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"Ours" Baby OTW and SD Negativity

Dogmom1321's picture

DH and I announced to SD10 last weekend that we are expecting a baby boy in April! SD was surprised when we told her, but she also cried. DH has been talking to her about becoming a big sister. She has told she she "wants a sibling" but I honestly feel like she has told DH that just to please him. 


Anyway, my mom called SD today to "congratulate" her on being a big sister. 

My mom: "So how are you feeling?"

SD: "He is going to hog all of the attention from me!"

My mom: "Things will be different, but you can help out in different ways! Babies need to hear a lot of stories. You can read to him!"

SD: "No, that's not my job to read to him!"

Then basically the conversation was cut short. 

DH and I are both excited. Like I said, I feel like SD hides her true feelings from DH based on things I've noticed and also listening in on her phone convo. Advice needed on where to go from here? Do we stop pushing the "big sister" role and let SD be as involved/uninvolved as she wants? Is this something I should just let DH handle? The past few weeks I have noticed SD will call DH on a Friday and ask to stay at BMs "just one extra day" which then turns into the weekend. I slowly feel like she won't want to come over as much anyways... and definitely not when there is a little baby "hogging" the attention. Advice appreciated from those with "ours" kids!

JRI's picture

First of all, Congratulations!  You said, "SD hides her true feelings".  Im laughing, it doesnt sound like she is hiding them.

I'd backpedal on the big sister role for now.  If I were your DH, I'd maintain the custody schedule and all normality.  I was about your SD's age when my mom announced her pregnancy.  I don't think kids that age really understand it all.

She does sound like an attention glutton, some people are just like that, 2 of my granddaughters, for example.  Your DH will just have to keep that trait in bounds, it can be done. They are kind of a pain but my 2 grew up, are employed, married, one has a baby.  It can be done.  Good luck!


Picardy III's picture


I wouldn't worry too much. Kids have trepidation and are jealous of new babies in intact families, too. It may resolve, or it may cause her to pull away from your family, or BM may use it as a wedge - but there's not much you can do to prevent that.

If your DH and you can validate her genuine fears while not feeding her ploys for unwarranted attention, that's about all you can do. My SKs had some fears about being replaced and "no longer special" (as the only girl - SD, as the youngest - YSS), fed of course by BM, but they got beyond it pretty quickly as DD simply became part of the family. YMMV, of course.

shellpell's picture

Why push it? DH and I have two that are two years apart and SS is 12. They basically have no relationship since we are long distance, and I prefer it that way as SS was aggressive towards my now 4 yr old when he was 6 months old. 

strugglingSM's picture

DH and I are also adding a baby in November. When he told SSs they acted happy / excited to him and then one (the one who acted the most excited in front of DH) supposedly called BM and cried about how DH was just trying to replace him. BM, of course, sent DH a nasty message, so DH called both of his sons and asked them if they were upset. The one who supposedly cried to BM denied it and asked DH why he was asking, so DH said, "your mother told me you were really upset." DH then told him, "it's okay to have mixed feelings about having a new sister." He also reminded SS that he (DH) is always available to talk to SS if he wants to talk and that he (DH) has never been angry with SS about his feelings. SS agreed with DH and has acted excited since then, but I'm expecting there to be drama once the baby arrives. SS also told DH that he felt like he needed to be upset, because BM was upset, so I expect that BM will be upset, jealous, and vindictive which will lead SS to act out. He's a teen, but he's pretty enmeshed with BM. 

Of course, MIL didn't help matters by pointing out to SSs that now that DH and I are having a child that will impact their inheritance of the family cabin...meaning they'll have to split it with their sister. Why would MIL say this? Who knows...she is crazy an obssessed with "inheritances"...also, I think the family cabin will be long gone before SSs or our baby are even in a position to inherit it, so it's a complete moot point, but family dysfunction loves to perpetuate itself and MIL can't resist commenting on inheritances every chance she gets. And MIL wonders why I avoid her...

JRI's picture

That's a good point about the age difference.  I was 8 years older than my brother and 10 years older than my sister.  My relationship with them was basically babysitter.  They never seemed like peers or rivals.  I was out of there at 18.  Sadly, we didn't have much of a relationship, it's like they were from a different planet.  No problem with either, just insurmountable age differences.

SeeYouNever's picture


My SD was 10 when we added an ours baby. She acted excited but I think it was an act for DH and his family because she got a lot of positive attention for it.

