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Stepmom vs. "Mom"

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
So, this is my first time writing on a site like this...but I was really hoping to get some impartial opinions here.

I have been dating this great guy for just about 2 years now. It's going really well, and I can totally see myself being happy for the rest of my life with him. The only doubt is regarding kids. He has 2 kids (3 1/2 and 7) and they are so sweet. They love me and I love them too. My bf has shared custody of his kids so we do get to see them quite often. Before he got divorced he had a vasectomy at the request of his wife. We have talked about "the idea" of having kids, but he truly does not want to have the surgery reversed, and I have to respect him for being honest with me about that. Personally I don't really want to adopt or have a donor because as much as I contemplate being a mom, if it's not "ours" then I feel like being a step-mom is probably enough. After talking to my doctor the only choice we are really left with is IVF, and I dont know if it's worth $10,000.

I know my family is concerned for me because they don't want me to have to give up on anything I want. But...I am 30 and also divorced. I was in a marriage where I could've had kids, but chose not to because the relationship was not right. Now I am in an amazingly wonderful relationship that I never thought possible, but potentially can't have kids. The up side is that I am part of a family. My BF and I have had very open conversations and I've told him that if he didn't have kids, and we didn't have that family dynamic I would most likely breakup and move on.

If I could be pregnant right now, I wouldn't be. I am enjoying my relationship, we are both very active, we love to just pick up and go on adventures on the weekend that are completely unplanned! I know that having kids would change all of that, and I'm not ready for that change. By having the kids half the time we are really able to have a good blend of family time and couple time. I have seen other relationships strain when there isn't couple time.

I know I really don't want kids past the age of 35, and I don't have that desire at the moment. I feel like I can't say right now that I am 100% about not having kids, but the idea of leaving this relationship seems out of the question. I am just way too happy. I know that growing up I wanted to get married and have kids. But then again no 16 year old thinks "hey, maybe I'll get married, then I'll get divorced, and then I'll meet a really wonderful guy who already has kids!" I also realize that I could leave my BF, maybe even find a perfect guy, and find out that we have fertility issues. (then again I could always regret leaving my current relationship.)

I guess I'm just looking for opinions or food for thought. Feel free to try to push me. Because you're not my family (who love me, but can't be objective) I am really interested in stories, support, and thinking points.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read all this and process with me.
Lola
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,793
First of all, if this is your first post on a primarily diamond forum, it's a red flag and I hope you aren't a scam. Bc I'm a giant moron if you are.

Second, you are all over the place. You say you don't know what you want, and that's understandable. But I think you don't even know if you want to be with your BF. You said you would be willing to leave if there wasn't a familial element. In my opinion, you need to decide if you want to stay with him or not. You are only 30 and you still have time to decide. Don't rush the secondary things like your own kids or IVF or being a step mom. Decide if you love him and accept the situation, bc that might end up being what it is 30 years from now anyway.
 

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
I am definitly not a scam, thank you so much for risking your reply.

You're right, I am all over the place. This is the first time I've really tried to put all my thoughts together "out loud" as it were.

I know I could be with the BF forever, and that's part of the reason I think not having kids would be ok. Because 20 years from now when the kids are grown and out of the house I know that he and I will still be so happy, just us.

Thank you for helping me realize it's ok to just slow down.
Lola
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
I'm in a similar situation as you, but my DH is the one that hasn't had children and I have two from a previous marriage (6 & 8 yr old girls). I've had the same conversation with my husband that you just typed out. The only thing you can really do is listen to your heart. Your response of "in 20 years the kids would be grown and I'd still be happy with him" tells me that you love him very much and see yourself with him forever.

So really, the only question is how important it is to you to have a biological child. The age of your BF's kids is GREAT timing, imo. If they were older and weren't obviously fond/loving then I'd be concerned. The way my DH put it is that he feels like his life is complete with us. The girls are his family too, regardless of who their biological father is (who is still active in their lives, giving us those couple days you described). For him, a baby of our own would enhance our relationship (a lot) but it isn't a requirement for him to feel fulfilled.

If you feel like you would have something missing and would resent him (deep down you probably have at least an idea of the answer to that question) then you need to address it with him and tell him how important it is for you to at least TRY to have a baby - meaning a reversal or a break up. At that point, your BF also has some soul searching and decisions to make. There's a big difference psychologically between not being able to have a baby with your partner when both parties have done everything that could and not being able to have one because one partner isn't willing to do something they would rather not do, even though it's of utmost importance to you.

