HealthBoards (
-   Parenting Issues (
-   -   Discussing abortion with child - Advice (

Mouse1285 01-28-2018 03:26 PM

Discussing abortion with child - Advice
Hello, I am in a split family. I have been the stepmom to a child for 5 years. My husband has split custody with the child’s mother. We have her for 4 months, than her mother has her for 4 months, and so on. We were in the process of discussing a good day/time to purchase a plane ticket, since we will be receiving her soon for our 4 month period. We were notified by her mother via text that she will need to change the agreed upon date of travel because something important came up. She informed us in the text that the child would explain the situation to us later. My husband called his ex wife to confirm another day/time for the flight and she began telling him that the reason for the change in flight was because she had gotten pregnant again and would be having an abortion on that day. Some background on their family, she is married to a man and they have just recently had a baby, whom our daughter has become close too. My question is, are my husband and I wrong to be upset with her discussing her upcoming abortion with a 10 year old girl. I find it very inappropriate and I feel terrible that that burden was put on a young child to inform us of this. What is your advice on how we should handle this if the child does bring it up to us.

yayagirl 01-28-2018 04:14 PM

Re: Discussing abortion with child - Advice
Dear Mouse,

Feelings aren't right or wrong. That is just what you feel about the subject. Now you have decisions to make. It's really a difficult situation. I'm sorry this is going on. I'll share my experience and perspective.

First of all, that the ex shared details with your husband does not prove what she told their child. Make sure you have the straight story. Whether pro or con abortion, do not interfere with hubby's relationship with his ex, and do not interfere with child's relationship with mother. I personally think adults should not discuss adult decisions with children. But what was done has been done. Now you and hubbie have decisions to make.

My husband and I have a mixed family also. His, mine and ours, though we treat them all like ours. Years ago I caused a heap of hassle for my husband when I had an innocent communication with his ex-wife, which was only to tell her to feel free to phone him about the children while he is at home because when he is at work he was not free to talk. I quickly learned that his relationship with her was entirely his to communicate. Not because my husband was upset, but because she was upset, and she was right. Her parenting issues were between him and her and it was up to him to tell her if he wanted her to phone a different way or time. Co-parenting between absent parents is difficult enough without 'steps' interfering.

I had created an angst between them that affected the children. That my intention was completely innocent of malice doesn't alter the way it was taken. I just wanted her to know she could phone our home (that was back when there were only land lines). But she knew that and when she phoned was up to them to decide. Years later we learned her husband's abuse was why she phoned about the children during work hours. My education from this is that it is inappropriate to interfere in any way whatsoever in the first family. We don't have a right to intervene or judge the previous spouse when we marry into a previous family, not even when we disagree. Maybe esp. not then. Their issues are theirs to deal with. We can discuss the issues with our spouse, but never with the step-child.

That you are present wife does not an iota alter the other family relationship between daughter and her mother and father. This is entirely her parents' issue to work out. Mother can reveal whatever she chooses to her own child. Whatever message was already given, it is not yours as step mother to deal with. I suggest that you stay out of it unless the child speaks to you, and then ONLY listen and do not give advice or share adult opinion with the child. If she is sad or confused, just say 'I know, honey" and hug her. Really what else is there to say about a sad situation that is not for us to control?

Please DO NOT show any sort of negativity about the mother or it will definitely get back to the mother and it's you that will become the bad guy to the child. Do nothing whatsoever to stir up trouble between the two people that are required to co-parent. The "co" of co-parenting does not include step-parents except in loving that child unconditionally, and not trying to 'fix' her life or control her thoughts.

Later on when she is an adult out on her own, IF she brings up the past and asks your opinion, that would be the time to carefully make I statements about the subject. But again, I would only empathize, and would not make personal judgments about anyone. No matter what we believe about issues no one is perfect or does only what we happen to agree with.

You're all in my prayers. This is a tough thing to deal with.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:55 PM.