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Telling the DSC we are getting married
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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 07:27

This is definitely longer that it needed to be, I’m sorry! Trying to be thorough.


DSC are DSD10 and DSS12. Their father and I (him41 and me47) have been in a relationship for seven years and living together for 6 years. We have DSC basically 50/50, live within a mile of their DM home and school. I have no children.


DP and I got engaged a month ago. DSC haven’t noticed the ring. Not surprised as they don’t have such things on their radar. My partner’s lovely mother (his surviving parent, I don’t have any surviving parents) doesn’t know either.


We have just bought our first house (familiar, just as close to DM and school, the street where one of their BFF’s used to live etc) and they know all about that, and everyone is excited of course!


Plan is to take them all down to the house when we get the keys to run around excitedly and measure alcoves etc, and say “And also daddy and I are getting married!” And see where the conversation takes us. I’ve also got the line “Nothing changes except you guys all have to come to a party in [my former home town]!!” Which is true as far as they’re concerned…I guess? Wedding will be 2023 and we plan to bundle it into a UK summer holiday with the kids. Honeymoon later.


When the DSC were younger they’d ask if we were getting married. I don’t know if their DM had planted the seed or if it was part of the straightforward way their thinking went eg Adults are in Relationships which naturally equals Marriage. It seemed like the latter at the time. I enjoy being reminded of how simple life can be when they say stuff like that, as they’re free from all the nuance, factoring and worry that grown ups wrestle with iyswim.


DP is going to draft a message to his EW to send the day we do this, during the running around and measuring, so she knows at the same time. “Yes darling, mummy knows too!”


I suppose I should describe the relationship with EW: it is almost entirely civil, however she does rather treat DP weirdly when she arranges things for the DC to do last minute so arrangements change. We don’t always know what’s happening each week. It’s very frustrating, and he is considering moves to formalise the arrangements but as he has them often (time wise, just not always on the same set days) he feels it isn’t pressing to…launch proceedings. She and I don’t talk as I can say no to her, where DP struggles. EW and my last WhatsApp convo from a few years ago is me saying “That won’t work for us” #thanksmumsnet But she is just as stable as we are, and none of that factors into this conversation…?

We don’t think our engagement will be a surprise to anyone. Our families have seen our committed relationship. EW will not be surprised, we don’t think. She is in a long committed relationship also. Her DP lives and works in another town and has DC with his ex and we speculate the only reason they don’t live together is due to the logistics.


But obvs we haven’t done this before ha ha. Anything glaring that I’m missing that people do/say in these situations? What might the DSC say or think? In some ways I’m thinking of this as two major life events that are inevitable, just get the telling part done, and react to the reactions. Which I am 99% sure will be positive OR WILL THEY 🤪

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weekendninja · 30/05/2022 10:04

I wouldn't tell them when they go to the new house...from experience with my DCs moving house creates uncertainty. Whilst it is great for us adults, the prospect for my DC was a little overwhelming.

I'd move, let them get settled and then announce later on.

Oh, and congratulations!

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 10:20

weekendninja · 30/05/2022 10:04

I wouldn't tell them when they go to the new house...from experience with my DCs moving house creates uncertainty. Whilst it is great for us adults, the prospect for my DC was a little overwhelming.

I'd move, let them get settled and then announce later on.

Oh, and congratulations!

Thank you!

You make a great point. I was hoping no one would be too unsettled as the move is so local, and so much nearer to school and their DM so is actively preferable. Plus the actual house buying has taken so long I just want it all done asap!

We should tell future-MiL…then the DSC when we’re settled? 🤔

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Wizzbangfizz · 30/05/2022 10:23

Congratulations but it sounds like you are massively overthinking this.

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 10:42

Wizzbangfizz · 30/05/2022 10:23

Congratulations but it sounds like you are massively overthinking this.

Oh good 😬 My instinct is to just tell everyone while we’re already giddy tbh!

