This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Did having a baby help you to feel like you fit in the family?(45 Posts)
I have been married for 2 years now and with my Dh for several. He has children from a previous marriage. (Not that it's relevant but to save the hassle, no I was not the ow and met Dh after they were divorced, she left him etc).
I think as a lot of women do in this situation, I feel like an outsider and when the kids are round I feel that I lose my place. It makes me upset and uneasy. I don't really know how to act or what to do with myself. Its like I can't relax like I normally would in my house. I feel like the imposter in my own home and that I get in the way.
I was wondering if having a baby with Dh would help me to find my place more? I would like a baby but not if me and my child will feel this way and of less importance than his existing children.
I'm torn really about whether to leave or make this life changing decision. What do you think?
I think if you are having doubts about your relationship already you would make it 100 times worse bringing a child into the situation.
Babies need your focus all the time, but by the same token your husbands children still need time and attention which isn't baby friendly all the time.
When I had my first everything was focused on him all the time, when my second came along he had to slot into the needs of the first somewhat and it takes a lot of adjustment and compromise to get the balance right even when both children are yours and your partners.
You are already feeling segregated. If you have a baby while feeling like this it will be really hard. You will go into things with the mindset of a first time Mum, but your husband will have the responsibility's of a dad of three.
Babies are portable, even though it doesn't feel like it when you have your first. Take your time and see if your existing relationship issues can be fixed first, don't have a baby as a plaster.
I have been with my fiancée for 4 years now. We are due to get married next June!
My partner has a child from a previous relationship which ended about 11 years ago (she left him).
I hear what you are saying about feeling left out sometimes, however, I often do stuff with my DSD such as have girlie movie nights and shopping sprees! Stuff her dad is not really into so in that way we have bonded in a different way.
Do you have a relationship with your step children at all? Or is it mostly that you give them space when they are round?
I also have a 6 week old with my fiancée now, our first child together, we are both sleep deprived at the moment and his DSD is coming to stay with is for the holidays so not sure how that will go yet, but DsD is really good with her little sister and she seems to accept her.
As for feeling part of the family are you talking about with your OH or his extended family like his parents?
I’m really sorry to say but I don’t know that it will make you feel differently. I actually feel a little more like that since DD was born; before she was born I felt like I was always very involved with DSD and DH but now often it feels like I’m left looking after DD while DH has time with and focused on DSD.
In a lot of ways that is the right thing for him to be doing but it does feel different to before. I think it might change as she gets older though. In a different way though it has made me feel more secure within his family and on a completely different level to his ex as she could be quite pushy about being the “mother of his child”
I do have a relationship with them but mostly I leave them and dh to it. I tend to do the other invisible things like the food shopping, cooking and clearing up their mess.
I suppose I mean in general, so I don't feel part of the family when the kids are around, whether that's when it's just me and Dh or his family are there. I suppose I feel most on edge when it's my Dh, his family and the kids. I just feel like a spare part and like I should just leave because I have no 'real' connection to them.
Yes his ex has golden uterus syndrome as well. So perhaps it would make me feel that I am more important in his life.
If it didn't help you feel closer, do you regret it?
I think it’s worth talking to your oh and explain how you’re feeling?
I know with my OH and his family the DSD was the only child and grandchild for so long. I often felt that they overcompensated with her and spoilt her a bit. Especially because his ex made it fairly difficult for them to see her in the first few years! I did worry for how our LO would be treated by him and them and whether they would treat her the same or differently (for example as if she was less special as they saw her everyday rather than on s limited basis). As of yet everything has been great! There are a few little things that I wish I could change mostly to do with my future MIL! Lol, but I still feel involved with DSD and my partner treats both his children very fairly IMO.
I would never say I regret having My LO she is awesome, even when I’m up in that early hours with her! It has brought my partner and I closer, in a totally different way to what I expected though! DSD absolutely adores her and loves the fact that she has a sister and even told me she was bragging about her at school. There are still things that get on my nerves but I think that would be standard in any relationship. I think communication is key talk to your partner tell him your worries and your hopes and see what he says?
Could I also ask what is golden uterus syndrome?
Honestly it makes it worse not better. Our baby us two weeks old and I'm struggling to cope without 3 DSC as well 50% of the time. But I was very close to them before the baby and took them out on my own etc, so I'm probably just missing doing that. Also the ex wife in our senario is being a bit territorial since baby came, including saying baby isn't family ( he's their sodding blood relative) so that's put pressure on as well. Not the children's fault at all but adds extra stress.
