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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    751

    New Stepmom...expecting first...HELP

    Good evening ladies!

    I'm Aggie, new to Nameberry. In addition to searching for that perfect name, I'm looking for some advice, support and just a good network of other moms and moms-to-be!

    I am 26 and currently expecting my first biological child, due June 2014! My husband (married this summer) has two boys from a previous relationship, aged 8 and 4....and WOW. Way to jump into motherhood, eh? We have joint custody, enjoying their presence about 65-70% of the time.

    It's a very...complicated...situation, and I could really use all the help I can get! I will try to sum it up without writing a novella!

    To begin on a positive note, I have been very fortunate in the fact that I have been quite involved in both of their lives since their births and have developed a very close relationship with them. Their mother and I were great friends for many years, and she is the very reason my DH and I became romantically involved! (She set us up after becoming happily married with another child of her own!)

    Unfortunately, due to a completely unrelated situation, we are no longer "great friends". In fact, it's been quite difficult getting around what I consider to be a minor feud in order to co-parent our little monsters! To be fair, I haven't been perfect in that situation. This strain is causing a lot of problems all around. I'll get into detail later.

    It's been a very interesting transition with the boys - going from the always fun, ever-spoiling, crazy friend "Aunt Aggie", to their Stepmom. This transition is made even harder with their mom and stepfather bad-mouthing me in front of them. Although they don't come right out and say it, their comments and actions strongly suggest this. (For example, I overheard Maddox (8) telling Ryker (4) that if he wants to hug me goodbye, he better do it before mom gets there... and Ryker is always telling other people that "Mommy and Aggie aren't friends anymore")

    Now...complicating this precarious situation even further... we're expecting! We just told the boys this week (we waited until the 12th week), and their reactions have been surprisingly negative! As I previously stated, they now have a half-sister (who is 2) at their mom's house. According to Maddox, they love being with me and dad because it's just the two of them and they get more attention and there's less fighting among them and less noise. We've kind of avoided the topic since (it's been three days), not knowing exactly what to say to them.

    So... help!!!! My DH has insisted that I be very involved in the parenting of the boys, and I am very new at this. I'm still unsure of when/if I should speak up or take control. I could really use advice from other step parents. I apologize if this is jumbled, I'm a bit frazzled!
    Last edited by aggielou; January 17th, 2014 at 04:24 AM. Reason: Typo Correction

    Agatha Louise - 'Aggie'
    Proud Step-Mom To
    Maddox Owen | Ryker Matthew
    Expecting First Biological Child - Little Girl - June 2014


    Abram | Abel | Breccan | Brooks | Foster | Killian | Macsen | Milo | Silas
    Aurelia | Ever | Eloise | Madigan | Maeva | Noa | Romilly | Rowan | Wren

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,224
    Welcome to Nameberry, Aggie!

    I'm Cora and I am also a step-mother who is expecting my first! Our little boy is due early February. It's nice to have someone who can relate join the boards!

    I struggled with getting my step-son excited/involved with my pregnancy when we first told the kids, but he has slowly came around and even occasionally will ask to feel the baby kick. The pivotal point seemed to be when we told him that he was going to have a little brother. He loves his sisters, but is really excited for another boy to join the family. The girls have been nothing but giddy the whole pregnancy and I know they'll make marvelous little helpers!

    I'm sorry you are having problems with the boys' mother. Fortunately, I have not had many struggles with the children's mothers. Nobody talks ill about the others in front of the children, and I can tell that it makes the children feel like they can be either place and they are not choosing sides. I can only imagine how not having that kind of relationship would complicate things. Best wishes!
    Last edited by corajsb; November 25th, 2013 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Spelling error
    Step-Mother to three lovely children - Josiah Lewis (14), Stella Evangeline (8), and Emma Catherine (4)

    Expecting Baby Chicken on February 3, 2014
    It's a boy!
    Rhys Andrew, Milo Andrew, Conrad Henry, or August Henry/August Charles

