New (First) Baby for Stepmom?

Carole - posted on 10/10/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have two stepdaughters that I love very much (teen and nearly-teen - I met them when the younger was 5). We have a great relationship, though I am *not* their mother or mother-figure since they have a mother who loves them and is very active in their lives. However, I am certainly a primary caretaker and they trust me to look out for their best interests the same way that their parents do. I'm considering having a baby (not pregnant yet) and they both are very excited (I wanted them to know before it happened). However, I'm concerned about how this will affect our relationship since of course the baby will take up a lot of time and energy that they receive currently - I'm active at their schools and in scouts, etc.

Any insight from stepmothers/mothers who have already done this? How can I make sure that they know how important they are and that I will love them just as much as this baby? Or am I worrying too much?

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Jennifer - posted on 10/10/2011

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Hi Carole, I have a blended family with 4 stepkids, my own child from a previous marriage and as of six years ago, a child with my current husband. I found that my stepkids were fine with the baby and the attention he needed and they were very happy about their brother. We had been a blended family for about 8 years when he was born and I think they liked having a more official tie to me and my son than just our social connection through marriage. Like your stepkids, mine view me as more of an aunt, a loving adult who is there for them - but they have an involved mom and don't need a surrogate which kind of works in your favor in this situation since they won't feel so displaced by the baby because they can go back to Mom's and take up their "normal" positions in the family. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, being open about it, making them part of this new adventure for your family and being sensitive to their feelings about what the reality of the baby is going to be like. My advice is that if you are active in their school and in scouts, etc., you need to figure out which of those activities you can still do even after the baby arrives. Can your husband watch the baby while you do at least some of those things you used to do? Maybe the daughter who is not involved in the activity can hang out and help Dad with the baby? I would think of it this way, if your s'daughters lived with you full time and had no other mother, you would not be able to discontinue your involvement in scouts, school, etc. because a new baby arrived. I would say the best insurance against them feeling less loved is to figure out what the balance is going to be well in advance of the baby's arrival and make sure the girls know what to expect - you could even make a short list of a few activities you think are still going to be feasible when the baby comes and let them help you decide which one or two you select to continue with.

From my own experience, I would also point out that of much greater concern would be their feeling displaced by this new baby in their father's heart. After all, he's their only Dad and now their positions in his family are changing. Be on the alert for any signs they are feeling like Dad cares more about the baby than he does about his girls and encourage him to make some special time for just them so they know they are still just as important to him even though he has a new baby. Best of luck!

April - posted on 10/10/2011

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Worrying too much! You received the girls' blessings, they seem like they are looking forward to a sibling that is going to unite the family--this child will be a little bit of you and a little bit of them...that's special!! They will also probably be helping you often, since 1 is already in high school.

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Carole - posted on 10/13/2011

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Thank you guys for all your help! You have made me feel much better about this process :) I'm very excited and so are the kids (and the dad, of course)!

Cathryn - posted on 10/13/2011

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Let them be active in their brother or sisters care (changing diapers , feeding spending time playing with them ect...) and NEVER EVER call them their half brother or sister-I learned this the hard way! My step-daughter gets mad as the devil and informs ANYOINE that says that H word that her brothers are just that- her brothers! and my sons are the same way about her. as is my older daughters( that are actually her step-sisters). In our family siblings are just that SIBLINGS! And no i never tried to take her moms place but there have been times that she has talked to me about things that she felt uncomfortable talking to her mom or dad about of course if they needed to know i would let them know and she was aware that i would speak to her dad if needed.I have always felt blessed to have her as my daughter and have always let her know that having other children did not mean that i loved her any less. Good luck and your daughters will suprise you in the way that they will love their brother or sister!

Amy - posted on 10/12/2011

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Wow! First of all, it's so obvious how much you love them. They instinctively know it, too. It's awesome that you are looking for their best interest - add to the family!! And God bless you all!!

Amy - posted on 10/12/2011

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Wow! First of all, it's so obvious how much you love them. They instinctively know it, too. It's awesome that you are looking for their best interest - add to the family!! And God bless you all!!

Lynette - posted on 10/12/2011

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this is a normal feeling for anyone that decides to have another baby. step-mom or regular mom. We all worry about making sure the older sibblings still feel special and loved. As I tell all mom's considering having a 2nd child or friends who call and ask me this question when they are pregnant. "The love multipies." Somehow it just does and you find a balance for everyone involved.

