Step Parent Double Standard

Lacye - posted on 02/08/2012 ( 185 moms have responded )

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I was looking at one of the posts I had commented on and I saw the suggested post at the corner of my screen about step mothers being called "Mom". I clicked on it and realized it was from one of the single mom groups. I got to reading it and was pretty insulted about what was said. The OP said she found it simple unacceptable for a child to call any other woman mom that wasn't the woman that gave birth to them unless the birth mother wasn't in the picture. Ok. what ever. I read a little farther down at the comments and saw where another person said it was completely wrong for children to call stepmothers "Mom" but was ok for children to call stepfathers "Dad".



So basically the reason why I'm kinda iffed about the whole thing is this, I'm a stepmother. If I love my stepdaughter, take care of her when she is here for a visit, do everything I can for her, start up a college fund for her (which I've already done) and she decides to call me "Mom", it's wrong. But if her mother got married, it's ok to call her new husband "Dad" simply because he has a penis and I don't. How f-ing messed up is this?



What do you think? Is it acceptable as long as it's the child's choice to call the stepmother Mom? Or is it an abomination and all stepmothers should go to hell (just kidding here :D)?

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Johnny - posted on 02/08/2012

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I think it is a decision that should be left up to the child. And that is regardless of the gender of the step-parent. I find that an odd double-standard.

[deleted account]

Well, I'm of two minds about it. I am extremely fond of my son's stepmother. She has been around since he was a baby (which explains the divorce) but she has never ever been anything but kind and gracious towards me and I to her. I never held her responsible for my ex-s behavior/choices. That being said, I would feel utterly crushed if he called her MOm and he has on occasion. Then logic takes over and I realize that the most important thing is that she loves him as much as if she'd birthed him and he loves her. NOthing can take away from the special relationship he and I have, least of all him calling her by a loving name.



I know that my ex was disturbed on the few occasions that my son caled my 2nd husband dad. That stopped when the man's true colors showed and we left him.



I have the same opinion on grandparents. My son refers to his stepmother's parents AND stepparents as Grandma/Grandpa and I'm totally ok with that as is my mother. All of my grandparents are dead and so are the ladies/gentlemen who I loved like grandparents. I would do anything to hear their voices again. How can love like that be wrong? What difference does it make what you call them? I tell him all the time how lucky he is that he has all these grandparents and stepmother and stepbrother too. The real tragedy is when you are so wrapped up in titles that you find out you're really isolated from everyone and are alone.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/14/2012

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Maree Breastfeeding is completely different from what a step child wants to call their step parent. But fine we'll do your analogy- there are more long term benefits to allowing a child to feel comfortable with their step parent and calling the parent mom or dad than prohibiting it. There are no benefits to prohibiting a child from being comfortable and there are many long term side affects for children being made to feel guilty for their choices.

Crystal - posted on 08/17/2012

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Those mothers are just not comfortable with themselves as human beings. I find that it's just a word. I asked my 8 year old daughter if she would call her step-mom, mom because her dad and her step-mom had a baby. The baby is almost one now and starting to speak. I just didn't want the baby to hear my daughter calling her step-mom by her name and not mom, then the baby would call her by her name not by mom. Needless to say it does not bother me at all. I am blessed that my daughter loves her step-mom. I am a step-mom also and my step-daughter calls me mom but sometimes she'll say Crystal. I let her choose what she wants to call me but I know her mom hates it. I had step-parents and my step-dad has been in my life since I was 5 and still is. He is my other dad. I love both my dads. Who cares about a name, would you not rather your child get along with the step-parent and have a relationship with them, so that when they do visit they really want to go. I think there is just to much hate out their and we must show our children that we are adults and we do not.

Jodi - posted on 02/11/2012

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I haven't read all the responses, but I figure, given I am on both ends of this situation, I know something about it :P



Firstly, I believe it is the child's choice. I don't believe they should be pressured into calling a step-parent a particular thing, I think it should be their choice as to whatever they feel comfortable with.



Consider a child who is with their step parent for the majority of the time, and visits their biological parent one or 2 nights every other weekend. That child is probably going to feel very comfortable with their step-parent and possibly view them very much as a *parent*.



The fact is, kids know who their biological parents are if they are active in their lives. Does it really, therefore, matter what they call their step-parents? Personally, I think we should all get off our high horses and let the kids go with what feels comfortable for them, and that includes (1) not freaking out if the child calls their step parent *mum* or *dad* and (2) not pressuring them to call our new husbands or wives or whatever *mum* or *dad*. I think as parents, we should leave it alone.



In our family, I am step mother to two children. They have never lived the majority of time with us. Every other weekend was the norm when they were younger, and it has been more flexible and less scheduled as they have gotten older. They have always just called me Jodi. That's fine. Both of them call their step-fathers *dad* (they have different mothers, both of whom have since remarried). They know who their real dad is, but their step-fathers have done a LOT for these children, and they have absolutely earned the title too. Did it hurt my husband? Yes, initially it did a bit. Until he looked at it from a more objective perspective and realised that it wasn't designed to hurt him, it was about what the children felt. Now it is no big deal.



