A Brother For Finn…

By Alison November 13, 2014 25 Comments 2 Min Read

In three weeks time, Mark’s wife, Hannah, will give give birth to a little boy. I have typed that sentence as I would type any other: as if it is not loaded with meaning. Not loaded with longing, delight and hurt.
Finley is utterly ambivalent about having a new brother. I think he can’t quite imagine what it will mean or where he will be in his Daddy’s pecking order. Hannah is utterly dreadful at involving him in what is set to be the biggest shift in his family life to date, and Mark is so very torn between the two of them.
So I sit by and watch from the sidelines helplessly. I mourn the children I will not now have and feel angry with Mark for not sticking in a relationship he now admits he should have remained utterly committed to. I want to throttle Hannah for turning Finns room in her house into the babies room, without so much as a bed for Finn to sleep on, and instead insisting that he sleeps on a sofa bed in the cold conservatory whenever he can be persuaded to stay there.
Gosh. I am making her sound like the Wicked Stepmother I am not sure she is. Though I do not know her at all, and I am very aware of how much she resents my very existence, I also know that she is a woman just like me, who wants to ensure the security of her family. Who wants her husband and her baby to be her world. I do understand that. But I simply cannot tolerate her indifference to my little boy. As far as I am aware, she has never spent any time with him alone, does not ever go on Mark and Finn’s outings and has never bought him a single present, or item of clothing in the five years she has known him.
It barely seems possible to me. Finn is an extremely easy child to love. Heaven knows he talks too much, but he is impeccably behaved, has the sweetest, kindest heart and so desperately wants to love this woman who will not love him back. And for my part, though I think asking for her friendship is probably out of the question, I truly wish that I could call her when Finn isn’t feeling well. When I have forgotten to pack socks, so I could check that she has some spare ones for him. That I could be sure that she would not shake his hand when he says goodbye to her, but would instead embrace him in a great big, Step Mum hug.  I wish he went to a house where there was a room for him. A home from home. A wardrobe with clothes that belong to him in. I wish that occasionally she would shove shove his clothes into the washing machine instead of sending them home to me caked in mud. I wish, really, that she would be Finn’s Mum when I am not there to do it.
But this I know for sure: Finn will love his new little brother. And I will too because he is Marks. Because the love and respect that I have always showed Finn for Mark: the respect and love that still remains, will be extended to a baby called Sam, who must, I think, be just about the luckiest little fella in the world to have a brother like Finn…
Oh how my world is changing, Readers.


  1. Gill says:

    I can only hope she will come to understand more, once she has her own baby to love.

  2. Sasha says:

    Oh my goodness there is so much I want to say about this Alison (in support of you and Finn) but fear that it may not be my place. What a heart-breakingly infuriating situation you find yourself in. Your heart is strong and true, hold on to that. What a shame there are people in the world so short sighted they cut their noses off to spite their face and that there are also people weak enough to let them. I feel your pain. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Esther says:

    WOW, you have a big heart Allison, Hannah sounds like a cold witch but oké , Finn is not her child, and she wants her child to be Mark,s nr 1 priority,but Mark has NO backbone to allow her to treat Finn like this….
    You are a wise and strong woman to not make a scene about this!

  4. Valerie says:

    I want to give you a hug, Alison. I’m not in your exact situation, but I know the emotions, so deep, from knowing you will not have another beloved child, because of time and circumstances. And you can’t give your child a perfect life. None of us had one. It’s okay. Find your gems of love and light, what brings you joy, and focus on them, so that everything else seems dim. Hugs and love to you.

  5. Jen says:

    I’ve read you years and hardly ever comment. I love your writing and I hate that you are hurting. I pray for God’s grace for your sweet heart in this situation. I pray that He will give you the people and circumstances you need to go through this. I pray the sting will go away soon. As for Finn, he has the best of mothers! You are his world and his solid rock. Over time he will only see this more and more and his love for you will be that much more special. Take care of you, and you will take care of him. Much love.

  6. Gena says:

    My gut feeling is that Mark seriously needs to grow a pair! Is he frightened of her or what? Finn is so lucky to have you as a Mum thankfully. Sorry for the bluntness I am from the North.

  7. chrissie says:

    I feel your pain I know it too. Unless you have been in this situation you cannot possibly understand. I am so glad Finn has you as the best of Mums for the best of boys. Hugs XX

  8. Mimi xx says:

    As a new Mum, I can t imagine how horrible this situation must be. The very thought of Jessica having her bedroom taken away and having to sleep in the conservatory makes me want to cry. I hope with a little time she comes around and is a little warmer.

