Stepmom with question about SK's calling you "mom".

Sherri - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My SS's biomom is a dead beat. Over the last couple of months, biomom's pauses between phone calls have been becoming less frequent and her absences at activities have become worse as well (to the point that SS(12 years old) has busted her in 4 different lies about the exact same parade).

My SS is always upset when he gets off the phone with her. Last week, she called and grilled him about "do you miss me? do you love me?" and even went as far as to bring his 7 month old sister into it (whom he hasn't seen since May) and said "do you know that your sister misses you? do you know that? when are you going to see her". She's also holding his birthday money ransom for no other reason than to tell him he'll get it when he sees her.

So, as you can imagine, my SS is increasingly bitter towards his mother. It seemed to throw him over the edge when she did the sister thing.

To understand the question, you have to know this... there's a really old movie... it's about a lady with adopted kids. She hits the kids with a coat hanger and the kids say "please don't beat me mommy dearest". So, I started that with my mom. Every time she was mad at me, I'd sad "I'm sorry mommy dearest, please don't beat me with the coat hanger. I still say it to this day.

So, now to to root... my SS has said the "I'm sorry mommy dearest, please don't beat me with a coat hanger" thing since the first time he heard me do it with my mom. He used to say "step-mommy dearest," but lately, he's dropped the "step". He's called me mom a couple of times lately when he's been upset as well and used the mom word again when I was talking to him about back-to-school shopping.

Here's the problem:

I'm not his mother and not his substitute mom everytime something goes wrong with his mother. This isn't to say that I don't care, but I want him to learn how to stand up for himself and deal with the issues caused by his mother. I have a "dad" that is not my biological dad, but I call him dad because I made the choice that he was my dad in every way that counted and did not call him "dad" only when I was mad at my father. So, if my SS is doing this on purpose, do I address it? If so, I need to tread lightly. I don't want him to feel as though I'm rejecting him.

This situation is very delicate.... a few weeks ago, I told him he wasn't allowed ice cream at 10pm and he screamed at me that I didn't care about what he wanted and that I'm just like his mother (uncaring).

Help?

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Sherri - posted on 08/25/2009

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love him , comfort him if he chooses to call u mom its ok i have 2 step children that past away and 2 living and 2 girls from my first marriage together me and my husband now have 10 grandchildren and 1 due anytime. u aren't taking the place of their biomom u ar a gift and a blessing from God its ok for them to call u mom and the step children just has one more person in their life to love them.

[deleted account]

Wow...you have your habds full. My step daughter lived us the first 8 yrs we were married and she was surrounded by my kids constanyl calling me mom and she felt left out and asked if she could call me mom too. My hubby and I responded with, "mom isn't really appropriate because you have a mom that loves you and that you see." But we understood her position of feeling left out. So together we thought of something that she could call me that would be special for her. We decided on mommy Cheryl, or Mom C. She loved it and really enjoyed calling me something different from my kids. Well when she went for a weekend visit with her mom, her mom got all bent out of shape and accused me of trying to brain wash her daughter and push her out of her life. She refused to understand her daughters position. So after than we explained to my step daughter how her request upset her mom and that it would be best just call me bu my first name. She hated it and felt left out and I think to this day has caused friction in our lives.

Yes, I think if he is of the age to understand what you are telling him and explain that you don't mind being called mom, but you are concerned how he does it and you don't want to be confused with his mom and his anger being misplaced on you. Goood Luck!

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Jamie - posted on 08/27/2009

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It is a hard road there will always be a pothole along the way but the one thing I think about bieng a step mom is they love you when they love you and it's a great feeling but, when there upset or you apply the rules in thier life they lash out to you it hurt's worse than you can imagine but you have to hold on to those moments that they love you and let the other slide by as long as they are far and few between So bieng calle dmom by thier choice is a wonderful feeling but don't get lost when they call you step mom or your not my mom remember you are mom any other time

Natalie - posted on 08/26/2009

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Well I would talk to him about it. Just say that he can call you that if that is his choice and that you are not going to push him one way or another. But ask him why he is doing it, is it because you feel this way or is it because you are upset with your mom. Get him to open up, it may quickly turn from a conversation about what he is calling you and turn into a heart to heart over his real mom... My SD starting calling me mom b/c her mother was trying to push her into calling her new husband dad. Well SD is extremely manipulative and conniving (like mother like daughter) and SD started it for all the wrong reasons. When I talked to her about it (she's 8) she agreed that she was doing it b/c of how her mom acts/treats her/ acts about me and it always gets her mom's attention. I told her I was not going to be used that way. A few months with by with her calling me by my nickname and she finally said I want to call you Momma because you treat me just like I'm your daughter and because you've always been here and are always doing the momma things that all mommas are supposed to do...it touched my heart...hopefully you will find your way with your SS and he can open up and understand his own feelings better....

