How would you feel as the Birth Mom if your child regularly called the Step Mom Mommy? And it was encouraged by the Father & Step Mom. I have strong feelings about this & want to know how you would feel if this happened to you.
This is just a general question it's not based on any one persons situation. I just wanted to see how many woman would be ok with the stepmom being called mom. So if the child lives with the birth mom majority of time & everyone is "decent' parents but the bio mom did NOT like the child being encouraged to call stepmom *mom* should the stepmom respect her wishes?
I think the most important thing is that the child is happy, safe, and comfortable at both homes with both families. If the child is calling a step-mom "mommy" because the child is comfortable in doing so, then I would swallow any of my own personal objections and be happy that my child feels so comfortable with her.
If the child is forced to call her "mommy" then I would have a serious problem with it. In that case I would talk to the dad and step-mom and decide on another term to use that everyone can be happy with.
My daughter caller her step mom "mom" and I was glad the woman cared enough to let her. She is an awesome example to my daughter and has been one of the main influences in her life. She took care of her when my ex was at work and loved her as much as her 2 sons who called my ex "dad" just like they did for their own dad.
I am glad I didn't let petty jealousy interfere and not allow the relationship these 2 have to grow and become something awesome.
My ex re married just over two years ago...My eldest son just graduated from college, and the ex and his new wife were there. My son introduced her to some of his friends and professors as his 'step mom'...I had to laugh to myself!
But, I guess that is what she is - even though he was over 18 when his dad married...
To me, she is his dad's new wife...but I guess to my son, she is a mom...
Just wish she'd been around to help with them poopy diapers!!
No, I don't think the stepmom should "respect" her wishes. This is not about the moms, this is about the CHILD. If the child wants/needs to call the stepmom "mom," then people's feelings should be kept out of it.
It's not her fault her parents got divorced and put her in this situation. The more love and bonding a child can receive, the better. Birth parents should not be threatened by that.
The welfare of the child comes first.
p.s. - To be clear, it should be up to the child. Nothing should be "encouraged" by one party or the other.
Updated: I just have to add that with all this step family talk it really pisses me off that these kids are being pulled in different directions. If you have never been a child of divorce then you have no IDEA what it is like to be one. A child of divorce has so many things that stress them out that deciding what name to call a step parent should be something they can control. Often times growing up I felt I wasn't in control of when I visited my dad. Schedule changes were stressful, I acted out. I couldn't control those decisions, it felt good that I could control what I name I used when speaking about or to my "other parent". So yes for those of you (general you) who find it difficult to understand because you've never been there...STOP and think about all the stresses these kids already have.
My step brother was forced to call his step dad "dad"...he would cry and cry when he came to visit us on weekends cause he was forced to do so.
I am a use both type person...I call my step dad "dad" on many occasions as he is also my dad. My "real" dad has never voiced an opinion, they alwasy told me to call "Kenny" whatever made me comfortable.
My step mom, I call her mom when I talk to my siblings on that side, she is my other mom.
I was allowed to make the decision. I was only encouraged to do what I felt comfortable with. (Both step parents have been around for 30+ years)...
I'm sure it bothers my mom and dad but they never made an issue out of it. I can't say it wouldn't bother me...I am not nor plan to be in that position but I have been the child in that position. I love all four of my parents equally...they deserve recognition from me for the love they've shown me. Doesn't mean I have to call them anything...love to me is shown by actions not words.
I have been a stepmom since my step daughter was 6. She is 19 now. NEVER did I tell her to call me mom, or enncourage it. I did not discourage either. Actually, I don't think it ever even got brought up. When she was about 11, at some completly random time she called me mom; she still does. It is fine with me, however, she does call me mom in FRONT of her mom. That is very awkward for me. I put myself in her moms shoes, and it would totally hurt my feelings to hear my kids call someone else mom! But when it comes down to it: it is the childs choice. Thats that!
My Step Mother used to ask me to call her Mom (she came into our lives when I was a teenager). She felt rejected when I did not. She was not comfortable with me having any alone time with my Dad. When in public, she would introduce me as her daughter and would shadow me. She made a lot of comparisons between herself and my mother. It was difficult, as a kid - feeling forced into a relationship mold without having history or trust.
On the other hand, one person being mom doesn't make another person NOT mom too. One of my children has a different biological Mother. She calls me Mama and her bio mama is her "Rita Mommy". It's not that her bio mama is any less her mama. It's that I'm her mother too, because I raise her. I fill a maternal role.
My niece used to scream at me, "I don't love you, I love my Mama".
I'd say, "you do love your mama. She loves you, too. And I love your mama as well. You can love me AND your mama".
