what to call a step mother?

Lilly Lady - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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So I think a child should call their step-parent by their name but we all have our own opinion. I just have a had time with the fact that my daughter's SM and BF force her to call her SM "Step-Mom" . I honestly have never heard any other child calling their SM "step-mom". My daughter says she has to call her mom or step-mom. If she doesn't she gets a long talk about it and sometime punishment. She calls my husband by his name. My husband and I now have 2 other children, so from time to time she will call him dad but she corrects herself. One night her dad put it on speaker with my daughter when i called one night to talk to her. He wanted clarify she is NOT to call him dad or daddy..etc. How could he make such a big deal when he expects the opposite for his spouse?? I only refer to my husband by his name to her. Her father will refer to his wife as "step-mom" or "mom" even in cards and in the yearbook..etc they write daddy and mom (step-mom).Even when we are all together for an event for our daughter he will refer to her as mom. Its ackward for me and our daughter.. Does a SM really want to be called step-mom would't you rather your name? I was given advice from a parent advisor to tell you child it is polite to call the step-parent by the name their mommy and daddy gave them it is what they wanted them to be called and its respectful.. I think that is better than Step-mom..or mom when the child has a mom...

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Lindsey - posted on 04/28/2012

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For you to say "Step-parents are not parents unless they have their own child" was extremely offensive.



I am a custodial stepMOM! I have NO children of my own at this time. My fiance's son's live with US full time. They visit their "mom" every other weekend. I do EVERYTHING that a mother would do for them. I get them up in the mornings, I get them breakfast and get them ready to go, I drop the youngest off at daycare, my paychecks go directly to supporting them, I pick them up after work, I help the oldest with homework, I cook dinners, I give them baths/showers, I tuck them in at night. My fiance and I go to parent-teacher conferences and open houses. I e-mail the oldest one's teacher on a regular basis. I kiss the boo-boos, I give them hugs, I tell them "I love you", I get up in the middle of the night if they wake up crying or scared. I stay home with them when they are sick. Don't get me wrong, my fiance does his fair share also. We work together to raise them. We do notify their mom of stuff going on, open houses or conferences or just anything in general, most of the time she doesn't come to them. When she does, she wants to play "supermom" and tries to push me out of the way. The whole school knows the situation and makes sure that they talk to my fiance and I. On the school emergency contact list, they are to call my fiance, then me, then fiance's mom, then their mom. She is the absolute last resort if my stepson gets sick at school and they can not get in touch with us.



Now for what I was going to reply before I read that. What to call a step mother? I told my fiance and my stepsons, that they could call me whatever they are comfortable with. They can call me by my name, stepmom, mom, mommy, whatever they want. As long as it isn't a bad name. For the most part they do call me by Lindsey. One day after I picked the boys up, the oldest said "Lindsey, after you and daddy get married, can I call you mommy?" I reminded him that he could call me whatever he wants and I told him that he didn't need to wait until after the wedding because I am already like his stepmom now. He called me mommy for about a day then went back to Lindsey. The youngest called me mommy also but I think that was in copying his big brother. Lately however, the oldest has brought home a Christmas, Valentines, and Easter card address to "Mom and Dad". Each time I have asked him if it is for his mommy and daddy. He says "No, they are for you and daddy." He has started calling me mom a lot of the time. He has done this on his own. Youngest stepson still calls me just Lindsey. I am fine either way as long as it is what they are comfortable with.

Lisa - posted on 04/19/2012

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Hi Lilly Lady - I am both a mom and step-mom. I co-parented with all parents - my husband, his ex and her husband (until they divorced) and what I am about to say is from 13 years of experience in a successfully blended family (I also have divorced parents and know what it feels like as the child).

As a mom, I know that I am my daughter's only "mom" - not any one else. AND - if my husband and I were to split up today, like it or not, I would be making a decision that opens my family up to having another women becoming an important figure in my daughter's life.