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    369
    Congrats on your new baby! I'm so sorry the boys aren't totally on board but unfortunately this is due to some of the drama and also maybe how they have been pushed aside by their half brother. I'm not a step parent so I can't speak to that. I am a mama of four and have experienced some divorced kid drama with my husbands family. I gotta say, that the kids care less who is "right" and just want their parents to get along. Much easier said than done. If you can try to be the bigger person and rise above, they will come to appreciate it later on. I am a big believer in getting as much parenting info as possible. I love taking Love and Logic classes (you can look them up online, a lot of schools sponsor them). There are also Love and Logic books. I have read those books, along with Brain Rrules for Baby by John Medina and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman. I like these because they are research based, written by professors and yet are very easy to read and put ideas into practice. Dr Gottman also has some great marriage books as well. Have your considered family counseling or at least counseling for the boys? I'm a little biased since I've gone to counseling to help with family issues in the past, among other reasons, and found it very helpful. I'm also a believer that everyone could benefit from some counseling! Best wishes!
    Mom to... Augustine Mark "Augie", India Marie "Indie", Theodore Odell "Teddy" and Philippa Lee "Pippa"

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,643
    Firstly, it seems like you're doing a great job in a rough situation. If the boys tell you they like being with you and want to hug you goodbye, that's awesome!

    It's normally for kids to be hesitant about a new baby, even if it's their full biological sibling. Change is hard, and it seems as though they like things the way they are, so don't take their initial negativity to heart. Give them time to process the situation. It will take a while for it to become real to them.

    I'm not a step-parent, but I grew up in a blended family and have experience being a step-kid, so I can speak a little bit into your situation. The piece of advice I'd give you and your husband is to reassure the kids in words and deeds that they are still important to you and will be when the baby comes. Kids can feel like they are going to be replaced by the new baby, especially if it's a step-family: Dad has a new wife, now a new baby, so where do I fit in the new family? Consider also that they've seen their parents' relationship break up, and your friendship with their mom break up. They need reassurance that you will never "break off" the relationship with them.

    Maybe your husband can have some one-on-one time with each boy and see how they're feeling. Taking each one on an outing will make them feel special and give them a reminder that they're dad still loves them no matter what is changing. If it's any consolation, I bawled my eyes out at my dad's wedding not because I didn't like my step-mom, but because I thought it meant I wouldn't have private time with my dad any more. Twenty years on, I have a fantastic relationship with my step-mom and am so glad my dad married her. :-)
    Miriam ~ Helena ~ Estella ~ Beatrice ~ Anastasia ~ Alice ~ Veronica ~ Sarah
    Paul ~ Wesley ~ Walter ~ Edmund ~ Isaac ~ Abram ~ Gabriel

    (Still) trying for baby#1
    Avatar: Nathan Altman, Portrait of Anna Akhmatova

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    751
    Wow...thank you all very much for your encouragement and advice!

    Cora - congrats on your pregnancy, it is very nice to hear of someone who can relate!

    elo - I have written down the names of the books you have suggested. I am certainly not opposed to any form of counseling! I'm not sure how my husband would feel, he's a very quite, private individual (we couldn't be more opposite that way). But I will most definitely run it by him - I think he'd be willing to try anything for his kids.

    Maggie - Thank you! This is something we've discussed recently. I have underscored the importance of my husband having one on one time with them, without me. They need to feel #1.

    They are fantastic brothers to each other, and I know that they'll come around with this pregnancy. I try very hard to make sure they know that they are priority, always.

    And, to update, I had a great conversation with their mom today. We basically laid everything on the table and came to the understanding that we don't have to be best friends, but we do have to get along for the sake of the kids. I really hope she can stick to this, because I can tell that, right now, they do feel like they have to "choose sides", or that they are hurting our feelings when they leave with their mother. It breaks my heart when I can see my four year old 'walking on egg shells' and not showing any of us any affection when we are all together.

    My bottom line? I love our family, and love those two boys as my own. I am terrified - constantly - that I'm doing everything wrong. lol.

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