Once we had our baby she stopped answering phonecalls and texts. When we see her she acts like she misses us and loves her sister but it's an act, she wants nothing to do with us unless we have her for a party or she gets gifts for a holiday. 

Thisisnotus's picture

Same with my DD18...she was 15 when the ours baby was born....she only speaks to me at her birthday and Christmas.....she was livid about the baby.....and moved to her dads a month before the baby was born.....

the other 4 skids/kids were fine and adore their baby sister......

SittingPretty's picture

We thought the kids would be excited when we told them we were expecting but they absolutely weren't. They were worried and felt like they were being replaced I think. I involved them in scans, gender reveal, shopping etc which they liked. We are lucky and once she was born they were besotted with their little sister. The oldest in particular is really close to her. 

It helped that DH is useless with as babies so it never really impacted the amount of attention they received from him. 

Dogmom1321's picture

Yes! I've been trying to include SD as much as possible. Before we told her about the baby, DH and I would try to include her in errands, things around the house, etc. She prefers not to join in and would rather do anything with technology. I honestly feel like we will do the same when the baby comes, but she will just do her own thing... oh well? I don't want to force a relationship that is unwanted. 

Rouge20's picture

I agree with what everyone here is saying and have three thoughts to add.

1. Your DH should be sticking to the custody agreement. If it's his day for her to be at the house, she will be at the house. Otherwise this is a soft version of her getting ready to go; she's testing boundaries and it sounds like he's letting her mow the fence down. If he wants her to be there he needs to stop allowing her to be gone and keep turning a day into a weekend.

2. I wonder if BM has been telling her that all her attention will be gone, even before you found out you were expecting. Our BM has definitely told SD that if her dad has more kids he'll spend less time with her, and we're still 1-2 years away from that. It sounds like an adult thing for a kid to think, because honestly kids don't think that far ahead.

3. It is also perfectly normal for an older sibling to not be excited about a new kid even in an intact family, so it's not surprising that it happens in stepfamilies so often. It might be a good time to chat with her (either you or DH, maybe not both) about what she said and give her a chance to voice those feelings so you can all talk about them. Otherwise, I'm sure she's just venting them all to BM. 

Dogmom1321's picture

I definitely think BM has been contributing. She has been obsessed with finding out if we are planning for a family or not. About a year ago SD asked "Do you take pills on purpose so you don't have a baby with Daddy?"

Yeah... a then 9 year old has no idea about birth control. That was def BM prying out info. 

AshMar654's picture

I am due anyday now. SS11 soon to be 12. I adopted him and he is with us full time. His initial reaction was excitement then turned to insecurity and we ended up in counseling as a family. Then he was getting more on board and now as I am getting closer he seems to be very insecure again. He is trying everything to get on my nerves and push bottons. I lose it very quickly with him due to hormones but even my DH has noticed a change in his behavior.

We decided we re living as we normally do. I have told him get on board with all of or you can just be unhappy and miserable, up to you. I agree with everyone who has said stick to the schedule. Let her process and as long as you do not get any sense she will have any outright aggression towards the baby let her navigate the kind of relationship she will have with the new addition. They are far apart in age and may have nothing in common.

Have DH reassure her that he loves her but things will be different but change is a good thing. If it gets worse be down right honest. I have told DS you may not like this but guess what you do not rule this house and do not get a say in these matters as it is between adults. He knows this but that does not mean he accepts it. I have told him he needs to stop making our home so stressful and unpleasant. He has been. We just do not tolerate it. Live you lives as you always have and stick to things as you always have. Do not make special arrangement for her as she will take advantage of it. Kids do get over things at some point or figure out how to put it in its place.

Molly77's picture


First off it's normal for her to be nervous about losing attention it is new to her so she will go through different feelings. But a baby is so precious and sweet she may just fall in love with him and her feelings will change. 
  I would keep the custody agreement normal, Don’t get her comfortable with not coming over to avoid her feelings or she will always stay away instead let her come when she is supposed to not to run away from this new change it's a part of her life and she will get used to it. 
  I wouldn't push to hard but let her get used to the idea slowly. When you go shopping for baby clothes let her pick some. Or if you don't mind let her help you decorate the babies room and compliment her on what great ideas she has. 
  Also talk about when she was a baby and the great things and memories of her that way she doesn't feel left out.

in other wards let her have responsibility but also treat her like the kid she is, she still wants attention in her own ways too. 
 I went through this with my step daughter I learned things I should and shouldn't have done. There is a 16 year difference between my two though. 
mat the same time try not to worry to much like I did enjoy being pregnant and every part of growth it comes with try not to put to much of your mental focus on your SD (I know it's hard we all worry) but it's really a new blessing in your life Don’t let any negativity consume you after all like I said she may meet him and fall in love. 

