Yours, Mine and Ours – Having a Baby in a Blended Family pt. 1

When you blend a family, you often wind up with a much larger family, because some of the kids are his and some of them are hers. But what happens when you are ready for an “ours”? Having a baby in a blended family can be tricky and being sensitive to all those involved is important. Here are some tips to hopefully help you figure out what works for your family.

Give It Time

Giving it time works in two ways. The first way is that you try to remember that you have a new family to take care of. Maybe some of the members of the blended family are your children from your previous marriage, however adding them to another family creates a whole new family. Allowing at least a year or two to get acquainted, iron out any difficulties and work on promoting a positive family environment is important. The second way is after you find out you are expecting. Allow a bit of time to pass, a few weeks, before telling the children. If your children are very young, then there is no problem, but you are basically wanting to be sure that the pregnancy is safe, viable and going to happen before you go around sharing it with the whole family.

Allow for Adjustment

Older children are probably going to have mixed emotions about finding out a new sibling is on its way. Often, they feel terrible for the parent that isn’t in the blended family, thinking that somehow mom or dad cheated on the ex. Obviously as adults we know this isn’t true. Sometimes children have problems distinguishing between different emotions and they tend to be more selfish, thinking only about how the new baby will affect them and their relationship with their parent. They might find themselves resenting the opposite parent and blaming them for bringing this new change. After all the difficulties you overcame from the start of your blended family, it might seem like you took twenty steps backwards. I suggest family counseling if things don’t seem better after a couple of weeks and acceptance doesn’t seem to take place.

Please watch for the next article in this Yours, Mine and Ours Series by checking out the Blended Families section of the Parenting Blog.