The kids are wounderful with the baby and it's great to see but it is still a lot more work. Tbh I love dp taking them out alone as it means I can nap or bath the baby/ tidy.
Children tend to make life more complicated not easier!
perhaps it would make me feel that I am more important in his life
This is the worst possible reason to have a child. You have a child when you are in a loving, emotionally and financially stable relationship. Babies don’t bring calm and balance, they completely destabilise things and if you don’t have a calm and stable house now it will absolutely end in divorce when you’re both sleep deprived and the step children are feeling threatened by their new half sibling and need their dad even more. The wider family won’t suddenly see you as a part of their established family. You will still be the same person to them and aside from cuddles for your baby, you will be expected to take care of it while they entertain the older siblings.
Do what you need to do to have a loving relationship with the step children and to feel loved and included in your own home. If you want a baby with your DH then lay the groundwork for a stable home for it. Now is not the time.
Women who are jealous of their step children should never be in a relationship with a dad. It’s damaging for all involved. If you feel he doesn’t love you enough and you would actually have a baby to try and make him love you more then you should take a long hard look at your life. Maybe you shouldn’t be a step mother and should look for someone more suited to you. Those kids are going nowhere and it’s right that they come before you. That is what good fathers do.
@Spangleyprincess1 - I had the same issue with my partners ex. My DSD once told me her mum had said that her brother that her mum had with another bloke was her proper brother and that any children me and my partner have would only be step siblings! And not proper family! Was so annoyed by this because all my DsD wants to do is feel like she has a place within our family too!
I’m quite lucky though my partners really supportive and DsD is awesome with her new sibling, it is bloody hard though (people said it would be but I did not believe them! Or i did but I just did not expect it to be this hard) and I’ve often had debates with my oh about who’s had the most sleep and who should get up with the baby this time! Lol
OP - A baby is a test of a relationship it can either make you or break you. I don’t think having a baby to feel more included is the way to go, because there are gonna be times when your DPs attention will be on his children that are not with you and it means when you’re looking after your child on your own while this is happening you will feel even more excluded! If you have discussed this with your OH and you both agree you want a baby then that’s great but like I said it will be stressful, tiring and you will find that your partner won’t be 100% supportive towards you and your child when his other children are round xx
We do otherwise have a good relationship though and I'm not 'jealous' as suggested. It's much more complex than that. I'm not jealous of the children in that he is giving them more time. That would be very odd.
It's more that when they are here I feel uneasy because I don't really fit in if that makes sense. I feel like a spare part. For example, they all sit on the sofa together and there's no where for me to go. At mealtimes I have to sit on a separate table as there is no room for me. They play a game and I'm not invited to play or not particularly wanted.
Of course I can go out and leave them to it and I do this quite a lot. But at least I do try to fit in. I do feel the kids relationship with their dad is quite artificial in a sense though. When he is with them he gives them 100% of his undivided attention and ignores everything and anything else that needs to be done (like cooking, cleaning, shopping, other chores). In a household which has not split up parents do not give their children this attention all of the time because they can't. Life goes on and things need doing. I believe that because of this they have become very clingy to him to the point where he can't even get a drink for himself without being followed. I'm not sure this is normal.
Women who are jealous of their step children should never be in a relationship with a dad.
Comments like this are why Sparents get so much negative press and very little support. It’s a ludicrous comment based on ignorance. Jealousy is a very natural and human emotion. Jealousy can occur when a child gets a siblingZ it can occur when a couple have a baby and the (normally) mother becomes completely absorbed in the baby and the partner can feel neglected (and also jealous of the baby). Happens a lot.
The feeling itself and these sorts of comments is why people don’t admit to feeling this way and repress the feelings. And THATS when the problems start. The feeling jealous is not the problem, it’s natural. It’s the judgemental response that is.
How you choose to communicate that feeling and work as a couple to resolve it is what matters. I feel jealous of my DP’s DC from time to time. I talk to my DP about it. He has admitted that he feels jealous of my DC and the amicable set up I have with my XP. Should that mean we shouldn’t be together? Not at all.
If the children started to suffer as a result that’s a different thing. But more people need to be openly admit to feeling this way without uninformed and misguided judgemental statements like that.
Op. I wouldn’t introduce a baby in the hope that it would help. Babies are gorgeous and scrummy and id have one in a heartbeat with my DP if it wasn’t for the fact that I also know how much strain It puts on a couple. The exhaustion is like nothing else. With so much going on, if you’re not careful it can make things worse.