As a step-mom, I wanted my SDs to know that I am not trying to replace their mom. I never thought of my step-mom as my mom - I already had one of those. But she became like a mom to me. So, in my situation, I chose them to have them call me by my first name, after all, that is how the met me in the first place. AS my relationship with them grew stronger, they occasionally expressed a desire to call me mom, bu I was being super sensitive to my wife-in-law (husband's ex) and kept reinforcing them calling me Lisa.

However, the downside to that was, I wasn't always treated with the respect of a parent - which a step-parent IS a parent or it wouldn't be in the title... (Courts and judges cause more 2nd divorces over this one!!).

If there was one "mistake" my husband and I made, it was not choosing at least a nick-name of some sort for me. Think of it this way: if children went to class and looked at the teacher and said "Hi, Mary!", how easy or hard would it be for that teacher to maintain the authority in the class?

I suggest treating it like we do for grand-parents (e.g. "Nana" or Grammy") - this keeps the relationship personal but respectful of the relationship too. (Don't go by THOSE names ;-) but come up with one for you - this is where the kids might come up with something for you!) This respects the position of the bio mom (as long as they are active in the children's lives) and gives you a familial relationship status too.

I do hope this helps!

[deleted account]

i think it should be up to the child if they want to call the step parent mom or dad, or even step mom or step dad, i absolutely wouldn't mind if my stepson called me step mom, i'm more of a mom to him then his bio mom, she spends zero time with the kid yet she has custody of him locks herself in her bedroom all day every day when he's there and he only sees her when she comes out to cook dinner and she doesn't even eat with him. So why not respect their step parent by calling them mom or dad whats wrong with that, they are their mom and dad too, just because they don't have the same biology doesn't mean they aren't also their parents, biology means nothing, are you against adopted kids calling their adopted parents mom and dad too, i mean come on, seriously. I agree they shouldn't be forced to call them mom and dad, that it should be their choice and the bio parents shouldn't have any problem with what their child chooses to call the step parents.

Lacye - posted on 04/13/2012

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I feel that the step parent should be called by whatever makes the child most comfortable. At this point in time, it's not about the parents or the step parents. It's about the child. I have a step mother and I did call her "mom" at one time but when my mother heard me do it she completely freaked out on me about it and flat out told me that she was my mother and not SM. In the end, because of that one freak out, my relationship changed between my SM and myself. We were never close after that because I would repeat my mother's words, I was about 5 or 6 when this happened and let's face it kids that age don't really know how to filter their words.



I now have a step daughter and I'm not going to force her to call me mom. It's not right to her for me to do that. If she wants to call me mom, that's fine. If she wants to call me Lacye, that's fine too. It's up to her and I will love her either way.

Brandy - posted on 09/16/2012

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My step daughter is 15 months and she calls me mom. Her mom would probably flip out in a major way if she knew. She is just learning and I try to correct her and tell her my name is Brandy, but she still calls me mom. I don't mind it at all and my hubby likes it so I am just going to keep refering to myself by my name but answer to either. She will always know me in a motherly way and its not like I came into her life when she was older and all of the sudden she has two moms. It's going to be a normal thing for her. Plus she loves me and I love her as if she was my biological child. If she calls me by my name in the long run it won't hurt my feelings as long as she is comfortable with it. As long as she is happy with whatever then I will be happy. Plus her mom would make her life a living hell if she ever heard that. So I agree with whatever the kid wants. I can't stand my kids step mom but if they chose to call her mom I wouldn't mind a bit because she does treat them realy good and she is "mom" when they visit their dad,

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Josy - posted on 12/27/2013

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Im a soon-to-be step mom of two lovely girls 3 and 5. Being called "mom" was out of the question (since I am a BM myself). In my culture calling an adult by their first name alone is disrespectful; and being called Mrs. so-and-so was too distant. So we have resorted to a nice nickname instead. The nickname comes from an African word that means "who brings happiness", and I believe in reinforces the idea that I am not the bad-guy in the situation. My daughter also calls the soon-to-be stepdad by a nickname, and it all works out. No birth parents get trampled on and I get the respect and recognition I have earned for taking care of these lovely children.

