Stepfamily Realities 53-55 - Having an "Ours" Child

    Conceiving an "ours" child is a complex decision that affects all members of a multi-generational stepfamily for many years. It can strengthen a re/marriage  if (a) partners' true Selves make the decision; and (b) they began discussing their respective conception needs and values honestly and thoroly during courtship; and (c) the partners have thoroughly evaluated the possible impact on all existing children and relations with ex mates, and (d) planned how to help each other master the major changes in their schedules, finances, space, and priorities that a newborn would require; and (e) their relationship is solid and thriving, and neither mate expects that having a baby will save their marriage from possible collapse. If any of these conditions are not clearly true, the odds rise that conceiving an "ours" baby will increase composite nuclear-stepfamily and marital stresses.

    If a courting partner wants children and assumes that their partner will too, they may discover a severe values conflict after re/marrying - "I thought you knew that I don't want another child!" Even if both mates want to conceive, adults and kids can be stressed by major loyalty conflicts when parental attention shifts to a newborn, and unexpected favoritisms erupt - specially with a previously-childless stepparent.

    Relations among half-siblings are unique in some ways, and range from compatible to indifferent to hostile. Paradoxically, the birth of a child causes everyone some significant losses that must be grieved. Well-discussed and planned, conceiving one or more "ours" children can delight and unify stepfamily members if their many roles and relationships are stable and they've forged a high nurturance level in and between their co-parenting homes.