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Do you step kids call you mom?


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  #1  
December 21st, 2010, 10:34 AM
AndyBee's Avatar Super Mommy
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I'm in a weird position. Since we aren't married yet, I'm not really Evann's stepmom. We've never encouraged her to call me mom, but she recently started calling me Momma. In the parenting agreement it states that nobody other than BD and BM are to be called Father/Mother or their equivilants. So really, she's not supposed to be calling me this. When she says "hey momma," I ask her who she's talking to, and she points to me. I say in a silly voice, "I'm Mana" and she replies, "No, Momma."

Well, BM called really upset because Evann has been refering to me as Momma, crying out saying that she wants Momma. BM says that she is Mom, and Evann says "No, Mana is Momma." Obviously, I understand BM's emotions. I would be very hurt if my daughter was crying out for another woman, and especially if she was calling that woman mom.

It's a weird situation because I've always heard that you should let kids call you whatever they feel comfortable. In the parenting classes that they were required to take, it told them not to force the names Mom and Dad on step parents, but it said nothing about restricting the name if they choose it. I'm afraid that if I tell her, No you can't call me that, it will hurt her. It seems like she's crying out for another maternal figure, and I don't want to deprive her of that, or damage her self esteem by witholding a name she has given me.

Not to mention, Tim and I plan on having more kids. If we tell Evann she's never allowed to call me Mom, and then let our kids, it will make her seem like an outsider. Usually, I wouldn't care what she calls me. But since she is the one wanting to call me Momma, I hate to stop her.

I don't want to hurt BM, and understand that she is the mom, I'm not. I just don't know what to do.
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  #2  
December 21st, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Ugh, what a tough situation! My SKs have always called me by my first name, so it's never really been an issue. (They all toyed around with calling me "mom" at various points, but i think it weirded both them and me out! Rather than telling your sd that she can't call you momma (which would probably backfire or create feelings of resentment), what if you have a cozy conversation with her, letting her know how much you care about her, and how grateful you are to have her in your life AND that you want to make up a "special" name for you that isn't momma, but isn't necessarily your first name either. Sort of like how kids will call their grandparents by all sorts of names other than "grandma" or "grandpa". I don't know if that will work ongoing, but maybe it will be a special thing between just the two of you rather than a forced thing.

Best of luck!

Last edited by shanita257; December 22nd, 2010 at 10:46 AM.
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  #3  
December 21st, 2010, 04:55 PM
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Mine call me by my first name, but mostly because they are older. Had they been as young as your step-daughter, they might have called me mom. However, they do refer to me as "my mom" when talking about me to their friends or classmates. I think it's easier than to say "step-mom" for them. I'm up for whatever they want to call me and I would never encourage them to call me anything other than my name, but if they wanted to call me Mom, I would not discourage them either.

It sounds like birth mom has some insecurities that she needs to work out.
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  #4  
December 21st, 2010, 06:37 PM
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mine call me mom, basically because they live with me and never see their bio mom. they call her by her name. but she earned that one, and it was his decision
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  #5  
December 21st, 2010, 09:20 PM
AndreaRenee's Avatar raising boys...
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after dh and I had been together for 4 years and he proposed, my sd decided she wanted to start calling me mom.... well her mom forbid it. 4 years later things are still not the same because of the bm... sd and I were getting really close and her mom put a quick stop to that...

sucks badly for us.
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  #6  
December 21st, 2010, 09:23 PM
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  #7  
December 22nd, 2010, 07:30 AM
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  #8  
December 22nd, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Why not try something like "momma mana" or "mommy Amanda" That way she gets to call you what she wants and bio mom may find it more acceptable.

I personally would not want my children to call anyone else mom or momma or mommy. I'm far from insecure. It's just that I gave birth to them, I raise them, I pay for their stuff - I am there mother. I wouldn't have an issue with momma Amanda though.