On the other hand, my son, who these days barely sees his father, does NOT call my husband dad because he has been specifically instructed by his father not to. He has been known to slip up, and you can see him panic and correct himself. It isn't fair that he should feel such guilt for calling my husband dad. I mean, my husband does a lot of dad things for him, and he lives with us full time, so it is understandable that sometimes this might be expressed, but no, his biological father had to put the guilts on him. Really not at all fair.



If his bio dad had a wife or partner that he'd been with for a long period since my son was young, I probably would have been a little upset if he'd called her mum. But if he was calling her that because he loved her and cared about her, I'd get over it.



Just as a side note, I call my in-laws mum and dad. Should my parents feel upset that I call them that? Or is that okay because they are part of my family now?

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Yawana - posted on 12/05/2012

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Yea that makes sense Lacye. IMO that Bio mom is selfish to make her daughter call a bunch of different men dad. And she's withholding custody visits to your hubby? I can feel you there. My fiance's ex is doing the same thing. He is about to take her to court and get her for contempt.

Lacye - posted on 12/04/2012

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Actually Yawana, it wasn't your post. I wrote this a while back when I had my other account. I reread what I had written to begin with and I'm going to explain the situation a little further:



I do actually have children (1 daughter and a son on the way). My husband and I have been married for almost two years. The only time we get to visit with my SD is when her mother allows us (because there is no custody agreement yet but that will be changing soon). Now when I first wrote the original post, BM was in a relationship with this guy and she was telling her daughter to call him "daddy", even though SD has a daddy who loves her very much but is not allowed to see her often because of the dictation of her mother. The BM and her boyfriend had only been together for a few months. Since then, she has broken up with this boyfriend and is now in a new relationship and is doing the same thing again. She is telling SD to call the new boyfriend "daddy". Would I want SD to call me "mom", only if she wants to. Would I mind if something happened between my husband and myself for her to call another woman "mom", yes it would bother me at first but as long as the other woman loved my daughter, I would deal with it.



The question wasn't really why can't SD call me "mom" but can call the boyfriend "dad". The question is, if both bio parents are involved (or in this case, want to be involved), then why is it still ok for the stepfather to be called "dad" but it's not ok for the stepmother to be called "mom". In my opinion, it's not. If one is fine, then the other should be as well. I'm not talking about cases where one parent isn't involved. I'm talking about if BOTH parents are involved.



I hope I explained that better.

Mellisa - posted on 12/04/2012

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Yes it is a big double standard!!! I have two boys both same age and everything. When they was young my husbands son would come and visit and everything was daddy this daddy that and my son picked up on it fast. Since his bio dad was not around. my husband and I both talked about and said it was ok for him to do that. However as soon as my step son mother found out she was pissed, and started to have their son call her husband daddy, even thou we was around and had him two weeks every month. That being said we went to court two years ago and got joint custody but we have physical custody and now he lives here with us. When we found out the first thing out of her mouth was I was NEVER aloud to do anything for him, I was NEVER aloud to be a mother towards him and he was NEVER allowed to call me mom EVER and I could NEVER think of my self as a mother towards him. To this day if my son calls me mom to him or they get into a fight (and he is only 7) he will tell him that we aren't nothing but step brothers and Im never gonna be his mom. It has even went as far as him telling me that she tells him she is better then me.

Yawana - posted on 12/04/2012

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um, you probably saw what I said on that post, and which case it may have been what I said, you totally misinterpreted what I said. What I said was, my daughter calls my fiance Daddy, because her dad is not involved in her life whatsoever. So I think it's fine for her to call him Daddy. Now, if the shoe was on the other foot, and I had nothing to do with my children, and her dad and his girl were raising her, then my daughter would probably call her mom, too. I have a girlfriend who has three stepchildren who call her mommy, but that's just because their bio mom is completely out of the picture. I guess it comes down to letting the child decide, and who spends the most time with the child.



Now, in your case, in my opinion, it is wrong for your step daughter to call you mom for the simple fact that, as you yourself said, she 'visits' you. So I'm guessing she spends the majority of her time with her bio mom and her mom is involved. I would never let my stepdaughters call me mom, because their mom is involved.



I have a question for you now: Do you have any bio children of your own, and how would you feel if they called another woman mommy?

Irene - posted on 12/02/2012

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Ok...I am a bio-mom, step-mom, and a stepchild. I firmly believe it should be 100% the child's choice. My bonus kids call me mom now. At first I was Ms. Irene, then just Irene, then they weren't happy with that, asked to call me mom but their bio-mom didn't want them to call me that so out of respect I said no and we made up the nickname MiMi. I thought that was it and I would just be MiMi and I thought the kids were ok with that but then they asked again if they could call me Mommy....I said no you only have 1 mommy so they asked if they could keep calling bio-mom mommy and could they call me just Mom. My bio-kids call their father daddy and my dh dad so finally I said yes because I realized it was important to them to call me Mom and honestly i started to worry it might hurt them or make them think i didnt feel the same about them as i do my bio kids if i kept saying no to them calling me mom because obviously they love and respect me and they know that i love them very much as well. My bio kids also know that when their father enters a new marriage as long as she treats them well that if they want to call her mom that I'm ok with it but its their choice. Now my dh and I have different visitation than most, we have my bonus kids week on week off and I have been around them since they were almost 3 and almost 6. I don't know if that really matters or if what matters more is that I have never treated my bonus kids any different than I treat my bio kids. When people ask how many kids I have I have always answered 5. Anyway...if they want to call the stepparent by mom or dad it should be allowed, obviously they have a loving close relationship with their stepparent. Now that being said...I do not feel a child should ever be FORCED into calling a stepparent by Mom or Dad, if they do it it should be their choice.

