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To me, it depends on the relationship between the "step" and the individual. I have some "steps" that I call "grandpa so and so", and others I do not. With my daughter for those "steps", I will allow her to decide what to call them, and try not to take it personally.
As far as splitting biological children, and step children. This kind of bothers me. My mom's boyfriend's family, considers me a "daughter" or "sister", and my daughter a "granddaughter". His family is nothing at all to me, espcially because they are not legally marriage [married threw -is that the right spelling?- common law, but I don't 'believe' in common law marriages]. It just makes it really uncomfortable. I've "known" them since I was 14 [now almost 21].
If either parent ever "offically" remarries, I may consider their spouse as a "mother or father figure", and maybe one day mother or father. Same with step-siblings, I'm sure I'd consider them sibling-like, but because of the lack of growing up together at this point, it'd hard to really say they are my "brother" or "sister", like I say my brothers are my brothers.
Proud Mommy To My Princess (5)
Watching over us -- August 2005, March 2010, October 2010, July 2011
I have a 13 yr old step son. I usually refer to him as my son. Most everyone around me knows that he is my step son, so I don't feel the need to say 'step son'. He calls me mom by his own choice. I only asked that he call me by my first name, and I feel honored that he calls me mom. I have been in his life since he was 2 1/2 and we have a special relationship that he doesn't have with his real mom.
I think what you call each other depends on the situation and what everyone feels comfortable with.
I think it really depends on the relationship. My husband's father died when DH was 14 years old, and so he does refer to his stepdad as his stepdad (though when addressing him, just calls him by his first name). They don't have a close relationship, no matter how many times my DH has tried to be close to him.
If I had stepchildren, I wouldn't refer to them as my stepkids unless that's how they wanted to be referred to. I wouldn't want to "take the place" of their mom, you know?
Writer, Navy wife, autistic mom of two autistic kids (E is 6, C is 5).
I think it all depends on the family dynamics. My son is not my DH's biological child, but he adopted him and he calls him dad. He is still very young and it really bothers me when we are around his family and they point out the "stepdad" thing, because my son doesn't understand what that means..to him my DH is his dad. The same thing with me, my dad adopted me too when my biological father no longer wanted to be a part of my life...the word "step" never comes to our mouths when we are talking about each other. I do think that if you are in situations like mine to have people point out the "step" part of the equation can be somewhat hurtful and demeaning.
On the other hand, if something were to happen to me or my DH and I divorced, I think I may take issue with my son referring to someone else as mom.