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Stepmom of 4 getting ready to add my first biological child to the mix--any advice?

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM
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My husband and I have been married for 4 years, and are now getting ready to welcome a 5th child to our home--my first biologically! I love all 4 of my stepchildren, but I am nervous about how to add another child into the home. They all call me by my first name (I made it clear in the beginning they didn't HAVE to call me Mom, because there's always been tension from the Ex about that). But how will I teach my own child to call me that, when he/she hears all of them call me something differently? Will I feel the need to parent differently with this one? I pray against any feelings of favoritism, but will that come naturally? How do I guard against that? The youngest of my stepchildren is 10, so there will be that much distance in age. I'm not worried about how the kids will welcome this one, because they're all pretty excited about it. These are just some questions I have running through my heart and mind. I know God put us together for a reason, and is still working on our family's story, so I'm sure it will all eventually come together. Any input from others who had/are having a similar situation is appreciated!

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM
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by Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM
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Wow! We have a lot in common. I hope some of my story brings you some peace and less stress :)

I am full time step mom to 3 - an 11 year old girl (not my husbands biological) and twin 7 year old boys (husbands bio kids). My husband and I have been married 3 years and we have a 13 month old son....with another boy due in February!

My husband and I are their primary residence and they get to see their mom for every other holiday and some vacations.  Do the kids live with you? I think that makes a big difference. Because the kids live with us, they have and want to call me mom. There was some push back from their biomom and I know she still doesn't like it, but if they want to call me mom and if it helps them feel like a family here, I won't tell them no. So, that makes it a lot easier too! I had the same thought - what would my son think...and now coming son...if their older sibilings called me something else?

In your case, there is a big age difference as is in ours. I think that's helpful because when our bio children together reach a more understanding age of 7/8, their older sibilings who have another mom will be 18 and most likely moved on and making their own choices who they live with, who they visit when, etc. That's helpful!!! Our own bological children will not always grow up with a two household chaos :)

Do you know what you're having yet? What are the genders of your stepchildren?

All of our kids have been so excited about our first next baby and now the one coming in Feb. They call our first their little brother and the next as well. It's a normal family unit when inside our house. We still encourage their relationship with their bio mom and stepdad, but we also allow them to connect however they want to.

In terms of parenting differently, I am MUCH more strict and on top of my bio kid then the 3 stepkids. It's just natural to feel more driven to correct. Also, we do utilize some spanking with our children and we have always resevered that for the bio parent, so while I do not spank the oldest three, I will if and when needed for my own. I do try to be as much of a discipliarian as my husband with his kids though! They need to know everyone has the same mom. In terms of favoritism, you will again naturally have a bond with the child you carried. Ever since I started dating my husband, I prayed that I would love his children like my own. I still pray that daily! There will be days we feel closer to our stepkids and days we feel closer to our bio kids.

Feel free to ask me anything :)

by Member on Oct. 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM
We have a blended family, 2 stepsons and my biological daughter - we're trying for one of our own now too - I wish I could offer you some advice, but I'm kind of in the same boat! LOL... My daughter calls me mama and the boys call me keykey (a term of endearment my nephew has always called me, which they adopted using) and occasionally keykey mama - their mother has a fit with it, which the kids struggle with, but I feel like they should have the freedom to name me what they're comfortable with and have never tried to influence their feelings where that is concerned - and of course my biological daughter will be given that same respect if/when her father introduces someone new into her family and not face the stress of torn loyalty on my part.

I'd be more than happy to write with you, to share our experiences, if you ever wanted!
by Member on Oct. 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Every family is different, but it sounds like you will have a joyful time introducing your own little one into the family.  You and your husband will say "mama" (or whatever you decide the baby will callyou) so many times to him/her that there will be no question what to call you.  At least that's what has happened in our family.  My son turns 15 months old today and his half siblings are a lot older  - 17,23,27, and one half brother who passed away.  So I have the same number of kids as your family in a sense and we share the large age difference, but my family is even larger.  When are you due?  How is the pregnancy going?