I'm 34 and oh my goodness do I wish I was "only" 30 again right now. You have a solid 5 years before you have to come to a decision about this topic. So my suggestion would be that you're on the right track by not putting that much pressure on you or your BF to worry about it *now*. Give him a year (and yourself!) and see where you're at. Who knows what changes are in store for your future, and that can be a very good thing!
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
If your bf is unwilling to reverse his vasectomy, it sounds like he is 1000% sure he does not want any more kids. So while the IVF is logistically an option, it sounds like it's not really an option for him.

When the option of having kids is absolutely off the table for you, what does your gut say? Because I feel like there is a difference between women who are genuinely okay with not having kids and those who want to convince themselves that it's okay not to have kids. I also feel like there is a difference between a relationship where having kids is not an option at all and a relationship where not having kids would be fine (the couple would still be fulfilled), but the couple was open to try and it just didn't happen.

Your situation is a bit more unique because he does have two kids and you will be a stepmom. So in essence, you won't be missing out on being a "mom", but you're missing out on being a "biological mom". And he is already a biological father. I understand and respect that he's honest about not wanting more children, but it's a different decision for him than it is for you. And you have to figure out how comfortable you are with the fact that you have to give up something that he doesn't.

I think the fact that you are very much in love and can see this as being a wonderful, healthy relationship for decades to come is fantastic, it's really just about what sacrifices that is worth to you (if you do feel that not having kids is a sacrifice). I think it's definitely very good for you to explore all of this now, before marriage is in the table. I wish you lots of luck!
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,294
Is he not willing to have the reversal done because he doesn't want more kids or is he just nervous/afraid/uncomfortable with the actual reversal procedure?

I'm remembering the thread in Hangout a few weeks back talking about vasectomies --- men seem to be a little sensitive about this subject. Maybe he had an uncomfortable recovery (swelling, pain, etc) and doesn't want to have it reversed and have to go through an even worse recovery (you know how some men can work something up to HUGE in their minds!) only to have to have it re-done all over again after another kid.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I think that fact that you are questioning this at all says that it is an issue and you do want kids. Or you at least don't want the possibility of kids taken away from you. There are a few issues, in my opinions, that are non-negotiable, and whether or not to have children is first on that list. It's the sort of thing where you have to be on the same page. You have to decide if your desire to have kids is greater than your desire for him. I know that sounds harsh, but that's basically what it comes down to.
 

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
Tammy, thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel similar to your husband. His kids are great and I love our family dynamic. A baby could be great, but I don't know that it's necessary. I guess I have a hard time seperating what I actually want, with what was always expected (both my expectation and my family's).

As far as the vasectomy...he didn't really want it to begin with. His ex-wife managed to convince him to get it. And the recovery was not great. A lot of swelling, a lot of pain. So yeah, he's mostly just aprehensive to have it reversed and then possibly done again. He's said before "Can't they just go in there and get them (sperm) out?" And they can, but IUI isn't an option that way.

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and things to think about. This has all been so very helpful.
Lola
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
This is something you'll really have to dig deep in yourself for an answer.
Ill be honest, you can be the best step-mom to his kids as possiblle, but if they have a good relationship with their own mother, you will always be "the stepmom." I know a lot of people who have become so close with a stepdad, or a stepmom if their mother is not in the picture, but I don't think any kid can have that same bond with a stepmom as they do their own mother. Is this ok with you? For me, personally, I can't say it would be. Having children of my own (adopted, IVF, etc.) was and always will be a necessary part of my life. Maybe it is because im close with my mom, and I hope to at least have the chance to recreate that same bond with my own children.
 

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
Charbie, I think your point is correct. One of the things I am nervous about is "what if they don't love me enough?" "It's such a hard thing because only time can answer that question. And what happens if I don't get the answer I want, but I don't find that out for another 10 years? Granted...teenagers are never easy :rodent:

I am trying not to obsess over things I can't control, but I can't help but take these things into consideration either.
Lola
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
LolaV|1311352497|2974633 said:
I am trying not to obsess over things I can't control, but I can't help but take these things into consideration either.
Lola
My question would be are you sure you are okay not having your own children? There seems to be some mixed feelings by your posts like you are trying to convince yourself being a stepmom will be enough for you. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. I think it is important to be honest with yourself on what you want out of life.
 

havernell

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
571
I know recovering from a surgery is never fun, but if my partner really wanted children (and I wanted them too) and I could make that happen by undergoing surgery, I would. I don't think the pain of a few weeks of recovery time takes precedent over a LIFETIME of not having children and the emotional pain and resentment that might be associated with that.

