This is a long one so might want to make yourself a cuppa and put your feet up before you start reading.
Okay so DF and I have been seeing each other for 2.5 years and been officially together for 2 years. He has 3 children to his previous marriage who he sees on a daily basis. The kids have already met me in the past and still remember me even though I have not seen them in two years. They still ask about me and bring up things we used to do with them before we became an official couple and BM stopped me from having contact with her children.
We initially tried to get me to have contact with the children immediately after we started being a couple. BF made the decision that he didn't want his children to grow up in an environment where there was constant arguments and a loveless marriage. BM was understandably angry and upset that their separation was 'official' as she was under the impression that BF would try to 'make it work' like he always did.
At first BM tried to cease him from having contact with me completely and was using the kids to control him as he is a very loving father and obviously cares for his children a great deal. For work reasons BF had to move a 4 hour drive away and BM plus kids went with him as they had nowhere to live and were dependant on him. BM and BF lived together yet separately as they had done so for the past year and he continued to pay for all her expenses as normal while BM sorted herself out.
BF and I agreed we would speak over the phone every day and he would drive to see me once a week. After a week BF decided he missed me too much and just wanted to see me and then BF started driving 5/7 days a week to see me after work. Eventually we decided that it just wasn't working and he had to move back. BF spoke to BM and she said she had a place to move to but it wasn't going to be ready for another two weeks. BF and I moved in together straight away and continued to pay for BM's expenses until BM and kids house had gone through.
BM and kids moved in with her mother and it happened to be no more than a 10 minute drive from where BF and I got a place which was really handy! BM made it crystal clear she did not want her children exposed to any new relationships for a minimum of 6 months. We agreed and once the 6 months was up BF asked if he could introduce me to the kids. BM got very angry, refused and said she still wasn't ready. We left it for a year as BF wants us all to work together rather than force it upon BM as we were planning to marry and wanted things done properly.BF got a new job and started travelling for work, he is now home fulltime and back to seeing the kids on a daily basis like he used to.
We have continued to support BM financially where she has needed help, we provided her with a family car paid outright (put it into her name as well) so she had no expenses, we pay for all school fees, daycare fees etc and anything else that is needed for the kids. BM has been very happy with our financial contribution to the children as it is WAY more than what we are required to pay through Child Support. We are looking into purchasing a large 4 - 5 bedroom house so BF knows that the kids have a permanent home.
We had an issue in the past where BF and I took the kids to the beach and then picked strawberries at the strawberry farm. Apparently every time the kids see strawberries or think of the beach they ask BM if she will take them to the beach and to pick strawberries like they did with BF and I. So naturally she gets annoyed everytime the kids mention my name.
BF sees his children on a daily basis, he goes to visit them every day after work and plays with them for a hour before dinner than bathes and tucks them into bed after reading a book. On the days where he works late he never fails to call them and he spends all day Sunday with them. BM is happy with this so long as I'm nowhere near the kids.
I am pregnant and expected due date is 20/04. My Ob seems to think that the baby might come a few weeks earlier as it is measuring to be further along... This leaves us with under 2 months until bubs is due. BF told BM in person that I was pregnant and her only comment was "Are you joking?" followed by a 'just another thing to deal with' look with no hint of any anger or her being upset. We thought that she would be angry and go off her head like she always does when my name is mentioned, however, she didn't.
BF and I are engaged, we were planning to wed Oct 27th of this year but have decided to wait until the kids start seeing me and grow accustom to the idea of a step-mother as we want them present. The children are only very young, all 5 and under. They still remember me fondly and BF thinks that they will respond well to a new brother or sister and a step-mum.
BF is trying to speak to BM and come up with a way to introduce me into the kid's lives and explain that they're going to have a new baby brother or sister. BF thinks it needs to be a visual thing where they can see my belly and see the scans of the baby. BM refuses to acknowledge the topic at this point in time.
Now to the point of the topic... How can we move things along in a way where BM is happy? I don't want to be in the position where I have the baby and then we tell the kids. We want me to see the kids a couple of times before the birth but it seems we are running out of time! We feel we have been very fair to BM but do you think this is too much to ask for?