Brittani - posted on 11/28/2012

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As a "step" mom I think that it is ridiculous that we are put all into one category. My fiance and I had gotten pregnant and I miscarried. We split up after that. One month later my fiance got pregnant with his best friend because of a one night stand. He never made any commitments to her, only to his child and he has been there every step of the way. We got back together when she was about 5 months pregnant. During her pregnancy I was called every name in the book. Her best friend fed her a bunch of lies, telling her i was going to steal her baby away or force him to choose me or his daughter and caused so much unnecessary drama. Their daughter is now two and I have been there the whole time. Her best friend ended up in the same situation with her ex and they got back together and she told him to choose her or his new baby with another woman. Obviously when she made her lies about me she was thinking about what she would do in the situation. My fiance's daughter's mother prefers partying over parenting and teaches their daughter awful things like saying "what's up nigga" But I'M the problem in the equation??? I know that there are some BAD step parents out there but there are also BAD bio parents too and it would be nice if people would look at each situation and judge accordingly. The bio mom and I have a finally have a civil relationship and she finally understands, after two hellish years, that I'm just there to love the child like i would my own and she respects that because she knows her daughter loves me too. She respects if i need to discipline and I am even on the list to take her doctors appointments and an emergency contact. If we could make it work for the child then anyone can. People get so wrapped up in their own jealousy of the situation that they don't see what makes the kid happy. Put your child's feelings first, not your own. If the step parent is a good person and loves your child then let them do it. No, I should not be called mom and I have not taught her to do that but I grew up with my step father and I call him dad. I made that choice and still to this day call him dad. He loved me and took care of me when he didn't have to and I will always hold him in the highest regard. And regardless what my soon to be husband's daughter calls me, I hope she understands my love for her and respects me like i do my "step" father. I believe it takes a lot to love someone else's child like your own and there are many struggles along the way but it is something that is beautiful and rewarding and should be respected.

Julia - posted on 11/21/2012

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Sorry but I think it is out of bounds for a step parent to want to be called mom (or dad). I had a step mother who would ask me to call her mom and it made me uncomfortable. Even suggesting to you should be to a child is wrong. For several reasons.



1) Often (not always) the step mother is a younger woman who doesn't yet have her own kids. If you are a step parent and want to be called mom by your step kids wait until you have your own kids then image them calling some other woman (who you probably don't like very much if we are being honest) mom. If you are OK with your own kids calling a woman you don't really like mom then by all means send your kids over to your husbands exs house with your step kids and then let them know it is ok to call her mom since she is their siblings mom. Does that sound ridiculious? It shoud. So should you wanting your step kids to call you mom. I know you are really excited to play house with your new step kids, but they are borrowed property, and frankly they were borrowed under deress. Find a term of endearment that is approriate and use that. What about aunt or a special term that is all your own.



For added enphisis my life long best friend is my sons god mother. She even watched him everyday for a while when I went back to work. She still takes him on special trips and since she doesn't have kids of her own yet she has contributed to his college fund as an act of good will (not by court order as my son's actual step mom and dad do). She has never asked my son to call her mom or even godmom. but she is auntie even though she isn't blood.



2) I agree that she step dad shouldn't be called dad either. But I can see the logic. The step dad im many families lives with the kids on more of a full time basis vs one night a week and everyother weekend. Secondly I'm sorry to say the majority of single moms I know would have stayed and it was the husband who really ended the marriage, either litterally by filing for divorce or by his actions (usually refusing to end an affair). I realize this in not always the case. However, if the mother was willing to work things out or forgive as long as bad behavior stopped then she is coming from a differnt place then dad who choose to break up the family so he spouse takes on a differnt role. Again I realize this is not always the case, but in my personal expereince it probably is at least 75% of the situations. If step mom was the other woman during the first wives marriage and then thinks she should be allowed to be called mom, well not only is she out of bounds I think mom should get a morality clause written into the divorcee decree and frankly step mom should not be allowed at any major mile stone events (births, weddings, birthdays) Sorry but in is wrong to get involved with a married man no matter what kind of a witch he tells you his wife is a woman of character will tell a man she doesn't get invloved with married men.

Melissa - posted on 11/21/2012

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You are right that is ridiculous! I am step-mom to 2 now grown girls. I did EVERYTHING and more than most "moms" do for their girls and certainly ALOT more than their birth "mom" did. I also have 4 of my/our own kids. Unconditional love and sacrifice make you a Mom. My marriage vows made me a Mom to two little girls. I worked very hard for that title and nobody can take that away.