How directly have you and your boyfriend spoken about the kid issue? Was his comment about not wanting surgery something he said off the cuff in a casual conversation, or was this something he said during a serious discussion about options? Also, as others have suggested, could it be that he really doesn't want more children and is using the surgery issue as an excuse? It sounds to me like it might be helpful for you two to really sit down and be honest with each other about what you both really want so that you can BOTH make an educated decision about the future of your relationship.

I just really hope (for your sake) that a loving partner who understood how important having a family is to you (and who is also interested in having children with you) wouldn't *really* want to foil the whole thing in order to avoid what is (relatively) minor surgery! But, like you said, he's entitled to his own desires, so you need to see if this is really the case for him. Best of luck as you two figure things out together.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Forgive my staightforwardness:

If a person WANTS children, surgeries are no big deal. I think your bf really doesn't want more children. And, as much as his wife may have twisted his arm to get the surgery in the first place, don't think for one minute that a man will have his sack sliced if he really doesn't want to.

Being a couple is a wonderful thing. Could you be a "couple" with another man?

Being a step-parent is different for everyone. My brother has a lukewarm relationship with his step-daughter and he's been in her life since she was 5. My BIL has a wonderful relationship with my nephew, his step-son. My nephew calls both of his dads "daddy."

Raising children with another family is hard. It's hard enough sometimes to compromise with just your spouse, let alone an ex and their spouse. Are you up for it?

His children should rank higher than you at all times. Does that upset you?

If you did have children with him, would you be able to treat "your" kids and "his" kids equally?

If you don't like his wife as a person, disregarding anything she did to him during a divorce, etc, then run away from the man. If his choice for a wife was really the most vile person on the planet, that says a lot about him. (I know you didn't say anything to that effect, just another thinking point)


On a scale of 1-10 what is your desire for having your own children?

On a scale of 1-10 what is his desire for NOT having more children?

If you are at a 9, and he's at a 3, then there's no reason why he shouldn't have a reversal and an attempt for pregnancy.

Also keep in mind, that if you're at a 10 for wanting a child and he gets a reversal, there's no guarantee. But, there would be less of a chance for resentment in the future.
 

Ehlena

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
1
Ok, I'm going to hop in anonymously. I've been a stepmother for five years, and I came into my stepson's life when he was nine.

I adore my husband, and we have an amazing relationship, but if I could do things all over again, I would not choose to be where I am now. Your situation is always going to be different than mine, but I recognize some of the thought processes. It's a lot easier to look at things through rose-colored glasses when things are newer.

SomethingShiny makes a lot of good points and asks a lot of good questions. Think very, very hard about it. I'll disagree on one point however - about the kids coming first. In my experience, it works better if the marriage comes first but BOTH of you want what's best for the kids.

When I came into my stepson's life, my husband was willing to have more children, we were full-custodial, and my stepson's mother was not in the picture. I was "mom", and had a close and affectionate relationship with my stepson. It was easy.

Now a whole host of issues has exploded. My stepson's mother (never married to my husband), who is on and off drugs, decided she wanted custody of my stepson. She has mental health issues, my stepson started showing some severe mental health issues as well, and I was dropped by my stepson like a hot potato. He felt he had to reject me (hoo boy did he reject me...). Loyalty issues.

My stepson is now in a residential treatment center, his mother's last drug test showed up positive, and due to the destruction my stepson has caused (causing us mental, emotional, and financial anguish), my husband no longer wants to have any more children. Will he come around? Maybe, maybe not. Even if he does come around, I'm not sure all of this has been worth it. Maybe I'll feel differently in five years, if I get to have my own child.

My point is - you are choosing a complicated life. No matter how rosy and wonderful things seem now, you are going to run across unexpected issues that you couldn't have foreseen. You can love those kids to here and back again, but you are, and always will be, a legal stranger to them. You have no rights to them, and you can always be trumped by the parents. This is the fine line you will have to walk. Care too much and you WILL get hurt, care too little and you don't get any rewarding relationship. It will never equate to having your own. Even when my husband and I co-parented, he always got the final say, because, technically, he was not my "son". Yeah, we usually agreed, but gosh did it sting when we didn't. It's a reminder that you're always one rung below on that ladder.

Sorry to come down so hard. I believe it can work, and everyone can be happy, it just takes MORE work than your traditional marriage and family. It will always take more. These kids who are not yours, and this woman YOU never decided to reproduce with, will have more control over your life than you thought posible. It can be rewarding, definitely, especially since you're coming into these kids' lives when they're young. I have everything my stepson ever drew or made for me, and I will always treasure them.

Above all, it is complicated, it is confusing, and you're starting on shaky ground already with the kid issue. Do what you need to get that sorted out ASAP, and then you can think about whether or not this is the life you want.
 

