Calling Step-Parent Mom or Dad

Jenni - posted on 05/17/2011 ( 63 moms have responded )

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How would you react/feel if your biological child started calling another man or woman, Dad or Mom. A step parent?



Hypothetical situation: Both biological parents are involved in their biological child's life. One or both are remarried or in a blended family. The child is not coersed in any way. Decides on their own they wish to refer to their step-parent as mom or dad.









If you were the biological mother how would you feel/react if you found out your child was referring to their father's wife as 'Mom'.



If you were the biological mother how would you feel/react to your child calling your new husband (biological father is still involved) Dad.



If you were the step parent how would you feel/react to your step-child calling you Mom.

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Sharon - posted on 05/17/2011

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In the case of loving & involved parents - fuck no.

I am their mother. I wanted them. I carried them. I birthed them. I sacrificed everything to raise them in my ideals. What has this other bitch done, except to marry someone I don't even like any more?

If I were the step parent - I'd be thrilled to be called Mom but I'd worry about the loving & involved bio moms' feelings. Depending on how SHE felt about things, I think I would suggest an alternative title. Something foreign without so many emotional ties but an actual title deserving of respect.

Frankly - i think most step parents actually fall under the role of an aunt or uncle. A person deserving of respect, a family member, but not their actual parent.

There are exceptions - uninvolved or abusive bio parents. In which case - screw them and their feelings.

Corena - posted on 05/17/2011

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I am a step mom. I have raised my kids since they were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. They are now 16 and 17. There birth mom is sporadically in their lives and is completely crazy and selfish. They call me mom. They call her mom when they are talking to her and refer to her by her first name when talking about her. My daughter refers to her as her birth mom.
Earning the title of Mom is not about giving birth. It is about being a loving, responsible parent in the long term.

Amie - posted on 05/17/2011

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I have a blended family. My husband is the "step parent" but the kids call him dad. He is there dad, in every sense of the word. He's there to help them with their problems, he provides for them, he has them on his extended benefits plans, he pays for their college funds, he loves them, he would quite literally kill for them. They are his.

Their biological father. I get minimal child support - as in whenever maintenance can find a bank account. I know where he is, we are friendly for the kids sake. He sees them when he can. He is there dad but only because of biology. I know he loves them as much as my husband does but that is not enough. Did it hurt him when our kids chose to call my husband dad? You bet it did. He felt threatened and with good reason. He's a putz that's a half arsed dad. He knows this, he's admitted this. He came to terms with my husband after growing up, acting like an adult and realized the kids call my husband dad because that is how they see him. He earned that title himself, no one forced it on him. He was just there and formed that bond with the kids. They chose, together, for him to be called dad.

Mine have called one of my exes g/f's mom. I did put up a stink about that because of the circumstances. They had been together about a month, the kids had just met her and she insisted they call her mom. No - if you do not earn that title, you do not get to have it. If it had been a situation that was similar to my husband (they got to know her and became close over time) I would have been fine with it.

Being a part of a blended family you need to learn to share. If someone is helping me to parent my child, then yes they fully deserve to be called mom or dad IF that is what the children want and the other adult in question is ok with it as well.

I agree with Corena - earning the title Mom (or Dad in my case) is not about giving birth. It IS about being a loving, responsible parent in the long term.

Christina - posted on 05/18/2011

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By making your kids feel guilty for calling their step-parents "mom and dad", you are being selfish. You forget it is about the children. As a mom (and a step-mom) I am so GLAD that my son loves his step-mom so much that he will call her mom. That means when he is over at her house, she is taking good care of him.
I don't know how many in here had step-parents growing up. I did. My step-mom abused my brother and me. It was a horrible thing to live through and my mom couldn't do a damn thing about it. We were forced to go to my dad's every other summer for 3-4wks. My dad denied everything that happened to us, and the bruises would be gone by the time we got home to my mom so she was stuck legally. After living through that, I can say I am PROUD that my son will call his step-mom Mom. Forget about yourself and think about how your kids feel.

Isobel - posted on 05/17/2011

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as an adult, I call both my step parents mom and dad...just as a kindness. They've both been in my life forover twenty years by now so...

My daughter told me the other day that she wants me to marry my boyfriend so she can call him Dad, she gives him Father's day presents and absolutely adores him (the boy loves him just as much but doesn't want to call him Dad).

I don't know...I'm a little torn. On one hand they HAVE a Dad that sees them fairly often, on the other... Rupe feeds them at night, helps them with homework, takes them to scouts, disciplines them when they need it...he really kinda IS their dad.

I think IF a child CHOOSES to call the step parent Mom or Dad, we need to put our jealousy aside for a moment and realize that it's not necessarily a dig at us, but a show of respect for the step parent.

