A Dad Needs A Little Help


pday11
on Dec 17, 2012 @ 05:16 pm

A little back history. I have been in a custody case for 3 years in which finaly the court is awarding my son to me , Jan 4. I have been in my sons life since he was born. He is 9 years old.His mother has made the decision not to take care of him. Right now we live in different states, he is in Ohio and I am in Chicago. He is staying with his great grandparents on the mother's side and will be leaving a younger brother and sister who both have different fathers. My son has stayed with me during various holdiays and time off.

Next is, during the time he has been in cleveland. I was dating and now I'm in love with the person Im with. We have been together for a year now. She has 1 son, he is 7 years old, his father is locked up. Her son loves me and I love him. Due to spending a lot of time together, we started living together. Some people I know say this is wrong because what will happen when my son comes. I know my son will need me and I have no plans of leaving him behind. Is it right that my gf and son are leaving with me before my son moved? Remeber the case has been going for almost 3 years and the court is just now approving me.

Next is my gf son's father will be coming out of jail in a month or so but her son is very angry at his father. I told her son that he will have to forgive but his father does love him and wants to be with him. So they will be spending time together. Crazy right?

Finally I just found out my gf is pregnant. We are both happy. We both want a girl. Which gives us 2 boys and 1 girl. I am afraid though because one: is it too soon? two: will this have a bad affect on the other two kids? three: is it difficult to raising 3 kids in a blended relationship as this? Parts of me says too fast but other parts of me say do it. I'm 32 going on 33, both parents have good jobs, I'm just worried about the children. I also realize that I'm stepping up into a husband wife situation and this is new territory. Should I be worried. All comments welcome, need as much input as possible to help me through this.
 


3 Replies


SueFleming
Crazy, but good. on Dec 17, 2012 @ 06:07 pm

Sounds like a really crazy time in your life right now! And boy, is it about to get crazier, but exciting also. Think of all the positives - you're going to get to be a big part of your sons life, you're about to bring new life into the world, gain a new son (your girlfriends), and start a crazy new chapter with the woman you love.

It'll be a lot of change, but if you keep your head up and your heart in the right place, things will turn out! I think it's really important that you let your girlfriends son know that adults make mistakes too and that forgiving his father for whatever he did will be an important step in moving forward. Whether or not his mother wants them to have a relationship I don't know, but if she does then I think it's important the child knows that no one blames him for anything and that all the adults are going to work together to make sure he never feels like he's missing a parent. And let your biological son know that his mother still loves and cares for him, and make sure he knows he can contact (maybe write letters or talk on the phone) with the grandparents he's been living with and the siblings he's leaving behind.

Also, make sure your son and your girlfriends son have some constructive bonding time if they've never met. Your girlfriends son will probably feel threatened by this new boy, your son might feel intimidated by moving into a new state/with strangers, and both kids will probably feel left out that you and your girlfriend are going to have a new baby who you might give more attention to.

It's gonna be a rollercoaster! Just make sure you pay a lot of attention to your boys and let them know you love them both and are always going to be there for them. They're both still fairly young so transitioning them into this new family dynamic shouldn't be too hard, but change is never seamless! The best advice I can give is just to love your kids, actually listen to them when they're upset, and do family-orientated things like day trips to the museum or water park so your new family can begin to trust eachother and make great memories.

All the luck to you in the world!
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Ali de Bold
Set priorities on Dec 18, 2012 @ 09:31 pm

Wow there is a lot going on in your life!

I think the most important thing is for you to set your priorities out very clearly. Your son has gone through a lot and is really going to need stability from you and to be able to rely on you 100%. Kids benefit from a strong parental relationship so you have to make sure you have a great relationship with your girlfriend and that you have a loving household. You also need to prioritize the needs of your son. I think you will have to work hard to make sure you are fair with all 3 kids and that you are putting their needs first. In blended families it is more work, but it can be done.

Also remember that kids who grow up with one parent who isn't involved is much harder because that kind of rejection runs really deep. You will need to be sensitive to that and do whatever you can to make them feel secure and loved. You will also need to work to ensure your son doesn't feel threatened by your girlfriend's son. I feel sorry for him going from one living situation to another. That's got to be tough on him.

I think it's great you are asking for advice. It shows your head is in the right place. If you can, I would highly recommend doing some family counseling as blended families are tough at the best of times. I speak from personal experience. It can be done, it just requires strong loving parents and working to make each child feel special and loved.
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mamaluv
agree with what's been said on Dec 19, 2012 @ 10:09 am

I can only echo what the others have already said.

I think you're mixing a few issues together and it looks muddier than it really is.

1. Should we live together?
2. Can our sons accept that we live together?
3. Can our sons accept each other?
4. Can our sons adapt to an absentee parent?
5. How will our family adapt to a new baby?

These seem like separate issues, but the answer to all of them (in my very non-expert opinion!) is the same.

Love your kids like crazy. Make them feel safe and secure. Prepare for growing pains - they are inevitable. Prepare for the teenager years - they happen in every family no matter what the circumstances.

Try to make space for those absentee parents to have contact with their children BUT be really careful about how that plays out. There will be blame. There will be guilt. There will be politics. These things will come from the absentee parent, your child(ren), your extended family, and probably you yourself.

Take comfort in the fact that there are many successful blended families out there. It works when you put your kids' well-being and the stability of your home life as your first priority.

Good luck!
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