Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Adding bioChildren

A reader recently asked me to share how my stepdaughter's bioMom reacted when hubby and I started having children of our own.

To be honest, I have no idea how she reacted. I suspect that she secretly hated it as her behavior over the last 7 years has indicated some jealously as to my husband's ability to move on with his life (and some resentment with regards to my existence in her daughter's life). It's quite possible that some comments were made to my husband -- but he tries very hard to shelter me from her verbal attacks, so nothing ever made its way to my ears and I never asked. I do not believe that any negative comments were made to my SD either, and if they were they haven't seemed to have any effect. My SD loves her little brother to pieces and is thrilled about the pending arrival of her new baby sister. [Just ask the staff and patients at our OBs office who all overheard her exclamations of "My prayers have been answered!" when we found out we were having a girl.]

What's of more interest to me is my own reaction to adding bio-children to our family. After my son was born, it was as if there was a sudden shift in the balance of the "relationship" between my husband, his ex, my stepdaughter and myself. I was no longer the self-proclaimed-odd-man-out, but a valuable player in this game of parenting because now I had a child of my own.

I felt enlightened. I now understood my husband's motives for all those years he was trying to keep the peace and bent over backwards to give in to his ex's demands, despite my repeated protests. He was doing what he thought was best for his daughter and ultimately us. I was now aware of the feelings a parent has for their child and the lengths one will go to ensure that child's safety and happiness. [We have since learned that our relationship must come first if we are to be a successful blended family.]

I felt empowered. Now I felt I had more of a
right to speak up with regards to what was happening in my own home: from issues concerning discipline, to visitation and how it impacted family plans, to creating our own family rituals and traditions. I was not just a member of this family, but now a bona-fide parent in this household who had a voice and deserved respect. I suddenly was willing to take more control over the parenting duties of the household as they applied to my SD where in the past I remained a quiet observer and let my husband handle things. This decision has apparently elevated me to the rank of the only stabilizing force in my SD's life right now (according to the psychologist involved in the custody case).

Yes, there has been a definite shift in our family dynamics since we began adding biochildren to the mix, and it's been all for the positive.

With bioBaby number two on the way, I can only hope that my husband's ex will not further infuse her negativity into our lives or my SD's feelings towards her new sibling. But, as I have said, we are in the middle of an ugly custody battle so there are no guarantees that attempts will not be made. As it stands, we are preparing for some resistance from bioMom with not allowing my SD to visit the hospital should I deliver on a non-custodial day. My husband has already placed a call to his lawyer and is prepared to handle any problems that might arise.

Quite honestly, we try not to get bogged down with worry over what bioMom might or might not do in response to us adding to our family or with regard any other decisions we might make. We will deal with what we have to deal with, when and if we have to deal with it. And we will deal with it together.

In the meantime, we are confident that we have created a firm and solid family foundation in which all of our children can thrive. And we look forward with anticipation, and not dread, over expanding our home by another 2 feet. :)


Bitchet said...

Does the "bioMom" know you have this blog? Just wondering what her reaction to it is???

Wicked Stepmom said...

Hello there, Bridget. :) BioMom and I currently have very little interaction , so I truly doubt she knows I keep a blog. Even so, her reaction to it would be of little consequence to me. I decided to start writing as an outlet; this blog is for me and me alone. And if by some chance my experiences help others in the same situations, then it makes it all the more worthwile.

Bitchet said...

I have a blog too where I use it as my outlet to vent how I feel and in the past month i have gotten in "trouble" for writing my thoughts about issues within my extended family. Personally , I think it's bullshit that certain people choose to read it and pass judgement on something so personal to me. I was just wondering if you had to deal with the same crap that I have to deal with!!! And if you did, I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I refuse to change my blog. However, I did concede in one respect and that was to stop mentioning people by names. So now everyone i reference has a fake name. (But it's not stopping the unwanted visitors!) I think a lot of people use their blogs as an outlet for their feelings. I just wish people in my extended family would quit reading it and just let me blog in peace!

Wicked Stepmom said...

Bridget, I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles. You can't make everyone happy, can you? Though I think it's wise to change names to protect the innocent. That's what I do. Our/their identity is not what's important (besides this is the internet and there are a lot of scary people out there!). The issues I face are what's important, and airing them out helps me to deal with them and in turn lets me know that I am not alone. And if anyone has a problem with what I write, it's their problem not mine.

Ironically, my husband just read my blog for the first time tonight and told me he thinks I am doing a good job. Honestly, his opinion is the only one (besides mine) that matters.

Keep on writing, and good luck with your blog and your three Marbles. :)

TRUTHZ said...

i was wondering how did your mom feel letting you all be around your stepmom? we always hear about the perspective of the stepmom, but it would be great to her you mom take on it. even if she did like your stepmom...becuz i am in a situation where my child has a stepmom but i am not sure that i would want him left alone with her...she is evil...however, i wouldn't mind if her child visited to see her brother as long as she was respectful

TRUTHZ said...

pls let bridget know for legal reasons she needs to go back and change all of the names in the entire blog because she could get sued...just some friendly advice from a law student

Bitchet said...

thanks truthz...but that's a lot of changing!!! What would i get sued for?