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TeenPlusCat · 30/05/2022 10:49

My instinct is
a) don't tell them at the new house
b) not 'Daddy and me are getting married!' more 'Camo & I are getting married' - ie Dad should tell them, not you.

So my instinct would be to tell the at current home, give them the space to ask questions, or go off on their own, etc. They may need time to process that this really means that Mum & Dad aren't ever getting back together.

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SneezesHaveStarted · 30/05/2022 10:51

I have no experience with step children, but my gut instinct is not to do it lumped in as a “ta daaa” moment on top of seeing the new house.

I’d maybe have a chat with them at your current home and just have a conversation with them telling them you are going to get married. It might be exciting for them, or they might have worries. Or it might seem like a non-event to them! But don’t be looking for a big reaction, they might need some time to process it.
I wouldn’t leave it too long though - it would be awful if other people knew before they did.

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RomainingCalm · 30/05/2022 10:54

TeenPlusCat · 30/05/2022 10:49

My instinct is
a) don't tell them at the new house
b) not 'Daddy and me are getting married!' more 'Camo & I are getting married' - ie Dad should tell them, not you.

So my instinct would be to tell the at current home, give them the space to ask questions, or go off on their own, etc. They may need time to process that this really means that Mum & Dad aren't ever getting back together.

Agree with this. Dad tells them in familiar surroundings. Keep it very low key (even though you are understandably excited). Give them chance to ask questions and process the information. Don't expect a particularly positive/excited reaction from the DSC. Be prepared for questions around whether you are going to have more children (for many DC marriage and babies are very much linked!).

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 11:07

TeenPlusCat · 30/05/2022 10:49

My instinct is
a) don't tell them at the new house
b) not 'Daddy and me are getting married!' more 'Camo & I are getting married' - ie Dad should tell them, not you.

So my instinct would be to tell the at current home, give them the space to ask questions, or go off on their own, etc. They may need time to process that this really means that Mum & Dad aren't ever getting back together.

Thank you, great points. Yes, dad should tell them, you are quite right.

He does have a tendency to overthink (!) and sometimes stuff that should really just be a casual chat (with some forethought) gets a bit ‘Good afternoon, I have gathered you here today to talk about X’ in his head, but he’s just trying to prepare 😬 Perhaps I have caught this off him 😶 I might be going a bit far in ‘bundling’ it all in so no one has time to react.

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 11:12

RomainingCalm · 30/05/2022 10:54

Agree with this. Dad tells them in familiar surroundings. Keep it very low key (even though you are understandably excited). Give them chance to ask questions and process the information. Don't expect a particularly positive/excited reaction from the DSC. Be prepared for questions around whether you are going to have more children (for many DC marriage and babies are very much linked!).

More gold, thank you all.

No babies here (snip/menopause) but I expect they’ve seen friends’ gain half siblings so def something they might wonder about.

It won’t be unexpected if they reply “Oh cool”, so we shouldn’t worry.

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HandbagsnGladrags · 30/05/2022 11:23

Wizzbangfizz · 30/05/2022 10:23

Congratulations but it sounds like you are massively overthinking this.

Completely agree with this. Just tell them. It's hardly going to come as a shock if you've been together that long.

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lunar1 · 30/05/2022 12:56

Congratulations! Remember It's not bad news, their dad can just tell them and take a queue from their reaction. They will more than likely just want to know what's for dinner.

He can go into the whole 'nothing will change' if needed. All they will really need is to know that their relationship with their dad won't change, it sounds like you all have a good dynamic so the work has already been done.

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 13:31

Thanks v much everyone ☺️

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WooNoodle · 30/05/2022 17:57

I think your plan is a bit much. I would tell them in your old house and don't be all like wahoo! They might have mixed feelings. My DH told his kids when they went out for lunch. Tell them sooner rather than later you need them to be the first or some of the first to know don't let them hear it from someone else. Tell them then you leave the room after a little bit and your DH can reassure them or whatever. Or you might find they don't really care. Then he texts mum to let her know and tells the DSC he'll tell her. Don't do it on their last day of their time with you.