Evelyn - posted on 11/16/2012

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I do not think this is a gender issue. There are a lot of people out there that have kids together and have remarried. The situation is sticky at best in a lot of cases. Its hard enough on all as it is. The kids do not need the confusion if they are young, and the parents are hurt by the idea or knowledge that the kids are calling the step parent "mom" or "dad". I would not want my kids calling their step mom's "Mom" because I am their mom, I gave birth to them, I helped their dad raise them until we parted ways, and I am still there. They can call her by her first name or a nickname. I feel as long as the parents are in the picture and active in their children's lives then the mom and dad names apply to them only. IF a parent is not in the picture due to their own choices or death; then maybe it might be alright to let them call a step parent mom or dad.

Ariana - posted on 11/14/2012

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If you have an opinion that all step-moms shouldn't get called mom then it should also go to all step-dads shouldn't be called Dad, that is definitely a double standard.



On that note I think it's ok for people to have the opinon that others shouldn't be called Mom/Dad other than themselves.



I know we're supposed to be very politically correct but I wonder how most Moms or Dads would feel if they had THEIR child calling another person Mom or Dad. As a step-mom/dad from their perspective they're saying 'oh it's ok, I love this child jusst as much as their mom/dadI just don't see why this is a big deal' but if it was their child calling someone else mom/dad they might sing a different tune. Everyone wants to see things depending on their perspective of the situation.



I personally would feel crushed if my child was calling someone else mom and would be very upset. Is that terrible? Does that make me a terrible person that I wouldn't want my child calling someone else Mom? Why is that such an awful wicked thing for a mother/father to think? It's perfectly natural for someone to want THEIR child to call them the proper name and not someone else.



That's just my opinion though.

Ashley - posted on 11/05/2012

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i am a stepmom, and i love my stepdaughter like i love my own kids, and would do anything in the world for her. she does not call me mom, she calls me by my name. if she were to ever call me mom, i dont think i would be able to tell her not to, but i would never make her. that would be her decision. but my situation is a little differant. her mommy just came back in her life recently, which im glad she did because she needs her mom, but i just hope she stays in her life and doesnt screw up again. anyways, my stepdaughter has a mom, calls her grandma mom, and has me, the stepmom. i think she is already confused, and would be even more confusing to call 3 differant women mommy. the decision would be all hers, and i would never put it in her head, or make her call me mommy, because that is wrong and disrespectful to her and her mom. i think that if a step parent treats them like there own, loves them like there own, and takes on the role a biological parent would do, then the child has every right to call them mom or dad if that is what they choose to do. i do not believe in forcing them to. they should call them by what makes the child feel most comfortable with. and no, it is not ok to say they can with one step parent and not the other, unless that is how the child feels. but the sex of the step parent should not matter.

Melanie - posted on 10/26/2012

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Neither is ok. There biological dad is there biological dad, same as mom. It is great that you are a great step mother to her although me as a bio mom would be pissed. I am a great mom and frankly they do not need another mom but if he decided to re-marry that other person would simply be there name, nothing else. If I got re-married the same would go for the guy I marry.

JPatrick - posted on 10/24/2012

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"if it bothers you that much then step up as a parent, take ownership, responsibility & put your child before yourself & make everything you do about them instead of yourself"



I just started a new thread on this very issue.. I understand everyone's situation and tolerance is different. In the case of my boyfriend, he and BM were not in a relationship and had broken up by the time the pregnancy was discovered. The BM immediately got engaged and now she and her family refer to her fiance as 'daddy T' in front of the baby. My BF has tried to be involved and is fighting in court for more time, but BF worries that BM will make the decision and there's nothing he can do about it. Imagine being shut out and marginalized because you are not the parent with the uterus and therefore do not get to be their primary caretaker and some other guy immediately steps into your role (all while BM enjoys your support checks)...



I think it is more than a question of 'ego' b/c the child is being taught that 'daddy T' is more special b/c he lives with mommy, and 'other daddy' just visits on occasion. Plus 'mommy' is the more important parent cuz she only has 1 mommy... BF will be pushed aside and his relationship w/his daughter will suffer. I don't think it's right.

Julia - posted on 09/14/2012

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My husband is the CP & my stepson is with us 70% of the time & his mother 30% of the time. In the 4+ years that my husband have been together she has lived in 7 different residences, one of which she was evicted for not paying her rent for the 6 months she lived there, 2 she basically squatted at & has had to live in our house because of an abusive relationship. She also let my stepson's medical insurance lapse & when he was scheduled for a ENT appointment to see about if he needed tubes in his ears she told my husband that the dr cancelled the appointment. He was furious because my stepson needed to be seen so he called the dr 's office & found out that the mother had cancelled not them. She had also been fired from a 10 yr CNA position because of her abusive boyfriend showing up & calling looking for her & her not showing up for work because of him. She had gone 2 yrs without taking my stepson to routine dr appoinments & more recently said he was totally fine but when we took him to the dr it turns out he has a medical condition that could have gotten way worse had it not been diagnosed. These are just a few examples of things that have occurred & if you are a responsible parent you would never subject your child to these situations....ever. Be as offended as you want about our situation but my stepson is safer & better off with his father & myself. It just shows the ignorance of those who are able to judge how others see fit to conduct their home life when you are completely unaware of the true picture.