  9. Dawn Gilmore says:

    Hannah sounds like a stone cold bitch. I think you are giving her too much credit. In my eyes, the fact that she has never given him a gift for his birthday or Christmas is very telling. I can excuse not going on outings with Finn and his Dad, thinking it’s their time together. I could chalk up sending home muddy clothes to laziness. Not knowing their housing situation, like maybe Finn’s room there is the only other bedroom and of course the baby who will be living there 24/7 needs a room, but I am sure there must’ve a better way of handling it. I could give her benefit of the doubt for all the other things but the gifts, or should I say no gifts.
    Why, anyone with even a tiny heart wouldn’t slight a child who is a regular part of her life by not giving him even just a token gift. In this case it really is the thought behind it which is important.
    And Mark is a ball-less wonder for not putting his foot down for Finn’s sake.
    And poor Finn knows he’s not completely welcome there and that his dad doesn’t fight for him.
    You have no idea how mad I am at this. I hope Finn doesn’t get even more rejected once the baby comes.

  10. Suzi says:

    Hello Alison. I’ve been reading your blog for years and I may have only posted a comment once or twice. I’m very sorry to hear that this woman is shutting Finley out. He seems to be a truly delightful boy and I can’t imagine why he’s being treated this way. I think Mark should have nipped this type of behavior from her in the beginning. Having said that, I think you are a great Mother and are giving Finley all the love and guidance that every child needs. I know he’ll be a great big brother. I hope I haven’t offended you by writing this comment, but as a mother of three boys it really bothered me.

  11. Nicola says:

    I became a step mum at 22 to a toddler I’m now 32 and he is on his way to becoming a teen. So firstly I didn’t do nappies. That job went to his daddy and this was understood! When I didn’t live with his dad I bought him gifts, once we lived together we bought gifts from the both of us like any parent would. I s

    1. Nicola says:

      I accidentally posted too soon.
      I spent the weekends he was with us doing whatever they did. My first biological child arrived when he was five. They shared a green room with Ben 10 posters on one side and pooh bear on the other. When my second bio child arrived we moved to a bigger house. The older boys shared and baby had his nursery. When baby was ready to move into a bed he shared with the middle child and the oldest my stepson had his own space. Yes it spends the week unused, but he needs his own space. It’s tough enough having two homes without having a sanctuary to make your own. When he gets older it may be that a room won’t be needed but until then he’s my son and deserves to be treated that way. I don’t wash his clothes from his mums as we buy him clothes to wear here anyway.

  12. Ali Harriman says:

    It would be interesting to know how your ex-husband and his wife feel about all this. But since we can’t, I’m going speculate that Finn’s “ambivalence”, as you put it, may be his defence against what might seem to him to be another nail in the coffin, so to speak. I’m sorry that your ex-husband is ineffectual and that his wife would, from what you write, prefer that Mark’s past not exist. Sometimes blended families work, sometimes they don’t.
    If I may be allowed an observation and suggestion Alison – let it go. Leave your ex-husband, his wife and child to get on with their lives. Finn should not be made to visit his father’s house unless he truly wants to, regardless of any custody arrangements you may have. Tell your ex-husband that he can either visit Finn in your home or bugger off all together. No child should be made to feel unwelcome under any roof. I suspect you’d get little or no objection to this from Finn or his father.
    While we’re on the topic of your ex-husband; Mark, if your reading this, think carefully. Your son is rapidly becoming a young man. Lose him now and I can guarantee you you will regret later on. Don’t think for one minute that the new arrival will make up for it.

    1. Nicola says:

      To add to this, I know of two adult men who grew up with ambivalent absent fathers. My hubby who no longer speaks to his father and whose children do not even remember their grandpa because it has been so long since they last saw him and my (step)cousin who recently changed his name to that of his stepfather’s (my uncle) because this is the man who has been a dad to him regardless of his biological status.
      Once children become adults and they are no longer bound to their parents it becomes a matter of choice to who they take as a father figure. For my hubby it is a combination of his father in law and stepdad, for my cousin his stepdad.

  13. Elaine P says:

    It’s horrible for everyone it seems. Perhaps all of the grown ups involved should park their egos at the door and concentrate on the little ‘uns. They had no part of any of this; plus – that way everyone ‘wins’. Feel free to curse another bit of uninvited opinion and accept my apologies for butting in 🙂 I hope you all find resolution soon – so difficult xx

    1. chrissie says:

      Sadly all too common too..

  14. Kimberly Pennell says:

    Oh I am so sorry that your little boy has to learn early the inequities of life!! Especially in something so dear and precious as his father’s wife…you are right – it should be different. She should love him. He is just a boy who is her husbands son and deserves love. Everyone does. Don’t ‘make much of it’ to him… perhaps he can forgive her when you cannot. My little grand daughter, 7, told me of a friend who is mean to her. I was thinking of my response to her the other day. I told her, ‘when you go to school, you can make new friendships.’ This little girl (pushed into ‘friendship’ by friends/family gatherings) says mean things to her, cuts her out of things. I told her that she will find new friends at school and this girl isn’t really her friend because a friend loves and protects and cares for you. I was also bold and said, ‘don’t let her be mean to you.’ I don’t know if this is right. I wanted to let her know that she didn’t have to ‘take it’. You know? hug Finn for aunt Kim across the pond. <3

