What should a stepmom be called??

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

58

8

2

Ok, editing the original post. But still the same question. My ex has married the woman that feel was a big part in the break up of our marriage...she was an affair that I subsequently divorced him for. He married her one short year after our divorce and as soon as he married her, they told the children it was ok to call her mom now. This was told to my children without any discussion with me prior or even after the fact. I have told both of them that it is disrespectful to me and that i have no problem with them coming up with a fun name the kids can call her. They will not discuss the issue and say that they have decided to just let the children decide what to call her. Well sure, you have already told them what to call her! The kids were 5,7 and 9 at the time. My 9 year old makes a point to tell me that he does not call her Mom (in fact, he is the one that told me in the first place) when I asked him why he doesn't, he said because he knew it would hurt my feelings and that I am his mom, she isn't. I don't know how to handle this, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Melissa - posted on 02/14/2013

99

0

10

I am both a bio mom and step mom so I believe that the child will ultimately make the choice on what they want to call us, if they want to call their step mom "mom" that is fine, I will not be little them if they want to call her mom, as before in previous statements the children's feelings is what is most important through out it all :) We all share a role in their lives :)

Jenn - posted on 09/13/2010

213

62

29

When it comes to me, from day 1 we decided that I would be called by my first name to my fiance's kids. I have no problem with this. Occasionally, they will say Mom by mistake and sometimes they decide to call me Mom for a day. Not too sure why, but they do. I have said on many occasions, and this was not meant to upset them or discourage them in any way (which it didn't), but when they do call me Mom, I say, "Don't let your Mom hear you say that, it might hurt her feelings." They completely understand. I don't need added drama if I can avoid it. I feel that you should talk with your kids about the situation. Explain to them how you feel. Maybe they have some input too. I know it hurts sometimes to hear them say that to another person, but I wouldn't take it personally if they're encouraging it at their house. I would come out and say something like, "I know that you've been told it's alright to call her Mom but I don't think it's very appropriate." or something like that...

Christina - posted on 03/19/2011

1,513

28

140

I tell my 10yr old that what he chooses to call his step-mom is between him and her. If he wants to call her mom, that's okay as long as it is something HE wants. That is his decision and his alone. As for my 4yr old stepson, I will refer to myself as mommy/mom because he is younger than my four children. He hears my kids calling me mom, and I don't want him to feel I love him any less than I love mine. He calls me Mom, or Chris. I refer to HIS mother as Mommy all the time, even if I call myself his mom as well. He knows that I know who his mom is, and because of that, he is comfortable calling me whatever he likes! I didn't start referring to myself as mom while he is here (and we have him 50/50) until he started calling me mom.

Renee - posted on 11/03/2012

2

0

0

My husband has 2 sons from his Ex. They got together in highschool and were together on and off for years but never married.. At the time the children lived with there mother. As soon as, if not before they finally called it quits she began dating a man and it wasn't but a few months later she married this new guy, had a baby with him within 6 months and moved the kids away from there Daddy. She manipulated the kids to call this new guy there Daddy. She had asked my "boyfriend" at the time, if it was alright for the boys to call her husband daddy and he said "No, its not alright." But that didn't stop her. The boys were 4 and 5 at the time and were calling there stepdad daddy. They said they would get in trouble if they called him by his name.

When my husband and I became engaged, she randomly called one day to tell him she had talked to the boys and said it was alright for them to call me "mommy" without talking to us about it first. I told him it wasn't right, and she was only doing this to make it okay that the boys called there step dad daddy.. But he told her it wasn't right, that the boys were confused and they only have 1 Mommy and 1 Daddy and that they could either call me and there stepdad by just our name or by "mama-(name)" and "daddy-(name). She refused, cussed, yelled, accused him of being jealous and told him that there was nothing wrong with it and that it wasn't going to confuse them and said she wasn't going to change it.