Mischa - posted on 09/11/2012

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As a mom myself, it is a HUGE boundary. The implication here is that; is the mom a good mom? I'm very involved with my child and so I would not only be pissed that my role is encroached upon, but not even the decency for the step mom is to inform me that my child refers to her as 'mom', and if I minded. I am the custodial parent (CP) here, as there are many others. The visitation percentage average for dad's is at least 30%. That means- 70% for the CP. So, for the little time that is spent- is not compared to the days and hours that the CP has- and the assumption here is that the mom has not saved a college fund herself??? Also, Stepmom, how is your relationship with the mom? If it is not positive and tension- why bring upon unecessary drama upon yourself? At your doing? My relationship is sacred with my child, and I simply find it grossly offensive when it is encroached upon. People need to learn approriate behavior and boundaries.

Julia - posted on 09/11/2012

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I have been with my husband since his son was 6 months old. We have his son 97% of the time so I have always been the one to wake up with him in the middle of the night, take care of I'm when he's sick, make sure he's fed, bathed, dressed in clean well fitting clothes & pretty much do everything that a BM does for their child. With absolutely no urging of myself or husband my step son decided on his own to call me mommy & his BM hates every bit of it & continues to correct him & get upset with him about it to this day (he's now 5). Our belief is that I am the constant in his life whom he trusts, relies on & legitimately see's me as mommy & taking that away is hurtful. If you play the role of mommy to a higher level then the BM & you accept your SK fully into your life as your own then you should be honored to have that title. I know I am. As the BM if it bothers you that much then step up as a parent, take ownership, responsibility & put your child before yourself & make everything you do about them instead of yourself.

Michele - posted on 08/15/2012

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I think if the child wants to call you mom & the mother is okay with it there should be no problem. My son calls my husband dad & has been doing so since he learned how to talk, my ex has never brought it up so I assume he doesn't have a problem with it, but had he brought up concern I would talk to him about it, like i know when ever he decides to get married I don't want my son calling another woman mom, BUT if she was a good step-parent like what you seem to be i would have no problem with my son calling said other woman " momma( with her fist initial added at the end)" or something like that if he felt comfortable enough. Not sure if that helps anyone out, but either way that's how I see things

Christina - posted on 08/15/2012

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I think that it would be okay for my children not (biological) to call me mom when my bf & I are married. We have been together for 4 yrs & I have been there since they were 1yr & the other child 1mo. I am just having trouble figuring out where involved may or may not be too involved.

Chris - posted on 08/13/2012

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Oh my goodness. It's not uncommon at all for some people to have double standards. It happens all the time actually. Especially in step situations. It's like a playground for adults who are totally unconscious about who they are and how blatant their double standards actually are. And it goes far beyond what do we call a step
Sometimes, over the last 23 years- I have caught myself thinking " oh crap, I made the biggest stink over something and here I am doing something similar....
It takes a lot of consciousness to be in a step family. It's like forced growth daily.

Bernie - posted on 08/13/2012

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Im both StepMom and Mom.
If my sd wants to call me mom then thats fine, she can. She calls her moms bf Dad.

I don't have an issue with it, however I do have an issue when Mom wants the child in question to call her boyfriend Dad (even when bio dad is in the picture).

My husband has told his child he doesn't mind them calling the other guy dad as he (other guy) fills in for him at her moms, as long as he isn't called that in front of him.

Kalli - posted on 08/11/2012

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I think it depends on the child's relationship with the step-parent. My daughter calls my husband Dad and she calls her step-mom by her first name. Has she ever called her mom before? Yes! Of course she has and it doesn't bother me I figure if she has a mother, daughter relationship with her step-mom that is her choice to call her mom. My ex-husband hates the fact that my daughter calls my husband dad. But here are the facts, my husband drives my daughter to school, takes her to lunch, takes her shooting, horseback riding, fishing, camping, shopping etc. He takes her everywhere with him - he is an officer and has a crazy schedule but when he works graveyards he calls every night before she goes to bed to tell her good night and that he loves her. My ex-husband works out of town and literally sees my daughter every other month for about 1-2 days. He never calls to talk to her, never tries to skype with her, never calls if he's in town and it's not his weekend. He never goes to her dance recitals, school performances, soccer games, parent teacher conferences etc. I have given both him & his wife schedules as soon as I get them and make them aware of everything she is involved in. She doesn't feel like she can count on her bio-dad so she calls her step-dad, dad. It's not confusing to her because she knows what the word means & knows that he obviously loves her. Her step-mom and her bio-dad fight a lot and it makes my daughter very uncomfortable. My ex-husband and his wife have a child together and my daughter doesn't even want to go to their house anymore even though she misses her sister because of how uncomfortable the situation is. Her step-mom doesn't treat her like she's one of her own she treats her like she is a burden and has basically told her that, that's the only reason why she doesn't call her mom because she doesn't look at her as a motherly figure. I think it all depends on how much the step-parent is involved in the child's life not what gender they are.

