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Confused about the future - adding more children to our family

(26 Posts)
tryingtobebetter Mon 17-Mar-14 11:17:33

Hi all

Some background... I'm in a relationship with a man with 3 young children under 8 who lost their mother a few years ago. We are long distance at the moment but I spend 9/10 weekends and holidays with them to try to form good relationships and for us all to get used to each other, as we want to move nearer to each other or perhaps move in together.

I have struggled with it all at times - I have no children of my own and am 16 years younger than my partner, and the day-to-day aspects of life with such young children can be overwhelming. My partner wants and needs me to be a loving mother-type figure to his kids and that is what I am working towards.

I have always taken it for granted that I would want a child 'of my own' (not to say that I won't view or treat my stepchildren as mine). My partner wanted/wants a child with me too and had his vasectomy reversed.

But after this weekend I have a really scary feeling that I don't want a child of my own in this situation. I find the 3 children exhausting already - I miss having time alone with my partner but as they get older they are getting slightly better at amusing themselves in between. On Saturday from 6.30am to 9pm it was entirely kiddie-orientated and I felt trapped and bored. It made me think I'm not cut out to have children of my own and that was a really sad thought.

If it was with anyone other than my current partner I would be a lot less hesitant, it is just the logistics and responsibilty of 4+ children that scares me. Just as the stepchildren are getting older and less 'needy' (not the best choice of word), the thought of doing it all again is not appealing.

I don't know if this is an age / life stage thing and one day my opinion will change, but the feelings I have at the moment have really knocked me for 6. I am worried that I will regret not having children of my own, worried that I will always be a bit of an outsider in this family, but also worried about how my relationship might suffer under the strain of another dependant.

My main queries for you all:
A) Is it normal to just feel bored when looking after kids? My partner says his enjoyment is just when the kids are happy but I have 'selfish' thoughts and feel like an adult who has been stripped of all identity when I am with him and the kids
B) Has anyone felt that they didn't want a child of their own purely because of stepkids? Or has anyone chosen not to have a child for this reason?

I could ramble on for ages... I am so confused, I'm scared that I will be sacrificing the experience of having a child of my own because I can't cope with 4. I love my partner and so want everyone to be happy!

Xalla Mon 17-Mar-14 11:41:04

First off, you're very brave and you're DP is a very lucky guy!

A) Yes, sometimes but more so with SC than your own children in my experience. Although my experience is that of a part-time SP; my DSD's Mum is alive and kicking! What you're embarking on is different; you'd be a full time Step-Mum and there will be others along to tell you how different (better) that can be.

B) It's not at all the same but I have 3 DC and a DSD. Honestly, I'd quite like a 4th DC but have decided, purely because of the existence of DSD that we won't. DH has a contact order that he has DSD for most of the school holidays and it's carnage when we have all 4 of them. DSD isn't the easiest child and there's no way we could cope with a 5th and give them all the individual attention they need. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I'm very thankful for the 3 healthy bundles of joy I already have but even this morning I had a text from a girlfriend who had her fourth baby last night and felt a pang of regret.

I suspect you'll come to resent a decision not to have any children of your own because of responsibilities towards your SC. Especially as, from what you're saying, you're already finding step-parenting hard-going. Some SMs on here will say they love their SC like their own but they're in the minority.

Full-time SMs will be along soon with experience more useful than mine.

Good luck!

mymiraclebubba Mon 17-Mar-14 20:18:30

I think you need to speak to your dp hun, this is a huge deal and could be make or break if you are struggling with his kids being around - be aware with your own child you won't get time alone either though!!

In answer to your questions
A) yes, I have days when my dsc's bore the hell out of me, usually when they are banging on about plants vs zombies or minecraft. I would suggest trying to find some sort of activity that you can all do together that you will enjoy as it will help you bond better but also give you a common ground making it all less dull iyswim.

B) I got pregnant by complete miracle and surprise after nearly 20 years of the Dr's telling me I was infertile and I have to say I was scared to death of how I would cope with 2 dsc's and my own child (esp when they panicked me it could be twins). My dss is a very sensitive boy and doesn't deal well with sharing his dad and definitely doesn't like sharing me with anyone else when he is with us including his dsis. I definitely considered not going thru with the pg because I didn't want to do anything to upset or unsettle my dss or dsd. I am very glad dp veto'd any talk of not going thru with it as we have a gorgeous baby girl and dss absolutely worships her

Don't make any rash decisions hun as fear can twist your perception of situations dramatically. I would strongly recommend talking to dp and potentially even a professional about how you feel as they may be able to offer some coping strategies for you and also help alleviate your fears

Hth

brdgrl Mon 17-Mar-14 21:50:12

hi trying.
I have two DSCs who lost their mum, and a DD with my (13-year-older-than-me) DH. The big difference, though, is that my DSC were/are older than yours, so there is a considerable age difference between them and my DD, which I think probably makes it all much easier in a lot of ways. I also had my daughter - quite intentionally - before I moved in with DH and the DSCs, so I was a mum first and then a live-in stepmum - we'd obviously been in a relationship for a while, but being DH's partner and living separately was of course very different from living all together as a family. I am so glad I did it that way.