I have never asked her to call me mama. But she does (she's 4). She fell into it and it gives HER a sense of security. I quite like it too.
My take on this is what ever the kid wants to call them. Since you said encourage then this would probably be a case where I don't think it is right.
My take on it is if my ex ever got remarried, yeah right, and she was good enough with my kids that on their own they called her mom I would be glad. As a mom who put their kids through divorce all I want is for them to be happy. Having someone good and decent in the other half of their lives would be perfect.
We have always left it up to the children. I told my daughter she can call her step-father whatever she wishes as long as it is not a time out word. :) I told my step-sons (whom I call my sons) the same thing. Some days it is my first name, some days it is Mommy and some days it is Mom. We figured the kids have enough problems going between two homes that this is one thing where they can make the choice.
However, I would not be offended if my daughter called her step-mom, mom. To me this shows trust in their friendship and that they get along. The worst thing is when the kid(s) do not get along with their step parent.
OMG. I hate this question. I am a step mom and my kids have a step mom. I am secure enough in my relationship with my own kids that I don't care if they call their step mom "mom". She IS the mom of her home. Just as I am in my home. I hate that parents put so much extra stress on their kids about NOT calling the step parent mom or dad. In the big picture of things, who cares? It just makes me sick.
I had this from a different angle. When my mom remarried I was 4 years old. She married a wonderful man. I had a Dad. But this new dad was in my life a lot. And we called him Daddy Al She married again when I was in highschool we called him chuck. He never did any "daddy" stuff. Does this step mom tuck your baby in at night? give kisses and hugs? I would suggest maybe an alternative like mommy kate or whatever her name is. or mama or mammy or something that is slightly different but still comforting. Does your child spend a signifigant amount of time with them? all of those things make a big difference.
It's just a name, and I think we need to step back, be adult, and not take this so personally. Let the children decide what they are comfortable with, with no pressure either way. They know who their mother and father are. If someone is in a "mommy" role and the child is comfortable with that, then let them call her "mommy".
I am a stepmom and my stepkids always called me "S.". Their bio-mom would have started WWIII if they had ever called me "mom". Interestingly, they were pressured to call her husband "daddy"... But, when they became teenagers and chose to live with us full-time, I started getting called "mom" occasionally. It was easier, quicker, and we had developed a close relationship over 14 years...
The step mom is a mom, thus the title step MOM. She is acting as a mother when the child is in her care, and I see no issue with her being called mom. That in no way takes away from the birth moms role or relationship with the child.
Yes, it would (and did) bother me. If the bio mom is alive and is decent then the first name or an alternative nickname needs to be used for the stepmom. My ex was remarried within 6 months of our divorce and had my daughter calling the woman Momma. I had full custody. The marriage lasted less than a year. I didn't lose that battle again - his next two wives were called by their first name.
If I was being selfless, perhaps I could be thankful that the child felt comfortable enough in the situation to call her that, but as she is really not "mommy", I think I would want to propose a different name.
You didn't mention how old the child is. I'm not sure what an age-appropriate alternative would be.
As in all things, approach concerns head on w/the Father and come to the table w/possible suggestions for a solution so it doesn't blow up and become counter-productive. He is probably just trying to "normalize" this experience for the child, thinking it won't disrupt his world too much, but he needs to understand that it can be just as confusing for the child to have two "mommies", esp when inevitable differences in parenting become evident.
This is so hard, because the goal (I'm guessing?) is to cultivate a positive relationship w/the SM but also establish a dynamic where she will be listened to and respected by the child when he/she is at their house. Perhaps dad thinks that the "mommy" title would help to garner that respectful association.
It would bother me. It takes alot of work to get pregnant have the baby and survive! I don't really have too much experience with this but my dad remarried when I was about 18 and he was pissed we didn't want to call her mom. What!! I had my own child by then! Just weird. I think if the child love her and wants too the its ok, but if dads forcing it then no
Absolutely! The step-Mom should respect the birth Mom's wishes. That's not to say that they shouldn't come up with an equally endearing term like "Momma" or something like it but "Mommy" should be reserved for the birth mom, especially if she is involved in the child's life.
I'm a stepmother, and I never expected or wanted the kids to call me "Mom". It can be confusing, depending on the age of the child, because they are used to hearing other kids say "Mommy and Daddy" so kids can sometimes make a mistake or just like the sound of it. However, I feel the father and the stepmother should make a correction. Not harshly, but sort of "Oh silly, my name is ___" or look around playfully and say, "Oh is Mommy here? I don't see her!" My stepkids started calling me "S'mom" (short for "stepmom") and, while I went along with it for awhile and was quite touched, it upset their mother too much so we went back to my first name.