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CamoTeaLaLa · 30/05/2022 18:17

WooNoodle · 30/05/2022 17:57

I think your plan is a bit much. I would tell them in your old house and don't be all like wahoo! They might have mixed feelings. My DH told his kids when they went out for lunch. Tell them sooner rather than later you need them to be the first or some of the first to know don't let them hear it from someone else. Tell them then you leave the room after a little bit and your DH can reassure them or whatever. Or you might find they don't really care. Then he texts mum to let her know and tells the DSC he'll tell her. Don't do it on their last day of their time with you.

Thank you. That’s very considered.

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WooNoodle · 30/05/2022 18:28

Of course it depends on the DSC and your relationship but that worked well for us. When we had our DC we told them together rather than DH taking them out. That also worked well and also thinking about it might have been better so if they did have any negative feelings they hopefully felt in a safe space to express them to their dad when I "popped out to the shop."

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stepmumspacepodcast · 30/05/2022 20:30

Congratulations!

I agree Dad should tell them and separately from the new house.

it’s exciting news. You shouldn’t feel you have to roll it into anything else.

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tobee · 30/05/2022 20:53

Congratulations!

My instinct would definitely not to say at new house, as others have said, because that might mean one of them doesn't really hear it properly when the other does iyswim. Quite likely they will have different reactions I would imagine.

Good luck!

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candlesandpitchforks · 31/05/2022 00:13

Firstly and most importantly congratulations.

I think you probably know these kids much better than us on mumsnet so will know their reactions better.

I would be rather matter of fact about it and I would tell them in a familiar setting.

The ex wife sounds rather bizarre btw referencing mumsnet. Tell her just after you tell the kids or at same time.

You may find the DSC or mum gets a bit weird/play up after your married ect. It's completely normal for people to have feelings on it but don't need to act be apologetic about getting married - it's a happy occasion and your your chopping up their favourite pet and feeding it to the pigs. Bright and breezy and firm boundaries (seems like you have this down which is Brillant)

Congratulations again

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Beamur · 31/05/2022 00:17

DH told the kids without me being present. So that they had time to take it in and not feel under pressure to react in any way in particular. They were fine about it. No need to make too big a deal of it really. Congratulations!

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harriethoyle · 05/06/2022 12:57

DH told my dsd without me, very low key. Both were fine but we felt it was important they had the space with him to raise any worries etc. I think you need to tone your plans down and tell them soon before their granny notices your ring, which she will!

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Lostmyway86 · 05/06/2022 17:28

Congratulations! We told DSC very low key just sitting in the living room and didn't make a big deal of it. Although we did tell them I was pregnant when we took them to see the new house for the first time. Both times they reacted fine, seemed pleased. No biggie. You're probably overthinking it but it shows you care. I was worried too but DH wasn't. X

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CamoTeaLaLa · 06/06/2022 05:58

Thank you!

DP told them yesterday evening, low key in the sitting room! Positive reaction, and DSS12 said ‘Congratulations!’ 🥹

With the house move consuming us it felt a bit like just another tick off the looong things-to-do list, but we are all happy and excited about everything, but mindful they’ve slept on it now so might have questions 👍🏼

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MissSmiley · 06/06/2022 06:05

Congratulations! I'm glad it went well, very sweet of your DSS to say congratulations

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CamoTeaLaLa · 06/06/2022 06:13

MissSmiley · 06/06/2022 06:05

Congratulations! I'm glad it went well, very sweet of your DSS to say congratulations

Wasn’t it?? He’s such a nice young man, and I’m still astonished and thrilled I get to have a hand in that a bit 🫢

I know I sound like I’ve got the over-thinkers stick up my bum about this but with loads going on, absolutely everything feels like a project to manage at the moment. We muck about and giggle a lot too, I swear. Next we tell DP’s mum! And assure her she won’t have to pay for this one har har 😬

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