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38 weeks pregnant, dreading how things will change

(27 Posts)
FirstNov2017 Sun 29-Oct-17 01:31:48

Unplanned pregnancy, DP has 2 kids and now feel like he expects our child to be brought up in the same way as the other 2.

Feel like he hasn't taken into account that I am not his ex and this child is a new person. Got my head bitten off tonight for saying this. I don't always approach things the best way and I don't think being pregnant has helped me get things across.

We were out shopping and he said he wants to make sure our child has a back up of their favourite cuddly toy. Currently his eldest DC in secondary school has tantrums if they don't have their cuddly toy to go to sleep with. I said I would like to try a different approach and not just buy 2. He scoffed at this and said "you'll learn the hard way then and I'll laugh when you do" Our child might not even be interested in this but the idea is being put on them because of how their siblings have been.

This is my first child so why not let me have the positives and negatives of that experience? Am I wrong to want us to find our own way with this child? Something's are done the same with every child and somethings are different. I don't want to just be doing things one way because that's what he did previously though. Anyone else have their partner tell them how it will be because of existing children and basically tell you you know nothing?

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 29-Oct-17 01:03:13

you'll learn the hard way then and I'll laugh when you do - does he always speak to you like that? It's not a very kind way to speak to your partner.

FirstNov2017 Sun 29-Oct-17 01:10:29

No he doesn't but I think he was immediately defensive as to him it must look like I'm questioning his parenting. Not very nice at all though.

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 29-Oct-17 08:10:14

It doesn't look like you're questioning his parenting, it looked like you were having a discussion about parenting. It doesn't excuse his attitude.

Have you tried having a discussion with him and saying clearly that you won't be doing exactly the same as what he's done before, because you want to find you own way. And that there are several ways of being a good parent, not just one way.!

FirstNov2017 Sun 29-Oct-17 08:36:18

I did when we first told his family we were expecting. His mum was straight in with "oooh another little [insert his existing children's names]" getting closer to the time and I think he must have forgotten.

Belleoftheball8 Sun 29-Oct-17 10:23:24

How long you been together it sounds very new relationship I also got abit a resentment undertone in your post about his dc do you have a relationship with them?

FirstNov2017 Sun 29-Oct-17 10:43:49

2 and half years. I get on very well with his youngest, not so great with his eldest but then no one does really. Likes to create drama between the parents and be centre of attention so youngest one misses out on attention. Dreading what it will be like with a new baby. I've talked about it and the managing all their needs but I don't think my partner has really thought it through. Pretty much has a "what will be will be" attitude in regards to that.

LazySusan11 Sun 29-Oct-17 18:57:37

Perhaps he feels he’s failed in some way as a parent and is afraid of there being a divide between how he and his ex patented and how you and he will.

LazySusan11 Sun 29-Oct-17 18:58:12

Parented not patented

Belleoftheball8 Sun 29-Oct-17 20:26:29

2years isn’t particularly long relationship in terms of there being step children. I’m guessing the eldest is the one who has the cuddly toy? Has anyone explored why this is? He’s behaviour seems abit worrying and I’m wondering if there’s more going on with him and things are getting over looked?

FirstNov2017 Sun 29-Oct-17 21:01:13

His eldest has tantrums about a lot of things and is horrid at times to the mum. Anyone could easily think she were an only child. I really can't see her coping with a new baby.

Don't know if there's something he's not telling me. I've laid all my reservations on the table especially as he thinks I'm too strict and I think he's too lenient. I think that stems from them not living with him so he's reluctant to dicapline. It will be interesting to say the least

user1493413286 Sun 29-Oct-17 21:11:28

When we were expecting our DD I used to talk about how I wanted to bring up our child and my OH would make comments about it not always going how I imagined it would and while he would say we could try whatever I wanted I knew that he thought some of it wouldn’t work, for example I was very bothered about the baby sleeping in the cot and because he and his ex ended up co-sleeping he thought we’d end up doing that (we didn’t).
Our baby is now a few months old and I’d say some of what he said is right and some of what I said was how things went, probably about 50:50. He realised when our DD arrived that she was very different as a baby to his child so things have gone differently and my approach to parenting is very different to his ex. He’s made a couple of comments about how things I’ve done are better than when his child was a baby and also put his own learning from his first child into place (and wisely not commented if something his ex did was better).
So I wouldn’t worry too much at this stage, just do what you want to do, use his experience of having babies to your benefit and let him see that your baby is different.
He can buy two comforters or cuddly toys or whatever and find that your baby never takes to them, knows which one is their preference or loves it and separates from it easily at a younger age.

FirstNov2017 Mon 30-Oct-17 07:38:06

@user1493413286 thank you. This is good to hear.