I'll try to answer B first - and I will try to be brief.
B) On the one hand - having DD made lots of things better. The kids love her and were excited about her - much more so about getting a sister than getting a stepmum - she truly was the "sugar that helped the medicine go down". She made us come together more as a family, for sure. Being a parent myself also gave me a certain authority and confidence that helped me to assert myself more within the family. And it has changed things with DH, who can no longer fall back on "you don't understand because you aren't a parent" when we disagree.

I KNOW that I would have been absolutely miserable being a stepmum without a child of my own. I would not have stayed.

On the other hand - I can't lie - it can be difficult to see how DD's life is affected by the DSC. There are lots of compromises that must be made, and I absolutely HATE some of them. I think it is actually easier for me, because of the age gap between kids - we don't have to have the same rules or do things the same way or provide the same things for all the kids; the differences are explained or obscured by age. I wouldn't make the same choices for DD that their mum made for them, but it is less obvious (e.g., if I don't let her have 18 games at 6 years old, I don't have to explain why her brother has them!)

Being a full-time stepmum is NOT always better or easier (as far as I can tell when I compare notes) than being a 'part-time' stepmum. The issues are different. You get no 'breaks', and that is huge, huge, huge. You also may find that you are expected to provide much more for the DSC than you would be expected to if they had another parent out there - emotionally, financially, logistically - and no matter whether you want to or not, whether you welcome it or come to resent it - either way - that is still a huge load of responsibility. You also have to expect a certain amount of pedestal-posting: when my (now teenage) DSC are awful, or when they think I have been awful to them, I remind myself that they'd have conflict with their mum, too, if she were around - but you know, she's dead so therefore becomes a bit of a fantasy for them - "if mum were here, she'd take my side" kind of thing.

A) Yes. Playing with small children can be very boring. DD is 4 and she likes to play complicated, but also highly repetitive, games centred around her imaginary friends and favourite stories. I get bored.

eslteacher Tue 18-Mar-14 00:02:37

Hi OP. I am a stepmum with an 8yo DSS. I have never been sure that I wanted kids of my own, and that hasn't changed one way or the other since having DSS in my life! It's made me more aware of the unrelentingness of having kids, but also more aware of the good parts.

I worry most about how logistics would work if DP and I had a child, really. We would have to stay where we currently live as it is close to DSS, but on the other side of the country from DP's family, and my family live in a different country altogether. I worry I'd be resentful of having to stay put here, not having any help from family, the nightmare of sorting out Xmases etc.

I would say regarding your other question, I used to be SO bored playing one on one with DSS when he was 4 - 7. I would not at all relish looking after him on my own while DP popped out to do an errand. Just the nature of DSS's play was so monotonous yet I felt under such pressure to be a good SM and entertain him and engage with it nonetheless. But as he's got older, his play has changed and now he's nearly nine I find much more pleasure in being with him, even without DP around. He's developing a wicked sense of humour, he's scarily good at certain board games, and our relationship feels more natural and comfortable. I have started to feel flashes of...love? I don't know, but just wanted to say maybe as your DSC get older you might find yourself having more fun with them.

Hats off to you though, three under 8, and having lost their mother. I don't think I could do it. Good on you for thinking about this properly and trying to make it work without going into it blindly believing it will all work out. I think you're going about things the right way.

brdgrl Tue 18-Mar-14 00:47:50

I worry most about how logistics would work if DP and I had a child, really. We would have to stay where we currently live as it is close to DSS, but on the other side of the country from DP's family, and my family live in a different country altogether. I worry I'd be resentful of having to stay put here, not having any help from family, the nightmare of sorting out Xmases etc.

riverboat, same here - we have to stay where we are because of the DSCs (continuity for their schooling, basically) - but DH's family live in another part of the UK (requiring flights, not drivable) and mine are all on another continent. I feel terrible about DD having such a limited relationship with my family, and we don't have any family support nearby.

tryingtobebetter Tue 18-Mar-14 18:01:10

Thank you all so much for replying. It does mean a lot - it's hard to find people who have any experience of this and I certainly don't know anyone in real life who has done anything similar, I don't even know any step-parents!

