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My name is Jess and DH is Matt. We are expecting our first child together due in January and DH has a 3-year-old DD from a previous marriage. DH ex-wife has always been a peach but it looks like they have finally agreed regarding custody. We are out-of-state so DSD will be with us for extended periods of time -may turn into full custody, her Mom recently decided 3 year-olds are "too much work". I want to make the transition for DSD as easy as possible but do predict we will have some bumps down the road. I am hoping the baby will help her feel like a big girl and hope jealous issues are not too terrible. What are some things I can do to make it easier on her and her not feel like the "step-child". I grew up in a blended home and when visiting my father I always felt like a guest not family. I don't want her to feel any differently than the children who are biologically mine.
Last edited by JessnMatt11; November 6th, 2010 at 08:09 PM.
Help her decorate her bedroom. Some people dont realize how important that is. Its like they get to carve out this little nitch for themselves. My SD helped me paint her new bedroom at 3 years old. It was adorable. I asked her what she wanted....she said strawberry shortcake....so thats what we did. She loved it. and it felt like "hers".
And one of the biggest things I learned with my older two, who always felt like a guest in their dad's home, was to make sure they have their own things at both homes. I mean, certainly she can bring her favorite things to both houses, but I would try to make sure that she has her own space in your house with her own toys and her own clothes, etc.
Agreed. SD has a convertable room at BM's house. The rest of the year its like a computer room or something. She sleeps on a futon from what SD has told us. And if the room gets too messy BM says to just sleep with her and her DH. SD said it feels weird, she wishes she could have her own space.
Sorry if this is super long. I've just gone through a very similar thing.
Agree with the others about having her own space and things at your home. When we were expecting our first child together, we needed to shuffle the older kids' bedrooms so the nursery would be closest to my bedroom. We ended up doing a whole house shift so each of my step-kids also got a "new" room and we spent a couple hundred bucks redecorating so they didn't feel left out of the baby nesting excitement.
Not sure how much your SD will be around during your pregnancy, but make her feel excited about becoming a big sister. Never use the term "half-sister"! Ask her about name choices, what color to paint the nursery, what kind of cool things she's gonna teach the baby, etc.
Also, what I've found recently is that (even though it may chap your hide) make it easy for your SD to stay in regular contact with her mom (phone calls, emails, whatever). I think it helps them feel less cut off from one life with "split" realities. That will probably be extra important for a 3 year old. Make her feel comfortable talking to you about her mom and whatever is happening when she's not with you. Gosh, this was such a hard thing to do because everything about the ex is so frustrating and anxiety-producing for us. Hope this helps, good luck!