I have a friend whose husband had a daughter, and the mother took off and left the child with the stepmom and dad. They later had 2 more children. Those 2 kids, of course, called the parents "Mom and Dad" and eventually the oldest child did too. But she knew there was a bio mom who just wasn't around at all. In that case, I think it was fine for the stepdaughter to use the term "mom" since my friend was the only mother figure and was doing all of the childrearing. The oldest child needed to have a "mom" in her life, and the bio mom wasn't playing that role.
Another friend married a man with 3 girls. The bio mom has spent the better part of the last 10 years in and out of homeless shelters and alcohol treatment centers. She is unlikely to get well and there is very limited visitation, always in public places (parks, etc.) where the dad can take the girls away if the mother gets violent or irrational (which happens). In this case, the 3 kids are now calling their stepmother "Mom". I think this is fine.
But the situation you describe, I feel, is not appropriate because the father and stepmother are encouraging a break in the child's relationship with the mother. I think it's going to backfire, frankly. They cannot create a relationship using a name. They should be secure enough to create a second family with love and caring, not with ego.
As a mom, I would be heart broke BUT if the child wants to call step-mom mom or mommy when with dad and step-mom, I think the child should be able to. I don't think dad or step-mom should ENCOURAGE it but they shouldn't DISCOURAGE it if that is what the child wants. In my opinion, it is all about the child. The more love, the better.
It would depend on a few things. If the child is secure with its own mom and decides to call the step mom "mom" also just to make life easier then its probably not a big deal. Age has something to do with it. Mom really is just a word, beign a mom and being called mom is just like the "dad" thing, the same rules apply.
I call my mil "mom" and it doesnt make my mom sad.
I am a step-mom and my SD's mother is the one that has encouraged her to call me Mom. She has even introduced me as "T's" other Mom. I guess it all depends on the situation. I have been in my SD's life since she was 3 months old and my hubby and the mom have always been on good terms.
Personally, I would have a hard time with my children calling anyone else Mom. But, if she loved them and took good care of them and they chose to call her Mom that would be their choice. I would never put them in the middle or make them feel bad for wanting to do so.
I think CindyK said it wonderfully! Divorce, remarriage, step-parents is hard enough for kids. Kids know who mom and dad are. We have a step-niece that calls all of us aunt or uncle or grandma and grandpa and her dad makes a huge deal of it, telling her we aren't her family! You can tell she is upset by it. He should be happy that she has family that love and care about her and want to make her feel like she is certainly part of the family.
Again, it's what the child feels comfortable doing/saying not what dad and step-mom want for their own reasons.
it should be up to the kid. no one should demand he/she do or do not do something. my step son calls me by my first name but he has told me he wishes i was his mom. sometimes when he hears the son his dad and i have call me "mommy" he will mimick him. his mom has taught him to call her a couple of her different boyfriends "daddy____ (their name)" -- and that really made my husband and i mad bc they were just boyfriends -- who arent even around now.
to me it just sounds like you would be a very bitter, self centered and jealous person if you had a step mom in your life... esp how you responded to the post that triggered this thread. your comment about how step parents should not treat their step children like their own was ridiculous and NOT in the best interest in the child.
when a person decides to become serious with someone has a child from a previous relationship they should know that part of their duty is to now be a parent and to love that child to the moon and stars and to not treat them any differently than their own child. that would just cause resentment and hurt feelings. i know from experience.
so until you are a step parent you should not even make post about them or respond to their questions bc you HAVE NO IDEA what you are talking about. just because we didn't birth our step children and carry them in our wombs doesnt mean that they cant be extremely special to us and that we should have less rights to love them and to take care of them. i know lots of step parents who are way better parents than the bio parents (moms and dads). "step" is just a word..
As a child, I was in this very situation. I chose to call my Step Mom "Mom" on my own not provoked or encouraged by either my Dad or his wife. My biological Mother had a problem with it then and still does to this day. It was confusing and difficult having to choose the words so my biological mother wouldn't get mad.
I say allow kids to refer to their parents "others" as they choose and be mature enough to know they are kids afterall.
Personally, yes. I would have a problem with it. "mom" is a title you earn, not just marry into - LOL!
I would think the younger the child is, though, the more a "step" parent can "earn" that title because they are sharing in those milestones of raising a child.
My "step" mom didn't enter the picture until I was a teenager so I never felt the need to call her mom. She is a nice lady and we get along great - but she isn't my mom:)
This very much depends on the age of the child, whether there are other children involved, and the quality of the relationship.
My parents have been divorced for quite some time (this was primarily my mom's decision). My father remarried a few years later. My step-mom had 2 children of her own, and then they had a child of their own (7 of us altogether!). I typically call my step-mom by her name, BUT if I am talking to one of her children, I'll say, "We can check with Mom when she gets home" (for example).
Even though my mother has struggled with things throughout the years (I don't think that being single again was all my mom thought it would be), she has ALWAYS said that the more people that are in her children's lives that love them, the better!
I have thought about this and it would devastate me to my core! Thankfully I am not in this position and hopefully I never will be! I have a friend who is just a girlfriend to the guy, but he has a daughter and she calls her "my daughter" and acts as though she is her only mom! Excuse me? That is ridiculous! Someone posted yesterday about having a special name for the new mom, and I think that is a great idea. The thing of it is, this is a reality for many families today, and the most important thing to remember is the child and what the child feels comfortable with.
My soon to be 10 year old son was a baby when his father and I separated. We have both remarried and more children since. Our son refers to both of his step parents by name, though he will occasionally slip and call his stepfather "Dad." I'm sure he does the same with his step mother, though I'm not absolutely certain since I'm not there. He spends as close to 50% of his time in each household (we live a 5 min. walk apart), so he is an integral part of each family, and we are all parental figures. That said, I think I would be hurt if he started calling his stepmother mom on a regular basis, and I would be uncomfortable with him calling his stepfather dad, as he does have a dad who is a huge part of his life. And, if I refer to my husband as "Dad" or "your father" accidentally (yeah, I occasionally call the kids by the wrong name as well) he will correct me, so I don't think he's comfortable with it either. In thinking about it, I suspect that it is because both his father and I are equally present in his life all the time, and he has a very close relationship with both of us. Therefore, those titles are very very taken in a constant and everpresent way. Does that make sense? If, for instance, he only saw his dad every other weekend, and my husband was filling the role of "dad" more than his own father, it would be much more likely that he'd want to call him Dad. Does that make any sense?
That would hurt me to the core, but I'm not sure I would put a stop to it UNLESS my kids weren't feeling it as well. If that was the case then I would put my foot down & let my hypothetical ex & his new wife know that my kids would not be calling her Mommy as they're uncomfortable with it. If everyone was ok with it except for me, well, I would likely just swallow my pride, but my kids are not tiny so if the situation ever presented itself where there was a step-mother in the picture, I don't think this would be an issue.
I think ut would be really hard on me as the bio mom, but it would depend on the situation also and how old my child was.. I would see if there was another similar name they could call the step mom and have a special name just for me mom!
It would drive me nuts. I think it's disrespectful of the singular bond between a biological parent and child. Now if a biological parent abdicates his or her role (via adoption, abandonment, neglect etc.) then of course the child should be able to have a parent/child bond with whoever fills that role. But if the biological parent is in the picture and is a good parent, fulfilling all of his or her obligations, then it's up to the other parent to work to respect that relationship in word and deed.
My step-daughter called her step-father "daddy" for a few years and called my husband (her birth father) by his first name during that time. It was incredibly insulting and caused a lot of problems. That guy was a total a-hole though and she lives with us now and had rightfully called my husband - and only my husband - Dad for many years. By the same token, I don't expect her to call me mom. She has a mother and it's not me. Her mother is a piece of work, but I'm not going to disrespect her role by having DSD call me "mom." Sometimes she introduces me as her mom to other people and I don't correct that (these are situations where whether or not I'm mom or step-mom is immaterial). Now if her mom continues down the path that she's on and further damages their relationship and my DSD later WANTS to call me mom then I won't deny her that, but as long as her mom is in the picture in a kind of appropriate role, I think it would be disrespectful of me to encourage her calling me that.
I think it depends on the situation. Is the biological mom in the child's life regularly, is she worthy of being called mom? If the mom is out of the picture, visits irregularly, isnt there mentally for her kids then I see nothing wrong with calling a step mom, mom because that's the role she istaking but if mom is a regular part of the child's life in everyway then I'd be livid if my children were encouraged to call step mom, mom. My oldest calls his dads long time gf by her first name he also calls his dad by his first name but he regularly flakes on his son, puts his own needs first, is more of a fair weathered friend then a dad to him.
I would not like my own child to call anyone else mom, I did the work to grow and deliver them, that's my title ;) Thank God I have never been faced with anything like this. My hubby has a step mom who is just wonderful, but we would never even refer to her as grandma to our children in front of my MIL, she doesn't care for it and I can understand that! But my hubby's stepmom took the title Mimi which has helped! My hubs always refers to her by her name, even though he does see her as a second mom, but she is so cool she gets it and never expected something else. So yeah, personally I would totally hate it. I think a step mom should realize, if mama is in the picture she gets dibs on the title.
