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Does it bother you when your DSK calls their BM their "real mother"??

Forum: Blended Families


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  • 2 Post By K.A.T
  • 1 Post By LoriLou35

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April 23rd, 2012, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Ok, so a couple weeks ago my 11 year old DSS was talking to my DD about something he had done with his BM, I think about a movie they watched or something, DD said oh you and mommy? Meaning me. He said no my "real mother". Now, I don't know how anyone else feels, but for me thats a slap in the face. I'm sure he didn't mean it the way it sounded, but I'm definitely not fake. The time I spend with him is real, the words I say are real, the things I do to show him I love him are all real, and the money I spend to make sure he has what he needs/wants is definitely not monopoly money! lol

I guess this bothers me so much more right now because she's barely even been a mother to him. All the things that she should be doing,and should have been doing from the very start, I'm doing and consistently, and the bad things she used to do when her kids were in her care, I couldn't do! I would never dream of up and moving away from my children, never dream of not supporting my kids, or go weeks without calling them or seeing them, never dream of putting a man,drug,drink before my kids.

So now after my lil rant there, sorry about that, I'm asking you. Would you have corrected your step-child? Would you have simply stated that mother is "birth mother" and I'm just as real as your mother is real the only difference between the two of us is one gave birth to you? Honestly, in our situation that is the only difference. Or am I being too sensitive? I didn't correct him and ask him to call her birth mother like I wanted to deep down, because I was worried that it would be the wrong thing to do. But now I'm questioning if I should have or if I should next time he says it.
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April 23rd, 2012, 10:33 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I would avoid putting any kind of taboo on any kind of terms for parents in his life. "Birth mother" is just not a phrase a child would think to use. "Real mother" just means that she's his biological mother and those are the words he uses to describe that. I would take it in stride and try not to assign any extra meaning to his word choice.

We have always maintained here that their relationship with Mommy is separate from their relationship with Daddy and Kayla, and that it isn't a competition, and it's okay to have different kinds of relationships with different people. Loving me doesn't mean they love Mommy any less (which is what I think has been a struggle for one of them in particular). The youngest two sometimes do call me "mom" or some variant thereof instead of my first name (which is what they usually say and what the older kids always say) and I try not to influence or correct them in any way. My 5 yo dsd often talks to me about how she has "two moms now" and says a lot of things like "So, we have a mommy, and we also have a step-mom. Are you my step-mom or my half-mom?" (I'll tell her I'm a step-mom, and I've never heard of a half-mom ) "Oh. Well, how about Mommy can be mom and half-mom, and you can be my mom, my half-mom and my step-mom?"

It doesn't make a lick of sense but she's trying to verbalize her relationships in a way that makes sense to her, and I try to just give her the freedom to do that. It's not physically possible to be a "half-mom" but she uses those words anyway because in her mind, they're the best words she can find to describe the relationship between her and I. If, as she grows older, she decides to only call me by my first name because that just makes more sense for her, that would be okay too. We have a good relationship and it isn't dependent on which words she chooses to use to describe it (and the same goes for the relationships I have with the rest of my dsc as well).

In your case, I can see how it would make it a lot harder knowing that you're the one who's there all the time and she's constantly putting all kinds of things before him. It's a valid feeling to be a little hurt by the notion that you aren't a real caregiver for him. I just think that all he meant by "real mother" was "the mother who I'm related to" or something to that effect. He knows who takes care of him. I think that asking him to say, "birth mom" would just create confusion and anxiety about his relationships and when it is or isn't safe to process what they mean to him. It sounds a lot more like a statement of how he understands relationships as opposed to a commentary on who he loves more or who really takes care of him, if that makes sense.

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Last edited by Keakie; April 23rd, 2012 at 10:38 AM.
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April 23rd, 2012, 10:39 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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I have never heard my boys say that but others have in the past and you're right, it does sting a little bit. As you said though, I'm sure he didn't mean it the way you perceived it. It was just a way for him to distinguish between you and her. Don't take it personally.
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April 23rd, 2012, 11:15 AM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I can see why that would sting a little!!

There is 4 years between my sister and I. We do not have the same mother. So when we were very little it was "real mom" and "your mom" when she was trying to explain. As we got older it changed to "my mom" and "our mom". She hasn't had a relationship with her mother since she was 13.... so she calls my mother mom now.

