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New baby - advice please! - Page 2

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
I've been thinking about this for a while, now, and I really disagree. However, please note that this response is not directed towards the PP directly, it is in response to the bolded part, and in response to some other things I have read on this board.

I think I have every right to protect my baby from any illnesses other children may be carrying, and I think I have the right to say who is and isn't allowed to come visit my baby.

I've heard sentiments along the lines of step-children's rights, and while I understand where those who hold them are coming from (the viewpoint of a step-child), I think it disregards my rights as a parent. I think my rights as the protector of my child supercedes any rights of any other person to access my child.

The new baby is my responsibility, and the burden is on me to protect the baby. I feel that part of that protection is making sure the baby and I have enough time together to bond, establish nursing, and ensure that those who come around are healthy. I feel these are necessary protections in order to assure the life of my child.

Honestly, do you think the children's mother gives two cents about my new baby? Nope. Why should she? It isn't her responsibility. Her concern lies with her two children. Do you think the only one my DF is concerned about is the new baby? Nope. He loves all three of his children. Finally, I have responsibility for just my child, just as the step-children's mother is the only one with full responsibility of her two children. What if my baby were ill, do you think she would want her children to come over? If I were her, I wouldn't. And, if she says that she doesn't want to put her children in a position of catching whatever the baby has, then it seems like there would be a lot of support for her saying "I want you to wait until your baby isn't sick, and then you can have the kids." Yet, if I want them to not come over when they are sick, so that my child doesn't become ill, then I get to be the evil step-mother again.

I don't feel that anyone has a "right" to my baby, other than myself and DF. If I had 10 natural children, those other children wouldn't have a "right" to my new baby, either. It seems like a lot of people think that, just because there are step-children in the picture, then all my rights are out the window, although those rights wouldn't be if the step-children were my natural children. What I mean is, it appears to me, that I could send all my natural children away for a month, and people would say that is my choice. But, if I want a few days (or even a few weeks), and that space of time involves telling step-children that they can't come over, then suddenly I am a selfish, evil step-mother.

Both of these situations put the step-mother in a very awkward position. We already have FAR fewer rights as a step-parent, but we are expected to act like a natural parent. These expectations put all the "rights" with the step-children's mother and her children, and any woman and her children who come after, get treated as second-rate humans.

That seems awfully skewed, to me.
You are 100% right on this one. No one has any particular rights to see your newborn immediately. And you're right, as a stepmom, you're kind of held to many totally contradictory standards simultaneously. You are supposed to treat them as your own for their sake, but include emotional distance for their mom's sake, but spend more on them than yours because the law affords them a higher value, but never even viscerally resent any of this, and certainly never expect anything in return that a mother would normally enjoy, and then people will tell you when you do have your own you are supposed to compromise that special bonding time because your stepkids have a "right" to meet their half-sibling immediately! Nonsense! Do what works for you and your baby, and then when you are ready, by all means include your stepchildren, as they are also your family.
post #22 of 25
Oh, and just to clarify, before everyone beats me up about explaining how stepmothering can sometimes be an untenable situation:
Let me say that I completely and totally adore my stepkids, I have no biokids at this point, and any resentment disappeared the day I met them and fell in love.

And I'm the one spending too much on them for Christmas, not my husband. Sometimes I can't resist.

I wrote what I wrote because I do feel that it's not humanly possible to simultaneously live up to all the demands of the various posters on this blog. I have chosen to treat these kids as my own, completely. This may not sit well with those who prefer me to know my proper place as a second-class citizen, but I'm just not able to comprehend how I can raise kids without being motherly. So if your role is a parental one, then do that, but you have to have authority. If your role is a pal without a parental role, then do that, but then you can't treat them "as your own." I just maintain that you can't do all of them at the same time.