Brooke - posted on 09/13/2013

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I am a full time step mom of a 7,9,13,14 year olds and a baby of my own on the way. They started calling me by my first name but they call me by momma, mommy, mother, super woman, mommacita ect to. The kidos have a birth mom but she is in and out of jail, abusive and addicted to drugs. They have always called her mom so the word "MOM" has been tainted for them and they associate it with suffering. They try out mom pretty often but to them my name Brooke or mommy means so so so much more to them. I let them call me what they want and feel in the moment as long as its nice. They always introduce me as mom or my mommy because that's normal and they can't think of any other word for it. They want everyone to know me as there mom. I think it's confusing to children what to call a step parent but I think most kids hate the word step parent and associate it with a messed up family ( that's what my son says) I do feel guilty sometimes about them calling me mommy when they do have a birth mom but I think it's best just to leave it up to them.

Amy - posted on 05/28/2013

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my daughters introduce me as step mom and they call me mom or momma or mommy. when we decided to get married my hubby and I had already been together over a year and after we got married we told them they could call me mom/stepmom or my name..they choose mom (-= I was thrilled. their BM was pissed but they made them call her husband daddy. my kids started calling my hubby stepdaddy then it just shortened to daddy my hubby been a daddy to my son since he was 7months old he is all he knows his sperm donor has been MIA since 4months old

Maureen - posted on 11/19/2012

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I learned a lot from reading the book smart stepmom, it has help a lot my stepdauthers mom is no longer living. so to give respect to the family that was , I have a heart to allow my stepdaughter to go at her own speed. and if the relationships gets to ware she would like to call me MA the door is always open. I do not belive she she should feel like she is being unloaed to her mom a lot of childern feel that . I know for my self in having a stepmom. but who says you can't be bless with extar love in your live. it has been a blessing that even though her mom is gone we still make sure as a family that the grave looks respectful for family and she is so free to talk about her and we have both cryed over her loss it has been 11 years her dad and I have been married for 10 Jesus has been our strong hold and our forcus even when it hurt do the right thing. wish we could say her mom past away natural not the case maybe that's what mite make this with so many mix feelings. today still working on things but I give all the creit to the one that is stronger than I

Maureen - posted on 11/19/2012

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I fulling agree, if it does not come from the heart of what the child wants to call you when you are a stepmom like I am. we are just creating harded hearts. when if fact if stepmoms and dads just forcus on having a good and trusting relationship with our stepkids it may go a lot better and not get hung up on a title. people are called moms and dads everyday but if there is not the loving relationship that name means nothing to the childern or yong adalt . my dad has a wife who takes care of him very well this Jan. they will be having their 25 th wedding Ann I truly am happy for the both of them. but as far as a relationship with her 5 step childern there is not much of one at all .and yes I have to call her mom as far is it is up to me I keep the peace and how can you change somethig that has gone on for 25 years with out hurting my dad or his wife. I let my mom know and she so understood .my mom and I have got a strong foundation of a mother and daught relationship. so for the sake of my dad and his heart, once in a while I will say mom to her. I am very grateful that she has been there for my dad.

Nichole - posted on 09/16/2012

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my SD is 5, and she calls me a variety of things. Mostly by my name, she introduces me as her stepmother..but for awhile she has been calling me Mom off and on. Which I really dont mind because she is old enoughto know the difference that I am not BM. I have always told her whatever she feels about me is what i am, whether its friend or stepmom.

