Kids’ fears about losing time with a parent when a baby is born are not without foundation. Susan D. Stewart, a researcher at the University of Iowa, published a study entitled “How the Birth of a Child Affects Involvement with Stepchildren” in the May 2005 issue of Journal of Marriage and Family.
Stewart found that a new baby can reduce the amount of involvement the parents and stepparents have in the lives of their children from previous marriages, so having an “ours” baby does not always act as the bonding agent adults hope for. Brooke grew up with a stepmom who did not have any kids of her own when she met and married Brooke’s father; the couple later had a son and a daughter.
“Because it was my stepmother’s first family, my father has put so much emphasis on making that family work. I feel like I’m not a part of it,” Brooke says. “Not that he’s pushed me out, but it’s like a little exclusive family. My part in that family has fallen by the wayside because he’s tried so hard to make it perfect for my stepmother.