I’m sure it can also make things better but I just like my sleep too much now.
@superlol - I know exactly what you mean my OH gives his daughter his undivided attention when she is here, and as a result every other job that needs doing around the house goes by the wayside. So much so that the house looks like a bombs hit it!
They also have daddy daughter things that they do like bike rides, board games and watching the Simpson’s together. I’m too busy clearing up and tidying to join in sometimes.
Now with a baby as well it’s tricky he still wants to give his daughter the same amount of attention but it’s also a massive sacrifice on the part of the step mum in order for him to do that, as you will still have all those tasks to do as well as play mum and dad to your little one. That’s not to say my partner does not help with our LO while DSD is here he does but not as much as if she wasn’t here, if that makes sense.
The being jealous part I agree with both previous posters, it’s not good to let feelings of resentment affect your relationship with SC or DP but at the same time I would find it hard to believe any step parent if they were to say they did not have those feelings towards their DSC sometimes. We are all human after all!
My advice would be talk to your partner tell him how you feel, ask to be included with the kids and even arrange days out with just you and them without dad so you can have something to bond over, like a hobby?
I think if you have been married for 2 years and your DH has not recognised the need to either get a bigger table or have carpet picnic meals so you all sit down to eat, then you need to have sharp words. No wonder you feel isolated. I would feel like the servant in this set up. I also don’t think that you should be doing all the silent work either. If he is doing 100% of the fun, then he has to do the cleaning etc. You need to tell him that either you are a family or not.
they all sit on the sofa together and there's no where for me to go.
Are there no other chairs in the living room apart from the sofa?
At mealtimes I have to sit on a separate table as there is no room for me.
You need to get a bigger dining table that can take everyone. The extendable ones are a possible option.
They play a game and I'm not invited to play
Discuss this with your DH when they arent around. Its isolating and excluding you which isn't very nice.
or not particularly wanted
Is this a feeling you get? Surely if you get on with them, one would think they'd be happy for you to join in and play with them.
Do you get on with his family members? Are they nice to you. I have a SIL Who is stepmum to my brothers DC. She is very much part of the family and I hope she doesnt feel like you do....
as we've welcomed her in and there's no exclusion.
We have a very small house so can't fit those things suggested.
Yes it's a feeling but a real one. We get on but I think they would prefer it if it was just them and their dad (without me there). I do get that and you can't blame the kids for it. But it's just hard for me sometimes.
Sometimes I feel very depressed and like I don't matter at all.
We have a very small house so can't fit those things suggested
So you can’t all fit in the current house yet you want to bring a baby into this situation? Where will you put the high chair? The crib? The bouncer? The change table? The billions of other things babies use?
Talk to your partner and if he can’t change things then accept it or leave.
High chair can be folded away, cot in the bedroom, don't need a change table or a bouncer...
We can all fit in the current house. I know you're just trying to wind me up but you make a lot of stupid assumptions.
In the nicest possible way I do not think anyone is trying to wind you up, baby’s are expensive, tiring and they also take up a lot of room.
You mentioned that you’re depressed sometimes, a new baby will only heighten that feeling and make it worse. Imagine feeling what you’re feeling when your depression is really bad and imagine adding sleep deprivation, anxiety and a powerful sense of WTF has just happened to my life on top of that, and that’s if you just get the baby blues which is what many women get, if you ends up getting PND it could be even worse.
What does your OH think of the baby idea? Is he on board with it?
Even so if j were gig I would discuss your feelings about feeling excluded with him first before TTC, as when a baby comes along the sense of feeling a lone only gets worse xxx
I’m not. The only stupid assumption is that having a baby would make your life in any way easier. It just wouldn’t, as many, many people on here have told you.
We have a small house too but are moving. Babies take up room - you wouldn't believe how much! . I love our son to bits but the last few weeks since he was born has pushed me and dp to the limit in terms of exhaustion and we are arguing more than normal.
Honestly i was closer to dsc pre baby as I could spend more time with them. They are lovely with their new brother but it's hard to juggle breast feeding n sleeping when they constantly want to touch him.
Have you tried getting to know the kids better on their own? We bound over books and teaching them to cook for the boys, ponies and crafting for dsd. In terms of meals - could you carpet picnic or even go for a picnic and play cricket or hide n seek in a park/water fights as the weather is fab.
Honestly a baby is great and wounderful but does make relationships more tense in the short term. It's up to you what you want but be aware of the potential downfalls as well as the benefits