Christine - posted on 09/10/2012

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I am a step-mother of a 14 year old and a 13 year old girl. I have been in their lives for the last 9 years. When they came over for the first time, my now husband introduced me by my name and they asked what to call me... We didn't know what to tell them... I definitely did not want to be called "Mom" because I wasn't their mother. I asked them what they wanted to call me. I know its hard to ask a 4 and 5 year old what to call someone, but after spending a little time with them, and them spending time with my family, they picked up on calling me Sissy. My sister was 7 at the time, and that is what she called me, as well as most of my family, so that's what they called me. They still call me that to this day! It makes it a little weird when we all go out somewhere, mainly because I hold my husband's hand, and walk around with them and they call me Sissy! I am 28 years old, and look young for my age! Sometimes I feel like people may get the wrong impression, but it works for us. I think it really doesn't matter what they call their step-mom as long as they feel comfortable with it. At least they don't call me what they call their step-father... Big Dork... I would never let them disrespect me like that, but their mother lets them get away with everything.

Arlene - posted on 09/08/2012

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My parents divorced when I was very young. I was the eldest of three girls. My dad eventually remarried and to this day, I call my stepmom by her name. I would never call her mom, because she is not my mother and out of respect to my mother as well. My sisters never called her mom either because they understood the distinguishing difference between our mother and her. We get along fine with our stepmother and when we introduce her to people, we say, this is our stepmother, (name). Nobody ever told us what to say when it came to that. We just understood the distinguishing difference between our mother and our stepmother. My mother wasn't perfect but she tried her best considering the situation she was in and with three girls on her own. My dad financially would hardly help her out and eventually had two more girls with my stepmother. We all love each other and get along fine but that distinction will always be there. It is what it is and there is nothing wrong with that. I saw my mom struggle a lot with us. She went through her own emotional turmoil and we went through it too as her daughters and yet we learned from it and all three of us ended up just fine. My mom had me when she was sixteen. She never finished high school and I remember standing in line with her to apply for food stamps. She had other problems as well and we as her daughters struggled along with her but it also made us stronger. None of us got pregnant when we were in our teens like her. All three of us finished high school. I went to college and on to a university, got my bachelors degree in education. My other sister graduated college as a court reporter and finally the youngest out of all of us works for the county police department. My mom is very proud of us! I am very proud of us! It's a powerful thing being a mother and I will always be grateful for mine. I myself am a mother too...to a beautiful and wonderful 5 year old boy. I am divorced now after 15 yrs with my ex. My ex and I share custody of our son. He is an exceptional father. We get along great. Eventually I imagine I will be dealing with a stepmother...all I expect is that she loves my son and respects the fact that I am his mother. My stepmom never crossed the line with our mon when it came to us. She respected my mother and understood her place in it all and my mother respected my stepmom and her place in it all as well. Again, it is what it is! Lily I wish u luck! :)

Heather - posted on 09/03/2012

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I completely understand where you are coming from. My ex husband forces our kids to call his wife "mom", her parents grandpa and grandma, and her sister "aunt". They are also reminded that her kids are their brothers. If they refer to these people as any other than what theyve been told (like their names), they get yelled at and even punished. My kids have told me they are very uncomfortable with this (they are 10 and 13).

So no, i dont think its right for a child to be forced to call anyone other than their parents "mom and dad". Those names are sacred. They have alot of meaning in those 3 little letters. I feel like my ex forces my kids to call their sm, mom just to hurt me and it sounds like your ex is probably doing the same.

[deleted account]

How 'bout the kids call him d!@khead? I'm sorry for the crudeness, but, seriously? Here's the deal:: If he get's to "choose" what your beautiful young lady should call the adults in HIS house in order to show respect, then, you get to determine what she will call the adults in YOUR house in order to show adequate respect. You don't make the rules for his house - he doesn't make them for yours. That simple. Ask your daughter what she is comfortable with. If your ex insists on step-mom - suggest step-MOTHER (pronounced step-mutha) for her own little private revenge. Sorry - I'm mean sometimes!
My steps call me many things (can't imagine what when their mad at me:-) ) they are both 30+
Mom when it is just us. Mom around they're significant others (my eldest son's fiance didn't realize I wasn't "bio mom" until 9 months into their relationship!) My first name sometimes when around others that may know their mom. I'm okay with "hey you" as long it is respectful! Which, it always is. I'm interested to see how I get introduced at my (step) daughter's wedding - which her mother will attend - after being introduced as her "mother" at her engagement party! Breathe deep - this, too, shall pass.

