Blended Families

need advice plz!

I'd like some advice on how to tell my firstborn son that I am having another baby. My son Trent was born Feb 2006 and lived with me until Aug 2008. I was a young, single parent, and my mom's parents watched Trent a lot when I had to work. he also attended a daycare while I was in school. When my grandparents decided to leave south Louisiana (after hurricane gustav 2008) we decided it would be best for Trent to go live with my mom, who is a RN and able to provide him with a much more stable environment. My mom lives across the country and I have been lucky if I can afford to go home 3 times a year since then to see Trent. He and I have a relationship over the phone/Skype and he knows that I am his mommy and I did not want to give him away but it was the best thing at the time. Trent will be 6 this February. In the past two years, I fell in love with an old friend/coworker and we have been together since March 2010, married since April 2011. Trent has never met my husband but they have talked over the phone and he thinks its okay for me to be married. Hubby and I are expecting July 2012; we have told our families but have not told Trent yet. How do I tell my son I am having another baby? I am so worried about hurting his feelings. I don't want him to think I am trying to replace him with another baby. I feel I would be ready to regain custody of him before I have our baby but my mom "doesn't know how she feels". So I have to explain why I am having another baby but can't have him back yet. 

 Doesn't make sense to me, either, and I am thinking about pursuing matters of custody legally to get him back before I have baby. But most importantly I just want Trent to know I love him as much as I ever have, and no baby could ever replace him. how do I approach this issue with a 5-6 yr old? 

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Re: need advice plz!

  • why havent you tried to get custody of him over the past two years when things were more stable.

    I mean...you're having the baby regardless right? So his feelings may be hurt/he may be confused about it...but it is just something that you will have to deal with over time.  I dont think you should hide the pregnancy from him at all though.

    If your mom doesnt know how she feels...well is it really up to her? He's your child.

     

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  • My mom lives in Montana, where I spent 10 yrs of my life, and my son gets to play with my childhood friends' kids. So I thought it was a good place for him to live for a few years and attend kindergarten with kids he knew. It's been less than a year that I could say we are financially stable; DH and I had planned to get custody of Trent this summer (between K and 1st grade) and then surprise! we're having a baby. I went to the ER because I couldn't stop vomiting, thought I had stomach flu... told them there was no way I was pregnant and then a few hours later they told me I was preg!! I was shocked, DH was thrilled, and we wouldn't give this baby up for anything.

    I don't want to hide the pregnancy from DS at all. I guess my main question would be how to bring the subject up? ??

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  • oooh okay so is he going to come live with you or not?  If he is..then I would tell him before he comes there or before you go pick him up tell him something like

    "I know you've  been gone a long time, but there are some big changes..you're going to be a big brother!"  I'm sure he wont ask why you waited so long to tell him but if he does then you can say that you wanted to wait to tell him in person...I'm not sure if a 6 year old will comprehend it over the phone you know? But once he sees your belly he'll understand.

    Good Luck and I really hope your family is back together soon!

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  • This is a really sticky situation. SS7 lives with us as of last year because his mom lost her home, job, other children and was on drugs. Three months ago she announced she was pregnant. SS has been wetting the bed almost every night ever since. 

     Kids are egocentric which means they blame everything on themselves. My SS feels unwanted and like he's being replaced. He's jealous of the new baby and angry that his mom is having another baby instead of getting their house back. Before she became pregnant he would often ask if she could come live with us- which I think is his 7 year old way of saying he missed his mom but appreciated the stability we provided. He doesn't ever ask to go back and live with her but wants her to be ok.

    In a typical situation I'd say focus on the fact that he has a new exciting role of big brother and he is going to get a new sibling (instead of something you and your H are gaining this is something HE is gaining) I'd probably still use this tactic with him and say that he will always be the big brother but in order for him to be the best big brother he can be he needs to be successful himself and the best place he can be successful is with his grandma and at his school.

     I think you need to have a serious heart to heart with your mom and decide if you regaining custody will ever work. It is very challenging to move a child after they have started kindergarten and it would be scary for a 6 year old to move across the country and learn a new routine- meet your H for the first time and have a sibling all in one swoop.  If you were to regain custody I would want it to be because his primary custodian (your mom) and the other people important in his life wanted the reunification to happen because it was what they felt was best for Trent not because it's best for you 

    This is a super hard situation- We have only been custodians of SS for a year and I can see how disrupting his home and routine would be very detrimental at this point. If I were your mom I'd be a really hard sell to make moves to reunite you with your son. 

