Q&A: Including stepson in the birth of a new baby
I am married with a seven-year-old stepson. My husband and I have been together for four years and married for almost one year. I simply adore my stepson, I feel he's my son. His mom has finally gotten remarried and she had a baby about four months ago. My stepson took it extremly hard. (She didn't include him at all, and when she went to the hospital my stepson just fell apart and was just crushed.) Eventually he adapted.
My question is this: We are now expecting a baby in January and we want to include our older son and assure him that his place in our family and in our hearts won't change; how can we make sure he understands this?
We try very hard to let him know that this will be his baby, too. He has gone to the doctor with us and heard the baby's heart beat, and he loves putting his head on my stomach and "talking" to his baby brother. But, last week he asked me if I was going to love the baby differently than I love him. I told him of course not, that I'd love him and the baby the same. He then told me that his biological mother told him she loves her new baby differently than him. He looked so sad when he said it. I had no clue what to say, so I pulled him close and just held him.
How can I reassure my stepson that it won't be like that at our house? Did I handle the situation right? What can I do to help him deal with this?
It seems to me that you have done a wonderful job with your stepson. It is very hard for many blended families to adjust to family additions and changes. Have you or your husband tried speaking to your stepson’s mother and let her know his pain? If you can find a nonjudgmental way to approach her, this might help the situation. But, more importantly, you need to keep reassuring him that your house and your love for him will not change when the baby arrives. Continue to keep him involved in your pregnancy, just as you have been doing. Maybe he can help you decorate the nursery, pick out baby clothes, even help choose the baby’s name! Keep up the good work!