For us my sd call me by my first name (well the 16 year old calls me names... but ones I can't type here ) but the were older when dh & I met. My dd was 2 1/2 when we met & she called dh by his 1st name until a year later when we got married. Then out of the blue, she started calling him step-daddy. Which we found weird at 1st but he was her stepdaddy. Her bio dad wasn't in the picture much in the beggining he was daddy & dh was daddy Bryan. Then as time went on dh became daddy & bio dad became daddy Sam. And that's the way it is today. But now dh adopted her so he is legally her daddy.


Edited to add: My bff had an issue with her mil. All the other grandkids call the grandparents momma & papa. When my bff had her 1st child she put a top to it and her kids call them grandma & grandpa.
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Last edited by My2miracles; December 22nd, 2010 at 09:55 AM.
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  #9  
December 22nd, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I personally would not want my children to call anyone else mom or momma or mommy. I'm far from insecure. It's just that I gave birth to them, I raise them, I pay for their stuff - I am there mother. I wouldn't have an issue with momma Amanda though.
I understand that I'm not her "mother," as I did not give birth to her. I know you are just answering my question honestly regarding your own situation, but it hit a nerve. I'm sure BM feels as though she is the "primary caregiver," in fact I'm almost positive she truly believes that. Personally, I feel as though I'm more of a "mom" in the retrospect of care.

I feel like I raiser her, pay for her things, I potty trained her, make her breakfast/lunch/dinner, do her laundry, give her baths, help her brush her teeth, tuck her into bed, tend to her if she wakes up in the night, read her stories, sing her songs, cuddle, soothe her owies, teach her manors, discipline her when she's acting up, teach her to play games, take her to the zoo/church/everywhere. When we have her during our parenting time (which is 50/50) we never put her in daycare. With her BM she's in daycare 3 out of the 3-4 days she has her. Again, I don't expect her to call me mom, nor would I ask her to. I guess I'm struggling so much about this because Evann wants to call me mom, and secondly I do all the "motherly" things that any mom would.

BM is not a monster. She's a very nice woman, but she definately does have some insecurities. Both of us like to be in control, and we tend to run into problems with that. All in all, we have a fairly ok relationship. So I'd hate to see this one issue ruin what we have going for us.
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  #10  
December 22nd, 2010, 12:58 PM
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I didn't mean to hit a nerve. I wasn't saying that you think her are her mother or anything. I was just saying how I would feel if I were in that situation.

Being a stepmom is a difficult position to be in. And quite honestly you hit a nerve with me & I had to stop myself from reacting to it in a negative way. My kids are in daycare. My life doesn't allow me the privelage of being a sahm. During the day while I'm at work, my kids are being taken care of by someone else - their needs are being met by someone else - they are being nurtured by someone else. That doesn't make me not their mother and it doesn't make the primary caretakers their mother either.

That's why I offered you the option of having her call you Mommy Mana or Mommy Amanda. That affords you the title that you deserve but doesn't take away her bio mother's title which she also deserve. Might be an acceptable solution for all. KWIM?
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  #11  
December 22nd, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBee View Post
I understand that I'm not her "mother," as I did not give birth to her. I know you are just answering my question honestly regarding your own situation, but it hit a nerve. I'm sure BM feels as though she is the "primary caregiver," in fact I'm almost positive she truly believes that. Personally, I feel as though I'm more of a "mom" in the retrospect of care.

I feel like I raiser her, pay for her things, I potty trained her, make her breakfast/lunch/dinner, do her laundry, give her baths, help her brush her teeth, tuck her into bed, tend to her if she wakes up in the night, read her stories, sing her songs, cuddle, soothe her owies, teach her manors, discipline her when she's acting up, teach her to play games, take her to the zoo/church/everywhere. When we have her during our parenting time (which is 50/50) we never put her in daycare. With her BM she's in daycare 3 out of the 3-4 days she has her. Again, I don't expect her to call me mom, nor would I ask her to. I guess I'm struggling so much about this because Evann wants to call me mom, and secondly I do all the "motherly" things that any mom would.