Reme calls me Ashley, occasionally he'll call me some variant of mom. He's only six, so the concept of "real" hasn't occured to him. It's Mom and other mom. Neither of his parents are comfortable with him calling the step parent mom or dad... but we have decided to just let him do his thing. He has no other siblings.. so he doesn't hear "mom" or "dad" to the other parent. If he did, he might call us something else.
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April 23rd, 2012, 12:41 PM
pmdc5286's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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With Robert, I am Patty. I only address myself as his step-mom in his hearing. He is Autistic, so everything has to be black and white for him. The school will call me his mom and other people will, but we have to make the distinction around him.

Is it tough? Yes I am the one who takes him to 90% of the doctors appt that he has and picks up all of his prescriptions because she won't get up off her butt. I take care of him when he is sick. Jonah and I get him up for school most mornings. We do school conferences. What does she do, sits on face book from the time she gets up until the time she goes to bed and has her food brought too her and waits on Sea World to call her!

I know there are some people who shouldn't be allowed to be father's, but, there are some who shouldn't be mothers when you completely depend on someone else to take care of your child.

Don't misunderstand me, I have no problem taking care of Robert at all. The problem is she refuses to do anything for him. Her idea of doing something for him is calling DFCS if someone doesn't jump to her need. When he was with her full time she refused to fill his prescriptions and if we did not pick them up she called DFCS saying WE were ignoring Robert's medical needs, or she would send him here without medications.

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April 23rd, 2012, 05:40 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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It honestly doesn't bother me, but then again, she's never called me anything other than Liz. When she talks about bm, she's always just said my mom. I can understand why it would bother a person, it just doesn't bother me.

Terms like birth mom I use only for adopted kids. In cases like ours, their is bio mom and step mom. When I hear the term birth mom, I think of a mother who no longer has any rights at all and gave her child up for adoption. I'm also not a fan of pushing my feels onto the kids. For example, I don't believe in forcing a child to call a step parent anything they don't feel comfortable calling them. Hence, why I'm still just Liz 10 years later. I know when she talks about me to her friends, I'm her step mom and I'm OK with that.
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April 23rd, 2012, 11:08 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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5 minutes after we got engaged, Owen called me mom. He thinks that he now has 2 moms. And we aren't even married yet!

I told him one time that he does not HAVE to call me mom. He had said he would when he got married. I simply said, "well kiddo, you have a mom, and she'll always be your mom and I would never want anyone to think Im trying to replace her. So maybe we can come up with something for you to call me."

We haven't discussed it since, but once we got engaged he said "Im really happy.....mom" and smirked at me. So if he wants to call me mom, I guess so be it. He's always just called me jennifer, and he does still. So who even knows if mom will stick. Its a very touchy situation.

I also don't like REAL mom. Owen has always just said "my mom." Because she is his mom and his mom only.
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April 24th, 2012, 07:38 AM
LoriLou35's Avatar Veteran
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You can't let little things like "real mom" bother you. It is just his way of distinguishing between you two. The fact that he has to make that distinction shows that you are pretty important and as close to being his mom as possible.
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April 24th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Thanks ladies! Nice to hear some other opinions. Don't get me wrong, I by no means want to replace DSS' BM in anyway. He's always called me step-mommy and now step-mom and at times mom, only because he wanted to. I told him mom is fine at our house but not around BM. Because even if she hasn't done things quite right, I won't do anything to cause drama and I still want him to know that she is still his mom esp around her, I'm mom in this house, she is at hers.

I guess to me it was more or less a respect thing, probably not something I should be bothered by but just kinda hurts. I guess if anything I should be happy with the way he has to distinguish between the two of us in that way, just wish it there was an easier "nicer" way of saying it. lol
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April 24th, 2012, 09:09 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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As he gets older I'm sure that he'll start to use less blunt words. 11 year old boys are not exactly known for their eloquence.

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April 24th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Originally Posted by Keakie
As he gets older I'm sure that he'll start to use less blunt words. 11 year old boys are not exactly known for their eloquence.
So so so true!
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April 24th, 2012, 07:55 PM
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Haha yes you've got that right Keakie!! Boys aren't very sensitive to that stuff, what am I saying men aren't terribly sensitive to that stuff either! lol Oh well, maybe in due time... :-)
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April 25th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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My dd's bio father gave up his rights when she was 6. He was barely in her life before that & never as a true father but she did know him. Dh adopted her. She is now almost 10 & uses real dad to refer to her bio dad. She adores Dh & he is her father in every way. She doesn't mean it as a slight or anything. Really to her "real" means bio. It has nothing to do with dh's role or her feelings toward him.

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