Bonus Family, Age Gaps, “Yours, Mine, Ours”

Hey y’all!

It’s been a while since I was a regular around here - my little one just turned six this week!

I’m back because, long story short, I’m in a new-ish serious relationship (after splitting from my kid’s dad in 2019 and only dating casually for a bit so I could focus on my kid and my career).

[name_f]My[/name_f] boyfriend is a great dad to his 14yo and has been so sweet and cool with my little dude. Before I met him, I’d considered the door closed on having another baby. I even assumed, when we met, that he was done having kids because he’s 44 and his son is a teenager. Well…you know what they say about assuming. He brought up the possibility last month. Our relationship is still too new for us to talk TTC, but he wanted to know if I wanted the option, and wanted me to know he’s open. [name_m]Reader[/name_m], the door is, let’s just say, unlocked.

We’re taking things slowly and enjoying our relationship as it is, and thanks to my IUD, a pregnancy won’t just happen, but, WOW! This is something else. Excited for y’all to chime in.

So! Who among us has advice for someone considering a blended family? Big age gaps? TTC and/or welcoming a baby when the parents are mid30s/mid40s?

I don’t have any advice on big age gaps, but we do have a blended family.

[name_f]My[/name_f] oldest son was very young when me and his father got divorced. I got into a new relationship sooner than I’d planned, my new partner wanted children and didn’t want to wait too long, so suddenly we were TTC. Then I also got pregnant sooner than I’d thought, and as a result I had my first child with my new partner when my oldest son was only 4,5. We now have 3 children together (including twins) and a fourth on the way. Looking back it seems insane, but somehow it also feels right.

A blended family can be complicated. To me, the main issue was how much “parenting” my new partner would do for my oldest son, H. Of course he’s been taking care of him since the moment we moved in together, but H. already has a father. I didn’t want him to get confused. I guess I wanted him to realize that my new partner loves him and cares for him, that he does a big amount of the parenting when H. is with us, but that he’s not his actual father. So when we added half-siblings to the family, I was worried about H. feeling left out or felt like he was being treated unfairly because his half-siblings are my new partner’s children, he is their father, so it is different.
Somehow it just worked out for us. H. adores his half-siblings. He and my new partner get along well, and sometimes it isn’t easy for him, but he knows he can come to me or his dad with any questions or problems. Communication is absolutely vital.

Blended families are a lot of work but the amount of love and experiences are worth it in the long run. I can’t really give any advice as I’m still learning how to navigate a blended family myself but communication is key, and lots and lots of understanding especially when there are large age gaps between the kids.

My boyfriend is 43 and I am 33, I have a 12 year old son from my previous marriage. My boyfriend has two daughters from his previous marriage who are 17 and 7. So there was a TON of adjustment for everyone when my boyfriend and I moved in together.

My boyfriend and I had to learn how to parent together and make our differing styles mesh. Which thankfully we do pretty well with that, and while all three kids are at our house they understand and follow our house rules. But it did take some time to get everyone on the same page, because my son does not have any siblings so he found it hard to be in the middle all of a sudden. Thankfully now they all get along pretty well.

And much like you I had kind of closed the door on having more children after I split from my son’s dad. But my boyfriend and I had talked about it a few times after we had been together for a year or so. We had always agreed that if it ever happens for us then that’s great but if it didn’t then we would just take that as a sign. Three kids is alot already, and as a blended family it adds even more dimensions onto that. Now with all that being said my boyfriend and I are currently expecting our first child together, so we will be adding #4 in March 2023! Let me tell you it was not expected at all, and was very much a surprise but we are very happy and excited, and so are the three older kids. They can’t wait to meet their new sibling and have been trying to guess what gender the new baby is (we are keeping it a surprise til birth).