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Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2011

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When my daughter started calling her step-mother 'mom' it hurt like hell! I just let it go though. She also started calling my husband 'daddy' soon after we started dating, so I guess it evened out!

Becky - posted on 11/19/2011

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My 10 year old has in the last year started to intentionally call my BF Dad. I let her. It makes her feel better and he's been around more than her real dad.



Don't get me wrong . . . her Bio Dad is not a terrible person, but he's not very intelligent. He is currently serving his 3rd prison sentence since she's been born. He's spent more time in jail, prison, rehab, etc than he has ever managed to spend with us. I tried to hold our family together the first time he went to prison for 2 years . . . the second time he got himself sentenced to 4 years (served about 2 1/2 yrs) I divorced him. Now I think he's serving 6 or 8 years this time (I stopped paying much attention to it . . . doesn't matter, in 6 mo to year from release he'll wind up right back where he's at!).



My BF has been in our lives since before my daughter was born. He was a close family friend for a very long time, and after my divorce we started spending a lot more time together & our relationship changed. We've been living together for over 3 years now. In the last year or two, my daughter started first occasionally calling him Dad, especially in front of her friends & in public. It's become an every day thing now, seems especially so now that we're going to be having a baby. My BF has always been fine with it. He's always treated her as if she were his own . He's been around more than her real dad. He's done all the "dad" things with her like teaching her to fish, and shoot bow and shoot the .22 and he takes her to school events! The school knows he's not her real dad, but because he's involved, they treat him as if he was!



I think she started calling him Dad for a few reasons . . . first was the respect factor. While she knows exactly who her father is, she loves him, and misses him . . . she's reached the age where explaining that your Dad's in prison is actually embarrassing. She also doesn't want to be so different from her friends who all have Dads, so she finds it simpler to tell people that Nick is her Dad. Her close friends know the real story, as do her teachers, and the school administrators.



Second reason is because he acts more like a Dad than her real dad. He's around, he spends time with her both with me & without me. She truly cherishes her one on one time with him! He punishes her when she's done wrong, he praises her when she does well. He jokes around with her on a daily basis. He loves her & treats her as if she was his own daughter . . . I think sometime he forgets that she's not.



And the third big reason . . . baby will be calling him Dad! We've already explained to her that unlike her friend whose Dad is insistent that she refer to her Brother & sister as 1/2 brother & 1/2 sister & enforces the idea that she is a only child . . . that won't happen here! Her little sister is going to be her SISTER . . . no 1/2 about it. Family is family and we will not tolerate any such division. She agreed, and is excited for baby to get here in a couple of months!



To be honest, I think her Bio dad would be crushed if he was aware that she is calling my BF Dad; but he's not around to hear it & won't be for a while yet. And I have to admit that if my daughter were to start calling someone else Mom, I would be devastated . . . I'd never tell her, but unlike her Dad, I have been there for her her entire life. I have always put her first and don't everything I can to make sure that she is healthy, happy and well taken care of. I have always (and plan to continue) to spend one on one time with her to enforce to her how special & important she is! I can't see any other woman ever getting involved in her life to even close to the extent I have & deserve the title of Mom in her eyes.

Sharlene - posted on 11/18/2011

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So left somthing out- my husband's kids from his first marriage call me aunty -sharlene, Which they prefer calling me that and I feel comfortable with

Sharlene - posted on 11/18/2011

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My two older children call there father's wife mom, At first I did, but when I met my new husband, the kids were calling him dad so from then on my two call there step-mom which I dont have a problem with because my kids know that I am there Bio- mom,

Lacye - posted on 11/18/2011

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I am a stepmother. If my stepdaughter ever wanted to call me Mom (by her own choice) I wouldn't have a problem with it. My stepmother never forced me to call her mom and I'm never going to force my SD to call me Mom. If my husband and I weren't together, and my daughter felt comfortable enough with her father's new partner to call her mom on her own free will, then I would respect what my daughter wants. I will always be her mother no matter what. I will always be #1 in her eyes because I am her mother. To me, that's all that really matters.

As for the step parents being compared to an aunt or uncle, no. There is a major difference between the two. I'm not SD's aunt. I love her as much as I love my own daughter. The two will be treated the same. It's kinda insulting to be thought of as an aunt when it's more of a co parental figure.