expecting baby

by Member on Oct. 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM
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Your SKs shouldn't call you mom.  That's largely for their own protection.  If you want or expect them to call you mom and BM has problems with it, they will only get caught in the middle of the conflict.  Likewise, if they choose to call you mom, it should be discouraged.  They'll only be setting themselves up for a conflict with their mother.  There is no conflict when you choose not to compete with BM and instead embrace being the best SM ever. ;-)

With your baby, I doubt you'll have any issues whatsoever with your baby learning that you're mom.  Even your SKs will be referring to you as mommy when speaking to the baby.  ("You want to go to mommy?")  It will be hearing mom/mama/mommy from every direction in regards to you.  Don't worry about feeling differently about your biochild.  You will feel differently.  It's a guarantee.  But there's nothing wrong with that.  It would be unnatural for you to feel the same intensity of emotion for someone else's children (that have two involved parents already) that you feel for your own child.  The only concern you need have is that you treat all the children in your home as if they're equal. 

by Member on Dec. 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Hello. I am in a similar situation. My Husband and I have been married almost 2 years. I have 2 sk . One is 9 other is 6 .we have them,a 50/50 split. I had the,same exact worries. And my little girl BC is 4 months now and I can tell you that you WILL love your BC more. No matter how hard you try its natural. There is a beautiful connection that happens when you grow a child insids you, feel,them move and then come out of you . Its a bond that is amazing. You cant have that bond with SK . Im,not saying you cant love them,of course. But it is in fact a different love.,you dont have that bond with your SK so all you can do is pray for God,to help you treat them equally. It is alot harder than I thought it would be but it,csn be done. You will always have a stronger bond with you BC but you can truely make all your kids feel loved.
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by Member on Dec. 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Oh, precious sister in Christ! I am with you. I have 3 step children and we've been together almost 3 years and married for less than a year. I unfortunately lost my baby in my 1st ever pregnancy less than 2 months into our marriage, but when I found out I was pregnant I had every single thought you've listed here. All I can say is that your heart is in the right place! The fact that you are concerned with making everyone welcome is the first step to knowing you're in the right place as a stepmom and a mom! Naturally, you will have a slightly different relationship with your own child that you'll nuture and raise from day 1, but that doesn't mean it's wrong!!! Your stepchildren were most likely nurtured and raised by their bio mom and therefore call you by your first name. As your child gets older, you'll just have to explain the dynamics in ways that make sense to a little kid, then bigger kid, adolescent and then adult. You will most likely parent slightly differently b/c it's YOUR time to do what YOU and your spouse see fit in your household. For example, I feel strongly about my child one day being involved w/ volunteering. I've tried to get my stepkids involved, but they are just not feeling it. If they were my own, it wouldn't be an option. We'd do it! Or, I don't like how much TV they watch, but it's really not my place. They get to do that when they're in their own home (w/ bio mom), but when I have my child I know my intentions will be to have other activities in place for him/her. I implement these w/ my stepkids, but I am more "friendly" about it as our relationship requires that sort of a stance. I am in the "warming up" stages since we're newlyweds...I've been around for awhile, but new as "wifey" to dad. I was having thought too about how is my mom going to be able to spoil her first bio grand-kiddo when the others are around??!?!? My mom and I talked about it and she said she'll just work "around it"...that is to say, instead of showing my child w/ gifts/attention, which is a natural response (and my stepkids don't call her grandma...they are 9, 13, and they are set w/ who is grandma as of now...we're open to that changing, but so far they just call my family by first names- we don't push it) for a grandmama to do, she will just bring things over on days when all kids aren't in the house. We have my stepchildren every other weekend. And, it is a lot to process... I too thought "What about parties for birthdays?" I dream of my own kid's b-day when I'm attending all of my friends' kids' b-day parties. I do nice things 4 my stepkiddos, but they have the big shindigs w/ their mom and her family. My husband's family all live far away. So, I wonder if the stepkids will be jealous of our child one day? All this to say... Just know that "different' isn't wrong. God will lead you. And, 90% of our worries aren't even things that will happen. That 10% that does...we'll, we'll in faith cross those bridges when we get there. God cover you, bless you and lead you always ~ 

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