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advice on telling the DC and stepDC that we are having a baby

(12 Posts)
howtodowills Thu 24-Mar-16 11:45:34

I am almost 12 weeks and having had a few scans we are told baby is developing well so feeling hopeful.We aren't planning on telling the kids for a while (all being well) but i am starting to think about the best way to do it.

I would like some advice on best way to tell my SDs (8 and 5) that we are expecting a baby. I also have a DS but feel ok about how we tell him. I know he will find it initially hard as he has had me all to himself for years and now shares me with the SDs when they are here but he does it well and i think when i big up the pros for him he will be excited.

I think little SD (5) will be excited too but I am very worried about elder SD (8) as she has been very difficult of late and I am worried she will see this as evidence that she is not loved or needed. Or find it as another excuse to get attention (I'm sad because you're having a baby.... )

My thinking was to pitch it as "exciting news" and really big up the importance of being a big sister to SD. She loves friends' babies so I was planning on saying that I will really need her help to look after the baby and she can push the pram, help with baths etc etc. I also wanted to reassure that we still love them just as much and they will always be daddy's girls and i am very lucky they are in my life too.

Should me and DP tell the children together? Or each bio parent tell? I think together as it helps reinforce that we are together (SD has told us before she will do whatever it takes to split us up) but I am really dreading her reaction.

Any thoughts or experiences welcome!

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 24-Mar-16 13:57:59

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I don't have any experience of this but it's on the cards for us hopefully in the not too distant future so I'll be watching with interest. Sure someone will be along with good advice.

bonnymiffy Thu 24-Mar-16 14:09:21

Hi there, congratulations!! Exciting times ahead. There's 9 1/2 years between DSS and DD1, and we went with making it as much about him as possible - it's an important role being a big brother, will you help me with xyz (as much as you're comfortable with, DSS helped Dad give DD her first bath) what names would they suggest (we didn't go with either of Harry or Hermione lol), that kind of things.
Also, it's yours and your DP's news, not your SD's mum's so you get to tell them. If you think she won't spoil it for you it may help to tell her in advance, so that she can help SD with her emotions, but if she's likely to tell your SDs ahead of you then don't.
I hope that helps a bit..

howtodowills Thu 24-Mar-16 14:14:16

their mum is likely to start the manipulation if she knows first so we were planning on telling the SDs on a weekend when they're with us, then texting their mum so she can prepare and so it's not spring on her by her kids. We will ask her to be supportive but she'll do her usual I'm sure which is manipulate (Daddy won't have as much time for you now there'll be a baby etc etc.)

howtodowills Thu 24-Mar-16 14:14:49

Thanks for the congrats....
We've lost 2 babies in the last yr so feeling very nervous

CallMeMaybe Thu 24-Mar-16 14:55:39

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Tbh I'm not sure there's ever really a great way to tell kids that you're going to have a baby, because even the anticipation is different to the reality. From the perspective of the mum of dc whose dad has since gone on to have a baby with his partner, I would say that telling them in a factual way rather than an exciting way is the way to go. Remember that this is exciting news for you, but they may not be excited, or they may be. But they have the right to feel how they feel and should be given the space to process that information in their own way without being told how exciting it is iyswim.

My own dc were devastated when my eXH told them, but he told them in such a way as that they should be excited about it, even though he had anticipated that they might not take it well and warned me of the fact in advance. It's incredibly unfortunate if your DP's ex uses this as an opportunity to tell the dc that it means their dad doesn't love them as much. From my own perspective I told my dc that their feelings were allowed, but that it was also OK to change how they felt once the baby was born because they wouldn't really know until it happened.

The other thing I would say though is that it's unrealistic to tell the dc that nothing will change. Babies change a dynamic completely, and they should be prepared for that. Added to that a baby will change your dynamic as a family, and dependent on how much time the sdc spend at yours this may well lead them to feel pushed out and less important because you have a full time child with you and they are only there part time.

My own dc have spent less and less time at their dad's since the baby was born, although they do admit that they like her, but the dynamic is entirely different there now and they feel more like visitors rather than that they live there, which wasn't the case before....

howtodowills Thu 24-Mar-16 15:13:59

I wouldn't tell them that nothing will change! Things will change for us all but I would reassure them their dad's love for them wouldn't change.

wheresthel1ght Thu 24-Mar-16 17:45:34

I had exactly the same concerns as you when I was pregnant with dd. We had no choice but to tell dscs (then 7 & 9) because I was in and out of hospital from 8 weeks for scans and iv fluids due to HG. Dss is a sensitive soul and we are very close even though he can be a little sod at times and he was very worried about why I was so poorly and had to keep going into hospital.

We were just very honest with them both. We sat them down and just told them I was pregnant and they were going to have a baby brother/sister . They took it really well. Dss is very clingy to dp and we were especially concerned that he would upset as baby would be living with dad when he wasn't but actually he was brill.

Both kids spent ages going through the Argos catalogue picking out pushchairs and cots etc oh and toys. Apparently all newborns need minecraft Lego and a 5ft tall My Little pony!!

When dd arrived we made sure she had bought both Dss and dsd a present each and that they were always asked if they wanted to help change her bum or feed her (ff). Even now Dss takes his responsibility to make dd her night time bottle very seriously. We only had one bottle melt when he put it in the microwave for 10 minutes instead of 1! grin

wheresthel1ght Thu 24-Mar-16 17:47:34

Ohh also we had same issues with their mum so we told the kids and then once they knew and seemed ok do rang his exw and told her just in case the kids had any questions/ emotional outbursts once the news had sunk in

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 24-Mar-16 20:48:23

Congratulations! Exciting news.

Me and DP told the kids separately, but at the same time. We both told exes too then. It was more about us listening to our own children, a lot of the questions or fears they had came out bit by bit, over the months. My DS asked a lot, some of them like 'babies get all the attention, can we still go to the cinema' kind of thing!

Step kids were delighted. They liked being involved. We got everyone's help choosing a name. I had one DSD who tried to be the parent once baby was born but she was older, and that's another matter that you probably won't face.

I'd say it was the most binding and bonding thing to happen as a step family.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 24-Mar-16 20:55:32

My dh told my dss when they had some time alone together. Felt it was important that he could say however he felt to his dad without worrying about me. He actually took it very well.

MarianneSolong Thu 24-Mar-16 21:03:28

My partner's ex knew we were trying for a baby and asked us to let her know so she could get her head round the idea in advance of the children.

So my partner left her a note or voicemail - this was before the days of textiing - and then we told my two stepchildren together, straightaway.

I wasn't that far gone so we stressed it was 'the start of a baby' and that as far as we knew it would grow and become an actual baby sibling fo them.. They were 8 and 10 so knew the basic facts.

I think a) they were pleased b) it didn't seem very real because they were quite busy with their own lives. c) The important times were really after their baby sister was born. They were terrific with her.

Obviously their lives went on as normal in terms of activities, seeing friends etc. So maybe if reassurance is needed it's about stuff like that. Still sleeping in the same bedrooms. That they'll carry on being taken to sports clubs or whatever.

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