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Is it normal to resent my stepchildren during pregnancy?

I married three years ago and got two stepkids in the deal. We only see them every other weekend, but I've loved them as if they were my own ... until now. We thought I couldn't conceive, but I turned up pregnant! It's a dream come true. What's awful is that my feelings toward the stepkids have shifted. I want my adoring husband and new baby to myself, and I feel rotten about it. Is this normal?

Yes, you're experiencing an entirely normal "nesting" response to your long-awaited pregnancy. Nesting is a process in which the pregnant woman focuses all her emotional energy on anticipating and preparing for the birth of her baby. One consequence is that — temporarily — you see your otherwise beloved stepchildren as interfering with your "dream come true."

Try to accept and enjoy your preoccupation with the new life growing inside you and not worry about what it will be like to share your home with a new baby and the stepkids. Once you've had ample time to establish a close bond with your new baby and to see that your husband is just as devoted to the new arrival as he is to his older children, you'll most likely find that you have more love than ever to give your stepchildren.

Moreover, as the new baby grows to adore her older siblings, you may be surprised to discover that having your own biological child has actually brought the entire blended family closer together.

In the meantime, why not involve your stepchildren in the preparations for the new baby? You can take them shopping for baby things and invite them to help you choose wallpaper or even to help paint the baby's sleeping area. Your stepchildren's participation in baby-oriented activities will help them feel included in the changes taking place in your household and make it easier for you to offer them the love they continue to need and want.

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