Adding a baby to a family is always a blessing but a lot of hard work. Adding a baby to a blended family can be a blessing and curse at the same time, AND double the hard work. A new baby in the blended family creates apprehension and worry. As a result, it is imperative to consider the current emotional security of the existing children and the overall foundation of your blended family before deciding to embark upon this journey.
Family must first be built on solid ground
It’s important to make sure that your family has established a bond as a newly formed family before deciding to expand it. All existing children need to be well-adjusted to their new family and be settled into their new home and routine before shaking things up with a new baby. Many remarried couples feel as if a baby will bring an already unsettled blended family together, but the worst thing you can do is add this little bundle of joy too prematurely; causing feelings of fear and doubt in existing children to resurface all over again. This only creates additional stress and even less opportunities to bond with them.
Make your existing children feel secure
Remember that it’s so easy to get lost in the excitement of your first baby together, but it’s crucial that you don’t forget the children who were there first! The part-time children are going to especially need constant reassurance that they matter and are indeed still a part of your family. They can begin to feel excluded from their biological parent and his family. Keep in mind that these negative feelings don’t just disappear with time and will intensify if ignored. Maintain or strengthen your bond with them individually and as a family by including them in the pregnancy. Allow them to help you choose a name or decorate the nursey. All in all, it’s important NOT to make them [part-timers] feel self-conscious about not belonging to the both of you. Make ALL of your children feel completely a part of the family no matter where they live or who they were born to.
Older children aren’t babysitters or “friends”
Please remember that older part-time siblings are not unpaid babysitters, nor are they to be used solely for keeping their younger sibling out of your hair. Part-timers shouldn’t be treated as “friends” that you invite over for a play date with your biological children. It’s essential that you keep in mind that they are a part of your family and that your home is their home. Children detest feeling like guests in their biological parent’s home. As such make sure that you maintain a place for them when the new baby arrives.
Overall, there are several factors to consider when deciding to or preparing for a new baby in the blended family. The most important is to consider the needs of ALL involved children and don’t exclude any children, no matter where their full-time residence is. If this situation isn’t handled properly, it could delay the bonding and strengthening of a blended family in its infatile stages; or put an already settled blended family back at square one.