Sherri - posted on 08/25/2009

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we've tried counseling... many times. the counselor at first told is that we needed to go to the "children's centre". So, we did that. He's had 3 "intake" sessions and is on a waiting list for long term.... we're just in limbo right now.

Lynette - posted on 08/25/2009

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In my opinion the reason he is calling you mom is because he genually sees you as a mother figure.Obvoiusly you are around more than she is, and he feels that love form you..... It sounds like he needs some counseling and has serious anger and abandonment issues.

Monica - posted on 08/25/2009

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I feel he is old enough and if he chooses to call you mom then go with that.. My stepkids both call me mom and that was totally their choice.. Plus my two youngest call my husband "papa and "daddy": the kids see the parents as the ones who are taking care of them.. who is there for all the fun times and the not so fun times.. My kids have a bio dad who is very selfish and inconciderate to his children's feelings.. The shoe has been on the other foot for me.. My ex forces my kids to call his gf mom or mommy (and her name).. Your SS is old enough to see the difference.. It sounds like your the one he considers his mother.. that is how my stepson feels. I act like a mom to him...I just treat him like I treat my kids.. take care of him..good luck.. I know none of this is fun and would be so much easier if the other parent would consider the kids feelings and not only thiers

Sherri - posted on 08/25/2009

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Thanks guys-we've figured out that my SS's issue is that he feels like parents should be there for you and I am. I got him a job a week ago-he told his mother over the phone-she said "cool". Didn't ask any further questions. He's now emotionally put me into the role that I've been physically filling. He's begun to actually put his arm around my shoulder (I'm short) when we're shopping. Last night he had his arm around my shoulder through a parking lot, then continuted it in 2 different stores. The last 2 nights, he's been in my room watching a movie with me from 8-10pm. He's following me around like a lost puppy dog-which is fine to a certain extent....



The Question of the Day: On bad days that I want to go up to my room and have some quiet time to do my nails, or watch a movie, how do I convey that without him feeling rejected? I want to remind him that it doesn't mean that I don't want to be near him and that I'm not pushing him away (like his mother does), but I just want some quiet time. It's like his BM is always a huge elephant in the room that impacts every decision I make. I always feel like I'm walking on eggshells because I never want to inflict the same pain she does. It's even at the point that he doesn't even want to talk about her. He's been going swimming at the local rec centre lately so that he can avoid her calls...

Heidi - posted on 08/24/2009

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Sherri All I can say is be there for you ss. He needs you now more then ever. He will try at times to push the worng buttons, but try to understand where he is coming from. I have a ss that is now 18 and hasn't seen or talked to his bm in almost 3 years now. She missed out on his highschool grad, him getting a full time job, him getting his license and so on. Although he is now an adult(basically) it still hurts him knowing that his bm just doesn't seem to care much. I also have to deal with an absent biodad to my 10 year old son. So I have to talk to 2 boys about absent parents and about parents that really don't seem to care. I love all of my boys equally and would never ever abandon any of them. They all know I am always here for them and they can talk to me about everything. There will be trying times, but be understanding and love him like he is your own. In time I hope it will get easier. Its not fair that the bm uses the half sister as a pawn. Children aren't pawns. I say talk to your ss with your husband present so that he knows you are both there for him and want him to know just how much you both love him and respect him. Let him talk and you guys listen. don't judge what he has to say until he is finished. Guide him in the right direction.

Voneta - posted on 08/23/2009

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Just be there for him...I have a stepson who just turned 11, and when he really wants something from me he calls me mom. But when he's in trouble he calls me by my first name...I've told him that if he's gonna call me mom that's great, but only calling me mom when he wants something from me won't get him anything. I think maybe it's in issue with being insecure. Just let him know you're there for him and that's about all you can do...