Laurie - posted on 11/18/2011

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Well, after my husband and I got married a few years ago, my then 4 year old setp-daughter started to call me mom. I was shocked at first, but didn't tell her not to call me mom. She came up with it on her own, with noone urging her to call me that. At first her mother was very upset and told my stepdaughter that she wasnt allowed to call me mom. She also started calling her step dad, Dad. My step-son, her brother who is 4 years older than her (8 years old at the time) was not happy with her calling me mom as well. He has always called me by my first name and that has always been fine with me. I love my step kids like my own and have told both of them on many occasions, that they can call me whatever they like, it is their choice in my eyes.. No matter which name they choose, is fine as long as neither side of the families are forcing them to use any of the names. My husband was a little hurt for a while as well that his daughter called her step dad "dad". The person who was MOST upset about my stepdaughter calling me mom, was my own daughter... For a very long time she had a problem with it, and I had to tell her that even though I am not her real mom, I am still a mom to her. I take care of her just like my own, and if that is what she wants to call me then that is fine. My daughter has finally gotten used to it, and my step son every now and then calls me mom as well.. It makes me feel good to think that my step kids love me enough to have that feeling towards me. We have all come a long way, and even my step kids mom refers to me as their other mom.. She is okay with it now as well. We share custody of the kids 50/50, and over time she has realized that I have her kids best interest at heart, so I think she is okay with it now.. As far as my kid calling another woman Mom, I think at first it might bother me, but if she loves my child and takes care of her like a parent, I would be okay with it, if that is what my daughter wanted. I doubt that would happen though. My daughter still will not call my husband Dad even though he is the main father figure in her life. She is 9 now, but still worships her dad, even though he is a dead beat and never even is around. I have full custody and he doesnt even have any rights to her what so ever... My daughter is starting to warm up to my husband more though.. I think it just takes time.. anyway... haha.. that is my story..

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I have two step sons, 10 and 6. I've been more involved in their lives than their actual mom for the last 4 years. When they started to call me mom I corrected them and told them I love them as much as their real mom but I'm not their mom, I'm their friend. When my bf's ex told the kids to call her current bf dad it really hurt him .. as much as I don't care for her its not fair to the kids to expect them to call me mom in case anything ever did happen between their dad and myself. I know they know that no matter what I'll always be their for them.

Lacieann - posted on 08/15/2011

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As a step parent I'm thrilled when my step kids call me Mama. They have Mommy (bio-mom) and Mama (me) two women who love them bunches and work very hard to care for them.



While we didn't force them to call me anything other than my first name their dad and I referred to me as Mama because that's how I want my biological child to refer to me. It kinda just rubbed off.



If their Mommy had an issue with it (I don't know if she would since she refers to her step parents as Mom and Dad) I would explain that it hurts her feelings but I probably wouldn't punish them for it.



I think step parents that are as involved as biological parents should have a title of respect that shows the care they give the child as long as they aren't forcing the kids to it or trying to steal the title from the bio parent.

[deleted account]

My girls are w/ their father and are referring to her as Mommy again..... Sorry, I'm GLAD they like her and feel comfortable w/ her, but seeing my kids 2-3 times/year does NOT make a person 'Mommy' just because she married their father.

I haven't said anything about it yet, but you'd better believe I will if they come home referring to me as Teresa again!

[deleted account]

See, my 4 yr old SD had started calling mom and Bm was so mad and honestly I think a little jealous that she has decided after four, almost 5 years that she wants SD living with her and not here. Because My husband and I didnt "correct and stop her".

Christina - posted on 07/21/2011

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Our 4yr old calls me Mommy Chris. His mom is now comfortable enough with it to refer to me as Mommy Chris to him. It was a long hard battle though.

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Exactly! My husband and I are always having to remind the kids that their is no step or half sibling or whatever.... they are all brother and sisters. I think your the first one I have seen post that they are not offended or hugely pissed about the children calling SM mom, its a nice change. Like I said, the kids know who is "mom and dad" but they also know who is there caring for them. :)

Christina - posted on 07/21/2011

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Thank you, Brandi!!! I'm glad that you see things the way I do. I am so comfortable with my son calling his stepmom "mom" that I will call her up and ask her when she is picking up her son. My son knows who his biological mom is. I know that no one can take my place. I also know that it is not a contest. The parent who does not make their child choose or who does not make their kid feel guilty wins every time.
I would probably smack my children if they ever referred to our 4yr old son as their stepbrother. In our home, we are a family, regardless of who created you and whether or not you are biologically connected.

[deleted account]

My sons bio father is soon going to marry his new G/F, My son and her get along pretty good. IF my son were to ever be comfortable enough to want to call her mom, mom then name or something with the title mom in it I would not at all be mad or offended by it. Id be happy that he had that level of comfort with her. Now if she were to tell him dont call me that or stop calling me that, then I would be upset because it would hurt him.

My son sometimes refers to my husband as dad, my husband after all has been the one in that role the last few years. Bio dad knows and understands this and is not offended by it. I know and understand that when my son is at bio dads his G/F is esentially playing the mom role for him because im not there.