We talked to the kids numerous times because they were confused. We explained to the boys that I would be there step-mom and they could call me by my name or mama-name and same for there stepdad.

This is just one incedent, it would take a novel to speak of all the constant drama and harrassment we've had with this girl.

I encouraged him to never let her provoke us, because thats what she wants and to leave it up to God and Karma. And God is good. They were arrested and we ended up with full custody. Counseling covered this whole mommy/daddy situation and when the subject came up again with her, he asked her if she listened to the professionals in counseling when they spoke on this subject of how wrong it is to do to the children. Her reply was " well i dont agree with them!"

She continues to have the boys call there stepdad "daddy" out of spite. But we put it in Gods hands and the kids know and will learn whats right and wrong when there older and we just keep killing with kindness and leave it up to God, because he has blessed us by giving us custody of my stepsons. Going to court was the best thing my man has ever done, I am a full time stepmother and he is a wonderful Father and we do whats right and if they want to continue acting like fools, its not our problem. Hopefully she will learn one day that she needs to stop being selfish and think about whats best for her children.

Mel - posted on 08/08/2012

27

0

0

What if calling a step-parent "mom" or "dad" could have an adverse affects? Would you allow it?

Generally, a step parent is a result of a parent divorcing and remarrying. This means the parent is generally in a second marriage(via spouse or self). The divorce rate in the USA is 50% for first marriages, 64% for second marriages, and 74% for third marriages.(relatively) You add in step-children and blended families and it goes even higher.
With my divorce, came obvious observations. My child was impacted.

Here are a couple of articles that wrap up many articles and gave me many things to think about.

http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/fam-div.ht... Divorce impact on Children.
http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/socpsy-6.h... This is an article on the importance of roles.

Best interest of the Child is paramount right?

It is not jealousy nor doubt in my role as a parent that has created my belief that my child should not call a stepparent mom nor dad. It is knowledge and awareness. I say this because I researched the statistics of divorce, sociological self and the impact of divorce on children. There is a ton of information available

My separation from my child's father has already had an impact on my child that will continue long into his future. I am aware of this impact. I know a huge part of it is because of the emotional separation of child/parent relationship. I can not ignore it. With this awareness, I can not tell my child it is "OK" to call his step parent mom nor dad.
I know by allowing my child to call a step-parent mom or dad, it will more then likely change his self image and his conceptualization of parental roles.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

17 Comments

View replies by

Jennifer - posted on 05/25/2013

1

0

0

I feel your pain on this. I was devastated when I discovered my 2.5 year old son was calling the-other-woman-turned-stepmom "Mama Arly"! Terrible. Feels like such a betrayal. Th ex is so busy trying to welcome to new woman into his life and worries about het feelings that he steps on the toes of the mother and chd(ren). Highly inappropriate. My son's dad should have remedied this right away. My son is so young that I don't want to correct him. I communicated my feelings to his dad, and hopefully it will draw the boundary more clearly so he can learn to be more sensitive in the future, but we can't control what goes on in the other home. Feels horribly unfair and wrong, but we know who we are and have to take comfort in that. I know it really hurts though. I wish you the very best.

Suselis De La - posted on 08/04/2012

1

0

0

I am both sides of the fence. my boyfriend hates the fact that his now 6 year-old was taught that he has 2 fathers. Since he was 2, the mom told the kid that her live-in boyfriend (yes, the one who broke up the marriage) was daddy and the biological father (my fiance) is dad.



On the other hand, my fiance foolishly (because it looked vengeful) tried to tell his son it is ok to call me mom. He did it last year, when the kid had already turned 5. Obviously, the boy ratted him out to the mom and came back a week later (unprovoked) to say to my face "mom said not to call you mom". It was a boy on a mission, like I had something to do with the orders he received on both sides. I ended up being a casualty of war that day. Why did she encourage the (back then) 2 year-old to call the stepfather daddy without even asking my fiance, but I can't even be called a variation of mom, like another blogger suggested.



