19 answers

What Is the Step Mom to Be Called?

My ex remarried this past weekend. Our little girl told me that she now has two mommys. I can handle that part. When I asked her what she calls the new mommy she said mom or mother. I cannot handle that. I explained to her that she has one mommy and a step mommy. And that I would like her to only call me mommy. How should I handle this? What is the legal part of this too? The new wife is very nice and there are no hard feelings there. But this is my daughter. What should I do?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for the comments. It helped a whole bunch. After I posted this, the ex called on behalf of his wife. She wanted me to know that our daughter had been saying the same thing to her. That she now had two mommies. The new wife told her that she has only one mommy. My heart just melted. Another reason I like the new wife. She does bring out the softer side in my ex. I will give it a little time and see how it goes with the little one. I may suggest the mama(her name) idea. Again, thank you everyone.

Featured Answers

I am a step mom of 5 years now. And as soon as I married my husband his youngest daughter then 5 years old. Started calling me mommy. And her mother just lost it. So, I explained the same thing and she understood. So, what I told her is she needs to make up a special name for her to use with me. So we know the difference between who she is talking about. My name is M., so she came up with MiMi. That works just fine. Now all of my neices and nephews call me Aunt Mimi. I guess thats my new name.

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You sound insecure. Regardless of what your daughter calls her step-mother that does not in any way make you less of HER mother. It can be very confusing for children with two parents, especially if the other parent has children that call her mommy. "Step-mommy" is a mouthful, "mommy" is easy to say. I don't believe there are any legal rules on what children should call step-parents. I think you should have your daughter call her whatever makes HER feel most comfortable, not you. My three year old step-daughter is not allowed to call me mommy because her mother doesn't allow her to. I often am confronted with tears by my step-daughter who is asking, "I love you, why can't you be mommy too?" She is not trying to replace her mom when I am there and her mom isn't, she merely wants to know the role I fill in her life. And whether its easy or not, it is a maternal role. Growing up, I loved having two mommies and two daddies, I thought I was lucky that I had two. By the time I reached ten I stopped calling my step-parents by mom and dad and switched to their first names. But I was always allowed to feel secure that it was okay to call my step-parents what I felt like calling them.

2 moms found this helpful

I have been a step mother for 14 years. We let the children decide what to call me. They were 3, 5, and 6 when I married their father. They sometimes called me by my name and sometimes called me mama. However, they know who there mother is and that I was there step mother. Divorce is hard enough on children without adding more issues. You know your daughter loves you and knows who her biological mother is. Let her decide what to call the step parent. You may be feeling that her calling the step mother mama is being dis loyal to you but she is probably just trying to fit in. My step children are teenagers and early 20's now and sometimes they call me mama and sometimes they call me by my name I just let it be up to what they are comfortable with.

2 moms found this helpful

I just want to say don't make your child feel like she has to choose or that she isn't allowed to call another woman mommy. Its difficult, yes, and it hurts but being that child who had two moms is even more difficult. There is pressure on the child that you may not know about. Just be happy that your child has a big enough heart and is sharing her love with her whole family, new additions and all.

I was in the same spot as your child is. My father remarried (to a much nicer woman than my own mother) and I immediately wanted to call her mom. My biological mother treated me horrible for it (along with her already being abusive mentally and physically) so Please do not put any added pressure on your child to force her to call her step mom by any name-let her choose.

You've got to understand its going to be all right.

Think about it, there will be a day when she says to the step mom "You're not my REAL mom" even though this woman is helping raise your child along with you and the father-not asking for anything in return. Its going to hurt her to have to hear that one day.

So just keep in mind, I'm sure the step mom feels very loved and accepted by hearing your daughter call her what she is calling her but she [your daughter] can't even fathom what is really going on in the grown up world when it comes to this issue.

Just let it be and everything will turn out okay.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sure it hurts to hear your daughter call another woman mom, but remember this situation is strange to her too. There's another woman in her father's life right now and she's trying to adapt to the situation. Don't make it any more difficult for her by saying "you can't call her mom". Let her do what she feels comfortable doing. Although I do like the previous suggestion of her using "Mama Jane" (or whatever the step's name is). And this you could suggest rather than dictate. And if that's how you refer to your ex-husband's wife, maybe it will catch on with your daughter. The best of luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful

mommy 1 mommy 2
birth mom egg mom
old mom new mom
talk to your ex and hs wife
mother and mommy
did step mom adopt her, if not then she is really not related to the chld.

Learn to get over it! Does the child know the difference?
Just be the BEST Mom

1 mom found this helpful

B., Your daughter will always be your daughter.... The step mother is her second mom. but will never take your place. Let your daughter decide what to call the other, so that way she always feels comfortable. It is important that you all get along. You have a warm and very close bond with your daughter and nothing will change that... God promises that to you....Don't let the little green monster take over...Hugs to you and all will work out

1 mom found this helpful

I've been through this situation before, with my oldest daughter, who was 5 at the time of remarriage.

With us, we call the stepmother by her first name. I completely understand why you don't want your daughter to call her Mom or Mother.

There is no legal part. There is no law that says that step parents are to be called, "X" or "Y".

Just be happy that instead of having just 1 or 2 parents who love and care about her, now she has 3. Some children don't have any, at all.

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. No matter what you decide, the stepmom should be ok with it, because it won't be demeaning or rude to her.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear B., I'm so glad it worked out! Time does that, most of the time. :-) My son's father had someone new in his life when our son was 2 1/2--he would sometimes say "my other mom." We all decided that life should be as easy as possible for a little one sharing two households, and we decided on the term 'bonus mom.' He eventually settled into calling her by her 1st name, but in the transition it was important for him to know that names were less important than his sense of well-being. [Anecdote: When he would say, "At my birthday, my mom and my other mom..." people thought he had two women partners as parents!]

I have a step daughter and she calls me Mom. She came to me and ask if she could call me mom. You shouldn't be upset that your daughter calls her stepmother mom. You should not feel threaten by this. Being married to your ex she is now playing a parent roll to your child. Ask you daughter if they are making her call her mom or if your daughter just did it on her own. If she is being made then that's another story. You should trust that your ex will use good judgement when it comes to your daughter. Just remember you picked him once your slef.

Hi B.,
I don't think there's any legal part of the naming thing. But I would ask your daugther and your ex and his new wife to respect your wishes in being called the only Mommy. Since things are amicable, sounds like they would want to honor your wishes. I would just be really calm about it, so your daughter doesn't get mistakenly assume you are jealous, etc.

You are right, a child only has one Mommy and one Daddy. No matter what the family structure or "blended" nature.

Good luck!

My parents are still married to each other so I don't have much personal advice to give. I can tell you what my sister did. My sister got remarried recently and my neice called her stepdad whose name is Chuck --- Chuck Daddy. It's cute, it has made him feel special because although not her dad he does take on a fatherly role with her when she is with them (which is 85%-90% of the time).

Realize that you will always be her mom but there is another female figure in her life that will share in those special moments - first period, giving dating advice, etc. Whatever name you come up with you will want to be respectful of the new position this woman has taken in your daughters life.

my granddaughter has a new mommy and she calls her mommy judyand her biological mom, mommy if that helps

talk to her and make sure she understands how you feel. hopefully you can find a way to help her understand how you feel about it. the mother's feelings should always be taken into consideration. i cannot handle it either, and i'm in the same boat as you are.

As a mother of a child with a step mom I can understand your feelings. It's hard to think that you are being replaced by someone who has hardly earned the right to be called mom when your child is at your ex's house. At the same time, your daughter is trying to figure out who this woman is and what she means to her. How about suggesting that your daughter call her stepmom another special name like "mama (insert her name here)". That way you still get to be the one and only mom and your daughter gets to establish a relationship with this woman that feels comfortable to her.

There is no legal aspect to this situation, but I would hope that your ex husband would be sensitive to the fact that you are your daughter's mother and cannot be replaced. If he's encouraging your daughter to call his wife 'mom' it sort of feels like he's trying to replace you at his house. That doesn't feel right to me.

I'm also a step-mom to a 17 year old, and mother to a two year old. I've been involved with her life since she was four. She was never sure what to call me, so we decided to ler her call me what ever felt most comfortable for her, which is my name, M.. I think the best thing you can do is speak with your ex and his new wife about it making you uncomfortable and hopefully come up with a good name you can all live with.

I am a step mom of 5 years now. And as soon as I married my husband his youngest daughter then 5 years old. Started calling me mommy. And her mother just lost it. So, I explained the same thing and she understood. So, what I told her is she needs to make up a special name for her to use with me. So we know the difference between who she is talking about. My name is M., so she came up with MiMi. That works just fine. Now all of my neices and nephews call me Aunt Mimi. I guess thats my new name.

WOW, I'm going through the exact same thing. My ex got married on 3/29. My kids are 4 and 5. My 5 year old, a girl, is the only one asking about what to call her "new mom". I was honest with her and told her it would hurt my feelings if she called her step mom "mommy". She has always called her by her first name and I told her nothing should change. They also have a new step sister who gets very upset when they call her mom "mommy". I did the best I could, but figured honesty was the best thing.
My ex had it written into our divorce settlement that we would discourage the kids from calling any steps "Mom or Dad" however now that it is him with the new partner, he is allowing it. He feels that ignoring it is the best thing. I don't agree.
My divorce was just over a year ago so the step family is very new to me also. I still get questions about why I'm not married to Daddy anymore.
Good luck

Depending upon the age of your child, she may have been told that she now has two mommys to avoid her being confused about the relationship that the new wife has with her father. Therefore, you should not feel threatened by your child addressing her as mom/mother (especially since you have, in so many words, explained the difference in a biological mother). And, since you have no problems with the new wife, please allow your daughter to address her step-mother as she wishes because this will never take away from the love that she has for her REAL mother. It would also promote peace in your dealings with your ex and his new wife and YOUR new family.

Ask her to call her smom or smommy for step mom .. My step daughter and I came up with this, I didn't want her to think that I was trying to take her mom's place so she and I sat down together and came up with smom..:) It has been alot of fun!I hope this helps..T.

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