When my step daughter started calling me mom, the first time she said it it I explained to her that I was in fact her step mom and that she did not HAVE to call me "mom" if she didnt want to. She smiled and said "I want to" so we let her because she was comfortable enough to. She knew who her birth mother was but she also knew that I was the one with her every day(until very recently) doing all the mom things with and for her. I think that if a child chooses to asign that title to a step parent it is their choice and they should not be made to feel like they are doing something wrong example--by correcting them.

Julie - posted on 07/21/2011

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I just thought I'd add... I agree with how Sharon put it - a (loving) step parent is like aunt/uncle, not a parent.

Kids need to be taught to respect their extended family, but you wouldn't call an aunt or uncle mum or dad no matter how close you were to them.

My daughter calls her older aunt "aunty firstname" and just calls her uncle by his first name only because he's her aunt's second husband and knew him for years as her aunt's boyfriend (rather than husband as he recently became).

However with her aunt and uncles on my side of the family, she mainly just calls them by their first name, unless she is introducing them to other people and then she'll call them uncle John (normally just calls him johnny), uncle Jimmy (normally calls him Jimmy even though everyone else calls him David - long story), and aunty piggy (not my sister's actual name, but it's my nickname for my sister, my daughter would normally just call her jenny, but for some reason, if she puts aunty on the front, she uses my sister's nickname).

But yeah... I think with stepparents it should be the same - just first names, with maybe an aunt/stepmum/whatever put on the front to explain the relationship.

Personally, I think if something happened to one of my parents and they remarried, assuming I ever got past just calling their new spouse by anything other than just their first name, i'd probably actually call them aunt/uncle as a sign of respect of a family member but not a bio parent.

I actually have a few non relatives I call aunty because of their role in my life. just a sign of respect.

Julie - posted on 07/21/2011

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I thought I'd add the answer to the last two questions as a seperate post.

My daughter has actually already asked if she can call my partner "dad" after we get married. And my answer? NO.

Her bio father is a selfish violent jerk who chose his mistress over his own daughter when his (main) mistress told him to make a choice.

And as mentioned, I wouldn't split up from a guy decent enough to be allowed in our child's life, but skip that for a minute...

even though my ex isn't in our daughter's life, I've told my daughter she can't call him dad - because he's not her dad.

I'm a firm believer, that kids shouldn't call a step parent "mum" or "dad" unless 1. the bio parent isn't in their life. AND 2. the person is actually a step parent - not a wannabe stepparent who isn't married to their parent.

If the person isn't married to their bio parent, then legally they aren't a stepparent and shouldn't be called mum/dad even if the bio mum/dad isn't around.

The problem is, my daughter adores my partner - she'd call him dad now if I let her. I think after we get married, it's going to be a battle to get her to not call him dad. I'm a firm believer of, just because her father is a selfish jerk who can't even be bothered sending her a birthday card once a year even, he's still her dad and I hope one day before he dies he steps up and starts acting like a dad.

I know she really wants to call my partner "dad" because he's an awesome father figure and adores her and she adores him, but I will continue to discourage it after we get married....

BUT I did think about it recently, if she continues asking once we have kids of our own, I'll stop fighting her on it then - I don't want her to feel left out - the only kid in the house to not be calling him "dad". But since I don't know if I can have any more kids because of what my ex did, it may never become an issue.

I'm a firm believer that as long as a kid has two living parents, no one has the right to use the title mum/dad unless the step parent has been there since birth and is the only parent they've known.

Except of course when the kid is older and insists on it - there is no negotiating with a teenager who has made up their mind on something.

Same thing applies if I had a stepkid wanting to call me mum - I'd do everything possible to discourage it, but if they were truly old enough to know it's what they wanted and insisted they must call me mum, I wouldn't make them feel like I cared less about them than my own biological children by forcing them not to call me it.

Julie - posted on 07/21/2011

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I guess it's a tough one because I would never divorce someone who wasn't a terrible person (so bad that they shouldn't be part of my child's life), so it's a hypothetical question I couldn't really answer part of.

My daughter also knows who mum is, and would never call another woman mum, even if her dad hadn't gone off the rails and for example I died and he remarried someone nice, she wouldn't call them mum because that's not how she was raised - however if I was dead and she had a loving stepmother, I really would have no problem with her calling them mum (although I think she'd still save "mummy" just for me).