Now, we all know kids repeat what they hear. Which is why I agree with the cited text that mentions the role or position such as the "president" example. But it is clear to me that the rest of that insensitive perspective was definetly male. Being a parent is not earned by giving birth or being granted custody. What happened to adoption? What about foster parents, godparents, grandparents that take angry, beaten-down, abandoned or unfortunate orphans and turn their worlds around?



The few times the boy has called me mom or grandma has been a mistake which I do not correct. Recently he spent 5 straight days on vacation with my family. Surrounded by my nieces and nephews, he started calling me aunt Sue, because that's what he heard everyone else call me during those days. After we left the hotel, it was back to plain old Sue.



When we're in the car he may call me mom. I think it is normal, because he's in the back seat, we're in the front and it seems like it is an authority-figure thing. Like when kids call the teacher mom or vice versa. Same thing with calling me Nana (the nickname of my fiance's mom). That happens/ happened when we're at her house or when we started dating 2 years ago. That's also normal because she had that maternal role since the divorce. On all 3 types of naming events he may giggle and correct himself saying "I get confused". I see no harm in that because I recognize he is not naming me, he is merely naming the role I came in to fulfill in his life during those few 26 weekends per year spends with us. So, I agree with another blogger who said why is the mom threatened if she has him (365-52=313 days) 85% of the time and will forever be mommy? I've heard the phrase "what's in a name" and I also respect the fact that sticks, stones and words might hurt an ex-wife who was abandoned or cheated upon. But I don't get why is it so important to know what the kid says to me during 15% of the year? I agree with the blogger that said to establish parameters with the older kids about how to refer to the stepmom when both are in the same room or when the kid is with the mom and her friends and relatives.



What should really concern her is what the kid is learning from me: sports, values, arts & crafts, music, philanthropy. She should be thanking God that the kid is not being hurt, spoiled, or abused. The fact is that if he feels comfortable calling me mom instead of "the wicked witch of the west" she should feel lucky because a lot of stepchildren find themselves in Cinderella's shoes while this boy is getting the glass-slipper treatment from this future stepmom.



So, I'll repeat my initial issue because herein is my question (please excuse the redundancy). I did not agree when my fiance foolishly (because it looked vengeful) tried to tell his son it is ok to call me mom. Of course, the kid was 5 already, ratted him out to the mom, came back a week later and, without provocation, got in my face to emphatically state "mom said not to call you mom". You have no idea how much it hurt!! It hurt me; It affected the relationship; And it made me resent that kid!!! That boy, who might be as close as I get to having a son, because I've had reproductive problems in the past. Am I wrong for wishing he willingly calls me mom? I do hold the part-time job, don't I?



I don't understand why the need to hurt me like that when my only sin has been trying to give that kid the love he needs while he's with us. More over, if she taught him that it is normal to have 2 dads, why can't he have 2 moms?



you should see how embarrassing it is to see this confused little boy ask other kids "where is your other dad?" but people assume I'm his mom he clearly blurts out "she's not my mom!"

Mami - posted on 05/21/2012

2

0

1

I'm in the same situation, but on the other side, I'm the "other" mom. My boyfriend's baby is just 9 months old, and I have two children 9 and 7. Now, of course my little monsters call me mommy, and baby is going to grow up hearing that as my name, so I will NEVER tell him that he shouldn't call me, that if he so chooses. I'm not going to say you have to call me mom, but when he's with us I parent him as if I were, so if that's what he feels right calling me, I would be happy with it.
But the situation would naturally be different if he were older. Right now my kids call my man by his name, but my daughter has asked me if she and her brother will call him "dad" and I tell her that it's up to the two of them. It's their decision how they feel about it, and we will never force any title or whatever on them.