Reena - posted on 04/19/2012

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Oh boy-- your Ex's wife has "issues." Maybe you should pull a Momma-bear about her telling your daughter what to call her.



I know, likely just creates more problems for the kid.



*sigh*



My stepkids have always called me by my first name and that has always been fine with me. Early on, they were not even comfortable referring to me as their stepmom-- I was their dad's new wife. That was fine as well. I would introduce myself that way to their friends or parents of their friends. I think it went a long way in them learning to trust me. Now they tell people I am their stepmom if it comes up.

Lilly Lady - posted on 04/16/2012

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OK If you read my earlier post i already said sorry but I will say it again. I am sorry you are taking this so personnal.. i was posting for advice and now you are arguing with me about your situation you told me about. so i gave my opnion as well as you did. i don;t know you OR your past.. so i am sorry for your lose but how could I be rude or Cruel if i wasn't even talking about that because i didn't know what has happen to you in the past. I couldn't imagine losing one of my children It must be one od the hardest things but I wasn't refering to that in any way again I am sorry. I didn't know you were going to take it that way. But you are being extremely rude when you say Just because I am my daughter's bio mom means NOTHING.. thats hurtful as well!!!!! Again i am speaking in general.. I was just asking if it was weird that a step-mom would force a child and want to be called STEP-MOM i have never heard a child do that before..thats all but I am going to refrain from posting on this site again..All i wanted was some advice not feeling bad because someone thinks i personnally attacked them when that was not the case.I keep trying to speak in general..I thought this would give me a better understanding of raising my daughter with a step-mother but only gave me a worse feeling... It was not a good outcome.. thanks Cirlce of Moms.. I hope the best for the other moms/step-moms out there...

[deleted account]

Step parents are parents.....if you like it or not. We don't talk negative about his bio mom in any way shape or form, we don't show hate or any negative emotion towards her everything we have heard from him has been out of his own mouth and out of his 20 year old marine brothers mouth. I don't hate the bio mom i know her past story because my husband told me and she had some bad things happen in her life thats made her the way she is and she just treats men and boys like they are basically garbage and just there to be her slaves, i feel sorry for her but she's the one that refuses that anything is wrong and refuses to get help, so am i suppose to just ignore this childs needs and not act like a mother to him just because i'm his step mom and not his bio mom? because thats the way your sounding and that is what angers me, i'm not talking about anything the court has to do or anything parenting coordinators have to do with anything, yes his mother should be more responsible and actually be a mom but since she's not being one am i suppose to just sit back and not be one either? And FYI the comment of the step parents are not parents unless they have a child of their own is extreemly harsh and cruel......the only reason i don't have bio kids is because i've lost my baby.....so techinally i AM a Mother.....to a baby in heaven, so that was hurtful and ugly.

Lilly Lady - posted on 04/16/2012

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Step-parents are not parents unless they have their own child...you can say opposite all night and day but just ask the court system and parenting coordinators..Now I am talking in general about step and bio parents relationship with a little of my own experience.. I am sorry you are taking this so personnal i do not know your sisuation so i can't comment BUT i do know i am a fully involved Bio-mother who doesn't need her shoes filled... the more who love my daughter the better but she only needs a mother and a father and gets extra love becuase he has a step-mom and step-dad and all the extra family they bring.. its the least we bio-parents can give since we provided a split life but step-parents should help make it easier not more stressful for the child forcing the child to appease them.. i can't tell u hate you step-child's bio-mother you make it clear maybe the child sees and feels that and respnds the same to you to make you happy?? maybe this is the way the mom is idk but then the father should talk to the mother.. and tell her what the child says to get to the bottom of it.......