I already went through the situation that the violent child abusing thug mistress that my ex shacked up with after I threw him out who he eventually married (not his only lover, but his main one), tried to make my daughter call her mum the very first time my daughter met her. And after the second visit for a couple of hours, when my daughter refused to call her mum, she went from trying to replace me (long story, she also tried to make me depressed to go suicide because she'd been jealous of my life for years and decided she wanted my life and thought she could basically take my place as wife and mother - she got my loser husband but did me a huge favour with that one - had I left him without her around, he'd have stalked me to the ends of the earth and probably would have killed me - with her in the picture, he was so busy keeping her happy I escaped alive).

so yeah... after trying to hijack my role as mother, when my daughter refused to call her mum, she turned her anger and jealousy on my daughter too. thankfully she never got the chance to physically harm her, but she made lots of threats to me and others that she would, and cyberbullied my daughter too (a grown woman cyberbullying 7yo - and sadly even though I could stop it at home, my ex let her see some of it, as did her computer illiterate grandparents who are in the custody arrangement to have her alternating weekends).

I honestly couldn't answer... because there is no way I'd split up with a decent guy - if we split, he's not a decent guy, and any decent women isn't going to hook up with him.

But yeah, if I died and my decent husband remarried, I'd be more than ok with the kids learning to call her mum.

Mell - posted on 07/21/2011

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I would not like it one bit if my son started calling his SM mummy, I would really hate it and would hope that his bio-dad would correct him on it.
When his father and I broke up for a while I was dating someone else who was around more than his biofather at that time and he started calling him Dad but I stopped that.

To be honest I dont call anyone else, apart from my parents, my mum or dad because I dont feel comfortable doing so my mum is my mum and dad is my dad no one else.

User - posted on 07/16/2011

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After wrestling with this for a while I just told my SS that I love him so much, and I don't know what I would do with out him. I let him know that he doesn't have to call me Mom to love me or the other way around.
I respect his Mom, and I would be heart broken if either of my boys called their SM, Mom.

Erin - posted on 06/25/2011

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My husband is my daughters step dad, but hes been the role of father since she was 1, and shes 5.5 now. Biological father abandoned us at 6 months, and has shown only mild interest in getting to know us. Puts up a good show about how he wishes he was more a part of her life, but has no follow through. He is the only dad she has known, and I wouldnt have it any other way :)

Tash - posted on 06/24/2011

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I think you only have one Mum and one Dad. If one of them has died however perhaps you can fill that gap.
Otherwise, whats wrong with first names?

Amanda - posted on 06/21/2011

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Elizabeth it is not right to allow your kids to call your boyfriend dad but then be upset or have issue with them calling his gf mom.....

[deleted account]

If we should let our kids decide.... my girls would be calling TWO other guys 'Daddy'.... and I'm not even dating anyone. ;)

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2011

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I believe it is harder for women who are step moms do not have biological children to understand. Even more so when like me I have been a single full time mother for my son since the day he was born. I carried him felt every move, kick and wrestling match he had with my ribs and other organs. I have provided for every need kissed every boo boo, held him, sang to him and kissed him no one else not even his dad has done for him what I have. I would never not be in his life and with that I will never be ok with him calling another woman mom just because she married or shacked up with his dad, because no matter what I was the one who made all the necessary sacrifices to bring him into this world and provide for him. I am his mom his only mom

Ashlee - posted on 06/17/2011

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I am a stepmom to a 2 1/2 year old boy. I came into his life when he was 6 months old. My husband had him 50% of the time at that point (one week with him, one week with the mother). Currently he is living full time with us and his mother gets visitation once a week. Since he began to talk he called me Mommy Ashlee. Eventually he dropped my name and opted for just Mommy. For awhile we tried to discourage it. We always referred to me by my first name and tried to get him to do the same, as to not disrespect his bio mom or cause confusion. But to him he knew me as a woman who fed him, bathed him, soothed him, kissed his boo boo's, tucked him in at night, and loved him. He was clearly set on calling me Mommy and I wasn't going to ignore him when he was talking to me. Clearly our situation is unique, and most stepmoms don't get to spend that much time with the children. I know this is upsetting to most bio mothers, but some children who are lucky to have a caring stepmom will develop a bond with them also and call them whatever feels natural. I've never tried to replace his bio mom, but when he is with me I will love and care for him to the best of my ability. Although it can sting knowing some other woman is being called Mom, at least your child is comfortable enough around her to call her that, and not stuck with the "evil" stepmom. Remember, its just one more person to love your child!