Mandy - posted on 01/16/2012

1

0

0

I am a stepmom, and my SKs call me by my first name, or other little nicknames that they come up with. I'm okay with that. Their mom says she would have no problem with them calling me mom, but it would make ME feel weird. And their dad and I decided a long time ago that they wouldn't call me mom, even though they ask if they can. We tell them no and explain why. I'm NOT their mom. I'm their stepmom. Well, stepmom technically isn't in the dictionary, but that's splitting hairs. So, we tell the kids they have ONE mom and ONE dad (they have a stepdad, too) and a stepmom and a stepdad. I'm not trying to be something I'm not. I'm sorry they have pushed that issue with the kids without concern for your feelings. :( That's not right. I hope you get it figured out.

Kim - posted on 11/27/2011

45

24

3

My SS has always called me by my first name (since he was 4 and he's now 11) The only time he says mom to me is when he is talking to his sister(s) in referrance to me. Such as "Mom asked you to pick up." I have made it clear from day one that he has one and only one mom and he has one and only one dad.

Christine - posted on 11/02/2010

31

33

0

I am a stepmom and I am called by my first name by my stepkids. They love me and don't call me anything else. I don't want them to call me mom. But, you are definitely in a bad spot, because yes, you are their mother. I understand that there is a history with the stepmom being the "other woman", but do you like her? Does it truly matter what they are calling her when they are not in your presence? Has this been made into a big deal in front of the kids? I saw that your 9 yr old made a point to tell you and won't call her mom, so that has to give you some comfort. My now 12 year old DSS has never slipped and called me mom, like my 7 yr old DSS has. You know that you are their mom and they know that you are their mom, so does your ex and stepmom. I think if it isn't made into a big deal this would be something that would disappear into the background and all would forget. Or maybe you can ask that the kids make sure and call her something else in your presence? I don't know if this will help, but I figured I'd throw in my small two cents, from a stepmom's point of view.

Heidi - posted on 10/14/2010

21

23

2

it can be a very confussing and annoying subject. both dh and i are of the belief that step parents are parents too.
dh is my sons step father and we left the chioce up too my son as to what to call him, he chose to call him dad, he says hes lucky coz hes got 2 dads. my son also has a sm and once again it was left up too him as to what to call her, he calls her mom too, and he thinks this is awsome coz he is the only one of his friends with 2 moms and 2 dads.
i am also a sm and we have left the chioce up to dh's kids as to what to call me, they call me mom and say that i have always been there "other mom". they also have a step father who there bm says that they have to call dad, dh has no problem with this. what he does a problem with is the fact that bm says they have to call there real dad by his name coz only bm's new husband is there father as far as she is concernd.
i grew up in a house with a step parent and i chose to call him dad.

Crystal - posted on 09/23/2010

38

25

3

This is difficult for a mother to comprehend. And it's juvenile of your ex to do. Your children have now been put in the middle and are stuck with trying to decide who to please. I know this because I've been there. My parents divorced when I was 5. My father remarried the woman he had ran around with while he was married to my mother. And I got the same thing. You can call her mom now. I knew she wasn't my mother and I knew it would hurt my mom to call this other person mom but I didn't want to let my dad down either. A divorce is already extremely difficult on a child and picking petty fights makes it worse. I understand where you are coming from. I would hate for my children to call my now ex-husbands girlfriend mom but I know I am bigger then that. I don't want my children to have to feel like they have to choose my ex or me. I want them to be able to trust that I will back them no matter what they choose to call this other woman. You may want to suggest some names that are similar such as mum, momma, mama. I know they are all veriations of mom but remember you are #1! You are Mom, Mommy and Mother! No one can take that away no matter what they try to do.

Jenn - posted on 09/15/2010

213

62

29

Well, what that person said does make complete sense. I fear though, this may be a battle you won't win. If your ex is unwilling to budge on the decision they have made for your kids to be allowed to call her Mom if they so desire, all you can really do is just be there for your kids. Don't get upset with them if they do say this to her, even though it may hurt. It's just some people don't have the courtesy to think of others before they make a decision. As long as you know you are their real mother and they love you and you love them, that's all that matters.

