My ex recently told me he was expecting a baby with his partner. I knew that it was likely to happen, it's been years since we separated and we've both moved on and have committed relationships with our partners so when I heard the news, I was surprised that it sparked a series of unexpected emotions.
My initial reaction was a combination of shock but also feeling happy for my ex and his partner. I actually cried after the phone call – but wasn't sure why as we have been divorced for over six years and no romantic feelings remain. I then moved on to feeling sad that the father of my children was going to have children with someone else. I can't have any more children because of medical reasons so, in all honesty, there was a slight pang of jealousy that my ex can have children and create a new family and I can’t.
Then the questions started; my ex-husband will be a father of four, not three, how will our kids feel about sharing their Dad? Will his partner have as much time for our children? As a Mum, I know that being a first time Mum, she she will have different feelings for her biological child.
I also felt and still feel some anxiety knowing that things will, inevitably change and that the dynamics of our blended family will be shaken for a while. It's unchartered territory for us all and I'm not sure how our kids will react and adjust.
Nothing in life is all good or all bad and now the news has sunken in, I feel more positive and can see the bright side too. I can honestly now say I feel happy for them all and excited that my children will now have a half-sibling who will be a very special person in their life.
If you've just received the news that your ex is having a baby
No matter how over your ex you may or may not be, this is a piece of news that may shake you. It can invoke a mixed bag of emotions so take it easy and know that feelings don't hang around forever. Allow yourself to move through the emotions of sadness, disappointment, happiness, uncertainty and jealousy.
It's ultimately your choice how you digest and deal with the news but remember that your kids will consciously or subconsciously be watching how you react.
Tips if you're expecting and you haven't told your ex yet
- Let your ex know yourself before you tell the children or they hear the news via someone else
- Brace yourself and be sensitive to the possibility that it will have an impact on them
- Re-assure your ex that you will maintain and keep things as consistent as possible