Jennifer - posted on 10/12/2011

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Hi... Just wanted to let you in on a few tips, let them be a big part of the babys life. Let them help in changing and feeding. Be sure to have special days with them. They act as if it isn't a big deal but really it is. Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 10/12/2011

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I also think you're worrying too much. I think most mothers have the fear that they will not love the new baby as much as their current children or vice versa. This is a decision for you and DH to make, not the girls, though it is nice that you have included them. Best wishes!

Jeanna - posted on 10/12/2011

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my step daughter was 15 when her lil Sis was born. She and I were very close before this and I wanted to be sure we stayed that way. I made her a part of the pregnancy, took her to doc appts to see the ultrasound, shopping, picking out baby items, etc. I b'fed but also had her be the 1st to fed her baby sister a bottle when it was time. Today they are 22 and 7 and love each other to pieces! I know my 7 yr old will be very well taken care of if something were to happen to me.

Amanda - posted on 10/12/2011

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I have two step-sons myself, now almost 12 and 10. My husband and I are expecting our second child and although niether of our children were planned (eventually but not when it happened) I am so delighted by how well the boys are with their sister and I cannot wait to see how they are with their other little sister. They would do anything for my daughter, their half-sister, and they love her like she is full blood. They also have a half brother and sister at their moms house so needless to say it is one BIG happy family.

I would say if you have talked to the girls and they are excited go for it. They are at the age where they will be a lot of help and if you show up to their school events and such with a newborn, I can almost guarantee they will want to show off their new baby brother or sister just as my step-sons do.

Keri - posted on 10/12/2011

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What does Dad think? It's really a decision between the two of you. A baby changes any family at any age. Our son is still an "only" but he has friends who have siblings. The particular child I'm thinking of has an older "half" brother (different dads same mom) and they are ten years apart. Of course they don't act like half-brothers they ARE brothers. My son's friend can get on his older brother's nerves sometimes (but isn't that true of older/younger siblings?) Lately I've been hearing of them spending a lot of time together - going to the park, swimming in their backyard pool together, etc. It'll take a while, but everyone will get used to it.

Heather - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have a stepson who was 10 when my husband and I had our first baby together. I had been with my stepson since he was 2 and while we are not their "mother", I assure you we are extremely important to them. I think your approach of letting them know before getting pregnant is a great idea. My husband and I just made sure our stepson was very involved the whole way through. I would encourage you to let them attend sonograms and other appointments as well as buy a gift for the new baby.

Lisa - posted on 10/11/2011

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Worrying too much! Kids are resilient and adapt to change when in a loving environment. You'll find that it will bring you closer together as it's almost like you share a blood family bond. You are clearly a good stepmom but having your own child is a different experience and you shouldn't miss out.

Carole - posted on 10/11/2011

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Thank you all for your thoughtful, considerate posts. I really appreciate the advice and insight!
C

Caroline - posted on 10/11/2011

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i have 2 stepkids who live with me girl 15 and boy 13 and had my 1st last year they love her and they knew everything would change and they didnt mind one bit so dont worry . they r actually texting me when they go to their mums wanting to know what she is at it has actually made our relationship stronger x

Carolee - posted on 10/10/2011

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I'm coming at this from the kids' perspective. My dad and his wife decided to have a child together after they had been married a few years. Granted, my sister and I were a little bit older, but it's similar enough. If they tell you that they are happy and excited, then they are happy and excited. They are at the age(s) where they know that having a baby takes a lot of time and energy. Still do as much as you can with them and their schools, but don't feel bad because you have another (potential) child to take care of as well. My brother is 2 years old now. I'm almost 30, my sister is 31, my son is 4, my daughter is 1, and my niece is 3 months old. It was kind of cool that all of us had kids around the same time (within 5 years from oldest to youngest). They all play together really well during visits. My brother is one of the cutest kids ever, and I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, I say go for it! And good luck!

Sherri - posted on 10/10/2011

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I have two children a 14 yr old and a 13yr old. However, when they were 7 and 8 we had #3. I just brought the baby with me to all their school activities and sports activities. It did not change how extensively involved I was with the older kids. It would not have been fair to them, they didn't ask for a younger sibling.

I also now have a 14, 13, and 5yr old and now am expecting #4. So same thing. Baby will come with me no matter what I have to do with the older ones.

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