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2010

58

8

2

Thank you so much for your help...unfortunately, I tried discussing it with the ex. I tried to think off all sorts of different ways to express to him why it isn't right. I searched all over online trying to find some things to show him on the topic. I sent him this post I found from a guy's view even:
Author: SnglDad
Replied: 6/3/2010 9:30pm.
Lady Ace. The reason you may detect animosity towards those who are not the bio parents of a child, but still wish to be called mom, is because we are parents. Mom, Dad are not names, they are the titles of the people who created the child. Just as “President” is not a name, it is a position. How many people other than your parents did you address as “mom” or “dad” while growing up? If you think about it, and put yourself in your parent’s shoes, they would no doubt be hurt to hear you, as a child, call someone else by their title.
This is not about how many people can love a child. To make such a comparison tells me that you lack the ability to understand this argument from the side that truly matters, the parent’s side. Even though my ex and I are no longer together no one will ever be called “mom” by our two boy’s except their mother. I watched her carry them both for 9 months. I seen her sick every morning, feet swollen to the point she could not wear shoes. I seen her go through her nesting phase making sure everything was perfect for when her new born child came home. And, I also watched both times as she was cut from hip to hip for a c-section. I had it easy, I counted fingers and toes and held our son close to her as she was being stapled back together. You are not given the title of “mom”, you earn it. My ex earned it, and I would never allow my children to disrespect their mother by allowing them to call someone else “mom”.
As for the “we” comment, are you mentioned in the custody order as being a parent to the child? If not, there is no “we”. If you and your husband ever split, Mom and Dad would have visitation rights. ****and that story was so perfect, I had a c-section each time with all 3 of the kids and actually had to spend 6 hours in the intensive care unit after my first child was born!****

His response to that is that I am being selfish and just feeling threatened that the kids like Dana more than me (seriously, this is definitely not a concern for me whatsoever). The plain and simple fact is this, she is not mom, I am. It seems so simple and clear to me, I don't see why it is so difficult for the two of them to understand?

Jenn - posted on 09/14/2010

213

62

29

Maybe you should express your feelings on this topic to your ex? I don't know if that would do any good since as you say, they are encouraging it. It also might be something they grow out of once they learn the concept of respect, or perhaps you should just come right out and explain to all your children that it is much more respectful to call her by her first name. I don't know if they'd understand (clearly your 9 year old does) and perhaps if he said what he told you, "he said because he knew it would hurt my feelings and that I am his mom, she isn't" in front of his siblings, they might understand as well. Ask him right in front of them, "Why don't you call her Mom?" and maybe hearing that it hurts your feelings might help them to understand the respect concept for both you and her.

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2010

58

8

2

Jenn, thank you for your insight. My first reaction when the kids told me about this was exactly that. I explained to them that I am the only Mom they have and that they could continue calling her Dana or any other name they would like. I felt bad about that later because I felt like I was doing the same thing to the kids that they had done. I was caught off guard and I don't think I handled it properly in that situation. However, I don't think that I am wrong in saying that I should be the only one they call Mom...I am Mom. But I also do not want them to feel stuck in the middle of a battle between their parents. What do I do? I know that it only happens by mistake at this young age and I know the only reason they are encouraging it is because she doesn't have any kids. The same situation has happened on the reverse side. The guy that I have dated for the last year was called Dad by my daughter. However, he has 2 children of his own and he understands and respects that my children already have a Dad. So he took it upon himself to explain to my daughter that she already has a dad and that she could call him by his first name. I don't understand why they do not show me the same respect? Why do I need to fight for the right to be the only one "my" children call mom? I understand if they were older and they chose to call her Mom or asked if they could call her mom. But that is not my children, they did not ask what to call her...they were calling her by her first name all along until they were told they could call her Mom. I don't think it would have crossed their mind to call anyone Mom but the one person they have called Mom since they could talk if it had not been told to them as it was.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms