Overwhelmed Expectant Mother
This is my first blog post. I came across this site after posting on a wives Facebook page and I was immediately met with harsh critisism. Over a hundred people I don't even know we're telling me what a horrible person I am. It truly broke my heart. One of the comments suggested that I go to a Blended Family page instead, and talk to those who could be more understanding. So here I am, and depending on how this goes, I may be needing to post more. I know I'm going to have so many questions in the future.
I am currently 35 weeks pregnant with my 1st baby. My husband also has an almost 5 year old son, but up until now, he hasn't really been apart of our lives. For over the first year of the child's life, my husband did not know that it was his child. He said he didn't actually get to officially meet his son until he was 17 months old. My husband is also in the military and can only see his son a couple times a year, for a few days at a time since his son lives in a different state. He has discussed wanting to get joint custody of his son eventually, and I have been so supportive of that. I definitely think his son needs his Father. He's recently filed for joint custody and we've just been waiting on a court date to set.
I'm going to pause right here, because in the past I've been criticized for not referring to his son as my stepson. Here's the reason: my husband and I barely know his son and I feel like the title of "Mom" needs to be earned, and I have not earned it. I feel it will be different once he actively lives with us or if we saw him more than a couple times a year. Which will hopefully be the case. I don't want to force him to call me Mom and I only feel comfortable right now with him calling me by my 1st name. I also never want to disrespect his mom by calling him my step son or having him call me any variation of "Mommy" because we don't know him that well. Hopefully that explains it.
Anyway, my husband and his son's mother (they were never married) have recently become amicable and she's started discussing allowing their son to visit with us more during his school breaks. However, since I'm a month away from giving birth, all 3 of us decided that my husband and I really need the time to focus on our newborn. Like I said, this is my 1st child and I have no idea what I'm doing and because my husband missed almost 2 years of his son's life, he also has no idea what he's doing. So his Mother said that we should wait a couple months until the next visit that way my husband and I can get a routine down of having a baby and that way her son won't feel neglected.
However, due to recent events, she (the mother) will be going to jail. Long story, but it's unfortunately the situation. So my husband will most likely be getting full custody within the next couple weeks. I am thankful because he's been talking about getting custody for a long time, but I'm also overwhelmed because now I'm going to have to take care of a newborn as well as a 4 year old and I'm just scared that I won't do a good job. And yes, I'm struggling with jealousy issues for my daughter. This is my 1st baby. I really wanted this time with my husband and I to bond with her. I am not suggesting that his son stays in that bad situation, but I am struggling coping with the fact that my daughter will not be my sole priority when she's first born. All I've heard since I became pregnant is how hard being a new mom is and how exhausting newborns are. And now I'm expected to take care of a 4 year old, too? I'm stressing out so much!
So I suggested to my husband that maybe once the baby comes, his parents (the grandparents) could help out. His son splits most of his time with his Mom and his grandparents as it is anyways since they all live in the same town. He knows his grandparents more than he knows my husband and I so I thought it would be less stressful for him and would also give my husband and I a couple weeks alone to focus on our daughter. But apparently according to all the women on that ever so lovely Facebook page, that makes me incredibly selfish and a horrible human being. My husband also doesn't seem to understand how I feel and I really am trying to put myself in his shoes. But he's not going to be the one staying home and taking care of everything so I don't think he realizes how overwhelming this is for me. I absolutely 100% want his son to stay with us, but I'm terrified and upset all at the same time. Is this a normal feeling? Or am I truly deeply a horrible person for having these emotions? I get it. When I married my husband, I married his child, too. But like I've stated, his son hasn't been an active part of our lives and I wasn't expecting this to happen this way or at least not right when I'm about to have a baby. All i wanted was time to adjust to being a new mom and to bond with my baby girl and I am completely overwhelmed right now.
And I feel that because he doesn't know us that well, and with everything going on with his mom, staying with his grandparents would be less stressful and strange to him than staying with us because he's already so comfortable around them. He lived with them for a few months when his Mother was in rehab and for the past 2 years, he's stayed at their house for 3-4 days every week. He even has this own bedroom with clothes and toys at his grandparents. Losing his mom is going to be so incredibly sad a confusing to him, but then suddenly moving in with practical strangers, in a strange environment, with a screaming baby, would just make things worse I feel. It would only be for a couple of weeks. That's all I was asking for.
Is what I'm feeling normal? I dont want to be portrayed as this "evil step mom" type, because I truly do want his son living with us. I know that we can provide a safer environment for him and he can thrive so much more with us than he would if he continued to stay in that bad situation. I'm just not prepared to have a baby and now suddenly also having to take care of a 4 year old. Life happens, I understand, but I still feel like I'm not ready to take on so much responsibility so quickly. I need help to work through these emotions and all I've gotten is criticism.