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Adding a baby to the mix?

Lostandconfusedlady's picture

Hello everyone,

I'm really struggling whether or not I should have children with DH.  We are both in our mid thirties, he has one daughter with a hcbm that is quite the piece of work.  I've set some boundaries with him around that drama (no unnecessary communication with bm, no $ sent even if she is theatening him again and no sd staying at our house until he actually gets some type of legal custody).  Sd has never been to his home in the past and I can see BM calling CPS or 911 and claiming he kidnapped sd.  

Both of us really want to start a family of our own but the more I learn about the hcbm the less safe I feel bringing a child or children into this mess.  I know it's his mess but it impacts me and any future children as well.  I've realized I do not want Sd to be involved with future children as I am worried about the influence she would have on them and the potential for bm to cause harm to them through her.  Is this paranoid of me?  I've shared my concerns with my Dh, his response has been to say she's just a child and she's a sweet girl.  Yes, she's still young (about to turn 4) and other than being loud, bossy and selfish which is normal for many 4 year olds she seems pretty typical.  I know it is a lot easier to establish a routine and boundaries when kiddos are young, I'm more worried about how this will look as she ages up.  The first weekend we visited her she threw a tantrum in the hotel because she was told no tv, it's time for bed.  We had to drive her  after half an hour of sobbing/screaming because she wanted to watch tv.  

I know this is not DH's fault, hcbm lets her stay up all night if she wants and watch tv in her room.  She eats mostly junk food every day and mom thought it was so cuuuute to teach her to twerk at 2 years old.  Now hcbm has started telling Dh he must visit her, her new bf's family has "adopted" sd and sd is so sad and alone because he isn't visiting, that she doesn't even want to talk to him on video chat anymore.

So of course Dh is feeling extra guilt (thank god he stopped trying to get me to drive him).  Meanwhile, I'm over here like wtf is wrong with hcbm.  She's demanding he visit monthly and that means I will be able to see dh 2 weeks per month (due to quarantine).  Not to mention the ridiculous expense (plane + hotels + eating out + uber).  Everytime he sees a kid with a toy he starts wondering if sd has one and talking about getting her one.  We have a budget we sat down and planned out together, I asked him where in the budget the money was going to come from for extra gifts and he got angry and said, "I'm not allowed to spend money on my daughter?"  My response was simply, "You do every month, it's the money you send to hcbm (500$)"  He keeps talking about how everyone is equal in his eyes, that he will split time and money between all his children so it's even.  I've tried explaining to him that life doesn't work like that.  He cried after I told him we were never going to be one big happy family, that it is just not possible.  

I felt like a complete jerk after that conversation but I don't see how we could ever be a happy family with the hcbm in the mix and he still hasn't contacted a lawyer about custody. 

On the up side, we both have jobs and are healthy.  We usually get along (unless it's sd related) and both of us are serious about trying to make our marriage work.  He loves to play with our nieces and nephews and I can see the potential there for him to be a great dad.  He is responsive to my suggestions and has been doing well with the boundaries we established when it comes to hcbm.  He also has agreed we will not live within 200 miles of hcbm, I will not have her showing up on my doorstep.  

So my question for everyone is, do you think it's okay to bring a baby into this?  I want children so much but I also want them to be happy and I'm concerned about how this situation will impact them.  I would especially be interested to hear from those that had children after their dh or dw already had kids.  Thank-you!



Harry's picture

But understand that DH isn't going to be much help.  He spending all that money to see SD. As kids get older there going to be more money going to SD.  Braces, name clothing,  cell phones, gaming systems.  College , cars, wedding 

tog redux's picture

Wait, every time he goes to visit her, he will have to quarantine upon his return? Is that your expectation or does your state expect it (mine does, so I'm not questioning, just wondering).  If your state expects it, won't he be quarantining in your home, so you will see him?