Belleoftheball8 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:57:54

Could she be getting bullied? Her behaviour isn’t that of a normal 11year old girl tbh I would try and look into that further, something clearly is going on with her.

swingofthings Mon 30-Oct-17 11:10:25

The French have a great saying 'before I had children, I had principles'. Like most parents, I found this to be so true! All the things I observed other parents do thinking that I would never do this with my children... to find out I did the same if not more. Dummies? Are you kidding, my kids will never have these horrible things in their mouth... well, I quickly realised that when you are in desperate need of sleep, you are prepared to put anything in their mouth that isn't toxic if it means getting an extra hour of sleep!

I think you need to relax OP and see how things go. It might be that you remain stricter than your OH, and if that is the case, then you'll need to accept each other as you are and just agree to support each other. Most families have one parent stricter than the other and it still works ok. You might however find yourself a lot softer than you'd anticipated as the maternal hormones kick in and even possibly softer than your OH.

As for the eldest, again, they might surprise you as they react. They go through a huge leap in maturity when they go into year 8. I sucked my thumb until I was almost 13, until I went away on a school trip and was too scared to be teased, so gave it up then. A cuddly toy is not that different.

AliPfefferman Mon 30-Oct-17 11:41:52

I think you both need to take it as it comes and not make pronouncements about how you plan to parent. He is being condescending and disrespectful, but it also sounds like you are almost trying to take a stand against how his older DCs were patented, and I can understand how that would get his back up a bit. Frankly I think it makes sense to have a backup cuddly toy — I’ve been there at bedtime when you realize that it’s beeen left somewhere or sicked on and you have an inconsolable 3-year-old who lets nobody sleep. Trust me it’s not fun. Having an extra one around doesn’t mean your child is going to grow up to have the same issues around his/her cuddly toy that your SDC has. It just doesn’t work that way. But of course this is clearly about more than the cuddly toy.

The truth is that we parent the way our children need to be parented, and each child is different. The biggest thing I’ve learned as a parent is that you can do everything “right” and “by the book” — no screen time, perfectly consistent expectations and rewards, only healthy organic food and wooden toys, etc etc— and it doesn’t mean your child will turn out perfect.

I used to look at my nieces and nephews and SWEAR I wasn’t going to do half the things my DS and DB have done with their kids. I thought it was scandalous that my DSIL cooks separate meals for my super-fussy DNeice, and I really believed she was causing or at least fostering the fussy behavior. Now it’s almost a decade later and I find myself doing the same thing. Parenting is much easier in the abstract. And be truth is this IS your DH’s baby too. You can’t expect him to act like he’s never done it before. Just because you openly disapprove of how his DCs are right now doesn’t mean you get to call all the shots with the new baby. And in those dark anxious first nights you may find it very comforting to have a seasoned pro at your side. If you insist on doing everything the opposite of how he wants it done you will quickly alienate him and frankly you will look back and realize you didn’t know as much as you thought you did. (It happens to all of us.)

You also need to remember to pick your battles. If your DH wants to get two cuddly toys, it’s not going to make a bit of difference to how your child turns out. On the other hand, if he wants to leave the child unsupervised in a dangerous situations or even feed him/her fast food every day from the age of 4 months, those are bigger problems. Pick the ones that really matter rather than just trying to make a point or be in control.

It sounds like you may have a difficult road ahead with co-parenting and you may want to consider some counseling with your DH during the pregnancy or early days. These issues are going to come up on literally a daiky basis, and the few months before and after the birth are hormonal, sleepless, and incredibly emotional. It sounds like you both could use some help in how to navigate that time together. It really is an amazing, beautiful time and you should do everything you can to not get bogged down in petty BS. There are things that may feel SO important to you right now, like your birth plan, BFing vs formula, whether to co-sleep, when and how to start solids, how to handle vaccinations, or even how many cuddly toys to buy. At the risk of sounding condescending, you will look back in a few years and realize that none of it matters that much. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be concerned with these things, and your DH has no right to be rude or dismissive about them, but try to take the long view. It will all be easier and happier for everyone if you and your DH maintain a strong, healthy, and joyful marriage. If you think there’s enough love there that that is a possibility, you should both do all you can to maintain it. The first order of business is your DH learning communicate more respectfully and you learning not to use his older DCs as an example of what not to do. Good luck, OP. Sorry I wrote a novel, I do have some experience with this stuff and it all just came tumbling out smile.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 30-Oct-17 11:46:29

It is also possible to think before having your first child what you're going to do and then actually do so when they arrive. I didn't want to use dummies and haven't, neither of my children have/had a toy comforter so no panic if it gets lost, we did family meals for everyone, no one gets a special meal cooked for them etc etc. It's quite condescending to tell a new mother that she won't be able to stick to what she wants and that she won't care about it later on.

FirstNov2017 Mon 30-Oct-17 14:23:46

@Belleoftheball8 I have had to stay out and keep my opinion to myself when it comes with any issues that the eldest has. DP and his ex have a hard enough time agreeing or sticking to a course of action. I try to stay the same person when she is with us and I think she has learnt that I'm not as easy to get round as her parents so we don't have the same issues.

