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Calling a step-parent "mommy" or "daddy"...what's your take on this?


Forum: Blended Families

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  #1  
October 3rd, 2009, 12:16 PM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
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The name issue is a common problem among blended families, especially when biological children are also in the home and call parents "Mom" and "Dad." If most of the family calls you "Mommy" or "Daddy"," it's natural for your stepchild to want call you that too. It's also natural for you to encourage such a term of endearment if you feel it would unify your new family. Most stepparents work hard to get accepted by their stepchildren--it's a tribute to you that the step-child(ren) feels so close to those step-parents.

In some cases, when there is a bio-parent that is absent or not actively involved, it makes sense for the child to want to have that person "Daddy" or "Mommy" in their lives, and it's natural.

On the other hand, if their is a Mommy or Daddy that "is" actively involved, this is hurtful to the bio-parent(s). I often give the opinion of having the child think of a unique nickname for that new step-parent that they feel so close too. This even can apply to the step-grand-parents. This solution can strengthen the bond, but it would also make the ex's feel better. The child doesn't feel "torn" between the important people in their lives. Although some step-parents still want to hear the word, "mommy" or "daddy" (and sometimes "grandma/grandpa") from their step-child, remember that whatever they call you is not a measure of the quality of your relationship. You can be intimate with the child no matter what name they settle on.When this happened in my blended family, emotions ran very high. I felt threatened and thought I was losing my son's affections. Which is why I was "not" okay w/ my DS calling his step-mother "mommy" or anything other than her real name.

This happened for my ex too when I married my DH, my DS wanted to change his last name to be the same as our last name, even though my DS had my maiden name, not my ex's last name. As a result, instead of hurting anyone, I decided to take my maiden name & my married name & hyphenate them so that my DS (from my previous relationship) felt like he was part of the family, my 2 boys that I had w/ my DH, have both my DH's last name "and" my maiden name, so my first DS doesn't feel left out. It does get confusing when calling the insurance companies or dealing w/ medical apts at times but I am glad that I made that decision. My DS doesn't feel like he's the only one w/ that name, he can be part of his brothers lives w/ out having to change his name & hurt his bio-dad.

What are you thoughts on this? How have you handled this in the past (if you went through this already)?

Something to think about too if you haven't come across this situation yet but could be in the near future.


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  #2  
October 3rd, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Last edited by Raynee; May 10th, 2010 at 08:16 AM.
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  #3  
October 4th, 2009, 05:21 AM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Been asked so many times.....also seen it a gazillion times in posts. I rather felt fear towards it when my step daughter started calling me mom. I tried to put a stop to it only to realize that i was pushing her away (big NO NO)....then i stepped back and looked at it from a cold point of view. Know what i saw? As scared little girl that has a torn life between 2 houses, between 2 people she adores (mom and dad) that live apart, and she has to adapt to their own respective lives AND the people around them (step parents) if she is to survive and move on. She is thrown into this situation without choice and she has to belong.....she HAS to.......as we ALL do. It's so normal and also sad. That is why she started calling me mom. First it was in front of others because it's easier to explain to strangers that hey this is mom and dad, than oh this is dad and his new wife with their new baby and my mom is in another home with another guy and so on and so forth. Too much for another kid (that age) to digest. As time went by i let her call me mom and i responded naturally without even flicking to any mom comment she made me. I watched her by the corner of my eye. i KNEW she smiled secretely when i acted that way. Now she calls me mom EVEN when we are alone. Or mommy kelly. I love it and she does also. She does it naturally and NO she does not confuse me with bio-mom. She has us seperated, the feelings for each seperated also, different and unique. I never stop pointing out to her that MOM is only one, but when the child tells me so naturally 'Yeah ok but YOUR opinion matters to me so much also......and you are a mom to me likewise'.......oh man i cannot say anything to that. Becoming a bio mom myself made me much more sensitive to this child also. The way i touch, talk and look at her so much different than it was before. So yeah i feel like a kind of mom to her. Not her bio-mom OF COURSE....but a mom nontheless that will be there for her NO MATTER what.....albeit her bio-mom OR bio-dad and all the rest.......and i have told her that. 'This house is yours and open for you to come whenever u want, albeit what happens with your dad or mom or whomever around you'.......the girl said the most honest 'thank you mom' i have ever personally heard...............

And anyone out there can call me a dreamer but i love my step daughter A LOT and i mean every word i say. And it honors me that she prefers calling me mom sometimes EVEN though i know as sure as hell that i will never be or equal her bio-mom as apporpriate......

PS: And that's why i don't post about personal issues here.......because in essence there are none yet.......
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  #4  
October 4th, 2009, 08:35 AM
ToonTownGirl's Avatar Super Mommy
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I have had this issue a few times. With my DSS, he knows that I'm not his mom, and knows that I would never try to replace his mom. We have actually had a few chats about this, because he has said something about his BM saying that I was forcing him to call me "MOM". I don't even believe in labelling the "step-mom". Yes, I refer to these children as my stepchildren, but it's easier that way. But I would NEVER force them to call me their step-mom. I'm TTGirl, and that's it. Right now, I live with Daddy, and we love each other very much. So if when we get married, then I will be TTGirl, Daddy's wife. DSS is about to be 9, so if he decides later on that he wants to call me Mom, or refer to me as his step mom, I think that he is mentally mature enough that he will know the difference between me and his BM. But honestly, I don't ever see that happening, as the things that we have heard from the other side, I think that he will never call me that cause of the rath that he would get on the other side.

As for my DSD, she is almost 2, and there's confusion sometimes... I get my "nickname" with Mommy attached to the end. But she knows who her mom is. So as she gets older, we will see how things go.
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