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Thread: Helping older stepchild feel ok about our new baby

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    Gigi's Avatar
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    Default Helping older stepchild feel ok about our new baby

    Our situation is:

    one 10yo stepchild who has been re-located a plane ride away from her dad, who we can only see in the school holidays due to cost of airfares. She is very insecure already, misses her dad so much. ("Other kids see their dads every day, why can't I?")

    She is also very unsettled as she has a continuing number of stepdads in and out of her life each year. It is very upsetting for her, as some of them, she gets really attached to. I know it's really hard to find a partner for keeps, but i really wish her mum could find one person to settle with, for kid's sake.

    Us: me expecting first child with my partner (divorced). We have been together for years and met long after their divorce. I am the only girlfriend child has ever known dad to have, since divorce. So i have had a r'ship with child since kinder.

    We are now pregnant. Live in small house, will probably have to use stepchild's room as nursery. Hard to think of ways to involve stepchild when we're so far away for the majority of the year.

    Hostile ex does things like unplug kid's computer (kid not strong enough to put plug back) and does lots of things like that to stymy our communication.

    I'm scared to tell stepchild about baby, going on past behaviour, afraid of ex being in kid's ear with negative things "daddy won't have time for you now they have a baby" etc etc. Things we can't counteract for entire school terms when we don't see stepchild. And child is not free to tell us on phonecalls, about things that are worrying to her.

    It's easy to keep the pg a secret from stepchild right now (i'm not showing yet) but i suspect by the July hols stepchild will wonder why i'm getting a bump.



    All the advice i read about including stepchildren, seems to assume the child either lives with you or you have regular contact (like we used to when child lived in our city). I would love to know what to do when child is not living with you (not our choice - we miss child dreadfully for those three month enforced breaks).

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    You should definitely tell the little girl about the pg. If you dont her mother will be able to say "See, they didnt even tell you". Also, by not telling her, its like its not a good thing and you didnt think to share it with her. Ring her and tell her how great it is and what a great big sister she is going to be, how you hope the baby looks just like her, etc. If her mum is in her ear, all you can do is try and counteract it with love and patience.

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    Try and invovle her as much as you can, like consulting her on names (pick a list and let her help you decide etc), what she'd like in the baby's room etc and keep her updated on how you are going. Despite everything, it sounds like you have a really good relationship with her and I think she may even be excited about being a big sister. When you tell her, maybe you could say she is one of the first people to know and it will make her feel important being part of a 'adult' secret IYKWIM? I have heard of the baby 'giving' a gift to older siblings too, which would be a nice welcoming gesture. And like Rayla said, all you can do is counter any negativity with love and understanding.

    I hope it all goes well for you.

  4. #4
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    I agree be totally honest with her and tell her everything that is going on. I agree also with Sherie on letting her help choose things for the new baby, include her in any way you can, send her photos of scans and of your belly etc. Don't put her on the outer because you're afraid of what her mother might so/say. I agree with Rayla on counteracting what the mother does with lots of love and patience and also reassuarance that she's not being replaced, just added to IYKWIM? And yeah the baby giving her a gift might be a nice idea when he/she arrives, then she will feel included in the family and not left out seeing as the baby will get a lot of new things.

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    I did a post for Mitch about how I went about everything with my step sons, here is the link: http://bellybelly.com.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16442

    It is extremely important that you involove your step child in as much as you can with your pregnancy, this includes letting her know about the pregnancy when you feel comfortable to let her know, we chose to tell the boys when we told everyone else as we didn`t want them to find out along 'the grapvine', we did keep the name a secret as it was kept a secret from everyone until he was born, I showed the boys pictures of the baby`s development on the net when they were with us, each time we saw the boys I told them how develop the baby was now eg size, hearing, eyes open etc. The younger one was always worried about the health of the baby as he was a sick baby himself due to RH negative mother so I always had to reassure him that his baby brother would be fine.

    I am pregnant again with #2, again the boys are very excited, but I can`t stress enough how important it is to involve your step child in as much a possible with the pregnancy.