@swingofthings I definitely need to calm down. it's laughable how worked up it made me at the time.

@AliPfefferman I appreciate a good novel. I have zero experience with this and need all the advice I can get that doesn't come from someone who knows us so can't have a skewed view on things. Pointless talking to my friends as they are always on my side.

@AssassinatedBeauty I feel like he will try and make our child have a comforter because his 2 do and thinks it's cute that they have that dependency on them. On going joke with his family about these things. They are very spoilt children and it shows to outsiders. I want our child to choose and not have it in either of our heads what this child will be like based on his past experience.

I have an idea of how I want to be as a mother and how I want to do things. Whether or not things turn out that way is a different story! Has been frustrating getting this across to him and his family. Simple things like asking people not to buy us bottles as I plan on BF but it being met with "oooooh don't get your hopes up as it might not work for you"... Not the type of comment I need. Especially as BF is all I've ever known women in my family to do and I really want to put effort into doing it.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 30-Oct-17 15:02:44

If the in laws aren't used to breastfeeding you may get lots of dodgy "advice" that doesn't apply if you're breastfeeding. Is your DP totally onside with breastfeeding, as it really won't help if he's not 100% supportive?

user1493413286 Mon 30-Oct-17 15:37:08

That’s really not helpful on the breastfeeding subject. My OH and his ex formula fed their child and when I was pregnant I could tell he was a bit skeptical about my wish to breastfeed but I managed it and he quickly changed to seeing it in a really positive way and was really supportive with it (probably helps that it meant he didn’t have to do any night feeds).
Does your DH work? Because if you’re the primary carer and you don’t encourage the use of a comforter then it’s unlikely your baby will take to it. However don’t get too against them as I’m currently trying to encourage the use of one so that I can stop having to use motion or feed my baby to sleep.
Also for some children of separated parents a comforter becomes more important because it’s a transition object they can take to both places to be able to settle as it can never hard moving between two different environments where routines, physical environment and people are different.

FirstNov2017 Mon 30-Oct-17 16:09:19

@AssassinatedBeauty he's supportive but also telling me not to get my hopes up because his ex had problems. confused I'd rather just get on with it and talk to a BF specialist if I discover I have problems. I have visions of waking up one day and his mum giving the baby formula as she didn't want to wake me up to feed. angry (his mum is very clingy - different story all together!)

@user1493413286 never thought about it being a transitional object. It's always the end of the world when she forgets it.

Yeah he works so it will be me and baby for the first year and then whatever we work out when I go back to work.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 30-Oct-17 16:29:41

Yeah, that's not very supportive though! You might have problems but most problems can be sorted out, if you get support from the right people. I'd make sure you know where you can access breastfeeding support before the baby is due. It's good that it sounds like your family has lots of practical experience that you can use if necessary.

lifeandtheuniverse Mon 30-Oct-17 16:45:51

No two children are the same - even with the same parents. MY first was a dream, my second was reality strikes in the form of the devil incarnate.

A few of the tricks from no1 worked for no2 and we had to adapt and learn some more.

I think people get too precious. He has experience and some of what he is used to will work with his new child aswell. Some will not and you will both adapt.

I think Dads are given an incredibly hard time by the second mother. Do not mention the Ex, do not mention what you did, my way or the highway - I do not want to bring my children up like you did your first two. The implied implication is they have no experience, no knowledge and what they have done before is all wrong - it really is fairly insulting to them. They can not unlearn what they have already experienced and being on tenterhooks about upsetting you by some inadvertent remark is childish.

My Ex commented on how he liked the fact his new DP breastfed their first child - ( 4 weeks) and we had formula fed - two premature babies who were tube fed and had the suck reflex of a gnat! Horses for courses - he knew it was impossible for me and that is life. He wanted a rise - he never got one!

You will both learn and implying his earlier DCS have been brought up wrongly, which is what people do is just plain rude.

FirstNov2017 Mon 30-Oct-17 17:03:00

@lifeandtheuniverse who said I was giving him a hard time? In our house his ex is not a myth. They have kids together and the kids know they can talk about her too where as she goes out of her way to exclude me from conversation (so I'm told). I'm saying that I don't like that he is already thinking that this child will be the same as his 2 and already has preconceptions about they will and won't like. I'd prefer if we got to know our child. As you say, no 2 children are the same. I don't dismiss his experience or expect him to unlearn it but I'm not taking a backseat or just going to follow suit because he's got more experience than me. Implying I know nothing and will learn the hard way is rude.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 30-Oct-17 17:50:32

He hasn't got any experience as a new mother though, he has experience as a new dad and as a second time dad. Your experience as a first time mother will be different to anyone else's, and you will work out what you want to do as you get to grips with things.

I think anyone with an ounce of empathy and common sense would realise that a new partner isn't going to want to hear what the ex partner did at every turn.

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