Liz - posted on 08/23/2009

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I have 3 "step" sons, I have been married to their dad for over 12 years. They are 18 21 and 22 now. They call me mom and call bio mom Nancy or womb donner and don't speak to her very often. Your step son's mother sounds like my kids bio mother. If he chooses to call you mom let him. I now have a grand daughter by my oldest son and she is named after me. Being a step mom is not an easy job, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Sherry - posted on 08/23/2009

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When a child decides to call you Mom it usually is because they have determined the role between the two of you as Mother and Son/Daughter. He sees that when he needs you-you are there-even if it is to say no to ice cream at 10pm. I've seen cases where step parents refuse to let the child call them Mom or Dad and it really scars the child. They think their relationship with you is disposable. (as often they feel from the abandonment of bio parents) I find that when I do have to say NO to any of the kids, if I explain why I'm saying no-I don't get the attitude or tantrums after the no. Hope this helps. :O)

Kristina - posted on 08/22/2009

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It sounds like he's turning to you as a loving parent figure.. I wouldn't take it to heart it's only when he is upset.. That's when he needs you the most and you are there for him. He trusts you enough to think of you as a mother.. and though he may not do it all the time is sounds like it's when he needs a mother figure the most and you are it!
His own mother is using guilt as a weapon, which is going to leave him angry, confused, frustrated and just all around unsure of what to do.. Hug him, let him talk to you.. and if he calls you mom it's because at that moment in time you are his mother figure and he needs you.
We had a year or so where the boys would switch between calling me by my name and mom.. We just told them they never had to call me mom that was their choice and slowly it went from my name to mom all the time. I wouldn't make a big deal of it with him, sounds like he has enough on his plate.

Angele - posted on 08/22/2009

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If he wants to call you "MOM" that should be his choice but explain that you do not want him doing to get revenge at his mother. My stepchildren call me "Steppie" it was our way of going around mom.

Luzenia - posted on 08/21/2009

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well thats a really hard one depending on how long this has been going on it may just be a transitioning phase when i was 13 my mother remarried and i called hin chris but i wanted to call him dad because he was in every way at first i would just forget but when i was going through a rough day or had bad issue i would say dad just because at that moment i felt right eventually i called him dad all the time it just took a little to feel right

Cidalia - posted on 08/21/2009

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Yeesh. What a character. I would be tempted to change my phone number and not give it to her. Then if she comes by and complains, I would tell her that she either gives her address if she wants her son to visit or you guys will move and not tell her your new address.

Betty - posted on 08/21/2009

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I think you should let him call you whatever he feels in the moment. If he is mad at his mom and want's to pretend you are his mom for a day than so be it. If you make him mad because you are simply being a parent so he makes it a point to call you his step mom than whatever. This is just his way of expressing himself and working through his emotions. Being a teenager is hard on a boy and they are very sensitive at this age. You don't even need to discuss this with him.

My mom raised my cousin since he was five(he's 15 now) and there are days he calls my mom Mom and days he calls her Aunt Katy. It just depends on who he's talking to and if he has thought about his mom lately(she died). My mom never questions him on it and he feels confident no matter what he calls her that she will except it.

Hope this helps.

Sherri - posted on 08/20/2009

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Thank you guys! You've all been so helpful! I have the day off of work tomorrow and plan to go back to school shopping. I'll ask him over McDonalds lunch.



Thanks again and I'll post the result.

Laura - posted on 08/20/2009

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Take the name as a compliment and explain to him that the games he is learning from his own mother will not work with you.

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2009

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My two bonus kiddos call me mom and it really isn't an issue in our house. We never ask them to, we never encouraged or discouraged it, they just decided one day that they wanted to. At the time their bm was around every other weekend and ofcourse she wasn't happy about it but my husband told her she just had to deal. He might have been more understanding to her, but she had never been much of a mom to them herself. She made the effort to spend 4 days a month with them, but the level of care was questionable and it was more like an obligation than quality time.