     I think if you are serious about reuniting some counseling is in order. Having a 6 year old every day is hard and he is going to have some attachment and anger issues towards you. He will miss his grandma and old friends. You need to be prepared for that 

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  • I think that you need to worry less about how to tell him about the baby and more how to fix this situation. 

    Your kiddo needs to meet your husband. You need to find a way to reestablish your place in his life; and I'm not sure that immediately changing custody is the best way to do it. 

    Do you have access to an EAP through your work or your husband's work? An EAP may be able to help guide you to a developmental psychologist or other professional who should have some advice for you.

    Since he's 6, I assume he's in 1st grade? Can you plan for him to come spend spring break with you? Maybe you can spend a few nice days with him before sharing that you're expecting a baby. My DS just turned 7, and words don't really mean much to him. It's all about what you do, not what you say.

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  • image fellesferie:

    I think that you need to worry less about how to tell him about the baby and more how to fix this situation. 

    Your kiddo needs to meet your husband. You need to find a way to reestablish your place in his life; and I'm not sure that immediately changing custody is the best way to do it. 

    Do you have access to an EAP through your work or your husband's work? An EAP may be able to help guide you to a developmental psychologist or other professional who should have some advice for you.

    Since he's 6, I assume he's in 1st grade? Can you plan for him to come spend spring break with you? Maybe you can spend a few nice days with him before sharing that you're expecting a baby. My DS just turned 7, and words don't really mean much to him. It's all about what you do, not what you say.

    This.

  • Hmm yes, of course you are going to hurt his feelings. 

    I agree with Felles, you need to have a plan on how to get your boy back. Otherwise he will think that there is something wrong with him because you chose to keep and raise this baby and didnt do the same for him.

    As a single mom, I understand how you have been struggling with the decision of letting you mom raise him. What I dont understand is why you havent taken the steps for move him back with you as soon as you could.  And Im sorry, I dont think its right to get married and not have your child meet your spouse. 


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  • I deleted my earlier response because it wasn't as diplomatic as it could have been.

    I agree that you need to work on getting custody of your first born. If you are stable financially, can afford to have another child, get married....you can afford to fight for custody of your child.

    He probably already feels abandoned by you. You've already given him up to your parents, you've gotten married and not introduced him in person to your husband, and now you're pregnant. Getting custody of him could ease the pain a little.

    If you don't get custody, or while he is waiting for you to get custody, I hope your mother is capable of emotionally nurturing your son. And IF you get custody, I hope you are as well.  He's going to need A LOT of re-assurance that you won't ship him off again and leave him with other people.

    Good luck. You've got a tough one on your hands. We've all told you what the right thing to do is - it's up to you to do it. I hope you make the right choices.

    One more bit of advice - get on some kind of birth control that works - even if it means hubby needs to get fixed or wear condoms, until your son is in your custody again.  At least do him the favor of not producing more children while he is not with you, because no matter how you sugar coat it, all he is going to see is that he is not wanted - and they are.

  • Im at a loss as to how you could date someone, marry them, and get pregnant, all without finding it necessary for him to even MEET your child.  This concept boggles my mind.  Your son, and getting custody back, should have been your first priority.  That being said, you can't go back and change things now.

    You need to get your son back.  If your mom is not sure about how she feels about it, ask her why.  What have you done to show her you are responsible and stable now?  Is there a formal custody agreement with your mom?  Meaning, does she have LEGAL custody or has he just been staying with her for the last 2 years?

     

  • I'm confused. Just two days ago on another board you were looking for a place to get free maternity clothes because neither you or your husband are working. How can afford to get custody of a child (and raise him)?

    And while I get being young and needing help from your family to raise your son, why did you ship him off to your mom and not go with? If things were bad enough that one of you needed to move, why didn't both of you? I also can't fathom marrying someone without having them ever meet my child.

    I'm sorry, but it seems like you really need to get your priorities figured out...

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  • It seems to me that now that you are stable you should get custody of your son.  I am a little confused on why you had to move away from your son?  What is preventing you from living in the same city or state as your son so you can see him more often?

