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Scared about being non-bio mum, will baby inherently love me less?

21 replies

Starberries · 04/07/2010 15:47

Sounds really stupid, but it's how I'm feeling at the minute. Have really started crying the last few days properly thinking about it. The baby will know wife's voice, smell, etc, will it inevitably prefer her? Will this be expounded when I go back to work only a few weeks after birth (damn paternity leave)? Will it be solidified if I go back to work full- or even part-time and only see baby in evenings & weekends?

People have already made the few comments 'You'll not be the real 'mum' will you?' which are just hurtful but they probably don't mean to be.

Having a baby has been my sole aim since I was probably 5 years old, and I always thought it would be me getting pregnant, I'm missing the ability to experience it, although it will be my turn hopefully in a few years.

Can I have other non-bio's views on this? And bio's too of course if you'd like , everyone says (including partner) it will be much different when baby comes out and I'll fit right in and it will love us both in different ways, but I want it to love me as it's mum, not it's '2nd' mum.

OP posts:
drivingmisscrazy · 04/07/2010 20:32

oh you poor love - you really shouldn't torment yourself so. I am non-bio mum to DD (17mo) and I can assure you that she loves both of us - it's hard-wired and yours (assuming that you will be at the birth) will probably be the first face s/he sees. Baby will recognise your voice (assuming that you do talk to your partner ).

In my experience the early days and weeks are the hardest, but a lot of that is because you have a new baby and with the best will in the world can't be rational. I can honestly say with all my heart that I have no anxiety about who she loves more - we are the people who care for her, her safety, her world. She knows we are different people, but she's too small to know about whose DNA she does and doesn't have, she just knows that her mummies will always love her, comfort her, take care of her, kiss it better, play with her, read with her, find her lost toys etc etc etc.

Be proud and confident - the only person who gets to define you as a mother is in the end you - and remember that the relationship between a non-bio mum and her child is incredibly special, founded on pure love. And believe me, you'll be so busy that you won't have time to worry about being 1st mum or 2nd mum.

When is your baby due? Can you talk to your partner about how you feel? Are you just realising that you're actually having a baby?!

drivingmisscrazy · 04/07/2010 20:33

DP has just said that your main worry will be how to get through the first 6 months

MavisEnderby · 04/07/2010 20:41

what Driving Miss Crazy said.

I remember dp when he was alive,voicing similar concerns about being Dad.."But I haven't had the baby in my will it love me?"

Believe me,if you are there for the baby and a constant in its life it will totally love you because you are there too

MavisEnderby · 04/07/2010 20:45

Sorry have just looked properly at thread title and was a heterosexual relationship so sorry,but honestly I am sure it will be just the same,because you will be there and loving the baby

Good luck

smittenkitten · 04/07/2010 20:56

congratulations starberries! I am non-bio mum, but in a slightly different position, as I never wanted my own bio children. And was not actually particularly maternal before my two rocked up.

I can safely say that the kids love us both and I am closer to them than a lot of biological dads are to theirs, I think. When I pick ds up from nursery he shouts my name, runs to me and jumps into my arms for a big cuddle. I'm not a "2nd mum", I'm a parent in my own right and equal, but different.

(btw this is being typed by DW as newborn DD is currently asleep on me!)

LeninGoooaaall · 04/07/2010 21:04

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGoooaaall · 04/07/2010 21:06

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drivingmisscrazy · 04/07/2010 21:11

totally agree with Lenin (don't I always ) - it's lovely the first time they yell for mummy and cling to your leg; the 995th time it wears a bit thin...our DD does a good line in the other parent appeal, e.g. when she doesn't like what's happening (nappy, teeth, face-wiping etc etc) she yells 'mummy', meaning whichever mummy is not torturing her attempting to take on a caring and nurturing role. I think the fact that she plays us off against one another means that we are both equal in her eyes...

LeninGoooaaall · 05/07/2010 11:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hester · 05/07/2010 22:16

I think you have to expect that the relationship will be different, at least in the first year, if you are not acting as primary carer. Babies anchor into the person who is THERE, who is breastfeeding them and carrying them around and getting up in the night with them. The baby will love and appreciate you being there, but might not show it much. I think at times this was hard for my dp.

As the child gets older, into the full grip of separation anxiety, they may play you two off against each other, may act rejecting to you and try to push you away. My dp found this VERY HARD.

I have seen this happen in so many families, including my own. it seems to cause more upset in lesbian families, perhaps because lesbian mothers expect to inhabit the same role, and children tend to prefer us in different roles.

I have seen lots of threads on MN about toddlers who are acting rejecting to one or other parent, and someone always advises them to hang on in there with gritted teeth, because it always swings around. And I think that is absolutely true. HOLD YOUR NERVE. If you love and care for that child, the child will love you right back - they can't help it, it's what they're born to do!