Ashlee - posted on 06/17/2011

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I am a stepmom to a 2 1/2 year old boy. I came into his life when he was 6 months old. My husband had him 50% of the time at that point (one week with him, one week with the mother). Currently he is living full time with us and his mother gets visitation once a week. Since he began to talk he called me Mommy Ashlee. Eventually he dropped my name and opted for just Mommy. For awhile we tried to discourage it. We always referred to me by my first name and tried to get him to do the same, as to not disrespect his bio mom or cause confusion. But to him he knew me as a woman who fed him, bathed him, soothed him, kissed his boo boo's, tucked him in at night, and loved him. He was clearly set on calling me Mommy and I wasn't going to ignore him when he was talking to me. Clearly our situation is unique, and most stepmoms don't get to spend that much time with the children. I know this is upsetting to most bio mothers, but some children who are lucky to have a caring stepmom will develop a bond with them also and call them whatever feels natural. I've never tried to replace his bio mom, but when he is with me I will love and care for him to the best of my ability. Although it can sting knowing some other woman is being called Mom, at least your child is comfortable enough around her to call her that, and not stuck with the "evil" stepmom. Remember, its just one more person to love your child!

Lisa - posted on 06/17/2011

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my 6 year old has called his step mum 'mummy' for a few years now and no i hate it but i dont know how to stop it. but its got worse as my son is now calling me by my first name but still calls her mummy! he has even said he came out of her tummy! i have tried to corroect him but he just wont listen to me. its braking my heart and i feel like im loosing him.

Becky - posted on 06/15/2011

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For me, it would depend on a few things, I think. One- the age of the child. I think for a very young child, it would be most natural for them to call a female caregiver mom or mommy, so although it would still hurt a bit, it wouldn't bother me too much. I mean, I've had kids in Sunday school call me mom! It was just their word for a female caregiver. But for an older child, there would be more meaning attached to the word, so it would bother me more.
It would also depend how long that person had been in the child's life. If my husband moved in with some woman and 2 weeks later, my sons started calling her mom, there would be a problem. If they'd been married for 5 years and they finally started calling her mom, I think I'd accept that better.
Mostly though, to be totally honest, it'd depend how I felt about her. If I really liked her and thought she was taking good care of my boys, I could accept them calling her mom. If I thought she was a bitch, I'd hate it!

Mrs. - posted on 06/15/2011

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Hey, if the kid decides to do it, they must feel some love toward that SP. Isn't that better than it being a bad relationship? Wouldn't you want your kid to have a SP that makes them feel comfortable.

A SP can never replace you if you are a terrific mom/dad. Having your kid be loved and loving another parent figure could only enhance their childhood experience.

Now, I could see if that SP was a real ass hat to you behind the kid's back or something...but otherwise...I think it's okay.

Amanda - posted on 06/15/2011

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There is a difference when both Biological parents are involved and supporting the child as opposed to one or both being missing. In which case you are correct whoever raises and care for that child is their mom or dad.

Amanda - posted on 06/15/2011

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I am a stepchild as well as a single parent. Personally I never called either of my stepparents Mom or Dad I called them Lee and Mary, I do believe it is a matter of respect because we ( my brother and I) have a mom and dad.
Likewise I would not be ok with my son calling someone else mom but I would also NEVER allow or encourage my son to call someone else dad.
Yes children can be loved by many many people and they can have multiple father/mother figures in their lives. I have three "Dads" (my mom's 2nd husband is still in our lives).

Ashley - posted on 06/15/2011

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The child should decide and no one should discourage or encourage or say anything to the child its there choice and what they feel comfortable with.

Amanda - posted on 06/15/2011

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I would discourage my son from calling anyone else mom or dad and would also not encourage any other child to call me mom.

Stifler's - posted on 05/18/2011

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It could be too that like Amy said it's easier for them. They might not want to explain to friends who is who etc. it's just easier for step mum and step dad to be mum and dad. I have a friend who calls her step dad dad even though she visits her bio dad (I used to go over her house a bit when we were kids). It's just easier for the kids and she had 3 brothers and sisters who were his bio kids and all called him dad so she did too.

Amie - posted on 05/18/2011

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I don't understand where this replacement issue is coming from. My kids know who their "real" dad is, they know they have two dads. Neither replace each other. They just are.

Children choose because that is how they feel. I will not deny my children their feelings if they feel that strongly for someone. They choose easy titles, like mom or dad, because at young ages that is all they know. Older kids obviously know more and could choose something else but again, if they choose I will not deny them that simply for my own feelings. My children come first, period.

Jenni - posted on 05/18/2011

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Wow, that's true Emma. I never thought of it that way! All my close friends called my mom, 'mom' and vice versa.



The title does get thrown around non-chalantly. In some circumstances I can see it just as a title to refer to an important woman figure in your life (my friends adored my mom). It can be used as a term of endearment.



I started a thread awhile back in another community about what a SK should call their step parents. Or alternative names to mom/dad. There are so many individual situations where the step parent does play a very vital role in their SK's lives, even if the biological parent is still in the picture. Calling them aunt or uncle... isn't doing them justice. Calling them mom/dad if the biological parent is still a very big part in their life... can be confusing, cause hurt feelings.