Heather - posted on 08/10/2012

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I don't have any step parents or step kids, I do have 2 step grandparents and I chose to call both of them grandma and grandpa after some time. On this post I think it should be left up to the kids maybe they feel comfetable calling them mom or dad maybe they thinks its best to call them by their first name. I do have 2 younger cousins that my parents got custody of when they were 9 and 6 then my parents adopted them when they were 10 and 7, they call my parents mom and dad and the bio parents when they are spoke about by name. They came from a bad situation,but my parents never presured them to call them mom and dad they chose to do that on their own. I think it is a form of respect, and if you respect your step parent them call them mom and dad or mom name and dad name.

Amber - posted on 08/09/2012

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Lacye, I'm a stepmother and a bio mother and my children asked to call my new husband dad and we both said no. We told them that we could come up with a different name for my husband but that dad should be saved for their dad no matter what. I feel like mom should be saved for mom. My children were younger when my ex and I divorced and their step mom told them to call her mom and that she was their new mommy and it did serious damage to my children. Both my kids thought I was going to die and my son had to go through counseling.. That being said I think all instances are different. I think their is a balance and I know the struggles of being a step mom. I think that either way is not ok personally but all situations are different. :)

Lacye - posted on 08/09/2012

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This is actually my post from an account I thought I had deleted so I'm going to answer something on here.

Mel: I never actually said what my situation was. I used the fact that I am a stepmother as a hypothetical question. There is no stepfather in my SD's life. As a matter of fact, BM can't keep a steady, healthy relationship. In all truth, I don't hardly know my SD because the BM will not allow my husband to see her. My point to this whole thing was this, Why is it ok to people for a stepfather to be called "Dad" but it is wrong to call a stepmother "Mom". Personally, I don't care what my SD calls me as long as she is not being disrespectful (ex: bitch, slut, whore, home wrecker or whatever). When hubby and I finally do get to see her, she will be treated no differently from my daughter or my unborn child. I wouldn't care if she called me stepmom. It's a mouth full but it will be her choice.

Christine - posted on 08/08/2012

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I love your post!!! I am a also a step mom. I agree with you. For some reason people hate step moms. Being a step mom is harder then being a mom.

AMY - posted on 08/03/2012

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I don't think I would like my child calling another woman "Mom", but I don't have any bio-children, so it's hard for me to say. I am a step-mother and at first did not want my step-daughter to call me mom, but then I saw that the bio-mom was such a loser, it didn't bother me for her to call me mom. I wanted her to have a good mom and that mom was me.
7 year later, here we are and the bio-mom is giving her to me to adopt, so I get to be the "Mom" afterall :-) So, I am so glad I have been the "Mom" this whole time.

Mel - posted on 07/26/2012

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I think each situation is different. Sometimes its appropriate and sometimes it isn't. Does she have an active mother? Does she have someone else she already calls mom? It goes the same for the father situation. Does she have a person who is the primary role of father? like her father?
I believe in ALMOST all circumstances the relationship between a child and biological parent should be held at one of the highest levels of sanctity. This includes the endearing terms of mother and father. These terms are not just simple labels. They have profound meanings in our society. Its not like grandfather or grandmother. We all are taught we have one mother and one father. I believe the only person who should be called mom is her mom. Are you that person? You may be like her mom but are you her mom? You can do things like a mom but this doesn't make you her mom. Adoptive parents can be mothers and fathers. Its not biological. Although the biological parents are always the first in line, for this term of endearment. It is under necessary situations, that someone else becomes these important people in our lives. What is wrong with being called "stepmom"? If this is who you are? As I read through these post, I see so many stepmothers proclaiming they are stepmoms and going on and on about what they do, but they don't want to be called stepmom. They want to be called something they are not. I think stepmom is a very admirable term. It is a woman who is not your mother, but made a choice to take on a very difficult role. You think "Mom" is better. Both terms can be said by the child with distaste or with love. If you are a loving stepmom, wear the label proudly. "Stepmom" Perhaps you'll start a trend for stepmoms and stop tons of disputes. All in all, the term mom is for the "mom". You will know if that is who you truly are. The same goes for dads and stepdads.

From your words, it sounds like she has a mom. I would lovingly clarify. It will be to her benefit. After all, she has so many things to figure out. Its so confusing for a child. Let her know stepmom, is an endearing term and this is what you are. If she wishes to call you something other then your name, "Stepmom" would be appropriate or a nickname.

Also from your words, it sounds like stepdad lives with custodial mom. I think often times people think custodial arrangements change parenting. I do not like this at all. Mom should clarify as well.
PS
Non Custodial parents are still the parents. It isnt where the child lives that determines this.

**Do not misread what I have read. I did my best to distinguish that sometimes roles change due to circumestances**

Jessica - posted on 07/26/2012

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I think the decision shoe definitely be left up to the child, what ever she or he feels comfortable with...After all its all about the child, others issues between the adults should not include the child.