I'm still confused... got upset when looking at mother's day presents for my own mother online yesterday (all the somewhat tacky gifts with slogans... why on earth would I cry at that?!)

I think my worries are:

- What if I feel the same bored / trapped feeling with my own children, and am just not cut out to be a mother? Sometimes when we're playing with the DSC I can see DP smiling and looking at me to see my reaction and to share the enjoyment that he is experiencing. But most of the time I'm faking it, as riverboat says to be a good SM (we aren't married but it's quicker than saying daddy's girlfriend!), because I want the kids to be happy and because I want DP to be happy. We went on a family holiday together last summer and it was really hard - DP was surprised to hear that I found it hard because he said I looked like I was genuinely having a good time.

- How will I feel when there is another responsibility that must come before me and DP? The DSC of course come first and I accept this, but it is still hard when plans have to be changed because one is ill, or because childcare falls through, because our time alone together is so infrequent and precious. I get much greater enjoyment out of family time if DP and I have had some quality time together in the recent past, but I know that won't always be possible.

It was interesting to hear that larger age gaps between DSC and your own DD brdgrl have worked out well for you. On the one hand I see benefits in waiting, but on the other hand I think - DP is 16 years older, I want to enjoy our/his retirement together after the kids have flown the nest, and the longer I leave it the longer we will have children at home.

But it's good to hear that sometimes it's ok to be bored, and that having children can have a positive impact on DSC.

Sometimes I think I'm over thinking things...! smile

eslteacher Wed 19-Mar-14 06:46:52

What if I feel the same bored / trapped feeling with my own children, and am just not cut out to be a mother?

I have the same fear. I constantly swing between thinking I'll definitely try for a baby someday, and then thinking I probably won't. For many years, since before I knew DP/DSS I''ve had 'stress' dreams where I realise I'm heavily pregnant and the overwhelming emotion I feel is 'shit, now I'm trapped for the next 18 years'. On the other hand, I hate the thought of growing old without any children of my own, and sometimes think Im over-thinking it all and talking myself out of one of life's great experiences! So I really get where you're coming from.

Have you only started doubting whether you want kids since being with your DP? I don't think there is an easy answer, but I read many posts on this forum from SM's who said things got better with their DSC after they had kids of their own, they felt more confident and relaxed. Also there's always the old chestnut that you never regret having kids but you regret NOT having them. I'm 31, so I need to decide in the next few years. I'm hoping that overwhelmingly broody feeling kicks in at some point to make my decision for me...

eslteacher Wed 19-Mar-14 06:56:00

*
riverboat, same here - we have to stay where we are because of the DSCs (continuity for their schooling, basically) - but DH's family live in another part of the UK (requiring flights, not drivable) and mine are all on another continent. I feel terrible about DD having such a limited relationship with my family, and we don't have any family support nearby.*

It's tough isn't it? I think probably worse for you as IIRC your situation is transatlantic, whereas we're at least all in Europe. On the other hand we have a language difference which adds another layer of confusion! If I had a child and wanted it to learn my native language (English) I'd have to be ruthless in only speaking that language while the child was in my presence, ie basically all the time at home. I don't know how that would affect my relationship with DSS, who doesnt understand English and I speak to in French!

Do you and your DH ever talk about moving when his kids fly the nest? Recently I've been asking DP how he'd feel about us mmoving back to my country in 10 years when DSS is 18, and he is all for it. But I can't help feeling a lot could change in 10 years, its hardly something I can count on definitely happening!

tryingtobebetter Wed 19-Mar-14 08:41:32

riverboat - I always wanted kids (1 or 2), and had been a bit torn between throwing myself into my career or having children quite early on and being a stay at home mum.

When I met DP and the DSC, the logistics of it put me off, but as I say we both decided that we would like to have a child of our own, and DP had his vasectomy reversed, so I was obviously quite serious about it at that point! Incidentally he was due to go for his results around now - until I blurted out that I'm not sure about having any more kids. So we don't know if it has worked even, it may be that we wouldn't be able to have kids anyway and the thought of not having the option at least makes me sad. Perhaps that is quite telling in itself.

I think I believed that 4 children wouldn't be that much different to 3, that our responsibilities and lack of adult time would be not much different with one extra child. But as the DSC grow up they are getting better at playing together without adult input all the time, so I feel just as they are gaining more independence we will be back to square one with a new baby.