BM is not a monster. She's a very nice woman, but she definately does have some insecurities. Both of us like to be in control, and we tend to run into problems with that. All in all, we have a fairly ok relationship. So I'd hate to see this one issue ruin what we have going for us.
I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but this sounds like you're looking for recognition from your SD and you get that when she calls you "momma". I totally understand where you're coming from because I'm with my step-sons 98% of the time, love them, feed them, shop for them, help with homework, etc.; all the things you said you do for your step-daughter. In the end though, I'm not their mother. To me, it's not a matter of what they call me so much as it is a matter of where they know they can go for comfort, nourishment, encouragement, etc., kwim?

I think it's great that your SD wants to call you momma, and it's great that you do all those things for her and treat her like your own child, but you can't change the biology, any more than I can. ((hugs)) being a step-parent is so hard!
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  #12  
December 22nd, 2010, 04:16 PM
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Kris - I'm so sorry my post upset you. This was not my intent. In no way do I believe that utilizing daycare makes anyone a bad parents. I was just stating that BM has less on hands care with Evann than we do, yet she is in denial of how much we care for her as well. Both Tim and I work, however since I work three 12 hour shifts, we wouldn't have to daycare. If I did work more days, we would of course utilize daycare as well. Again, I find nothing wrong with working moms (or SAHM for that matter)

Rachel - I admit, yes it does warm my heart when she calls me Mom. However, I'm not looking for recognition from SD. If anything, I would like a bit of acknowledgment from BM that I am a parental figure in her daughter's life. However, I know that will never happen. She barely even acknowledge's Tim is a father. She has it in her head that since she is mom, she is the ONLY parent. When he tells her about taking SD to the zoo, BM will respond with, "Oh, that was nice of you. You didn't have to do that." Huh? Of course he didn't have to. But he wanted to. It's like she's in denial that we actually do things with SD.

I wasn't trying to upset anyone, and I appologize if I have. This is just an odd situation for me to be in. It's like I'm not allowed to have a voice, and I figured I could come here to find one. JM has been my safe haven lately.
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  #13  
December 22nd, 2010, 05:37 PM
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I totally understand wanting BM to acknowledge what you do. I would love for that from my kids' mom. I know it'll never come because she feels like I've taken her place, even though she gave the kids up. It wasn't like we fought her for them and won, she asked if they could live with us and then didn't respond to any of the pleadings. Why she holds such animosity towards me, I will never know.

It is a tough situation to be in and I don't envy you. I like just being Rachel to my boys. It's much easier that way.
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  #14  
December 22nd, 2010, 06:33 PM
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My SD was older whenI came into the picture so she calls me Ashley. DD calls SO Mr. P or P.

She calls her dad's DW Katie.
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  #15  
December 23rd, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Why do you need bio mom to acknowledge you? I guess I don't understand that. What does it matter?

You are more than welcome to vent here. We do understand. But we're also going to give our honest opinions.

Honestly I think you need to lighten up a little on everything. I don't know how you interact with bio mom if at all - but I can't help but wonder how you come off? The whole - we spend more active parenting time...... Quite honestly that would send me through the roof if I were bio mom.

Just lighten up & let it be what it is. Enjoy you dsd, be a great stepmother and let the rest go. Figure out what she should call you & move one.

I find it funny also that you haven't even acknowledge the titles I've suggested twice. Is momma mana not acceptable to you? Some version of that seems like the simplest solution of all.
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  #16  
December 23rd, 2010, 03:28 PM
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I really do see Amanda's side. I'm in her shoes exactly. The reason she is upset is because her stepchild feels so close to her that she wants to place the name "mom" upon her but biomom wont allow it. Thats my identical situation. And I personally feel that by forbidding your child from calling their stepmom "mom" sends a clear message to that child... she is not your mother, I am... and I think it creates unnecessary confusion and tension. It puts everyone in their place, if you will. It makes the stepmom feel that our efforts dont matter one bit, we are as good as a babysitter.

