum in an email.

I am expecting again but its early days. DH has told his ex because we can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on her home, which she is supposed to pay by court order. She has re-married anyway and her and her husband have 2 homes between them. Anyway she's accused DH of abandoning his son and creating a new family at his expense.

Watch out for some weird behaviour from the ex, especially if they were difficult before you gott pregnant.

xuntitledx Wed 30-Jan-13 15:54:51

I'm a step-mum and pregnant (very early on though) - no plans to tell the kids just yet but reading through the thread, why do people feel they need to inform the ex?

purpleroses Wed 30-Jan-13 16:10:55

why do people feel they need to inform the ex? - because it's kind of a big deal that your DCs are getting a new sibling. It can be a shock (even if they're married) and much better to have time to prepare yourself and be supportive of your DCs.

Also not fair on DCs to have be be the bearers of such big news. If ex is likely to react badly, put it in an email on the same day you tell the child.

xuntitledx Wed 30-Jan-13 16:12:45

Thanks for response, I guess I didn't see it in this way.

We don't have a great relationship with the ex and in the past she has been extremely manipulative and spiteful so the thought of including her in such big news for us doesn't sit comfortably but above all, it's the kids that matter so like you say, it's best for them to be supported by both families.

BraveLilBear Wed 30-Jan-13 16:16:46

That was my feeling exactly purpleroses and why I was upset that OH didn't tell ex first, out of courtesy.

If I was in her shoes, I would want to know. They are hardly friendly, but are cordial. Granted, they broke up 8+ years ago and she is married with two other children so any initial issues may be past.

But I feel it's important that she doesn't feel that I'm making life difficult or being sneaky or anything else - in fact, if she ever wanted to meet up for a coffee I gladly would, to put her mind at rest about the woman who looks after her son every other Friday night. However, my OH sees things very differently.

BraveLilBear Wed 30-Jan-13 16:21:19

The other reason for tipping off ex is in case DC suddenly starts asking questions about where babies come from etc. I thought at age 10 and a half DSS would know the ropes (or at least the gist) by now, but he clearly knows very little and is, on the whole, very naive.

If I was his mother I'd want to be able to be open to being asked questions. I know that if he asks questions of us, I will find it an incredibly difficult position as, while I would feel comfortable enough talking about things in appropriate terms, I would not want to step on her toes as mum.

Also, I know for a fact that OH is very reluctant to have the talk with his son and it worries me that he's about to start secondary school in six months time and will get a whole different perspective if either of his parents don't broach the subject first.

photographerlady Sun 03-Feb-13 10:11:05

Thank you for all the useful info. I will be 20 weeks later this month and DH is going to tell his ex a week and little more before picking up the kids (every other weekend). I think she will be fine, his DS too but younger DD is a little tougher so "rude" comments might be heading our way. She's a good girl, 8, but has never complimented or said anything nice, I think deep down its a defensive barrier but I try not to take it personally.

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