At any rate, it's utterly insane for him to spend half of every month in quarantine so he can travel to see a 4-year-old monthly, one that won't even spend the night with him.  If he feels pressured by BM, that's even worse, he needs to tell her to pound sand.  At most, he should go see the kid quarterly while there is a quarantine expectation.

I understand your concern, it's good to think it through. If you have a child, DH needs a better plan than the one he currently has.

Gimlet's picture

If you read her other blogs, BM lied and was married to someone else when the SD was born so even though she's biologically his, she isn't legally his.  The BM sounds like a real crackpot too.

The_Upgrade's picture

"I'm not allowed to spend money on my daughter?!" was a classic line my DH used to feed me. Combination of gaslighting and misdirection. Completely misses the point about spending within the household budget and makes you feel like the bad guy if you say the words "no, don't spend on your daughter". 

At the age of 4 your SD is a product of her upbringing. Which is both BM and DH's fault. If you do decide you want children at least get your relationship with DH to a spot where you trust 100% that he's got your back. Too many people end up on StepTalk already pregnant or left holding a newborn while their DH is busy grovelling to the skids to reassure them that they're still the most important and haven't been replaced. Too late by then. 

ESMOD's picture

I am assuming that BM and you all live in the same country now correct?  He needs to seek legal counsel and decide if he wants to fight for paternity.. (have they done a dna test?).  If there are concerns about immigration status, he needs to consult a lawyer that has that expertise.

It may be possible to have her paternity confirmed and if he can prove he has been a part of her life... he should be able to get some level of custody.

Would I have a child before that was "set" I'm not sure... you really have a lot of uncertainty.  First would be is his immigration status ok now?  Imean.. having a child with someone that is imminently facing deportion would be a concern to me... crazy ex or not.

Then, once the issue of the child is set.. and an order is in place..(or he loses custody).. it becomes a situation of "it is what it is".. I wouldn't proceed until I knew how that was going to turn out.

Once you would have an order.. his ex can comply or face court I guess.. 

Otherwise, your DH can decide to walk away financially and physically from a child that is not legally his.  That may be the only option left if he can't establish paternity.

If there are CPS issues.. that is a call that can be made as well.

Picardy III's picture

I have a young DD with DH, who has three older children with his XW. Zero regrets, zero significant issues with time and resources allocation or influence of the older kids. 

But - big but - my DH is one of the good ones: strong parent, no divided loyalties, balls firmly retrieved from BM's purse. If that weren't the case, I wouldn't have married him, let alone wanted a child with him. 

ndc's picture

I have a DD with my DH, and he has 2 older daughters with BM. I absolutely would not have married DH if there was anything I saw that would have prevented me from having a child of my own. If anything had come up following our marriage that would have kept me from having a child (such as him changing his mind or there being big problem with the SDs), I would have left.  Having a child of my own is that important to me. We probably will not be able to afford another,  and that makes me sad,  but I can live with that. 

My situation is different from yours in that the SDs are legally DH's children and he has 50/50 custody of them.  They are pretty good kids and they are good with my DD.  If he had to travel each month and split his time between me and his children,  that wouldn't work for me.  I consider myself and my DD to be DH's family,  and I wouldn't live with anything but being first priority. I am sure that situation would work for some,  but I know myself and my limitations,  and I could never be happy with that. 

shellpell's picture

Exactly this. I would have never tolerated DH "equally" splitting time between our two and SS. That's like having two families instead of one main family with which you lspend most of your time. Luckily, he considers the three of us his family and first priority. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm going to be a harda$$ and say, don't have kids with this particular man.

There are so many red flags in your relationship. You sound like a logical, practical planner, while he's all selfish, childish emotion and flying by the seat of his pants. He already has a ton of baggage that he isn't managing well and expects your help with. You will always have to be the adult and the bad guy with him.

I think your gut and head are telling you NO while you heart is trying to fool you into saying Yes. If having children is a priority for you, find a better father for them - someone stable and at the same place in life as you so you can share all those firsts.

Some men are great, involved dads, while othersmake for great partners, but just aren't the kind you'd want to have children with.