But these past few weekends as I say, it's this trapped / bored feeling. I think I am probably quite an introverted person, which is why I would never have had 3+ children myself, and although we are ticking along as best we can, I don't feel guilty about taking breaks from the DSC / not joining them on every trip to the play park, because they are DP's.

DP unfortunately (but perhaps understandably) has taken this as a reason to question my feelings about his DSC, about whether I truly want a life with his children in it, about whether I'll ever love them and be a mother to them. Weirdly, I'm not questioning my role with the DSC at all but not sure that he believes me.

eslteacher Wed 19-Mar-14 09:11:39

Trying - how long have you been with your DP, and in his kids lives?

My first 2 years with DP and DSS were filled with soul searching and struggling to come to terms with what it meant in reality to be a SM. I questioned if I realky wanted to do it all the time. It's only in the last 2 years I've really accepted the situation as part of my long term future, and have felt so much happier with my relationship with DSS and much more comfortable with him, less bored and trapped, as you put it.

Maybe you need more time to take all this on board too?

somethingwrongwithme Wed 19-Mar-14 09:20:44

2 and a half years with DP, 2 years seeing the kids. You're probably right - it is early days in the grand scheme of things, and there is no pressure that I must have a decision now about future children and stick to it. I think it was just the strength of my sudden aversion to the idea this weekend that frightened me a bit!

somethingwrongwithme Wed 19-Mar-14 09:22:33

Sorry - different name but still me smile

littleredballoon Wed 19-Mar-14 09:32:25

I know how you feel trying - 2 full time DSC here, a bit older than yours by the sounds of it. I used to think - I probably have a better insight than anyone now into what it's like to have children before I actually choose to have any. I spent a lot of time wondering why anyone would put themselves through it! DH is an incredibly doting father, sometimes a bit Disney, and will just sit with the DSC even when they are playing happily together, but I'll take the chance to do something else while I can get it. I am now pregnant - the logistics as you say will just have to sort themselves out because I had this overwhelming urge to have a baby with DH and to 'seal' our family and my place in it, to have another link with the DSC via their new step-sibling. Time will tell!

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Mar-14 09:34:57

Have you had the chance for one on one with each of the children? I have 4 children and when they are all together, they drive me scatty sometimes... But time with just one of them is really precious and more enjoyable.

I think all mums suffer from insufficient time to themselves and with partners, but it creeps on you suddenly, especially as the family grows. Sounds like you have gone from 0-10 very quickly, single life to full on motherhood and it's not surprising you find it hard going.

I think you need a good talk with your dp. I can see he would be a bit worried, given that you talk of the children as 'his'
It might help if you all think about what you need from the family, what time alone, what shared activities. If your dp wants you all to do things you don't really enjoy, what WOULD you enjoy? I find weekends with my brood much better if I do what I want... I like swimming, getting outdoors, museums, cooking and eating together. It's easier to look forward to the weekend if you can think

Lie in
Bit of time to myself, eg reading the papers
Swimming
Watching a DVD that we all want to see

Is your dilemma really about baby/no baby or is it about what path you see mapped out for yourself now you are settled in this family?

tryingtobebetter Wed 19-Mar-14 09:56:43

Best stick to the one name to avoid confusion - wanted to post elsewhere about job-related things but too scared of being outed!

I've had very little one-on-one time with any of them and I have mentioned this to DP as something that would help me. He acknowledged it but he is so keen for us to be a big family that at the moment it tends to be all of us at once, unless I'm sat upstairs reading and one of the DSC come up to join me. It's a good point and I will pursue it with him.

Bit contentious saying they are 'his' I know - we are on the way to being a family, but due to the long distance and only seeing each other at weekends / holidays, I don't feel that they are 'mine' yet. For example if one of them gets up in the night, he will go and see to them, because he is their Dad and they want their Dad, if that makes sense. I have a feeling that when we live nearer to each other / together that it will be easier because it won't be this intense day and a half together once a week - we'll spend evenings together, do bits and bobs after school, do things at weekends.

I'll get thinking on some ideas for our time together - now that they are getting older it should be easier to find things for everyone to enjoy. DP and I enjoy walking, but we would often overestimate the walking abilities of the DSC and end up carrying them all!