Wicked Stepmom said...

Truthz - My mother always got along with my stepmom. She never had a problem with her. In fact, she told me when she first met my stepmom it was impossible not to like her.

They still get along to this day even though my stepmom is no longer married to my Dad. They exchange Christmas and Birthday cards, occasional emails and notes, and my stepmom even calls my Mom from time to time. It's a weird relationship, but one that I've always been grateful for.

BeautifulLegacy said...

Thanks again myhtac for your words of wisdom! I have been talking with Izzy trying to encourage her to hang in there!

Bridget, I can feel you on BioMOM finding out. Izzy had to deal with that when she was sending an evite and someone shared it with baby mama. Let's just say that Izzy had to cancel all of her plans and it just ruined her event. You may want to take truthz advice and change names to be on the safe side. It'll be worth it.

TRUTHZ said...

hey Wicked,
wouldn't it be nice if everyone could be like your mother and stepmother and Jada Pinkett Smith and the BioMOm? but it can't.. looking at the whole picture, it's hard on all parties involve unless there is a mutual understanding, respect, and gasp friendship forged between the women and the Husband has to know wher his loyalty should lay or they will never be an end to his kids stepmommas..

to bridget.. libel or slander. because if you have no written proof or substantial truth that what you have written is true, they can sue you for ruining there image and slandering their name.. now, with that said, even with the name chges, you can still go ahead and say whatever it is that you wt w/o them being able to say a thing becuz they would have to prove that that character is indeed them.

Bitchet said...

i see what you're saying truthz... thanks for the info but the issue at hand that got me in "trouble" is something that i could prove.... so i am not worried but in the meantime i did change names! :)

Dolfinnlover said...

I am the stepmom... and for a while I was getting along with her..I love readign your blog because it reminds me I am not alone, I swear some of the times, your writting can be just put into my blog because I am going thru the same damm thing. I also have to bio children. I think the hardest part was when my SS called my DD a Half sister... I know it is true butit hurt, I spoke top him and he said that is what his mom told him... needless to say, he does not say that anymore and I hope it was just a big misunderstanding.

stepblog said...

I just found your blog today and will be a frequent visitor. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant now. My 7-year-old SD is over the moon. My 13-year-old SS is sad and took it really hard. Just last night my 10-yar-old ss said "The thing I really don't want is someone else calling Dad, 'Dad.'" Crack went my heart.

Wicked Stepmom said...

Welcome, stepblog. :) It's not uncommon for step children to feel threatened when a bio child is brought into the picture. Some feel as the "odd-man out" compared to their new sibling who has the benefit of TWO parents in the household. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that my own Cinderella has felt some of this and maybe has been afraid to admit it. It has not surfaced as yet, but it could certainly be understandable.

I think your SS may need some reassurance that a parent's ability to love is infinite, and that his Dad will love him always, always. :)

So confused said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. I really need to tell someone neutral my story. I've lived with my boyfriend for 7 years, he got custody of his D when she was 1yo. She is now 8yo. Her mom gave up custody b/c my SD was sick and she had a newborn who was also sick. I've basically raised my SD, since her real mom doesnt make enough effort to see her. The thing is that I had a very strong relationship with my SD, I took care of her and took her to daycare and so forth. But my BF had a very protective attitude over SD, and to an extent I understand because of what she went through very early in life.

But the intesity of this overprotectiveness started hurting my relationship with SD. If we were having troubles or were mad at each other he would pick up SD and in some way make this competitive atmosphere between SD and I ( mind you she was only about 3). Then at times he would "remind me" that she was not mine. Like the time I cut the ends of her long hair to get rid of the dead ends, that night he came home and when he noticed, told me that I had no right to touch his daughter's hair that if if I wanted hair to cut I should cut my own.

I know you are asking yourself why did I stayed? Well I ask myself the same. But I just knew this kid was going to suffer if I wasnt around. He had a job in which he needed to show up at 5am, and I just didnt see him taking out at that hour.

Well time passed and instead of getting out of the relationship I chose to block my feelings from developing any further to protect myself, so I stopped doing the little things moms do for their kids. When SD was 4yo I got pregnant and we had our daughter. You can imagine what happened next, he accuses me of having preferences with my own daugher, and I will not feel sorry for loving my daughter the way I do. I am tired and exausted, now he reminds me that SD only sees me as mom, and that I am her only mom. G

But now I want to keep daughters together and have an stable family, but I cant with the constant accusing.

What do I do?

Wicked Stepmom said...

Confused -

Sounds like you need to have a long heart-to-heart with your boyfriend, so he can understand what brought you to the point of shutting off your feelings. This way, the two of you can work together at creating that cohesive family you want. You both need to be able to see what you have done to contribute to your current situation and only then can you move towards fixing it.

Good luck and hang in there. It can be a long and hard road...