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
Thank you all so much!

Tacori: In a way I am trying to convince myself that it's ok, but I think it's mostly out of fear of the unknown. Mixed along with the fact that if I can't make a decision soon, my window of opportunity will close.

Somethingshiny: Thank you very much for your thinking points. BFs ex is not a terrible person. Sometimes she drives me nuts, but we are all pretty amicable.

I still have a lot to take into consideration, and I know I need to have this conversation with the BF. I just don't really want to have it *again* until I feel like I have something new to discuss.

Ehlena, thank you so much for sharing your story. I really get a lot out of hearing about other people's experiences. BF and I have discussed the "your kids vs. not my kids" but I hadn't considered that I could be "disowned" by them out of loyalty to their mother. That would be really hard. You have given me a new perspective to consider.

Lola
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,294
Ehlena|1311363169|2974758 said:
Ok, I'm going to hop in anonymously. I've been a stepmother for five years, and I came into my stepson's life when he was nine.

I adore my husband, and we have an amazing relationship, but if I could do things all over again, I would not choose to be where I am now. Your situation is always going to be different than mine, but I recognize some of the thought processes. It's a lot easier to look at things through rose-colored glasses when things are newer.

SomethingShiny makes a lot of good points and asks a lot of good questions. Think very, very hard about it. I'll disagree on one point however - about the kids coming first. In my experience, it works better if the marriage comes first but BOTH of you want what's best for the kids.
When I came into my stepson's life, my husband was willing to have more children, we were full-custodial, and my stepson's mother was not in the picture. I was "mom", and had a close and affectionate relationship with my stepson. It was easy.

Now a whole host of issues has exploded. My stepson's mother (never married to my husband), who is on and off drugs, decided she wanted custody of my stepson. She has mental health issues, my stepson started showing some severe mental health issues as well, and I was dropped by my stepson like a hot potato. He felt he had to reject me (hoo boy did he reject me...). Loyalty issues.

My stepson is now in a residential treatment center, his mother's last drug test showed up positive, and due to the destruction my stepson has caused (causing us mental, emotional, and financial anguish), my husband no longer wants to have any more children. Will he come around? Maybe, maybe not. Even if he does come around, I'm not sure all of this has been worth it. Maybe I'll feel differently in five years, if I get to have my own child.

My point is - you are choosing a complicated life. No matter how rosy and wonderful things seem now, you are going to run across unexpected issues that you couldn't have foreseen. You can love those kids to here and back again, but you are, and always will be, a legal stranger to them. You have no rights to them, and you can always be trumped by the parents. This is the fine line you will have to walk. Care too much and you WILL get hurt, care too little and you don't get any rewarding relationship. It will never equate to having your own. Even when my husband and I co-parented, he always got the final say, because, technically, he was not my "son". Yeah, we usually agreed, but gosh did it sting when we didn't. It's a reminder that you're always one rung below on that ladder.

Sorry to come down so hard. I believe it can work, and everyone can be happy, it just takes MORE work than your traditional marriage and family. It will always take more. These kids who are not yours, and this woman YOU never decided to reproduce with, will have more control over your life than you thought posible. It can be rewarding, definitely, especially since you're coming into these kids' lives when they're young. I have everything my stepson ever drew or made for me, and I will always treasure them.

Above all, it is complicated, it is confusing, and you're starting on shaky ground already with the kid issue. Do what you need to get that sorted out ASAP, and then you can think about whether or not this is the life you want.

Huge ditto. Especially the bolded.

I've now had a chance to experience being the step-daughter and of being the (almost) step-mother.

You can't understand until you've been there how much it hurts when you're out as a family and the kid introduces you as "not my mom" or you spend hour after hour working on a school project with them only to have the award won given as a present to "my real mom". This hurts. You will sacrifice and open your heart only to find that you've accomplished nothing except a shattered heart.

After these experiences, I have to say that I feel AWFUL for the things I did over the years that, I'm sure, hurt my step-dad terribly. So many of them I didn't even think about. One that I know hurt him was my high school graduation -- I only got 4 tickets for people to come to my graduation. (I was lucky that my mom & grandma both got in without tickets becuse they were school district employees). 4 tickets.... Had to have my other grandma (who was fighting cancer and died a year later), both grandpa's, and "my read dad" -- the man who had been in my life since I was 7 years old, worked extra hours to pay the mortgage and feed us, put up with all of my depression, my awful teenage years, taught me to drive, and was a part of my daily life got left sitting at home so that my "real dad" (who I only ever saw a few days each month and was never supportive of anything in my life) could come to my graduation.