[deleted account]

Whether the bio parents like it or not the step parents are parents, they do influence the childs life, they are there for them, they help them grow they teach them, they do show them their beliefs and culture and there is nothing wrong with that, at least in my house i know he's being loved and cared for in her house he is constantly telling us bad things about her, and there is no influence from us for him to say these things, we just ask him what he did with mommy during the week or how was his week and he tells us, so she is basically not a parent biology doesn't make a parent being there for the child, raising the child, teaching the child, religion, culture whatever it may be are parts of raising the child and if one of the bio parents does nothing with the child does that mean the step parent is suppose to do the same and lock themselves up in a room and never communicate with the child just because thats what the bio mom does?

Lilly Lady - posted on 04/16/2012

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I also think a child should call a step-parent what ever they want but as the bio parent to respect the other bio parent they should refer the the step-parent by name and let the child take the rest in their own decesion. This is not the case in my scenerio.
Also, there is no comparision to an adopted child to a step child. This is totally different. An adopted child's bio parents deceided not to be the bio parents. With step-parents the bio parents are still present. So biology is not just biology. I respect my daughter's step-mom and want her to love my daughter and for her to help my daughter's father when she is with him but I am her mother and there are boundaries for everyone. Step-parents and Bio- parents are not equal. There is not 4 parents per say. Again boundaries.. step-parents can not make decisons on school medical and etc... I don't understand why step-parents get so mad to hear that. If they were bio-parents them selves and their child had a step-parent they would stand up for this belief as well..when a person marries a child they should already have come to terms with the fact that this child has a bio-parent and they must follow and respect what the bio-parents (both dad and mom not just mom's) choose for the child and they are just there to support the bio-parents..And this is out of a mouth of a Parenting-Coordinator NOT myself. I carried my daughter for 9 minths and gave birth to her i understand i have to share part her with another woman (which a bio-parent has to come to terms with as well when another bio-parent marries..this goes for dads and step dads as well) but i don't have to share motherhood and raising her. She should grow up as if i raised her full time some step-mom's and bio-mom's have totally different cultures and backrounds so my daughter will get influence from this woman and as her mother i should get to instill her beliefs and morals and so forth.. what about religion is it ok for a step-mom to teach a child a totally different religion from what the child is born and raised from bio-parents?? Especially in situations where the father/mother will allow the step-parent to do whatever so he/she doesn't hav to hear him/her complain and enjoys pissing off the bio-parent.. therefore using the step-parent???

everyone gets there feelings hurt but the child is what means the most and a step-parent should never influence a child to go against their bio-parent.. This makes the child feel confused and gives them inner termmiol. So when a step-parent is forcing that child to call them mom or dad the step-parent might feel better and respected but that child inside might feel a state of uneasiness, confusion and mixed emotions about what they are doing to their bio-parent even if the bio-parent says nothing...My parenting coordinator made it clear to step-parents to never influence a child to make them feel they are going against the bio-parent to appease step-parent.

Karen - posted on 04/11/2012

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You are looking at it in the best light and I feel you are right.. My stepdaughter called me nahnah.. but her mother broke her of that as fast as she could. "i tried teaching her everyones name. I would show pictures and things like that and act really excited if somone came in the door..THERES NICK...Or THERES DADDY>.HEY DADDY... My ss always called me by my name.

They will both introduce me somtimes as their step mom../ name..like this is my stepmom and Name..some times they say and this is my dad and this is my mom and this is my other mom and this is my other dad/ my moms boyfriends...inserts name.....

I dont think that its healthy to force a child with things like that and if your daughter is uncomfortable with it...and not just saying she is because of you..then have a setdown with your ex her dad...

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