It has been over a year now since she has seen them, and 2 weeks atleast since she even called. She has a new baby, as well as one on the way and I guess just doesn't have time for my two any more. We are in the same boat with the address too. We know what state she's in, but that's it. She's never paid one dime of support, and never even sends birthday cards. Somehow she thinks that she has done nothing wrong and has done enough to still be considered a great mom, and if you were to ask her it's all my fault she is as distant as she is.



I do not feel guilty for giving them a mom because she has never really been one. I will never stop doing everything I do for them everyday because I love them. I feel that regardless of who gave birth to them I have more tham earned the title because I'm the one here doing all the hard work to rasie them with no help from her. I am so very blessed that they gave me the title and I will treasure it the rest of my life.



I think your ss is old enough to know the difference between biological mother and true mom that loves him unconditionally. Not only does he know the difference, but he know who deserves his loyalty and his time, you. It would be a great idea to sit down and talk to him about it because he is obviously in desparate need of you right now. As long as he knows the right reasons and the wrong reasons to call you his mom I don't see any problem with it. You have earned that right.



You may never be his biological mother but it takes so much more than that to be his MOM. That's the role that will matter the most in his life.

Sherri - posted on 08/19/2009

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I didn't get to finish this...

The basics of it... she's asked to see him a couple of times: One was on the 30th of July. She wanted to come by our house at 10pm to give him come of his money that she'd promised him 2 and a half weeks earlier she'd wire to him (she was out of province). We told her no because it was 10pm and he was in the shower, then on his way to bed (she was at home 30 minutes away at the time of request). Then, she asked if he could go to her house for dinner 3 days before the day she wanted him and we were going to a friends cottage for the weekend (beginning of July). Then, she invited him to a birthday party and really laid it on think with him. We left the decision up to my SS and he opted out because he was so stressed out about it that he ended up with a stomach ache (a week after the domestic-the b-day party was for the boyfriends nephew and my SS was worried that he'd show up)

It almost like she tries to make plans with him when she KNOWS (by talking to him) that we already have plans. She wants to see him when it's good for her, but when it's something that's dear to him (like his cadets parades), she has no interest. Thus, he's giving her the same treatment she gives him.

Sherri - posted on 08/19/2009

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She grills him about going over because she knows that 1. he's not ready. 2. as long as she's not giving us her address... well, could you do it? Our biggest issue is that because she had more than one domestic etc. and can't even keep to fullfilling a promise to call him, can we in good conscience send him to the wolves when she lives 30 minutes away and REFUSES TO GIVE US HER ADDRESS?

She's asked a couple of times to see him... he was over there right after the domestic and she said "so when are you coming to spend the night? you've seen the head doctor by now haven't you?" As long as she's emotionally slamming him, holding his money ransom, etc., we're not comfortable with him going and he isn't either. We've requested that she buck up and my SS sent her an email about her lying and that she hasn't seen him, had the oportunity to see him (he called and invited her to his cadets functions (May 30th, June 7th (D-Day) and June 14th and she chose to not show up and then feed him 4 different stories about why she didn't go). We've also invited her to therapy and she's not shown up. The therapist thinks that he shouldn't go right now either.

Cidalia - posted on 08/19/2009

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I'm just curious about one thing...if she's grilling him about coming to see her, why hasn't he seen her in a while? Does she invite him over?

Breanne - posted on 08/19/2009

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It sounds like this your stepson needs you alot right now. Even though you aren't his real mom, his actual mom his treating him like dirt and playing games with him and that's not fair at all. So I just think that he needs you right now. You should sit down adn have a talk with him and find out why he's calling you mom right now outta nowhere. Let him know also that you are always here for him if he needs to talk. You can tell that he cares about you alot because you are there for him and show him the respect, love and concern that he's longing for from his real mom, but he's getting it from you instead. I think he's old enough to express his own thoughts and feelings and you might even be surprised by his answer to why he's calling you mom. My stepson is only 5 years old and living with us now, but when he was four he was living with his mother and he would be calling me mom. I would just tell him that "my name is Breanne, but you have your real mom and i'm your friend Breanne." I did think in the beginning that he can call me what he wants, but he's too young to understand all that yet, so if it does come to a day when he will then he will, but he will be old enought to make that choice himself. And if it would happen the way it's happening to you now, then i would want to sit down with him and ask him why? So i hope this helps and let me know what happens!



Breanne

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