Misstepped's picture

When we told the two skids (who are both needy and sooky and always wanting daddy to themselves) that we were going to have a baby they went silent, then they said they didn't want a baby and that it can sleep outside. Then one cried because they would have to share a room on the wknds they are with us. This went right up until bubs was born. As soon as baby arrived the youngest was begging to see him, bought a present for baby and wouldn't let him go 24/7. Cuddles and "I just love him" comments. When the eldest first saw him he stood back from a distance and glared and was about cry with sadness, he sooked to daddy and then eventually came over to meet bubs. His attitude immediately changed and he couldn't stop smiling at him. Currently they both fight over who gets to sit next to baby in the car, cuddle baby, help feed baby his bottle and so on....

So while the skid maybe be attention seeking and feeling threatened now, there is still a chance that once baby arrives she will love it just as much. Fingers crossed for you. 

Misstepped's picture

Oh and also, the eldest who was most against baby is actually quite helpful. Holds him while he cries and I'm busy making bottles or preparing lunch, burps him, plays with him and distracts him when he is getting his nappy changed. 

Rags's picture


So, I don't get why any kid would get all toxic over the news of a new sibling.  Even less do I get why any parent wold tolerate any toxicity from an older child over the news of a younger child.

I did have a bet wetting and falling out of bed phase after they brought brother #1 home from the hospital when I was 6yo.  It was met with wearing diapers and a row of pillows on the floor next to my bed so I would not bust my nose again when falling out of bed.  They let me know in very direct terms that my billshit ended immediately or I would be treated like a baby.  48 hours after my bullshit started it ended.  I had no conscious issue over my baby brother and zero tolerance from my parents ended my bed wetting and falling out of bed bullshit.

I really have no conscious idea what my issue was 50 years ago, but it makes sense that after 6yrs of it being mom and dad and I that subconsciously I may have had issues with that change.

Fortuneately, I had parents who tolerated no bullshit and who understood that the change in our family was causing inappropriate behavioral regression in their eldest. They put an end to it in short order.





Phoezzy's picture

SDs reaction seems to be typical to be honest. 

She will likely feel very displaced by this. It fundamentally changes her family unit and the structure of her family tree. 

My SD always gave the false smile whenever "our" new baby was discussed. Most of the time she wasn't hearing about any of it. However, when baby arrived and SD realised we weren't just casting her out she was a lot better than I expected. 

It was more DHS ex who provided us with entertainment. When we left hospital with the baby my DH text ex to say it was too late for SD to come meet baby (it was 9pm) and she could come tomorrow. He immediately got a barrage of abuse. "HOW DARE YOU CANCEL ON HER!" "I CANT BELIEVE YOUR DOING THIS ALREADY!" blah blah...

She also told us to say congratulations (seriously) to SD as she had started her period the day my DD was born!!! 

Absolute loon. Good luck. 

Dogmom1321's picture

*Update- SD10 true colors are coming out. Yesterday at lunch she announced:


SD: "I've decided I really don't want a little brother anymore"

Me: "Well too bad, it's happening. And why do you say that?"

SD: "He will be annoying and cry. I don't want to hear that at night."

Me: "That's why we just moved your NEW bedroom to literally the opposite end of the house. We can look into getting you some earplugs too."

Then I walked away. 

Seriously, what a little twat. She used to constantly complain that her OLDER half brother on BMs side was rude to her, mean, etc. Well she is the exact same way to the baby and  he's not even here yet. I FELT like saying "You're annoying as well, however we have to put up with you."

I secretly hope the baby comes and she will no longer want to live with us half the time. Is that terrible of me? I just don't want her negative energy around. 

Rags's picture

Once your oursbaby arrives and when SD pulls this evil manipulative behavioral crap, dust off her whiney complaining about her elder half brother on BM's side and throw it back in her face.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Ella G32's picture


Seeing as she is showing her true colours id not push the 'big sister' thing. Her age doesn't help either, I think that age they aren't interested in babies?! SD was 6 when we had sun ours baby & she was so excited. So excited to see her lil bro at weekends. But i do think her BM tells her stuff like daddies new family ect, but I've always said if we show her she's not left out she will know BM is wrong. Every few months we do a scrap book of photos of her & her bro to take home, she likes looking through it & taking it to school to show her teacher/friends, not sure if that's something you could do?