    Take Care

    Dee

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    My Dp andhis ex have a particularly unpleasant relationship, and unfortunately this has caused a great deal of tension between everyone.
    Although we found out through the grapevine that his XW knew about my pregnancy, we didn't tell them til a little later - maybe 25weeks or so?
    Her response "Oh - whos the father". hmmmm. It wasn't nice at all. I sent photos when she was born, and we have sent letters, and all the cards come from jenna too, but for months we didn't get much love from the stepchildren.
    Then we happened to see Sam out and about at netball one day, and she got a cuddle with her, and after that we started getting letters from her about every month?
    She sent one saying how much she hated jenna when she was born, but she realises thats not jenna's fault so she got over it.
    She came over for Jenna's birthday party on Friday, and had a lovely time. I truly believe she just sat and soaked up all Shane's family as it had been such a long time since she's been to a family thing. When she left, she was nearly in tears - it was very moving, and I think she will be in to see us a lot more now.

    I'm not sure when to tell her about this baby. I guess I'll wait til I'm well on the way specially after the recent m/c, but I'm not sure there is anything right or wrong you can do.

    I think just continue to love the stepdaughter, and realise that no matter what you say or do, there will be some repercussions and unpleasantness, but eventually she will come around. You dont find many teenage girls that dont LOVE babies. Most importantly, make sure that your relationship with your DP stays the strongest. You are both very important too, as is this little baby, and they are your main family.

    Best wishes for you.
    Fi

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    Gigi's Avatar
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    Default part one of breaking the news!

    With my heart in my mouth, last night, my partner and I read the storybook "Hair in Funny Places" by Babette Cole, to stepchild last night - she asked lots of questions about body hair and breasts last hols - and the book explained hormones in puberty and what happens to boys and girls - so it was a perfect segway to say, well that's what happened to daddy and me when we were a little older than you, so that when we were adults, we could have a baby.

    We put the emphasis on how lucky the baby would be to have such a wonderful big sister as her, how we could imagine stepchild reading a story to baby (stepchild is a good reader).

    We showed her the pregnancy test from the GP, she was pleased, wanted to know who else we had told (we let her know it was a secret that not many people knew but didn't broach the topic of her telling her mum).

    She was puzzled that i look thin (her words) - well pg sickness has made me lose weight!

    As we kissed her goodnight and left the room, she called out "Goodnight baby" to my stomach!!! so cute.

    This morning she told us she had been so excited she had trouble getting to sleep last night.

    So thanks to all of you for giving me confidence.

    We still have to go thru the minefield of the ex's reaction which will be the worst bit.

    Just realised, as we only see stepchild in school hols, (with our due date) it is highly likely, stepchild will not be here for the birth, will never be with us when it is baby's birthday, father's day, mother's day, my birthday, her father's birthday, and only alternate xmases.

    God i hate what divorce does to children

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    Just moving to Kids and TeenRagers...

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    I can so sympathesise. My ex..dd's Jessica and Emily's birthdad's girlfriend (whom he does not live with) son has just announced to my girls that his mum is pregnant :shock: . That is a mouthful! So the girls found out through someone else. They have found this particularly difficult. So I would definatley tell your dsd because then she is included in the loop so to speak. Step families certainly can be a little bit more difficult but you really sound like you are trying to do everything you possibly can to make your dsd loved and included.

    Jo

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    I'm so pleased that things went well last night. I'm sure it is a sign of things to come. yes, It won't be easy dealing with the Ex, but that's just tough luck to her and she will have to get over it for the sake of her daughter.

    No doubt you will probably see a range of conflicting emotions from your DSD over the next few months, and it will be hard not being able to share special family events, but things are off to a great start.

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    Its sounds like things went really well. I so agree that it doesn't seem fair to what happens with kids in a divorce. I feel for your DSD as she obviously is excited & happy and wants to be involved.... maybe you could send a photo in the last few months showing belly growth and talking about what the baby is doing now too? So she can hear about the baby growing... and try to include her in as much via emails & letters & phone calls. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Oooh that's so great that it went so well

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