I think the 2 things are probably intertwined. If I choose to have a baby, I will automatically shift into the more domestic role for both the new baby and the DSC. I don't know a lot about family dynamics but with the DSC all activities tend to be lined up with the youngest DSC in mind - as the DSC get older and can do more things, there will then be a new baby/toddler, and I can see us having to split up as parents i.e. I take the older DSC shopping while DP does something with the little one and vice versa. Maybe this isn't what happens? The same for family holidays - when we last went abroad, there would have been a lot that the older 2 DSC's could have done that the youngest couldn't do, so that either meant splitting up or doing more child-orientated things with the youngest in mind. Maybe I need to spend some time on the larger families board to understand how these things all work!

Again thanks for your input everyone.

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Mar-14 10:42:57

Do you see them every weekend? If so, perhaps you shouldn't. You need time to yourself, it can only help the adjustment

Re different aged kids, we do a mixture of lowest common denominator vs splitting into 2 groups or I will take out the oldest child with a friend and dp stays home with the little ones

Your dp probably needs to think about what your new family will look like ... Sounds like he hankers after recreating the past, which is understandable, but both he and the children's mum got to know one child at a time

You haven't had that!

brdgrl Wed 19-Mar-14 17:17:09

I can see he would be a bit worried, given that you talk of the children as 'his'

They are his, and this is absolutely the appropriate way to refer to them. smile

brdgrl Wed 19-Mar-14 17:38:21

How will I feel when there is another responsibility that must come before me and DP? The DSC of course come first and I accept this,

I know what you mean here, in that when children are ill that takes priority, or that the children's real needs take priority over dates and romance...And if you have a baby, you will probably find that at times all of you - you and DH and the DSC - have to put it "first" in the immediate sense.

But I have to interrupt and say that, in the bigger scheme of things, the DSC don't have to come first. This is one of those phrases that gets tossed around a bit too freely and quickly becomes a stick with which to beat ourselves (or be beaten).

My DSC do not come first. Neither does my DD, or I, or my DH. No one member of the family comes first, it is about weighing up what is best for us collectively. What is "best" (or perhaps a more honest way to word that is "what is most desirable") for one or both of the DSC, frankly, often is not best for the family unit. Where there are competing interests, it (the often very difficult) job of DH and I to weigh up the costs and benefits to all, and then (the really hard part) to make a judgement about which losses and benefits are most significant. Who needs what, who wants what, who needs more this week, what is going to pay off long-term, what is going to strengthen relationships (including mine and DHs!).

If you do decide to have a kid (and based solely on your short posts here, I suspect that you will regret it if you do not), you and your DH need to be able to openly discuss any expectations about what and who comes first in your family. What are the resources available (time, money, space) and how will they be allocated? What will happen when the conflicts arise? It is hard stuff to talk about, because it can feel very petty and far away from the romantic ideal of a big happy family, but if you don't get very real about it, you may set yourself up for a lot of unhappiness and resentment.

And finally - do not judge your aptitude for motherhood by your relationship with your DSC. Completely different kettles of fish!

I had a horrific holiday with my DSC, the first time we all went away together...really showed up all the differences in our values, interests, personalities...you know, that's ok. I have a marvellous time on holidays now with my DD, and actually, the DSC and I have both had to adapt and make changes to have holidays together as a family that can be more enjoyable. It's a different relationship. That doesn't mean that it has to be a bad one - but it is different. Why does your DH want you to be a mother to his kids? You aren't their mother. Would he settle for you being a stepmother?

cappy123 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:55:48

I'm going through some of the same stuff trying - had a huge fibroid removed to improve fertility and yet still have my doubt days about an 'ours' baby. I'm a FT SM but only to one DSD.

I tend to write fairly positively about my SM experience. But it's not lost on me that I don't have the pressures others have. DSD's mum is pleasant and active and picks up DSD from school every day, and has her for around 4 hours before dropping her off her to us before her night shift. So DH and I get time together or alone if we want in the eves. At 14 she comes home and pretty much does her own thing when she is here. Her mum and paternal grandparents live literally seconds away. Childcare not a problem. We're not rolling in it, but not desperately struggling financially.

If any of these factors above were not so - and I'm acutely aware of how easily things can change so I don't take it for granted - I'd really struggle more than I do, because it IS still challenging. So I wonder - what help, family, friends or other resources do you and your DP have? Do you get chance to have honest heart to hearts? With 3, poss 4 children you do need to find space to talk and be heard. It can be really hard too if a guy's widowed with kids - unique issues.

Really balanced insightful post brdgrl.

flowerpotgirl12 Wed 19-Mar-14 23:48:19

to be honest I really didn't enjoy being a sm, I found it hard to relate to my dsc and did find them boring, I went from being single to having kids in my life every other weekend which I found hard. I was suddenly expected to drive 6hr round trips eow to collect/drop off and was general skivvy when here.

