Step mom needing advice on addressing bio mom...

Addison - posted on 10/10/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )




My fiancé and I have been together since his son turned 1, we have lived together for nearly the entire time, and now he's 3 1/2. He has always called me 'mama', because that's what he chose when he started talking and he has always called is bio mom 'mommy'. That was up until the last few months and his bio mom is requiring him to call me by my first name or 'Gavin's mom' (Gavin being my bio 7 yr old). I never have wanted to replace his mom in any way, but she has felt threatened by that since day 1. She accused us of forcing him to call me mama when it was first noticed (by him saying he would go see daddy, mama, and Gavin). We filled her in on him calling me that because I simply take care of his basic needs during our time with him and everything seemed to be going a bit better. Ugliness reared its head though, during the custody case, and since its been over (3 mos) the little guy seems to feel guilty if he was to call me mama. He will tell me I'm not his mom, I'm Gavin's mom. And his bio mom drops him off saying you get to see Addie and dad. I don't care what he calls me, I just don't think its healthy for him to be guilted or "brainwashed" (for lack of better term) into calling me Addie or Gavin's mom if he has always had the comfort of me being his other mama (not his bio, "mommy") that's been there for him for 2 years. What should I do? Does anyone else feel as though the child should be able to make that choice on their own? Is it healthy for her to be "renaming" me just because of her own insecurities? Just need some advise... We may be able to have a cordial and civil conversational about it, but I want some other opinions first. Thanks!


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Dove - posted on 10/11/2014




I agree with the other ladies. The best thing you can do is help your stepson to know that no matter what you are called it doesn't change who you are and how you feel about him.

Jodi - posted on 10/11/2014




I agree with Chet on this one. My ex did exactly this to my son when I married my husband. He mad a real fuss over what my son may or may not call my husband, and I saw how my son felt guilty when he slipped up. It wasn't fair of his father to do this, but what was done was done. I couldn't change that. We just worked on helping him feel better if he did accidentally call my husband dad. I promise, it hasn't scarred him for life :)

Chet - posted on 10/11/2014




This is just a thought, but maybe instead of battling with the bio mom about this you can work with your step son to feel okay about the situation. What's done is done, you just need to move forward. It doesn't really matter if bio mom is right or wrong, you have to deal with the fallout. I'm not sure that you can go back to how things were.

My guess would be that if this is upsetting to your step son it's because it's created some element of doubt or confusion about your relationship for him. But you could point out how no matter what he calls you, your relationship is the same, and you love him very much. You can point out that daddy calls you Addie, and he can call you Addie like daddy does. You could let him think up a special name that only he can call you.

I feel like you can do the most good strengthening your relationship with this child, and reassuring him about how important he is in your life rather than stressing about a label. It would have been nice if he'd been free to call you what he wanted, but it is just a word, and you can help him to feel that you're still there for him in the same way no matter what you're called.

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