I think it CAN work. I believe there are step-parents/kids who form great relationships and have a happy, loving family.
BUT --- it does take LOTS of work/sacrifice and you will NEVER be an equal to the "real parents"
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
My people have very happy relationships of the sort that you are in but I would struggle myself.

A couple of thoughts...

I was never keen to have children. Then at 35 baby-fever hit and when it hits, it hits hard and is pretty all-consuming. I could not have stayed with a man who denied me children because he wouldn't go through with a reversal or because he just didn't want them - I would have been forever resentful.

I had a serious relationship with a man who had a child from a previous marriage and I learnt that I couldn't cope with the ex-wife being forever a player in our lives. The daughter was also desperate for her parents to get back together (egged on by her mother) and so that made things very hard. Hats off to those who can do it but I could not.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,819
I'm always amazed at how much good advice posters get from Pricescope members. I am a good listener, but I don't usually have any good advice for anyone.

I can only speak about my own experience. I knew what I wanted in life: marriage and at least one baby. I got and stayed married and when we couldn't conceive a child (for which I was grateful, because pregnancy then really scared me) I pushed my husband into adoption. My marriage was always fraught with problems, but I would never give up on it. My daughter was a joy as an infant and a young child, but developed mental health problems, seemingly overnight, at about age 12 (two years after menarche). After she developed problems, her father, my husband, showed his worst qualities and blamed all the problems on me, wanting out of the marriage.

I made a great many mistakes in the course of my life, especially in regard to my marriage, but I do not for one moment regret anything I did in trying to conceive or adopt a baby. Like Pandora, I needed a baby. I would have sacrificed my marriage for a baby at the time we adopted our daughter. No matter what we have gone through, I would do it all over again. I needed her; I needed to be a mother.

Not every woman needs to be a mother. I have friends in happy marriages with great husbands who help them to have several dogs and I can see that they are happier than I ever was. (I love dogs!) I needed that kid, though. People have different needs. I hope you figure out what you need, Lola, and then go for it!!!

Best of luck,
Deb/AGBF
:read:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,129
I would agree with the advice given here. Giving birth to or adopting a child of your own is not remotely the same as being a step-parent when the biological mother is in the picture. If you think you might have a desire to be a mother, you need to talk to your bf and tell him that is something you might regret not having in this life. As someone else has said, you may find out if he loves you enough to want you to be really fulfilled. Marriage requires sacrifices, and his unwillingness to consider a reversal or other procedure for you to have a baby is a red flag to me. He already has two children so doesn't have the desire you would have. But he should understand the desire a young woman would have to be a mother and be willing to have a baby together if it is something that you decide you really want.
 

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
I have a good friend who always wanted to "grow up and get married and have children". Then she met a wonderful man who had two children. Their mother was in the picture and living with a female partner (yes, it was a Ross Gellar situation). The kids were probably about 4 and 7 at the time that they married, but I can't remember exactly. A few years later, after careful consideration and discussion with her husband, my friend decided that though she had always THOUGHT she wanted her own children, the step-children really were enough for her. I think her husband was willing to consider having a baby with her if she needed it, but he preferred not to since he already had two children. I remember at the time that her biggest struggle was trying to weed through what her real feelings were versus what she had always expected of her life.

My friend has a wonderful relationship with her two step-children, who have three moms and one dad now. She got to help raise them, has girl bonding time with the girl, who is now in high school. They go jogging together and shopping and my friend hosts girl parties before all the dances, etc. She and her husband have an incredible amount of freedom, considering she gets to have children yet has never had a period in her life when she couldn't vacation or go out on a date night, etc.

I know there was probably lots more to the situation that my friend didn't share with me, but I just wanted to put another experience out there because I think your feelings sound a lot like what my friend expressed several years ago, and she seems extremely happy now with the relationships she has with her family.
 

LolaV

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
6
Too Patient: thank you for your thoughts. Those are the types of things that would sometimes bother me. They are things that I would need to bring up with the BF and let him know that in certain cases (like graduation) he would have to help advocate for me. We have talked about the idea that I would want to consider his kids as my own and he would need to be a player in making that happen.

Guilty Pleasure: thank you also for sharing your story. That sounds like the ideal situation I wish to have for myself. I am sure there were some tough times for your friend in the process but it seems like they were handled in a perfect way.

If I were to get the "baby bug" even by 35 then, I would KNOW what I wanted, and while the decision may not be easy, at least I could go to BF and say..."this is what I want." RIght now it's hard because I don't feel like I want anything more than what I have. It's still a sifting process, but all of these posts are really helping a lot.

Thank you to everyone so far, this has really been a great community to learn from.
Lola
 
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