Nicole - posted on 07/21/2012

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I think it depends on the situation. My stepdaughter lives WITH us and her mom would still freak out if she called me mom even though I am more of a mom than she is. I think stepparents should atleast have a special name and not just their first name. Any ol stranger calls them by their first name, that is not very special or good for bonding. Atleast use something that will make the child feel like they have something special that not everyone else has.

Dianne - posted on 07/19/2012

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My step daughter who is turning 13 in December has been calling me Mummy/ mum since she was 11mths old made her own choice what she called me. It happened one day when her mother and I were in the same room and my now husband told her to go to mummy and she came to me he thene told her to go to mum and she went to her bio mum. So she made the choice. I love her as much as I love my 3 Bio children. My step daughters mum speaks to my step daughter about me as mummy and my step daughter speaks about me to her friends as my mum and dad in our home town

Katrina - posted on 07/18/2012

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I see both sides of the fence here.. my ex is a good dad.. and personally i cant stand the new step mother i would not want them calling her mom.. however.. as a step mother of twins who love me and have no mother in their life.. they calls me mom and i explained to them that i understood they have a mother and i dont want to take her place... which they replied to me.. YOU are the one who is here.. who calls me and takes care of me and does the things a mom does.. to me.. you are my mom.. that made me feel good.. so i sat back and took my feelings for the step mother out of the equation (she was the reason my marriage ended).. when i did that.. i realized that my kids are teens.. if she actually makes them feel comfortable enough to call her mom.. then as their mother.. i am all for that. Wont ever be ok with her.. but for my kids.. my own feelings have no place in it!

Blossom - posted on 07/12/2012

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Hi I agree with you. There should not be a double standard between stepmom and stepdad. That is not only unfair to the stepparent but sends a poor messgae to the child about the equality and importance of both parents. Each parent/stepparent and people in general should be treated and respected by their individual merit and relationship with the child. Gender biasedness in names and a title is petty.

Christina - posted on 05/25/2012

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I feel it is not o.k. for a step parent to be called mom or dad unless the bio parents are not in the picture. In my situation, my daughter is with me half the time and her father just remarried someone who lives here 2/3 time and goes back to Utah the other 1/3 to visit her bio children. I feel if she chooses to leave her own children, then she has no right asking or making my daughter call her mom or mommy sally. This girl has only been in her life since Feb. and she doesn't even know her! I also think it is unacceptable for my ex to make his new wife's children call him dad when they come to visit. My daughter will be 7 and should not be forced to do this or be told that it is disrespectful.

Medic - posted on 05/06/2012

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I think this topic brings out a lot of selfishness and jealousy. I do think that kids should be allowed to choose what they call their step parents. My step mom has been around since I was 2 and I call her by a nickname...sometimes I call her mom. When I was a kid it was more often. When I talk about my dad and her I call them my parents or my mom and dad. My mom remarried when I was 13 and I call my step dad by his first name but I never lived with them. When I talk about them its my mother and stepdad. I never really asked what my parents felt about who I called what I just did it.

That being said I have friends whom I have grown up with that call my dad and step mom, mom and dad and I the same with their parents.

[deleted account]

If a step parent is raising a child and the child chooses to call them mom or dad, so what! My kids don't call their step mother mom but I have always made it clear that its their choice if they want to. Just because someone is a "step" parent, most of the time, it doesn't make them any less of a parent.

Valerie - posted on 05/03/2012

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My 2 cents worth is that a step-parent and a biological parent can both be mom or dad... and sometimes ONLY 1 is mentally and physically a mom or dad.. but if all parties are actively participating in parenting the child, then there's nothing wrong with a bio mom and a step mom being called mom... In fact, I think that child is down right lucky that they have more parents to love them!! This is coming from a single mom, in which I have had to be the mother and the father more or less.. my son's dad ditched out when he was 6 months old and never looked back, and my twins dad is a loser drug addict in and out of jail/prison since we divorced years ago... I did re-marry- and that man chose NOT to be an active step-parent (he had no children of his own either), and that is the primary reason our marriage did not work out.. he didn't want to be step-dad.. or me to be mom AND dad.. wanted me to choose between my kids or him.. so now I am getting divorced! Anyways.. just how I feel.... the girls do call their bio dad "dad" as he was in their life (in and out is a better way to put it)...... but I always tell his mom and him that I truly wish he would find a nice good woman and settle down so he can be a "real" father to the girls and I could feel safe if a good woman was around to keep an eye on my girls if he ever got his act together enough to take them once in a while.. I wouldn't have had, nor would I have a problem if she was a mother figure to them... but that is in my dream world.. as my girls (my youngest twin girls) are 16 1/2 now...... they are past the point of ever feeling like another person could be a parent I think.. I know my son is past the point at 21.. he tells me when we discuss this sort of thing "Mom, I don't have a dad, never did, never will, but you were twice the mom and grandpa (my dad) was my "father figure", so that's just as good!"-- talk about making me feel like my struggling was all worth it :)

Beth - posted on 05/03/2012

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You're right that's bullshit. But being a mom I have to say I do not want my children calling another woman mom and also my kids dad is very active in their lives and I would not allow my children to call another man daddy either. That is MY opinion and I know it doesn't work for others but this is how I feel and how I roll.

