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Stepmom looking for some advice...

I have a great relationship with my 8 yr old sd. I am pregnant with my first child at 32 weeks. At first she was so excited to be a big sister. I have been doing all I can with making her feel important and included. She helped pick her sisters name, I've scheduled ultrasounds on days she is with us, we have girl time and I stress how important she is to me and the family. Now that the due date is nearing the green eyed monster is coming out. There has been a lot to do to prepare for the baby since I have a scheduled c at week 37 due to an ovarian mass that looks like it could be serious so there is a bit of added stress there. She got angry when my dh told her and she said you just want her sooner. He explained that with the birth being scheduled we can do it during our time together so her sister can meet her right away. I shared that I don't want the baby to come sooner but explained I'm sick so we need to do it this way so we are both safe. As we prepare for the baby it has become if baby's sisters room is painted her room should be, we got a crib she wants a new bed, etc...
We have made a point to give her a "big sister room" new linnens pictures etc but nothing seems to be enough. I explain she has a great room, nice bed, toys and clothes and her little sister has nothing at all so we have to do a lot right now but she is still important. She has made comments that she is only a part time sister which breaks my heart... I know this is coming from her mom who chooses to be angry. When my dh and I got married she told her daddy would have no time for her with a new wife. She quickly found that wasn't true. My dh is still battling over time and alimony with his ex he is an amazing father and we want the girls to have the best relationship possible. It's hard to compete with the brainwashing. Going to court over time for spring break, trying to get time for her sisters birthday (at least being scheduled we can kind of controll that) everything is a battle and we want what is best for the kids. I tell my sd all the time she is lucky because there are more people in her life that love and care about her. It's exhausting with my health, the court drama, and working so hard to help my sd feel safe. I never speak ill of her mother and when she shares things she hears I just say well she loves you so much and we can't change how she feels. All that anger isn't healthy for my sd and I'm sure it's confusing her with a baby on the way. Everyone says the ex will back off but hasn't for years. She just tries to find ways to control. Any advice or anything that worked for you would be appreciated.


Asked by Elysium927 at 7:37 PM on Mar. 30, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 12 (859 Credits)
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Answers (6)
  • First of all, thanks for such a concise rundown on what's going on. I think you're doing all you can really do. Your stepdaughter needs to process what is happening and doesn't know how. It's possible a therapist may help or school counselor. Sounds like she doesn't know what to do with her emotions (normal for 8 years old). It's a shame her Mom can't help make this a better transition and I take it your dh can't have a worthwhile talk with her? Do your best to keep loving and including her but don't overdo it. You can only help so much. Wish I had better advice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:50 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • First thing, you need to be writing all of this down because BM is filling her head with crap about you and the new baby and it will not not look for her in court. You just have to keep reminding her that you love her and there is room for the both of them. Good luck. And congratulations on the new baby.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:51 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • Thanks... My sd does have trouble with emotions and empathy. Her mom has her in therapy but my hubby is not in the loop nor does he have to be. The legal system here sucks and if you are a woman you can get away with anything. It's an uphill climb. The courts don't care what the ex says it's he said she said. His ex assaulted him and the gal felt that it wasn't an issue because she recomends sole custody to the ex. She has also denied visitation and said my dh doesn't want her. my dh went to the athorities but they chose not to prosicute the visitation order. It's against the law but not enforced! It sucks.

    Comment by Elysium927 (original poster) at 8:31 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • I think she's seeing how far she can get with this whole big sister thing. If it's worth extra girl time and a big girl room maybe she can push it a step further to get a new bed, you know? I think you're doing the right things but you've gotten to the point where you do have to be firm in that she won't get everything just the same as the baby. And when the baby gets older she will want all the things her big sister has and won't be able to do everything so it's a two way street. I think you can be confident in setting a few limits or saying no to a few things because you have laid a good groundwork out during the pregnancy- don't let yourself feel guilty. Just keep positive and focused and I think it will work out fine. If she was your dd and lived there full time a new baby would still be hard and there are the extra hurdles to overcome so it won't go perfectly but you've done a lot to start off on the right track. GL!

    Answer by MaryMW at 8:57 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • Oh I say no plenty... But I try to explain why as well as getting stuff does not = love. You may be right about her pushing the limits but the mixed messages I'm sure are tough for her to handle. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Comment by Elysium927 (original poster) at 12:34 AM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • I hope your SD realizes that you and new new sister can have plenty of fun just the 3 of you. Feeding the baby going for walks and just reading stories. I wish you had been my SM. Mine was like the one in Cinderella. I think you will do great when your SD sees her new sister. Just give it time. Your are off to a fantastic start. Maybe getting the SD a new doll to help her get use to the idea of having a new baby?

    Answer by sweetangie79 at 4:38 AM on Mar. 31, 2011