'New baby'!!(23 Posts)
I have 2SD and have been with my DP for over 3 years. We are well settled and considering having a baby. I've been reading a lot if threads on this and to be honest it scares the life out of me!!
Seems any time there are issues with SC that resident children get forgotten. I saw someone post on a thread earlier that the fathers 1st children should always be a priority as they were there 1st and the 'original children??!! People actually agreed with this!
I get on fine with my SC on the whole although there are definitely aspects of it I struggle with. I care about them very much and would look at a new baby as an addition to the family rather than an inconvenience that could upset the 'original' kids.
Having a child of our own really helped the bond between me and my step kids. I think I was no longer just their dad's wife, but I was their (half) brother's mum. Things have been great with us since he was born (He's now 16 months).
I agree the baby I had with DP was one of the few things that overall helped warm my SDs to me.
BUT I had conflict over some things - I don't know what age your DSCs are? Mine were teenage girls so had a problem with one of them competitively trying to parent and tell me I was doing things wrong... and needed some time with DP and baby on own and never got this. If you could chat about that in advance - it might help.
I think I saw that same thread OP!
Seems to me the thinking is that if a man having more kids means that his 'first' kid or kids get a smaller share of his time/money/space/attention then he shouldn't have more kids.
I can sort of see the thinking in some ways, but not in general it doesnt stand up.
I think you and your DP should be able to talk openly and honestly about issues like how having another child would or would not impact for example maintenance payments, household discipline, room arrangements, one on one time with dad, inheritance, plans for holidays, paying out for education... . If you can talk about all that and are on the same page there is no reason to think thongs would turn bad. I have also read some lovely posts on here about how well half/step siblings get on and that is what you should aspire to!
I look at my SC as part of my family. Surely it must be the same in any family when thinking about having another child. Obviously if you have 2 children and have a third, the first 2 will have to share their lives, have slightly less money, less attention (or different time with parents) less space etc. I just can't get the mentality why it's almost seen as shocking if this happens in a step family but entirely acceptable if parents are together?! When there's a new baby everyone has to adjust whether they are Hslf or full siblings. Don't see why that had to be negative it's hit a nerve with me this one!!
My wee cousin was absolutely raging when her wee brother was born, she hated him because he kept her awake and she was so jealous no matter what my aunty did! She came round in the end as they usually do, but had my Aunty been a stepmum to the wee girl I can only imagine the shit she would have got on this site had she asked for advice! It's incredible! Lambasted for questioning the behaviour of the 'first' child
Obviously if you have 2 children and have a third, the first 2 will have to share their lives, have slightly less money, less attention (or different time with parents) less space etc. I just can't get the mentality why it's almost seen as shocking if this happens in a step family but entirely acceptable if parents are together?!
because when parents are together it is a joint decision about their family and the impact is on their family only? when a 'new family' is formed, the impact hits across 2 households with little (if any) understanding of how a 'new child' may be perceived by the 'old children' when they are away from the other house. If you're the one having to deal with a loss of income when your budget is already stretched to the max, or have to somehow comfort a sobbing child who tells you 'daddy prefers the new baby to me' knowing full well if you try and say something to the ex you will be accused of bitterness/not being over it/a bad mum/trying to turn the child against us when all you want is your child to be happy...well, you might see things differently.
I am not suggesting that new families can't or shouldn't be formed, and siblings born. I am suggesting that I frequently see worrying posts here which put the needs and indeed wants of 'old children' to the bottom of the pile and actions are taken which seem to reiterate that - children sleeping on pull out beds, moved bedrooms, screams of 'she earns good money so she won't notice the impact of the maintenance reduction', not 'allowed' to 'visit' their father in case they disturb bonding with the baby, that kind of thing. Frequently, it is seem to be the mother's job to deal with this - when it is the father who is having more children and it is his household where they will be affected. It works both ways, of course, because we also see posts where mum has had a new baby and there has been an impact seen in the father's household.
Whatever you do, you shouldn't pretend to yourself that it's the same as having siblings in a 'together' family. It isn't the same. Not by a long shot.
Fedupfine says what I was going to post - although more eloquently.
I don't think parents with DCs should not have children in a new relationship. I do think they should think carefully how the choice to have more children impacts existing children, space, finances, time etc.
I agree with a lot of Fedup and HoneyLemon say - there are some things that would have just happened anyway if a family would have had another child - time, money, space etc.