Jennifer - posted on 05/02/2012

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when I married my ex, he had two kids from a pervious marriage. they were told they could call me mum and their stepdad dad...but mummy and daddy were for their parents only.

the ONLY thing that matters when it comes to what step parents are called is what the family is ok with. the mother may be fine with the stepmom being called mom - or she might ask for a limit or something. the dad has the same right. it should all be talked about AWAY from the children and agreed on. and no names should be forced on a child - they should not be made to call a step parent something they are not comfortable with

Rebecca - posted on 05/02/2012

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My daughter calls me mom. She calls my husband dad. She calls her biological dad and her step-mom by their first names. I encourage that. She doesn't have a relationship with them, I don't want her calling them mom and dad.
She does have a relationship with her step-siblings and half brother, cousins and grandparents from her biological dad's family and uses the appropriate titles for them. She also uses those titles for my husband's family and mine. (Heck, I still call my ex's mom "Mom")

Alissia - posted on 05/02/2012

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I think it's up to the child, but I understand how it can be hurtful to the biological parent.

But, to add another perspective, I always called my stepdad by his name because it was significantly more meaningful to me than the title of "Dad." Sure, I wanted a "Dad," but the title had also been tainted by my father because I knew I was never going to get the things that dads do from him. Well, unless you consider "life" to be one of the necessary items on the list. :)

[deleted account]

Don't even get me started!!!!!!!!!!!!! As painful as labor was when a bore my bio children - that single act alone DOES NOT give exclusivity to the title "MOM". Seriously? My kids mother ws nothing more than an incubator! I started dating my husband when the youngest was 18 months old. She dropped her off on my doorstep with a temp of 103, because she had a date. Flash forward 20 years - our son get a DUI (it happens) is in jail, and SHE blocks the calls from him!! And that is just 2 of 30 and counting years of her selfishness. It never seems to end. My kids figured out they could call me mom - as long as she wasn't in ear-shot. I think those days are over since my daughter flew ME out to spend Mother's day with her after moving away! Mom and Dad are earned titles - not birth-rites!

Lisa - posted on 04/25/2012

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I think you should leave it up to the kids really. I had a friend who basically gave her child up to the father as a teen but still maintained contact with her daughter. Basically through internet and possibly 1 visit a year maybe 2. And she got pretty pissed when her daughter began calling her step mom mom. But i mean she had to be realistic....she wasn't much of a mother.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/24/2012

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Being both a BM and a SM, I can see how BM can be jealous of their kids calling SM Mom. But in all honesty it should be up to the child. My daughters never called their SM mom but they hardly had anything to do with her....they don't even call their BF, Dad cuz he walked out and basically stayed out. They do call my husband Dad. My daughters have also called their friends' moms "mom" which I think is a show of respect. My SD does not call me Mom, she was told when she was younger by both my husband and her mother that they did not want her to call anyone else those names. I did tell my husband that I thought that was wrong of him. SD and I came up with the nickname So-Mo but even that sets BM off and she has told SD that she doesn't like her calling me that. That is how jealous she gets.....what is sad is that I do more for SD then her own mother does since SD lives with us. I think with time she will start calling me Mom and won't care what BM thinks or says anymore but that is because SD is getting older and is seeing how BM actually is.

Betty - posted on 04/20/2012

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I believe its disrespectful to the brith parents if they are still in the picture, to have the child call either step parents mom or dad. Thats just my opinion, find a cute nick name or a first name,

Stephanie - posted on 04/20/2012

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I say whatever comes natural is best. It's all about love and respect. If it works in your family that's all that matters in my opinion. I get her love, so why put a label on it!

Gender has nothing to do with it. In the end, biology isn't what makes a family a family, nor is it what makes a parent a parent. Isn't it the love we have for our kids, regardless of 'who's' they are and what they call us!

Betty - posted on 04/19/2012

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I dont think its respectable for either, they need a pet name or use the first name. If it causes the birth parent hard feellings then why allow it, its just a name after all..but to keep the peace and keep things in perspective for the child I don't agree with the steps being called mom or dad.

Sarita - posted on 04/19/2012

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i find it interesting because she hates it if they call me mom but one of the kids isnt my husbands at all not even a step kid ( because the were never married) but she allows her daughter to call him dad. she is remarried and makes the kids call the step dad, dad. funny how the rules work for whatever is convenient for her.

Karen - posted on 04/19/2012

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my stepdaugheter calls me by my name. Sometimes when things really are getting to her she will call me mom. She is 18yrs old. I came into her life when she was 6yrs old. Her mom had issues with her calling me mom but none with her calling her stepdad dad. ALso used to yell if she didn't. Yes a total double standard.
I feel it should be up to the child and the parents on what feels best for all involved. that way the poor child isn;t stuck in the middle. I really don't care what she calls me cuz I know what type of a realtionship we have.

Sarita - posted on 04/19/2012

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its the child's choice. my step kids referred to me as mom until their mom banned it. all it has caused is confusion for the kids.

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