I think Sara pointed out that it calling a SP mom or dad can be out of confusion of the child trying to make sense of the situation.



With more and more blended families becoming the norm. I feel SPs deserve some sort of title all their own. Especially, when the biological parent is still involved. Something between Mom/Dad and Uncle/Aunt.



Believe me, as a SP... I take offence to being considered an uncle or an aunt considering I've been a very important figure in her life since birth, she lives with us half the time and my children are her brother and sister.



I'd feel guilty taking the title of 'Mom' away from her mom. I just doesn't sit right with me. Although, it's not about me or her bm... it's about her. If she truely wanted to call me that... what could I really say without hurting her feelings?



My SD knows exactly who her 'mom' is and who I am. Even at 2 years old, she'd accidently call me 'mom' and then correct herself: "ummm... I mean Jenn!"



Just last weekend she was telling me how she came from her mommy's tummy and Ben and Morgan came from my tummy. Then she asked me if I was going to have another baby put in my tummy so she could have another sister. ;)

She also told me I have 4 kids (I wonder if she was including her dad lol) and when she goes home to her mommy's, I have 3 kids. So true. So true.



She's not even 4 yet but she's clever and has a pretty good grasp on the situation.



My son is another story... he thinks when she's not at our house she lives in a 'doll house'. :/



She has referred to me as her "other mommy" on a few occasions. I didn't correct her, because is a sense... she's right. I do take on the role of 'other mommy' or 'weekend mommy'. That doesn't take away from the much stronger bond she has with her biological mother. In a sense it is just a name... it doesn't take away from the relationship she has with her BM. I am very respectful of that relationship and I would never try to replace her.

Stifler's - posted on 05/18/2011

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I called other people's mums mum when I was a kid. My mum didn't care. My friends called her mum too. I call my mother in law mum. Never had a step mum and I don't have step kids so I'm not emotional enough on the issue to think I'd be offended.

Tara - posted on 05/18/2011

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My girls call Steve Steve unless they are talking to Riley and then they say things like "Daddy is home" "Go see Daddy" "What's daddy doing" etc. because Steve is Riley's daddy.
They have occasionally slipped up after a weekend at their dads and called him dad, but always correct themselves.
He doesn't want to be called Dad cause he's not their dad.
If my ex ever meets someone who can tolerate him and they get together and the girls want to call her mom (which I'm confident they won't at their ages) I wouldn't care, only because I know I'm a great mom and I know I can't be replaced and so if they want to throw the moniker out there for anyone else, Meh... I'm the real mom and they as well as I know that.

Sara - posted on 05/18/2011

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I'm not uncomfortable with the term "Mom" and have never made my step-son feel guilty for my own gain. I do have a hard time understanding why the difficulty of sorting out these rather complicated situations is put upon young children. Like I've said, I can certainly see where some kids feel the need to have a Dad or Mom because they don't have one and they need to know that someone did chose to be with them and that it wasn't because of them the bio isn't involved. But simply calling me Mom out of the blue doesn't necessarily mean my six year old step son has this profound understanding of all I do for him. Children have a habit of taking it for granted as they should because the daily tasks of raising a family are simply what you should be doing. Some things are just really hard to comprehend at that age and the roles each parent fills needed to be tested.

[deleted account]

My friend has a mixed family. Coming into their relationship they both had 1 daughter each and now have a son together. My friends partners daughter calls my friend mum because she wanted to she was never forced and my friend actually feels rather uncomfortable with it but it's what the child has chosen for the time being. My friends daughter on the other hand refers to her father as "daddy Adam" and her step father as "daddy joel". Her father isn't happy that my friends partner gets a daddy role but it was the choice of the daughter to do this. It would be so hard to try and explain to a 3/4 yr old that just because your sibling and step sister call him daddy doesn't mean you can.
It would sting but it's ulimately up to the child, Not us.

Sara - posted on 05/18/2011

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I agree, Erin. The title isn't necessary to show respect or love. My step son and I are happy and know how each other feels because we have open communication. I'm not really supportive of "replacement" parents but I have noticed certain situations, such as my step-son's friend, where it seems to have impacted this child's self esteem that his Dad isn't involved. He told me there isn't a difference between Mom and Step mom when I corrected him one day on my role in my step son's life. With his young age, I assume that is what has been told to him in regards to his step dad and why that is the "Dad" he has in his life. Sometimes it seems that kids need to know that there isn't anything wrong with them, that one "Dad" didn't want to be involved and that is based on his own problems, but one "Dad" does choose and enjoy to be with you and there is nothing less in that relationship. I'm not entirely certain the term is completely necessary in that situation but I can understand why it has been used as a cushion to such a hard situation for a young mind to understand. Simply using the terms to show respect or appreciation for the work done just doesn't seem necessary to me and it seems rather selfish. I'm a stay at home wife and step-mom. I do a lot of the work of a typical "mom" but that doesn't make me his mom. My step-son has actually been forced to call his Step-Dad "Dad" and it has shown a lot of confusion and frustration in my step-son's life. When he was too little to comprehend it didn't make sense why he had "two Dads" and it didn't make him feel better about an already difficult situation.