  15. laney says:

    ..oh my…such hurt and bewilderment…what to do?…my advice is hard (old women of 66 give hard advice…we have lived for what seems like forever)…be the woman hannah is not…you be the one to show love… through your precious loving child…have finn be the loving brother…the one to take the baby a present…the one to take the new mommy flowers…the one to send cards and make presents…the one to never ever hear his mommy say a single hard thing about his stepmom…or his daddy… it will be hard…it will not be fair…but sweet girl…it will be right…and right always comes out on the top of things…blessings laney

    1. Barb B says:

      I agree with laney wholeheartedly ! Blessings and best wishes for you, Alison. ~ Barb B

  16. Brunette says:

    Frankly, Mark should have kept his blinding revelation to himself, because telling you that he should have stayed with you, at this point, is a MONUMENTALLY selfish and asinine thing to do. That is the most self-centered, narcissistic, puerile thing I’ve ever heard.
    It’s too late! Way, way, WAY too late.
    All he’s done with that infuriatingly passive, self-absorbed confession is harrow up your soul to no avail, and if Hannah finds out he said that *when she is about to give birth to his child* it will be Katie bar the door. Mark will end up divorced, with two sons whose mothers each justifiably loathe and despise him.
    Alison, you are better off without him.
    You are better off without him.
    Thank GOD you don’t have to wake up next to that revolting pile of narcissism every morning.
    What a narrow escape! If he’d stayed with you, he’d be telling another woman right now that he’d rather be with *her*. He’s a “the grass is always greener” type.
    Bless the day he slouched out the door with his tail between his legs, darling. Then fix yourself a nice drink and dance by yourself in the middle of the room.

  17. Brunette says:

    I hope that was as cathartic for you as it was for me, Alison dearest. 😉

    1. Marylene says:

      What if she was talking about Mark’s relationship with his son? At least that is what I understood at first…

  18. stefanie montijo says:

    Oh Allison, this is so close to home. I am one person who understands and lived through this. I have read you for years but never comment. However this almost made me cry but i am at work and controlled myself. I too had a stepmother that did not like me. She was jealous of me since i was a threat and reminder of her taking a father from his family. Let me tell its horrible for a child to grow up wondering if that person loves even knowing you so long and being a part of your home. My dad defended me but she was like a child throwing tantrums. My mother was also very firm with my father in being vocal of certain situations where she tried to keep me separate, like in your case with the baby’s room. I would be very firm with mark in that situation. She knew he had a child and now she has to live with it period!!! Its a hard situation finn still needs to see his father so i wont tell you that. And those siblings will love each other. As much as my stepmom tried to keep me separate and not have my little sisters love me and see me as a sister. But we love each other because no matter what we are blood. I will be praying for you and Finn it is a hard road. I can only tell you to fight for your son if mark wants him part of his life he needs to make that loud and clear to hannah. If she does not accept him and choose to love him, she will live a bitter amd miserable life because i have seen it. What is sad for me that due to my fathers actions whom i dearly love my children are now part of this situation where she does not fully accept them either. Its hard and my heart breaks for your son because i lived it. Hold tight and love him and teach him to love his brother. You be the strong and better woman do not go down to her level. You will be free and she will be miserable. I could go on forever but i will stop and be praying for all of you!!! Have a great weekend.

  19. Lynn Dirk says:

    Oh crud I am late to this post. But I feel as all your readers do. And definitely the fact that she has never bought him a gift in five years? Thank GOD he has never been alone with her. She’s selfish and cold. I am totally with the readers who say dont make Finn even go there. For all the greatness he could be at being a big brother and making Sams life better Sams mother will undo Finns confidence and make him feel second best. I am a step mom for 25 years. Have two of my own children. It was never easy but loving their father made me adore them. Maybe Marks wife really doesn’t love Mark. A bed I watched him make that now he must lie in it. Chin up dear girl. You are an awesome mom and Finn is an amazing young man and you need no others to make it perfectly so.

  20. missymom3 says:

    As the step-mom in my family, I am heartbroken to hear how this woman is treating your son. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage, and I love her as if she was my own & always have. She is part of my husband, so she is part of me. My husband & I have two children together, and I can’t imagine ever trying to put a wedge between my children & my step-daughter. We are family….period. As to your role as the “ex”….well, I’d love it if my husband’s ex was as willing to work with me as you are to work with Hannah. We’ve figured out how to co-exist, but there is till an enormous amount of tension & jealousy, as she is constantly trying the “Daddy has another family” thing. My husband is a great father & has never EVER not been there for his daughter. Unfortunately, some people just are hellbent on making life difficult. *smh* I’m so sorry this is your’s & Finley’s experience. Sending warm thoughts & virtual hugs. And hoping, since I”m late seeing this, that things worked out.

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