Depressed about sd’s reaction to pregnancy
I am 20 weeks. I have a 14 y/o stepdaughter. I have been in her life since 2018 and have lived with her dad since 2019. She is with us six days a week. For a period of time, I was out of work and I was her primary caregiver, but since I have returned to work, my husband and I have shared that responsibility more. I still handle most of the major responsibilities, including planning for childcare and rides, meals, and coordinating all her medical needs, in addition to having a very strong bond with her emotionally. Obviously now that she is 14, there’s less “childcare” and more just coordinating where she is with her friends, but it’s still my responsibility. She also has high functioning autism, and while she’s made a lot of progress, still has some very immature behaviors and a lot of black-and-white thinking.
We have been telling sd for several years that she would have a little sibling someday and she has always been excited about it. We are finally pregnant with another little girl and her dad and I are overjoyed!!
Sd’s reaction to the news has been disastrous. She is worried that she will no longer be the favorite grandchild, she’ll no longer be daddy’s little girl, we will no longer have time for her, we will no longer have money to do the things she wants to do, she will no longer be a priority in our lives, etc. It has gotten so bad that a few weeks ago she asked us to take down the framed picture of the ultrasound that we keep in the living room because seeing it constantly is upsetting for her. (I stood my ground on this and said under no circumstances would we be removing a picture of our other child from the living room).
I was showing my husband (and sd) some clothes that I found at Goodwill for the baby today and she stormed out of the room without speaking to us. My husband made a comment about the baby the other day and she said, “okay, why do we need to talk about this?” in a really sarcastic tone. Anytime any of our family and friends bring up the baby in front of her, she shuts down emotionally and leaves the room if she can. She left my husband’s birthday party last month because too many people were talking about the baby. My parents and my in-laws can’t even talk about the baby in front of her. My daughter will be my mom’s first biological grandchild and my mom is thrilled. My mom has bought several stuffed animals and a bassinet for the baby and my stepdaughter gets jealous when she sees the things I bring home from my mom.
My husband thinks that she will eventually get over it, and his response is basically just that she has no choice but to get over it. Her mom has been incredibly supportive of me and the pregnancy and is excited for sd to have the experience of being a big sister. I have a good relationship with her mom, despite her being distant as a parent.
I’m worried that she won’t get over whatever these feelings are, and in the meantime it’s preventing me from enjoying talking about my baby in my own home.
How did you get your stepchild to accept the news? I am specifically looking for a responses from people whose stepkids were 10+ when the “new” baby was conceived.
Picture - my dog with all the cute stuff I got at Goodwill today and was excited to show my family. It’s all Carter’s and babyGap and polo, and I was really excited to find it, most of it for $2 or less. Anyway, that moment didn’t really happen the way I hoped it would.