It matters. I have known strangers to "correct" a child for calling step mom by her 1st name and mattering on the kid that can be really embarrassing. Does your child only call her "mom" when she is actually out with them or all the time? Is it that the child wants this?
My parents got divorced when I was 2 and both were remarried about a year later. I lived with my mom and step-dad and saw my dad and step-mom fairly regularly. I did call my step-dad "dad" most of the time especially after my mom and he had children because that's what they were calling him. I still called my step-mom by her first name, and still do. When I would speak to my dad about my mom and step-dad, I would always try to say Mom and step-dad's name.
My daughter who lives with me and my new husband calls my husband by his name and dad both. She calls my ex-husbands new wife by her name. If she chooses to call her mom later on, that won't bother me because like I told her, I know that I am her mom and if it makes her more comfortable to call her mom too, that's fine.
I was put in this situation 3yrs ago. My ex was with his girlfriend not more than a month and him and her were using the reference of mom when talking about his girlfriend. My son was 1 my daughter 3. I didnt agree with that at all, because how were then to know that there relationship was going to last long enough to even have her considered as a mother figure in there life. Thats what I was most worried about. Not jealise of of it just worried about how my kids would feel if another person they called mom decided to leave...What made the situation worse. The girlfriend would always do the/ " Whos your mommy question game" with them in front of her friends and they would of course reply her. I know they were encourged to call her mom because there daycare teachers brang it to my attention that if you asked my kids who there mom was they would reply her. Ive been 100 precent in my kids life. So It just felt wrong to everyone that my kids were made and tricked into it. After a 10 months of them dating, they did end up getting married. Know I feel a little bit better about them calling her mom, but i feel bad for them because they were so young that it wasnt like they got to feel like this woman was there mom. She just was....It kills me still to this day when they do call her mom, but I let them because its not fair to them... I do try to use her name though when I refer back to them because sometimes I dont know who there talking about. Me or her. Anyways Ive never felt it was right for a child to call another person mom, unless they were old enough to feel comfortable calling them that.
As a stepmom, I would love it I wasn't called by my first name. I have 2 bio kids of my own and a stepson. When I'm out with the 3 of them and the 2 of the kids are calling me mommy and the other by my first name, I just don't like how it sounds. It's hard enough being a stepmom anyways and I feel like him calling me by my first name is separating him from my other 2 who are calling my mommy.
BTW, my stepson did want to call me mommy to not confuse his 2 siblings but his bio mom was not okay with that and my stepson is respecting those wishes.
No one should make a child call her mom, mommy, mother.. That is taking the child's power away. I am a child of divorce and I have NEVER called any of my fathers other wives mom.. That does not mean I do not love them, to me, my mom is Mother is my only mama..
They are going to regret this later, I guarantee you a child made to do this is going to suffer emotional issues later.. Stress, power struggles and LOTS of ANGER towards the people that pushed for this..
I am a stepmom and my stepson was 6 years old when I came into his life. My husband has sole custody of him so he is with me most of the time. He asked me if I could be his new mommy and at the time his real mom was no where to be found. She had been missing out of his life for almost a year. So when she finally decided to take care of her responisibilties she would tell him that he can't call me mom and that he didn't have to listen to me. So this caused a lot of problems between my stepson and I because at times he would do exactly what she told him to do. In which this was really hurtful to me because I was there for him emotionally, financially, and when he needed help with school and I never received a thank you. Not that it matters because I love him like my own and I don't even call him my stepson I tell people he is my son. When he needs help or advice he comes to me and he told me himself that I have been more of a mother to him than his own mom. So everyone's case is different she owes child support that she doesn't pay and truthfully we are responsible for how we choose to live in front of and not in front of our children. They will lean on the one who they can depend on to be there for them. It took years for him to realize that I wouldn't leave him so I believe we should focus on improving our own moral character because there is always more to any story. If there are hidden agenda's it will come to the light but when there are not any hidden motives it will show based on who the childs feels they can confide in not to say one is better than the other because I wish I could get along with his real mom but she wont take responsiblity for her actions and that is not my fault and it is not fair to her son. At some point we must stop blaming others for our mistakes and try our best to improve ourselves so that we can get along with each other. I would love to see this happen for my son's sake she has no idea how he feels about her absence and lack of support. Seeing that his mom and his dad went through a divorce she can't see the importance of keeping a relationship with her son regardless if the marraige didn't work. I will make myself be at peace with his new family so I could keep my relationship with my son if I was her but I'm not so.
We are truly the masters of our fate and through honesty and forgiveness we can choose to change with the help of God!!! even if things don't always go our way.