Constance - posted on 05/17/2011

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If the decision was my children's choice and not their father's or stepmom's choice. I would be ok with it because that means she really loves them and tey love and trust her. I would be a little upseting at first but I know my children would never give the title of "mom" to just ayone. She would really have a good soul for my children to say that.

Besides if I were to throw a ft then I would be going against everythingthey are fimiliar with My kids have so many friends that come over and almost all of them call me mom. I have never told to them to call me mom but they just do. All their moms know and they are fine with it because they know I am not trying to take their place. Even when I was growing up we all called our friend's moms" mom"

Charlie - posted on 05/17/2011

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See I can't call Jamie my husband either as much as he is all that a husband is we arent married yet not that I care what others do it's just my way of looking at it , like someone mentioned earlier about the couple that encourage the child to call step mum "mum " thats cool if thats how they like it just not something I would be comfortable and to be honest if Jamie did meet someone else I would love for her to be a kind a loving mother type figure to my children just not "mum".

Isobel - posted on 05/17/2011

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I think of it the same way that I generally call Rupert my husband. He's not...in fact, my ex still legally holds that title.

But...Rupert lives with me, he helps me raise my children, he is my lover and my best friend...I suppose I could say all of those things to describe him, but when I'm talking to other people it's just easier to say "husband".

I think I would be happy if my ex found a woman that was decent enough and treated my kids well enough for them to want to call her mom.

Charlie - posted on 05/17/2011

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I would feel a little hurt because I do believe that is a special title for one person and one person only however if that is how they felt and what they wanted that then it is up to them , I still struggle to call my mothers husband my step dad let alone Dad because as much as he has been a father figure in most of my life and has always been good to us as much as any father he isnt my Dad , I respect my Dad too much to share that title around , I have one Dad and one Dad only , I respect my mothers husband and am greatful to have him in our life but he is not and never will be Dad .



I would also be uncomfortable with a step child calling me mum for the same reasons unless their BM was not involved and I was their only experience of a mother .

Christina - posted on 05/17/2011

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I'm in all three situations. My oldest son sees his dad and his dad and step-mom are very active in his life. My son calls his stepmom Amy, or mom. It doesn't bother me because he loves her and she is a good mom to him. She has earned that title. He knows who gave birth to him, but he also knows that he has four parents who love him to death. I tell him he is the luckiest boy in the world to have two moms and two dads who love him.
My kids call my husband Dad. He is their stepdad. My oldest son sometimes calls him dad, and sometimes calls him Shawn (like he does with his stepmom.) The younger three just call him dad because after my divorce their father has been absent from their lives.
My stepson, who is 4 and the youngest of our five kids, calls me Mommy Chris. His mom hates it, but she can suck it up. We have him 50/50 and I'm not going to make my stepson call me by my first name only when there are four other children calling me mommy. It makes him feel out of place.

Jessica - posted on 05/17/2011

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I have a 8 year old step-son and a 13 year-old step-daughter who call me Mum. Neither of them have had their bio-mums in their lives and they were the ones that referred to me as their Mum. My partner and I were seeing each other while the kids were at school for 3 months before I moved in with them. I went to my partner's place for dinner one night and the two children answered the door and yelled back to their Dad in the kitchen that it was Mum. They have called me Mum ever since. Neither my partner or I have a problem with this as both children have never been able to meet their bio-mums and their bio-mums have never contacted them or taken any step to get to know the children.

[deleted account]

I have spoken to my daughter as much as i can about this. I have been talking about how she will always have 1 mummy and 1 daddy. If i were to meet someone i wouldn't be comfortable with the kids calling him daddy just as i wouldn't want or feel comfortable with another womans kids calling me mum.
My children at the moment don't ask to see their father nor do they say they love him when they do see him or talk to him. He has hurt them so i know when the time comes it's going to be very hard for me to explain to them that they already have a dad. I guess thats something that i can't predict and will have to take it as it comes.

Amie - posted on 05/17/2011

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Obviously there are exceptions to my way of thinking as well. That is what works for us and will continue to work for us. I do not view the title as mom or dad as being based solely on who gave up the sperm and egg. It is so much more complicated than that.

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