Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

4 Tips for the Stepmom Who Wants a Baby of Her Own

4 Tips for the Stepmom Who Wants a Baby of Her Own

“My husband doesn’t understand why I want to have a child,” Stepmom Lisa shared.

“He keeps insisting that I already have three kids, and asking why I need more. But I don’t have three kids—he does!” She continued. “Why doesn’t he understand that I want a child of my own? If I try to explain he becomes angry, and says if I really loved his kids they would be enough.”

In a stepfamily it’s not uncommon for Hubby to have the expectation that his children from his previous marriage will meet his wife’s maternal desires. He may even view it as a personal attack, and his wife as being unreasonable, if she craves a child of her own.

However, the stepmom who is in childbearing years, and has no biological children of her own, often dreams of having an “ours” baby. And conflict may arise when she tries to explain to her husband that although she loves his children, they do not fill her craving to bear or adopt a child of her own.

This problem stems from a distorted view of stepfamily formation. Dad so desperately wants to live as though they are a first time family, as opposed to a stepfamily, that he ignores or denies that a stepparent typically loves a stepchild differently than her own child. The disappointment and anger he expresses toward his second wife prevents him from understanding why the stepmom doesn’t view his children as hers. The reason is quite simple.

They aren’t her kids. His former wife is their mother.  

Many women have a yearning to become pregnant, feel a baby grow in the womb, and give birth. It’s the way she is wired. For the stepmom this longing frequently has nothing to do with the relationship that she does, or doesn’t have, with her stepchildren. It is merely a female desire.

When a woman believes her spouse is refusing to hear her feminine heartbeat, or he is unwilling to discuss or have compassion toward her maternal longing, it can be the catalyst for marital disaster.

For the stepmom in this situation, understand all is not lost. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Hubby Needs Help

A family counselor, pastor, life coach, or close male friend that understands stepfamily dynamics may be able to explain to the husband that his wife’s desire to have a baby is not a reflection of her feelings towards his children. When he hears from a non-emotional third party, it may help him to recognize and accept his wife’s perspective.  

2. Hubby May be Scared

It’s possible that a failed marriage and coping with children living in two homes is enough for Dad. He may feel overwhelmed about adding another baby. And if he feels as though he’s failing with his first set of children, he likely fears a repeat performance.

3. Maybe it’s Money

Babies are expensive. If financial pressures are elevated, and dad pays a hefty amount to the first home, he may view the addition of another child as imprudent and reckless. Men and women view failure though a different lens. If a husband feels as if he is not providing for his children, it’s likely he will resist having another baby.

4. Resist Resentment

I am amazed at the number of coaching clients I have who before they got married didn’t discuss whether or not to add an “ours” baby. If a stepmom and her husband didn’t converse and decide if they should add another child to the mix before they got married, then Hubby isn’t fully to blame. She has to accept some responsibility.

The bottom line is if the couple can’t come to an agreement, I advise professional help. Either she will need to accept her husband’s decision, and lay it to rest, praying he might change his mind. Or the husband will need to agree to have a baby.

A huge mistake some women make is to get pregnant thinking the husband will be fine once he sees the baby. This manipulative scheme usually backfires because the husband feels deceived. Conniving and deception erode the marriage foundation, often causing a collapse.

Solid relationships are built on honesty, trust, compassion and compromise.

Copyright © 2014 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved

Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, stepfamilies, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When ‘I Do’ Becomes ‘I Don’t’—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, The Smart Stepmom, co-authored with Ron Deal, and 101 Tips for The Smart Stepmom. Her website is

Publication date: November 7, 2014