I mean yes biomom has the right to forbid it if she chooses, but ultimately it hurts her child... biomom should be sooo happy that their child is being cared for in such a way that they feel that close to their sm.

Now if dh and I were to ever divorce, I cant say I'd be thrilled if my son wanted to call his new stepmom, mom. However, that word doesnt threaten me, it doesnt change who I am to my son and thats the bottom line, no one can ever replace me, I know it and he knows it... its all about him feeling comfortable and if he's happy and comfortable using the word "mom" to his stepmom, I should be happy for him and happy our divorce isn't screwing him up too badly.

Just my two cents
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  #17  
December 23rd, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Growing up I called my bestfriends parents mom and dad. I actually still to this day call them mom and dad and my daughter calls them Grammy and Poppy. My parents were never upset.

I look at the step parenting thing the same way. My daughter can call whoever she wants mom dad grandma grandpa. It doesn't bother me at all. I know and she knows who her real parents are and that is all that matters in my eyes.
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  #18  
December 23rd, 2010, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
Why do you need bio mom to acknowledge you? I guess I don't understand that. What does it matter?
For me, it's not so much that I want appreciation, I would just rather her be grateful that I stepped in when she couldn't take care of them, instead of bad-mouthing me to them and treating me like I don't exist or matter. When I'm around her, she talks over me, won't look at me, ignores my questions of her and only communicates with Neely. And even the one time I dropped them off while he was working, she would not talk to me. I asked her a question and she completely ignored me. I asked her again if she knew when we'd be picking them up and she told Will "I'll call your dad tomorrow when I'm ready for him to come get you". It's just annoying.

When the boys came to live with us, Neely was out of town on business. He was gone for 4 weeks and she knew that. I was still picking up the boys for the regular weekend visits, but then I got a call from her asking if they could come stay with us "for a few weeks" till she found a place to live. I dropped everything. I picked them up the day before my own son's 18th birthday and totally put his birthday plans on hold because I needed to get things for them because they came with only the clothes on their backs.

And then she posts pictures on facebook of her out partying with her friends, of new tattoos she's getting, and other things she does in her free time and here I am, taking care of her kids, having virtually no free time and she can't even speak to me? It just stings a little bit.

Her own mom acknowledges me and tells me how grateful she is for all that I do for them. As a mom, I think if there ever was a time, God forbid, that I couldn't care for my kids, I would have a little more respect for those who did, kwim? I don't know. It's probably a selfish thing to want her to acknowledge/appreciate what I do. I'm by no means complaining about doing for them. I love it and love them. It just sucks that her own insecurities and short-comings prevent her from saying thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaRenee View Post
It makes the stepmom feel that our efforts dont matter one bit, we are as good as a babysitter.
Yes, this exactly. I don't feel like this from Neely, but I certainly do from their mom.
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  #19  
December 24th, 2010, 01:27 AM
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I can understand her position a bit. It's totally different when it's the child who is wanting to call you Mom and someone else gives the child or you flack about it. My DSD ASKED to call me Mom at 6 years old. I left it totally up to her and for a long time it was about 50/50 between calling me Mom and calling me Stacy. Over the last year and a half it's turned into Mom pretty much all the time. I can't remember the last time she called me Stacy. Telling the child that they aren't allowed to call you what they want is just as bad to me as making a child call a step-parent Mom or Dad. My ex MIL had her kids calling various bf's and husband's Dad. Irritated the hell out of me and that was before I even had any kids. It's up to the kid. The adults shouldn't force a child one way or another. There isn't a lot of reason to get upset because the child may continue to call someone Mom or Dad or it may just phase out too.
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  #20  
December 24th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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Just wanted to add that as a bio mom - I don't get recognition for what I do either. It's just way it is.

Rachel - I get your position but that's different than Amanda's. You stepkids bio mom isn't in the picture really. But Amanda's stepkids bio mom is parenting her child, is taking care of her child when it's her time to have her.
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