New father - need advice please - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-16-2014, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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New father - need advice please

I'm having a baby with one woman but in an active, long term relationship with someone else. She is 21 weeks pregnant and is due at the end of October. It has been decided that I will be raising our daughter, primarily, but I want our baby to have a good relationship with her biological mother. That said , I want my partner to be a mother figure to my daughter since the "step mother" will be with our daughter at a very early age and, candidly, will spend way more time with my daughter than the biological mom.

I'm looking for any advice on how to approach this situation. How do I explain to a very young girl, who will undoubtedly be confused, that her real mom is someone else - some who she doesn't see very often - and that her step mother is the one who is really playing "mom" most of the time?

The fact is, I want her to know the truth, but I don't know how best to go about this with such a young mind. I've never been a dad before. This is my first child, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to anyone who reads/responds to this, in advance, for your time.


C
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:13 AM
 
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I'm going to be blunt here. Why is the baby's mother not going to be the primary parent? I'd rather you focus your energy supporting her. There's a good chance she might change her mind, anyway.

You apparently cheated on your girlfriend. Is she 100% committed to helping you raise this child?
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:21 AM
 
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The mom is still pregnant? You have a very long way to go until you need to make that explanation. She will know who her "real" mom is, even if she does end up living with you primarily. The best thing you can do is support that relationship. Don't try to replace the mom with your current girlfriend/wife. You may be surprised about how naturally your baby deals with the different relationships and roles-remember that will be all she knows.

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:25 AM
 
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I agree, you have far bigger concerns right now, that one's a long way off. It's good to be thinking about it, but you don't know what your life will look like in a few years when the issue actually comes up. Unless the mother completely leaves, which I'd be very concerned about, your child will know that she has two mothers, and you can bring up which one gave birth to her. Point out what physical traits she got from her, talk about when she was in that mommy's tummy, etc.

You definitely want to make sure that you're certain things are going to go as planned, and prepare yourself if they don't. You may have had an open relationship, but especially if you cheated on your girlfriend, you do want to be sure that your girlfriend will raise your child and give her the love she deserves- especially if she'll be the primary mother figure. Also, why is the mother giving you primary custody and apparently wouldn't be very present in her child's life? Unless the woman is likely to be abusive or negligent, it's in your child's best interests to have all parents in her life.

(also, just in case you don't know, it's possible for your girlfriend to induce lactation so the baby can be breastfed even if not with her gestational mother. If she doesn't want to do that and you have any questions about formula, let me know.)


Last edited by sillysapling; 06-18-2014 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:40 AM
 
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I have absolutely no issues with two people deciding that a baby is better off with its father than with its mother. I'd like to see it happen more often, frankly, in situations where the mother is unstable and the father is doing OK.

That said, OP, you are definitely worrying about the wrong thing right now. Worry about the mother changing her mind after she gives birth. Worry about protecting your daughter from a legal tug-of-war if the mother changes her mind years AFTER she gives birth. Get a lawyer and hammer out an official custody agreement that protects your daughter's right to grow up with you, if that's what you and her mother both agree is best.

Compared to that risk and that challenge, your daughter having two mother figures will probably be a piece of cake. As long as you can keep the situation relatively conflict-free, that will just be her family structure and she'll be happy with it.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:12 PM
 
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There is no guarantee that your daughter will find her family situation confusing. Kids tend to accept things as they find them, so there may well be a day when she asks you why some of her friends have only two parents. But if you think that one of the chief women in your daughter's life will be her "real mom" and the other will be "playing mom," you are definitely very confused.

In any case, you are years away from having to explain anything to your daughter. Right now, your chief concerns should be establishing legal paternity, and setting up a solid custody agreement.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameronmar View Post
How do I explain to a very young girl, who will undoubtedly be confused, that her real mom is someone else - some who she doesn't see very often - and that her step mother is the one who is really playing "mom" most of the time?C
Well, first of all, you need to stop thinking of your girlfriend as "playing Mom". IF she's committed to you and your child and IF the child's Mother really isn't going to be in your child's life very often or at all, then you and your girlfriend need to think of her as your child's other Mother, because that's what she will be, maybe not biological, but in the child's eyes, she will be the main, if not only, Mother figure your child has, and even though she's not trying to replace the child's Mother (unless she legally adopts her), she should be acknowledged in that role, not just as a live-in babysitter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
You may have had an open relationship, but especially if you cheated on your girlfriend, you do want to be sure that your girlfriend will raise your child and give her the love she deserves- especially if she'll be the primary mother figure.
Yes, this. It will take a really strong woman to raise a child that her boyfriend cheated on her with the Mother, and treat the child with the same love and respect she would treat her own children. If she cannot, or will not, then the child will be better growing up without your girlfriend as a Stepmother. Please keep this in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Worry about protecting your daughter from a legal tug-of-war if the mother changes her mind years AFTER she gives birth. Get a lawyer and hammer out an official custody agreement that protects your daughter's right to grow up with you, if that's what you and her mother both agree is best.
Yes, make sure everything's done legally and very thoroughly. What Smithie said happens a lot more than you'd think.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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