Congratulations you're expecting your first baby! You have all of the emotions from excitement to anxiety to confusion of a first time expectant mom. You have one other 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 child with a dad who has a child or children from a previous relationship.
Your stepchildren may experience jealous or insecurity that daddy is having another baby. They may feel that the new baby will take their place in daddy's eyes or take their place in your heart.
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.
What should you say as first time expectant mom to your stepchildren?
Here are 4 suggestions:
- 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 responsibilities 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 new baby the same as you love your stepchild. Even if you believe this is true at the time you announce your pregnancy, don't say it. Why?
As a first time mom, 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 for the developing baby can be so great that stepmoms often wish they were experiencing their pregnancy with 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 as well.
Being a stepmom expecting her first baby is no easy feat. In addition to the unsettling emotions pregnancy hormones create, you have the challenges of a blended/stepfamily.
Take time to relax, pamper yourself and talk about your feelings with those you trust. Get plenty of rest. One day before you know it, you'll hold your little one and you'll understand why mothers refer to their children as "their hearts outside of their bodies."