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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Childless Stepmom Anxieties About Adding to the Family

    So this might just be my own fears/anxiety kicking in, coupled with PMS hormones, but I’m actually super scared to add another child to my family.
    I want a baby, don’t get me wrong. More than I have ever wanted anything in my life.
    Its just.. this is going to be such a new, strange experience for me. And for my fiancé, well… its his second time. So I just feel like its not going to be as special for him because he’s already been through it. I worry its going to magical to me, and more "Meh, been there, done that." for him. I love my stepdaughter. I adore her. She’s my little sidekick, and we have a really good relationship. And she’s going to make a really great big sister. But it breaks my heart that my first child, OUR first child, won’t be HIS first… I know that sounds incredibly selfish, but its something I struggle with emotionally on a daily basis.
    I also worry that my child won’t ever live up to his daughter. I mean, in his eyes, I know he or she will. But his parents practically worship the ground she walks on. She can do absolutely no wrong, she’s perfect. Which, I mean, she is great. But I just worry that she’s going to be the favorite. Which is stupid because right now she’s their only grandchild, so of course she’s spoiled. I grew up with my grandma playing favorites, and it hurt. A lot. Part of me knows its not logical, but still.
    And he wants a boy. So badly. And I want desperately to give him one. I know neither one of us has any control over it, and that we get what we get, but I am going to be so disappointed if it’s a girl, because I want so badly to give him something that his ex didn’t- a son. Which, again, is stupid, because he’ll love all of his children the same and a daughter is just as great as a son. I guess I’m just mostly terrified that he’ll be disappointed in me if it’s a girl.
    But then there’s the other side. I desperately want a girl, too. I love my stepdaughter but she’s not truly mine. I want that relationship. Sure, I’m a maternal figure to her, she loves me, but I’m just Brittni, or sometimes Momma Brittni. I’ll never be Mommy to her. She will never look at me like she looks at her mother. I want that. And maybe this is just coming from me because I don’t know what its like to have a stepparent myself. My parents have been together my whole life. And the thought of never having my own daughter, that it’s a possibility that my only daughter won’t even be my own… completely breaks me. I don’t know if I could handle it, honestly.
    I’ve talked to my fiancé about this and he doesn’t seem troubled. He said that we’ll have as many kids as we need to for him to get his boy, or me to get my girl, and there’s always adoption as an option, too. He thinks that these are normal fears to have and said that he understands, and that he will be happy with whatever children we have and love them all equally, and he's reassured me that each pregnancy and birth will be special. More special, even, he said, because he wasn’t ready to be a father, and didn't want to be a father, when his daughter was born (although he obviously loves her) and he didn’t feel about his ex the way he feels about me. I’m thankful he’s supportive, and it’s a bit comforting, but I still can’t shake these fears.
    Please someone tell me it all goes away when you have your own.
    Step-mommy to Piper Isabella ♥
    Auntie to Octavia Lorraine ♥

    Winter Analiese ♥ Rowan Elizabeth ♥ Violet Emerson ♥ Beyla Noelle ♥ Willow Marie ♥ Rosalie Wilder ♥ Averi Jessamine ♥ Arden Claire ♥ Emelia Violet ♥ Mirabel James ♥ Elowen Marie

    Talon Claymore ♥ Bennett Avery ♥ Arlo James ♥ Rex Michael ♥ Oliver Calvin ♥ Henry Alexander ♥ Bronson Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    First of all, I understand where you are coming from. That you want to give him something his ex didn't but that you worry if it's another girl (which you really want), it will be old hat to him. I understand that pressure (I just had my first girl after two boys, and we really really wanted a girl, so I felt added anxiety the entire pregnancy to make that happen--even though I know it is out of my control). I understand that you are a great stepmother, but she is still not really yours.

    However, I have never been in your position before. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

    It sounds like you really want a baby and he really wants a boy. I have three children: every pregnancy was different, every birth was different, each baby is different. The experience he has with you will be unique because of that and also because it's with you: someone he loves and wants to share this experience with. It will be infinitely different even if it is a girl because you are not his ex, your relationship is different, and the baby will be different from the one he has already. The grandparents will adjust to having another child to spoil and love and babies are often favoured because they are shiny and new, right? So the older child will not necessarily remain the favourite.

    It IS a huge change. It changes the dynamic of your relationship, shifts your priorities, etc. But once the baby is here, I think that feels more natural and less overwhelming. You are still you. Your relationship with your fiance will still be important. You will just be your own little family. A couple with a baby. It strengthened my bond with my husband (even though our relationship was already good) and made me feel closer to him having gone through that experience with him. It connects you both on another level, that you have given him a baby. So yes things change, but it's not as overwhelming as it first appears since it sort of happens degree by degree.

    I won't say these fears go away when you have your own, because I'm not in your situation, and I'm not you. But I think having your own baby will shift the focus from his ex and your stepchild onto your new family. You'll have more pressing concerns: is my baby sleeping through the night? What does my life and relationship look like now? Who am I now that I am a mother? How do I balance that? Not to mention all of the normal parent anxieties once you have a baby: their future, their health, their safety, their happiness. So it may not vanish, but it may fade to the background.

    So even if you do give him a girl, instead of that much coveted boy--it will be YOUR baby with him. It will be unique. It will be a shared, special experience that will hopefully bring you even closer together. The positive pregnancy test. The first time you hear the heartbeat, feel a kick, and bring that baby into the world will all be special regardless of whether it's a boy or a girl because you go through it together. And I understand you wanting a girl, having just had my own two months ago, and it IS a different dynamic than having boys. That mother-daughter relationship. There is nothing wrong with him wanting a boy and you wanting a girl, but don't sweep your feelings under the rug: you are allowed to want your own. To be there from the beginning and have her call you Mommy. That's not less than him wanting a son. And you don't get to choose, right? So whichever you get, one of you gets what they really want, and hopefully you'll both be happy and in love with your baby either way.

