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Tips for Pregnant Step Mums!(13 Posts)
I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first child and have a 5 year old step daughter, who I've known since she was 1. Does anyone have any parenting tips or must-dos for when the baby arrives? I know I'll have to try and treat them equally as they grow older - is that difficult when you develop a parental bond with your own?
On the whole, I have a very good relationship with my step daughter, but I'm worried I'll love my baby more...
You will love your baby more, and that is perfectly natural. Do NOT punish yourself for that. You can’t help it, it’s instinct. There will be a number of comments, I’m sure, from ExWs or MN do-gooders who will tell you (even in your emotionally charged state) that you are evil incarnate for even thinking that you’d love a child you gave birth to over the first child born to your partner’s ex. That’s bollocks. So don’t listen to them.
There are no rules for introducing a baby to your SD. Just maybe go with your instinct. You have a good relationship with your SD and you’ve been around almost her entire life, you WILL have instincts about how she interacts with your baby.
Don’t overcompensate. And don’t let your DP overcompensate either. SD needs to know from the start that nothing will radically change as a result of the birth. But that she will be sharing much more. Maintain consistency. Keep SDs routine the same as it’s always been, any changes should be gradual.
Good luck. And concentrate on baby. Don’t let any anxieties cloud your first few months of motherhood xx
I second everything pp has said. You will definitely feel something different towards your step child compared your own but that is fine and normal.
Try to keep things equal but don't start counting things to keep it bang on equal. Even with multiple non step children things are uneven sometimes.
I would recommend you get a present from the Baby to your step daughter so she feels included. Especially as she'll see you and the baby receive many gifts.
If you can in the lead up mention to close friends and family when they visit you that they also interact with SD. Although don't feel you need to mention it if you feel they will do it naturally.
Sessy19 - your first paragraph is an absolute load of bollocks and no one has ever said that on this forum.
The vast majority of mothers want there children to be happy, cared for and treated with a degree of equality that comes with siblings
Handsfull - advice spot on.
sorry- excluding your first sentence. Which was accurate
Thank you sessy19 - I've had some abuse on one of my pregnancy app forums that made me feel like an awful human being, which is particularly difficult - as you said - when my hormones are running wild! I am obviously very fond of my SD, but there have been times when I've found step parenting difficult, as I'm sure all other SPs would agree. That said, I feel very prepared for my own child's future tantrums and challenges! I appreciate the advice - thank you
Present is a great idea, handsfull13! And I will definitely ensure visitors are inclusive of SD. She is really excited, so I'm sure she'll love the fuss around 'her baby' (as she likes to refer to him/her!!)
I do desperately want them to be equal, takeittakeit. Maybe it's those pesky pregnancy hormones putting doubts in my head (let's hope so ) They will be siblings in my eyes, and I want them to love and respect each other like I do my sisters x
I am also going to be in the same position with an 8 year old step son.
We have had an extra private scan that he could come along to and we found out it was a brother. He was initially a bit blasé about the whole thing but since actually seeing the baby he has been more excited.
We will be getting a gift from baby to him and have said to him that we will need his help to look after his brother so will give him wee jobs so he feels he is valued and part of baby's life.
Of course it goes without saying neither child will be treated any different and we will ensure we do family activities when he is on his days with us.
And he will never be referred to as step brother or anything, we will always be a family and the boys will be brothers.
My only concern is that my family live in England (we are in Scotland) and when we go to visit it doesn't always work out that we can take him with us. So will need to watch that he doesn't miss out on too many of these visits that the new baby will be part of..
that and how he will react to coming and going between 2 homes when the new baby gets to stay at 1. But then he has done that since he was 3 so hoping it won't be too troubling for him.
I'm going with the mindset that no one can really tell you how to handle the situation as every child is different so you just need to find a rhythm and routine that works for your family
@unicornchaser I'm sure you meant half brother not step brother?
I understand that you have the best of intentions but you have no guarantee that your ss will see things the way you do. My kids have two younger half siblings on their dads side. My dd was 8 when the older one was born & she was adamant he was her half brother & referred to him as such. Her dad & his dp got really annoyed with her over this which was very upsetting for her. She wasn't trying to be rude but she needed the space that giving him the label of half brother allowed in order for her to come to terms with the fact that her dad had a new child.
My advice would be don't push your agenda & let your ss take his time with the new baby. My dd also hated being given jobs to do with the baby & still does, as she feels that when that happens she's not being treated like a kid at her dads but rather as a mini adult - she feels her dad & sm should not need her help! She loves playing with them though and is super at that.
Also,while all three of my kids love their little brothers dearly they all say it will never feel like a normal family unit & while they love their sm & get on great with her, her calling them one big happy family really, really annoys them.
For the record I'm also a sm so I'm not sm bashing - I just don't think the notion of family that the adults have or would like always corresponds to how the kids see it.
Think the rules here are essentially the same as for any new baby..don't let the new baby overshadow the 'old' child(ren).
Ensure friends and family know that you expect them to greet your DSD first, before baby, as they would usually. Baby won't mind, DSD might feel put out if suddenly every visitor makes a beeline for baby. My lot were really excited to introduce the new biter to visitors-you'd have thought they'd squeezed her out they were so proud.
Engage DSD as a 'helper' and make her feel included as much as humanly possible-picking a teddy for new baby, shopping for clothes, feeling bump moving etc etc etc
Don't worry about 'titles', if you say brother or sister that's what it'll be (although biter 3 was 'Baby' according to biter 2 for a long time)
I have wonderful photos of biters 1,2 and 3 with no.4 when she came home just a few hours old and similar photos of 1 wth 2 and so on..
I have a 3 month old DD and 8 year old DSD. Of course my feelings are different towards my own child but I fell in love with DP and DSD as a package- and I love her even more for the fantastic big sister she is to DD.
DSD has never shown any signs of feeling excluded or jealous. Right from the start she was excited about 'our' baby and we involved her in choosing names. She was desperate for a sister so that helped a lot! What also helped is that she got a lot of 'congratulations on being a big sister' cards and presents from both our families. My family are the kind of people who will be very careful to treat them equally. In fact I worry about Xmas and birthdays in the future when DSD has presents from 4 families and DD only has 2!
Sorry yes I meant half brother @Magda72, hit send then realised I can't go back and change so figured people would know what I meant anyway.
I understand what you mean about ss maybe not seeing it the same was as us but he refers to the baby as his brother and talks about all the family things we will do. I realise when the baby arrives he may not see it like that but what I meant was I don't want anyone outwith the family commenting on half brother in a derogatory sense.
He loves having a job to do and sees it as being trusted with responsibility and almost a 'purpose' in the family so think he will love to be involved with it.
But of course it will all be taken at ss pace and we will let him find his feet to having a sibling around