However me and dp had a ds together and I can't tell tou how much my attitude has changed. it made me look at my dsc in a different light and look at my attitude and interaction with them. It's also made me have more of a voice and say no more to being the skivvy.

having your own is a totally different experience to having dsc and will help with your understanding and relationship with them aa long as you and dp are on the same page re the practicalities of having all 4 as said better by someone yp thread.

I think you would regret not having children and begin to resent your dp and his kids in time.

Melonbreath Thu 20-Mar-14 09:07:24

I'm a part time step mum and find it really hard. I don't feel maternal towards her at all, and like you I questioned having my own baby because of it. Dsd was a very nice child (teenager now!) But brought up completely differently to how I would do it and I'd never been around kids since being one myself.
I did fake it too, I also found it trapping and dull to have the wizards of waverly sodding place on from 6 am. Don't get me wrong I am very very fond of dsd, but I also resented the tie. I wasn't free.
Then I had my own baby.
Sometimes I still feel bored and trapped, it's only natural. But she is MY trapped. I have that bond with her, we are in it together.
It's very very different.

Russianfudge Fri 21-Mar-14 06:58:55

I feel exactly the way you describe (in terms of boredom and feeling trapped) with my own child and for that reason decided not to have anymore.

But I don't know how you would know if it's the fact that they're steps that you feel that way until you actually try it.

Sorry, not much help huh?

tryingtobebetter Fri 21-Mar-14 11:42:35

Ah such great replies everyone - thank you.

I see them most weekends, yes. DP and I might get a weekend or at least a night without the kids every 2 months or so. I think the added difficulty is - I work very long days in the week and have studying to do in the evening. I then set off on Friday for a 4 hour journey to his, then it's straight into children-mode, and then I'm off again on Sunday and back to work. It's exhausting and that probably colours my view on things (not that having a baby would be any less exhausting I'm sure!).

I think I tend to keep quiet on a lot of things - I wait for DP to initiate childcare or a weekend away - because in the past whenever I have suggested anything it's 'don't think I can leave the kids because of xyz' or 'don't think I can ask for childcare because of xyz'. When we come to live together, or if we have our own child/ren, I think I will feel more comfortable having a say.

As for why DH wants me to be a mother - it's what he's always said. I am trying to reassure him of the fact that I can have a caring and loving relationship with his DC without spending all of my free time with them, and that when we live together there will be the odd evening when I go out, or a weekend when I do my own thing. I think he feels a lot of pressure himself to fill the emotional gap that is left from the loss of their mother, and he still sees leaving them with (loving, doting) grandparents as not meeting their emotional needs. Whereas I argue - the more fulfilling relationships they have, the better, and the wider the support network for them the better.

As for support, it's his parents (who have busy lives themselves) and his brother/sister-in-law. They don't live nearby so they either have the kids for a night/weekend or nothing at all. Heart-to-hearts can be difficult - as we are long distance, often conversations don't go right via text/phone/skype, and the weekends when we are together we are generally knackered by the kids' bedtimes such that an in depth conversation isn't really on the agenda. We definitely need to find time to talk through all this though.

It's reassuring to hear that a lot of you have/had the same feelings for your DSC but found it completely different with your own.

And russianfudge yes that's what I fear most. Why is there no crystal ball for this!

Wonderful support from you all, thank you. Feeling a lot better about the whole thing.

brdgrl Fri 21-Mar-14 19:45:46

I'm glad you are feeling better!
I am a little concerned about your DH's expectations of you, simply because it is possibly unfair and unrealistic to expect you to meet the kids' emotional needs or fill the gap left by their mum. It seems to be asking too much of both you and the kids. You can of course be a wonderful presence in the kids' lives, and you can be a hugely supportive partner to your DP. But it sounds like your DP wants a replacement mum for them. I would really, seriously question that idea.
Maybe a shift in your DP's thinking and expectation would give you more space to figure out not just what your relationship with the DSC could be, but also to figure out who you want to be yourself.
I think it is very, very, very hard to hold on to your own identity when you join a 'pre-assembled' family. And you may find it very hard for you, and for others, to recognise the importance and depth of your own feelings, when so much focus is on the feelings of the other members of the family.
I am afraid I am not saying this very well, and I don't mean to sound pessimistic. I hope that you and DP get a chance to talk everything through and come to a mutual understanding of what each of you expects. x

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