     

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  • Thanks all for your advice. I appreciate everyone's honesty and opinions! I know I said "we decided" that it would be best for Trent to live with my mom but in all honesty I was looking at it as a temporary situation and my mom & stepdad filed for custody without my knowledge. They alleged a lot of things on the documents that weren't true (saying I brought boyfriends around my kid... I only dated one guy in two and a half years and he met my son, like, twice. saying that because I had a bottle of tequila left over from Mardi Gras that I was drinking frequently... the bottle had been there for months, untouched) Basically she knew she didn't have legal right to take him so she made up some stuff. How do you disprove allegations like that? I didn't want to make the situation messy and have Trent see me and my family fighting so I agreed to the situation. I have *always* told my mom I want my son back. I've asked multiple times to move in with her, I was only 19 when she took my son; whatever the reason they say it's not an option. I used to visit him frequently, She moved a year after she got custody of him and instead of it costing $200 to go visit him, it costs $500 or more just for one ticket to Montana. I just don't have the money. She has never ONCE offered to bring my son to visit me (and she has taken other trips with him, bought a new Jeep...etc). She doesn't call me unless I call her. I understand I made some mistakes and they contributed to this situation. And I agree it is still best for her to have custody of him until we are in a better spot financially. I'm just frustrated because there's only so much I can do to keep a relationship with my son from thousands of miles away. 

     Seems like I should probably get a lawyer and discuss my options... 

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  • image fellesferie:

    I think that you need to worry less about how to tell him about the baby and more how to fix this situation. 

    Your kiddo needs to meet your husband. You need to find a way to reestablish your place in his life; and I'm not sure that immediately changing custody is the best way to do it. 

    Do you have access to an EAP through your work or your husband's work? An EAP may be able to help guide you to a developmental psychologist or other professional who should have some advice for you.

    Since he's 6, I assume he's in 1st grade? Can you plan for him to come spend spring break with you? Maybe you can spend a few nice days with him before sharing that you're expecting a baby. My DS just turned 7, and words don't really mean much to him. It's all about what you do, not what you say.

    I agree, it is about what you do, not what you say. That's what's so frustrating about having a relationship with him over the phone. He doesn't even know who I am anymore!!

    Your idea about spring break is a good one (he turns 6 next month, in kindergarten this year...)  I'll talk to my mom and see what she says. Maybe we can both sit down with a lawyer while she is here and make a plan for visitation. I don't want to disrupt his life, I just want the opportunity to be more involved. Thanks for the advice 

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  • image dmndsr4eva:

    It seems to me that now that you are stable you should get custody of your son.  I am a little confused on why you had to move away from your son?  What is preventing you from living in the same city or state as your son so you can see him more often?

     

    I didn't move away. My mom, who lived in Arkansas, came to Louisiana to file custody and took him back to Arkansas. A yr later she moved to a town of 2,000 in Montana. My mom and stepdad gave various reasons for not wanting me to move in with them. I think they thought if they kept me away from my son I would just give up. my stepdad is 20 yrs younger than my mom and I believe he saw this as an opportunity to have a kid of his own??  

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  • Your mother just couldn't file for custody without you knowing. If that were the case, I'd file for custody of SD's son. 

    You also tell on yourself that this is not the case when you say "how do you disprove that".  So you did know. Did she really have good reason?

    Regardless, if you have a stable life and can provide a good, healthy home environment - file and fight. If you don't - make it a good, healthy home environment first. Then fight like hell.

    Biological parents are favored in court if they can provide a good home and are good parents.

  • I've noticed a lot of people with there own agenda scolding you. =/ He's your son. You did what you felt was right for him at the time, but YOU are his mother regardless of your financial situation. If every woman on welfare,child support and living in assisted living apt. has the right to raise 4 kids in that tiny apt. Then you have the right to get your son back. I find your mother disturbing.My friends mom whom is in the exact same boat but now has custody of her own daughter. Your son NEEDS YOU. Record a phone conversation between you and your son. Ask him if he want to come live with you. If he says yes, in court your mother will have a hard time battling that, no matter how much she brain washes him. Situations such as yours get UGLY quick. Your mother will do everything in her power to keep your son, which means you need to make sure you do everything in your power to make sure that doesn't happen. If necessary say what you basically just said to all of us, That you feel she is mentally unstable and is using your child as compensation for her age in her marriage. Most of the time financial situation doesn't hold water in a custody case between a grandmother and a mother. Especially if the kid wants to live with the mother. My friend is a recovering drug addict with small funds and little room to budge, but got custody back from her mother. The most important thing is YOU do what YOU feel is right for YOUR son. I know my half siblings would give anything to have grown up with my mom like I did. They even hate me slightly for having that as they call it "privilege"  You need to not worry about telling him your pregnant and worry about getting him back, as long as you feel that's the right thing to do. 
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