Our dd is now 4, she is my biological child, and there have been times when she has clung to me and been very rejecting to her other mother. Over the last year, though, it has been far more often that she wants to be with my dp. (She says, "I love you, Mum, but Mama really is my favourite"!). They have a fantastic relationship - they absolutely adore each other - and there is absolutely no question that our dd sees her non-bio parent as fully her mum.

So, my advice to you is:

  1. Understand that babies will respond more to their primary carer; this changes over time, but it's a reality you'll have to deal with.

2. Don't get too hung up on whether you're being perceived as 'mum' or 'second mum'. Children don't need two parents in identikit roles, and they will relate to you in different ways and come to you for different things.

3. Parenting is an emotional roller-coaster. Be calm and remember that your child does and will love you, even if they don't always act like it!

4. Develop a very thick skin to all the people who don't see you as a real mother. They won't go away, I'm afraid. But the love you get from your child will more than compensate.

Good luck and be happy xx
drivingmisscrazy · 05/07/2010 22:30

good advice from hester - I think my sense of the bio/non-bio thing is probably a bit distorted by the fact that I am around a lot and we are both here most of the time. Also agree about the thick skin - sad but true

drivingmisscrazy · 07/07/2010 21:56

do you think starberries actually read our dissertations sage and worldly advice? or read it and thought it was shite??

Chica1912 · 08/07/2010 18:28

Im the bio mum of our little boy and have actually found the opposite to be true - he is always desperate to spend time with Mummy (my partner)who works ft and will reject me sometimes, wanting only her - Im a childminder so with him all the time. Agree with the others though that it is swings and roundabouts as he currently refuses to have Mummy during the night and will only have me. My partner is currently 8 mths pregnant with ds2 so no doubt things will change again when the new baby arrives. Your baby will love you both and as to you not being the 'real' mum - you will just have to ignore it, your relationship with your child is all that matters not what others may perceive or assume. Unfortunately you'll find that being lesbians with a child automatically seems to give people free reign to comment on your relationship, parenting skills and even in some cases your "selfishness"(yes, had this on more than one occasion) at having a child. It sounds like you'll be a lovely mum, forget the worrying and concentrate on your imminent new son/daughter

hester · 08/07/2010 22:59


cockles · 09/07/2010 15:49

Totally agree with hester and lening.... and have definitely been there. At the same time - maybe you need to give yourself permission to be sad about not being pg, it is hard, though hopefully you will get a chance too.

mollymax · 09/07/2010 15:57

What a very lucky little baby. It is not even born yet and has 2 people who love it so much already.

DottyDot · 10/07/2010 16:15

This is ringing lots of (faint now!) bells with me.

Dp had ds1 and I had all the same worries about being the non-bio Mum - and I also the one who had always wanted babies and thought/hoped I'd get pregnant first, but didn't.

But once he was here, life's too bonkers to worry about it anyway - and all fears were unfounded!

One thing that I'll never forget - Dp (and I when it came to ds2) had a section, so we were each the first person to hold each other's babies if you see what I mean, which meant so much even though we wouldn't have wished our emergency sections on each other at all...

Ds's do love us in different ways at different times - usually depending on what they want... You'll also love your child and then any others you or your dp might have in different ways. This used to upset me - I worried endlessly that I might love (my) ds2 more than ds1 - again, just didn't happen.

Now at 8 and 6 they're both wonderful and we're just their parents - and of course they love their (known to them) Dad much more than either of us, because he doesn't live with us, pitches up for tea every so often and has a sporty car...

It'll be fine, honestly - just take your time and you'll have your own special relationship with your child!

DottyDot · 10/07/2010 16:17

Yes - I agree with cockles about allowing yourself to feel sad about not being pregnant. Ironically, once I did fall pregnant, after nearly 2 years of trying, I blardy hated it..! Spent the whole time being miserable and not bonding at all with bump - thankfully that all disappeared once ds2 appeared, but was a real shocker to me after all those years imagining how wonderful and magical it must be to be pregnant....

Gay40 · 10/07/2010 16:46

I'm a non-bio parent and can't really improve on the advice given above. They do go through phases of wanting one parent more than the other, and there's a stage of "you're not my real mum are you" but ultimately it's just them establishing their own identity.

hester · 10/07/2010 22:45

Update from my 4-year-old daughter: Granny is her favourite, (non-bio) Mama is 2nd favourite, I trail in at 3rd place, Daddy comes 4th. But you know, even at 3rd place, I get (and give) so much love it just doesn't feel like a shortage

drivingmisscrazy · 17/07/2010 19:38

am a bit about the fact that OP never acknowledged these very lengthy and quite personal responses to her fears. I hope that everything is OK, but feel a bit annoyed - I always come back and thank people for their advice when they have bothered to reply - even if I don't like agree with what they say. But sorry in advance if there is some good reason why she's not back

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