However there are some issues that can be stirred up and 'harder' in step families - in my experience. And sometimes the step kids/ex can feel left out and put more pressure on you in various ways - so a really good talk with OH should put your mind at rest.
FEdup... I had the opposite issue - my baby has not have his own room ever and he's now nearly 3 - because my SDs ALL have their own room at our house - even though they are 50/50 - and the Ex asked for MORE maintenance as soon as baby was born!! (didn't get it).
But don't be put off OP - the key is your OH and you - if you are both fair, realistic and expect a few 'bumps' then a new baby can be a really enriching experience and make you more part of your DSCs family. Good luck!
fedupbutfine - perfectly expressed.
Honeylemon - you are sadly in a minority on finances. MY Exs payments would go down significantly if he paid the right amount - not much for their joint DC, but add her two into the mix, it really does start to bite.
I think it just depends on the handling. XH and his GF had a baby last year and promptly dropped my kids like a hot brick. They didn't see their father for more than 2or 3 hours once a week for 6 months. Weren't introduced to their brother for nearly 3 weeks. Banned from the house if they have a cold, not allowed to touch the baby (eldest is 11 ffs.)
XH is at a loss as to why the children are reluctant to stay with him now. Must be me alienating them, apparently.
Fed up, is this a situation you have been in, as a mother I mean? I'm only asking because what you describe sounds very different to how DP and myself think.
our situation with maintenance is complicated (have posted a previous thread about it, long story) however it seems that exw has seen the error of her ways as far as that gues so hopefully wouldn't be an issue. DP has always provided for his children well and above what CMS calculator suggested. I can't imagine it would even cross his mind to reduce the amount he (normally) pays because of another child. I certainly wouldn't dream of it unless something untoward happened like DO lost job etc.
Again the 9yo SD is always asking us to have a baby. I don't have a crystal ball to know how they would deal with it in reality. I certainly wouldn't pit the needs of 1 child ahead of another. Each situation would need looked at with the best interest of each child.
We have a 3 bedroom house, the SC currently have a room each but if there were more children some would have to share, toy shopping sprees would happen less and money would be tighter. I'm not saying it's the same as a 'together' family but the issues as far as tightening belts are the same. Maintenance wouldn't go down as far as we are concerned but treats would definitely become less frequent, fir SC and for ourselves.
Crunchy I read that and just think how sad it is!! I would never think to not allow my SC near a baby! Infact it would be the opposite I would want them involved as much as possible, they would be big sisters, I honestly can't imagine it being any other way terrible! We would be a family with 3 children, it's that simple.
How his exw would take it is a totally different issue, she is obstructive at the best of times so I guess that would be a challenge! I Know she loves her children though so would like to think she wouldn't stand in the way of their relationship with a sibling, time will tell on that one.
I agree with fedupbutfine. It's naive to think that it's the same as having more children in an existing household, it isn't. And realistically, there is nothing you can do if the existing children feel sidelined by a new baby who is a full-time asset to their parent and sp while they are only there on a part-time basis.
And tbh even as a mum I struggle with the notion of having one child living with me full-time and another who I would send off to their dad's thus creating the idea even for me that he was only part time while the other was here all the time, meaning we would do things as a family he wouldn't be a part of, iyswim.
I'm also not saying that people shouldn't have more children with a new partner, but that there are greater impacts on half siblings than there would be if parents were still together, and these shouldn't just be brushed aside because the couple wanted another baby.
I have a dsd and two dc's, who are mine and dh's and obviously live with us. At first it was hard as exw wouldn't let dsd meet her new sibling as she said it would be confusing for her, so for two years she didn't meet ds. I think it's harder to explain the sudden appearance of a two year old than a baby, but hey ho, my opinion didn't count. Once they met they fell head over heals in love with each other and have been very close ever since. When the 3 children are together it's the little one who gets left out, even though she's a dd. Actually all 3 are close, they're 16, 13 and 9 now and there's no difference between them in the home, dsd simply slots into her usual place in the sibling hierarchy when she arrives. I love her to bits.
Of course it's not the same. In an ideal world no family would break up and all children would have both oarents living with them full time. It's not an ideal world though and there are a lot of things to think about. I'm coming to the conclusion you can only try your best to minimise the 'impact' it has on SC and DC and do the best job you can.
I would hope the SC wouldn't feel left out and would do what I can to make that happen. Unfortunately we have no control over certain aspects of it (the mother) but that's life. I don't think any of the children should get special treatment or are 'more important', they would all be treated equally as much as possible!
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