    Also, he's ready now and wants to be a father now. He is ready to do this with you and you sound ready too. So take that step together and know that that in itself already makes this experience different: it is a choice with eyes wide open. This baby is very wanted, whatever it is, boy or girl.
    Finn, Leo, and Kate <3

    Declan Calder Bartholomew

    Mila Violet Elizaveta

    Elena Daisy Guinevere | Anya Vivienne Persephone | Freya Lydia Juliet
    Aurora Ivy Olivia | Morgana Clara Genevieve
    Isla Belle Sophia | Stella Margot Emmeline

    Oliver Caspian James | Callum Nicholas Evander | August Victor Hugo
    Mason Oscar Theodore | Dimitri Matthew Balthazar
    Theo Frederick Lincoln | Jasper Rupert Anthony

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    You've actually moved me to tears. Thank you.
    Step-mommy to Piper Isabella ♥
    Auntie to Octavia Lorraine ♥

    Winter Analiese ♥ Rowan Elizabeth ♥ Violet Emerson ♥ Beyla Noelle ♥ Willow Marie ♥ Rosalie Wilder ♥ Averi Jessamine ♥ Arden Claire ♥ Emelia Violet ♥ Mirabel James ♥ Elowen Marie

    Talon Claymore ♥ Bennett Avery ♥ Arlo James ♥ Rex Michael ♥ Oliver Calvin ♥ Henry Alexander ♥ Bronson Michael

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Xi'An, China
    I'm not in your situation. We're both on our first marriage with no kids. Same for out parents. But...
    1) Each kid is unique. Each pregnancy is unique. There was a lot more "unknown" with Emiliana, but that's not necessarily a good thing. I almost didn't get a shot I needed because neither of us had a clue what was going on. So you may find that your husband having experience might be a good thing.
    2) We fought so much after our first because we were first time parents. Japan truly believed babies couldn't be swaddled,they must wear winter clothes during an Iranian summer, etc. Once again, his experience may mean less conflict.
    3) Who grandparents love the most is rather unpredictable. It seems to have more to do with proximity and personalities. My parents don't know my kids at all. My MIL loves Emiliana the most out of the 5 grandkids. My FIL loves Caspian the most. They're not the oldest, smartest, etc. Emiliana does try to teach my MIL English, which is incredibly cute. So don't worry about who they love the most. It may be your kid. It may not. But they will love your kid. That's for sure.
    4) You're imagining your daughter and your bond with your daughter. But... that's not your real daughter, that's your idealized daughter. Your relationship with your real daughter will be much different than you think. When Emiliana was little, I was disappointed. She was my daughter, but so different than the one I envisioned. She was loud... so loud... and she just wanted her daddy. Now we have a relationship. I do her hair (curls have more steps than AA), helpher choose clothes, readher books, tell her stories, sing to her, etc. Daddy is better at feeding her and playing with her. It's not at all the relationship I envisioned... because she's Emiliana, a real, living individual. When I had Caspian, Ihad similar ideas about imaginary son (probably similar to your DH). Caspian's so different than I imagined. He loves animals, trucks, dancing, horses, trying on clothes, and Daddy. He didn't choose me over DH like imaginary son would. But when I fall asleep on the couch, he deserves around often to give me kisses. And that's the thing... it's about learning to love them as the individuals they are... and loving whatever relationship you develop.

    Name Nerd, Professor, Anthropologist, INTP, Expat, Mom


    Emiliana Pari 郑煜曈 '14
    Caspian Kaveh 郑煜祺 '17


    The Ones That Got Away
    Gentlemen: Raphael Bardia, Soren Aryo, Sidney Pasha, Tobias Rostam, Elias Bahram
    Ladies: Verity Azadeh, Artemisia Patrice, Aida Marguerite, Annora Laleh, Camellia Baran

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Northern Europe
    I don't know if I can reassure you with my story, but I'm in the same situation as your fiancé, I suppose.

    I was married before, and with my ex-husband I have a son, Hjörtur, who's now 4 years old. We decided to get a divorce, but we're still friends. My current SO and I got together shortly after my divorce. I'm now pregnant with our first child together, a boy due in November.
    My SO loves Hjörtur, and Hjörtur loves him, they get on well and I suppose Hjörtur sees him as a parent, but not like his actual father (if that makes sense). He calls my SO by his first name, that's a choice we made very early on. We don't want him to call my SO dad, because he already has a dad.
    This pregnancy has been difficult, with lots of ups and downs, and there were times when I felt it was more special to SO than it was for me, because this is first and my second. But I think that's mostly due to my struggle with my mental health in general. Now that I'm feeling better and am 33 weeks pregnant, I feel this pregnancy is just as special as my pregnancy with Hjörtur was. I some ways I'm enjoying it more, because my pregnant with Hjörtur wasn't planned at all. As for SO's bond with Hjörtur and his own child, I'm sure it will turn out fine. I'm confident he'll treat both the same, even if his feelings for both aren't 100% the same.

    As a previous poster said, every child is unique. And I'm glad that I have some experience with pregnancy, giving birth and babies, because SO's mind is all the place at times.
    I think it's normal to worry about this things, but remember that all of these things are just in your head. You have no way of knowing how things will turn out, what a bond with your daughter or son might be like or what the grandparents might or might not do.
    Mother to Hjörtur Emmanuel & Barnabas Húni

    Maximilian Óli * Matthias Hreinn * Vignir Ulysses * Nikolai Svani * Zalman Torfi
    Ondine Lilach * Lucinde Meital * Mareva Bluma * Lavinia Perle * Magdalene Dune

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