And regardless of what your role is with your stepkids, I think we can all agree on a role for you with your new baby, so focus on that one right now.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
And you're right, as a stepmom, you're kind of held to many totally contradictory standards simultaneously. You are supposed to treat them as your own for their sake, but include emotional distance for their mom's sake, but spend more on them than yours because the law affords them a higher value, but never even viscerally resent any of this, and certainly never expect anything in return that a mother would normally enjoy...
I whole-heartedly agree. Couldn't have said it better myself.
post #24 of 25
I agree with everything I quoted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
I think I have every right to protect my baby from any illnesses other children may be carrying, and I think I have the right to say who is and isn't allowed to come visit my baby.

I've heard sentiments along the lines of step-children's rights, and while I understand where those who hold them are coming from (the viewpoint of a step-child), I think it disregards my rights as a parent.
I think my rights as the protector of my child supersedes any rights of any other person to access my child.

The new baby is my responsibility, and the burden is on me to protect the baby.
I feel that part of that protection is making sure the baby and I have enough time together to bond, establish nursing, and ensure that those who come around are healthy.
I feel these are necessary protections in order to assure the life of my child.

Yet, if I want them to not come over when they are sick, so that my child doesn't become ill, then I get to be the evil step-mother again.

I don't feel that anyone has a "right" to my baby, other than myself and DF.
But, if I want a few days (or even a few weeks), and that space of time involves telling step-children that they can't come over, then suddenly I am a selfish, evil step-mother.

Both of these situations put the step-mother in a very awkward position. We already have FAR fewer rights as a step-parent, but we are expected to act like a natural parent.
These expectations put all the "rights" with the step-children's mother and her children, and any woman and her children who come after, get treated as second-rate humans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
I believe that one of the best lessons a parent can teach a child is that their rights END where another's BEGIN.

You are absolutely within reason to expect to have private time to bond with and/or protect your newborn baby. It is your responsibility as a parent to cultivate a strong and healthy relationship with your children. No one on Earth has any right to tell you, you must do differently.

This is simply one of those situations that require a little patience and understanding on the part of the other parties involved. If the children are having a hard time with showing patience and understanding because of their ages and perspectives, then their parents (IMO) are obligated to encourage rather than discourage those behaviors.

---

I wanted to add something...

I have seen a lot mentioned here about the rights and feelings of the older children involved.
It's a little shocking to me that I haven't yet seen mentioned the right of an infant child to their mother's full time, energy, and attention - unmarred by discomfort, feelings of uneasiness, and emotional and/or physical distractions.
With all this, "Think about the kids" talk it seems one very important kid is being left out of the equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
You are 100% right on this one.
No one has any particular rights to see your newborn immediately.
And you're right, as a step mom, you're kind of held to many totally contradictory standards simultaneously.
You are supposed to treat them as your own for their sake, but include emotional distance for their mom's sake, but spend more on them than yours because the law affords them a higher value, but never even viscerally resent any of this, and certainly never expect anything in return that a mother would normally enjoy, and then people will tell you when you do have your own you are supposed to compromise that special bonding time because your step kids have a "right" to meet their half-sibling immediately!
Nonsense!
Do what works for you and your baby, and then when you are ready, by all means include your stepchildren, as they are also your family.

I wrote what I wrote because I do feel that it's not humanly possible to simultaneously live up to all the demands of the various posters on this blog.
I have chosen to treat these kids as my own, completely.
This may not sit well with those who prefer me to know my proper place as a second-class citizen, but I'm just not able to comprehend how I can raise kids without being motherly.
So if your role is a parental one, then do that, but you have to have authority.
If your role is a pal without a parental role, then do that, but then you can't treat them "as your own."
I just maintain that you can't do all of them at the same time.

And regardless of what your role is with your step kids, I think we can all agree on a role for you with your new baby, so focus on that one right now.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
And you're right, as a stepmom, you're kind of held to many totally contradictory standards simultaneously. You are supposed to treat them as your own for their sake, but include emotional distance for their mom's sake, but spend more on them than yours because the law affords them a higher value, but never even viscerally resent any of this, and certainly never expect anything in return that a mother would normally enjoy,
I had to read this aloud to DF. It is a good summation of the difficulties of being a stepmom.
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