Congratulations you’re going to be a mother! You have all of the emotions from excitement to anxiety to confusion of a first time expectant mom. You have one thing that many first time expectant moms don’t have: a stepchild.
You are a member of the growing group of expectant moms who are a part of a blended or stepfamily. You are faced with the unique challenge of having your first baby with a husband who has a child or children from a previous relationship.
Regardless of your relationship with your stepchildren, they may experience jealousy or insecurity that daddy is having another baby.
Dad should assure the children that his heart is big enough to love all of his children and that no one will take their place in his eyes.
Now it’s your turn to talk to your stepchildren. What should you say? Consider the following:
Never offer assurance by saying things won’t change after the baby is born. A baby brings changes in life. You probably won’t feel like hosting your stepchild’s slumber party after staying up the previous night with your crying newborn.
Do offer assurance by saying that even though you will have to eliminate some of your activities during pregnancy and after the baby arrives, your stepchild will always have a place in your heart.
Never offer assurance by saying you will love your newborn the same as your stepchild. Even if you believe this is true at the time you announce your pregnancy, don’t say it. Why?
As the months progress, you will be taken by surprise at the intensity of love you feel for the growing baby inside of you. Seeing the first ultrasound and feeling the first movements create a bond that develops long before your baby is born. A stepmom usually does not have the opportunity to develop a bond with her stepchild before birth.
The bond of a first time expectant mom can be so great with her developing baby that if she is a stepmom, she often wishes her husband was sharing the experience as a first time dad as well.
Do offer assurance by reaffirming your love or by reaffirming the special place your stepchild has in your heart. Remind your stepchild that the new baby will be a part of him or her.
Being a stepmom expecting her first baby is no easy feat. In addition to the unsettling emotions pregnancy hormones bring, you have the challenges of a blended or stepfamily.
Take time to relax, pamper yourself and talk about your feelings with those you trust. Cherish each day you grow closer to meeting the little one you’re carrying. Before you know it one day when you hold your baby, you’ll know why mothers refer to their little ones as “the hearts outside of their bodies.”
(InSeason Mom Cynthia is also a stepmom.)