Ready or Not

Disclaimer:  This promises to be a whiny, selfish post.  Hopefully, I’ll come to a better spot by the end. 

She’s dilated four centimeters.  No contractions yet, other than a few Braxton Hicks, but the baby is clearly on the way soon.  She’s ready, at least as ready as a first-time mom can be.  Those of us who have had babies know you are really never ready, not for labor, not for birth, and certainly not for parenthood. 

But I’m not ready.  Fortunately, it’s not my baby.  My son’s stepmother, my ex-husband’s second wife, is due anytime with her first child, my sons’ half-brother.  It takes a half-dozen words at least to describe how this baby relates to my children, and there are no words to relate the child to me.  It’s not my nephew (yes, it’s a boy), certainly not my son, not a friend’s child nor my own godchild.  It’s my sons’ stepmother’s first child, their half-brother, and that’s the shortest description I can give.

And I’m not ready to be the mother of sons with a half brother who is the son of their father’s second wife.  Not that it matters.  No one asked me what I thought about the whole thing. Remember the disclaimer.  And it really doesn’t matter what I think. 

Mostly I’m worried.  I’m worried my sons will get lost in the shuffle of the new baby excitement.  I’m worried my younger will exhibit a greater range of not-so-pleasant of I’m-unhappy behaviors than he already does.  I’m worried about another change in my children’s lives, lives that have had far too many changes already. 

I’m also sad.  This impending birth is yet another reminder of the losses in my life through the past few years.  I’m not much better with change than my sons are (hey, apples don’t fall far from the tree), and my older put it best a few months back when he announced he’d had enough of change for a while.  Me too, buddy.  While I’ve settled into divorced life with a remarried ex-husband a half mile away, I’m feeling the need for the status quo, at least as far as family arrangements go.  True, my house count stays the same, but I know the rumbles a half mile away will work their way to my home.  It’s inevitable.

So tonight, rather than wishing contractions come my sons’ stepmother’s way and that new life rush into being in all its wonder and glory, tonight I sulk, whine, worry, and, just a bit, weep.  It’s selfish and childish, I know, but it’s where I am, at least right now.  And I know I won’t stay in this place for long.  It’s just a stop on the way to a new part of my children’s lives, a new part of all of their lives.  I think it’s my mind’s last (okay, perhaps that’s optimistic) resistance to this new presence in their lives.  They’re actually fairly excited about the baby’s impending arrival.  My older has a moderate amount of baby and young child experience, thanks to neighbors with six children, and he’s quite good with the younger set.  My younger son, well, he’s more of a cat person, but he’s still intrigued.  Let’s just say I’m hoping he acknowledges this baby as a person before the child is three.   (He has a habit of calling small children “it” and seeing them more as furnishings than humans.)

She’s four centimeters.  Ready or not, this baby will be here soon.  My sons are gaining a brother, an intimate, lifelong connection.  I’m still somewhat teary and worried, yet somewhat less whiny.  May the journey be safe, little boy, and may your life be filled with love and peace.  Ready or not.

5 thoughts on “Ready or Not

  1. Oy. I’m guessing by the time I write this the baby is here. For everyone’s sake, I hope he is healthy and I hope his parents and family are happy. I wish he was a she, but that’s not up to me. I hope your boys do great, that they love their new brother and he loves them, that their father doesn’t lose them in the shuffle, and that their step-mother doesn’t become the Wicked Witch that step-moms can be (speaking from experience). I hope you find peace with the situation. Hugs.

  2. I thought you captured the array of feelings regarding this situation and put them down on paper very nicely.

    I have felt all of these things also, but I – well I wouldn’t quite say “enjoyed” reading them, but was glad you wrote what you did and put it out there for people like me to read.

    There are so many books on being a step parent, but I’ve never seen any book talk about this special situation nor capture all of the feelings that go along with it the way you do I’m sure it must be tough to be a step parent, but its equally difficult to be a parent whose children’s step parent and ex is starting their own new / extended family.

    As always thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks, Vicki. I, too, have yet to find a book on how to handle being on the outside of the new step family. I find a good deal of resolution and solace through writing about my experiences, however. Sharing that writing and feedback like yours helps me a great deal.

  3. Sarah, its just an idea, but you could start a journal documenting your feeling and your perpectives (they way you do, with humor and insight) on all of this and in the end possibly have our own book. Which in turn would be baught by people like me, LOL

    best wishes.

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