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Daughter calling ex's girlfriend "mommy" - Page 2

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by New View Post
REALLY? I think a judge would be pretty angry if you wasted her time with a hearing about who gets to be called "Mommy." Not saying it shouldn't hurt, just saying it's not a legal matter.
Not just for the mommy thing. It seems like the child is being asked to call the gf mommy...lots of lines being crossed, judgement issues. OP IS the mom and she can ask that boundaries be put into place. I've heard of many people putting those boundaries into place legally when it's necessary. She should consult a lawyer just to see if she does have some recourse...maybe a first right of refusal or modified custody arrangement. The child is being confused and that is harmful and could be a good reason to modify.
post #22 of 72
Thing is, gf says that her dsd asked to call her mommy. It would be pretty hard to prove that gf is forcing her to do so. Mom going in there and asking for a change in custody because her dd is calling her dad's partner "mommy" is probably not going to fly (not saying OP is planning this, but in response to PP's advice). That is basically saying that mom is jealous of her dd's relationship with her stepmom, not that the stepmom is crossing any boundaries.

FWIW: I obviously have no idea whether gf is forcing her to call her mommy or if the child is choosing to do so-just stating that I doubt going to court will do a lot except waste a lot of time and money.

A lot of the OP's complaints seem to be based on her 4-year-olds retelling of events, and while I am sure the child is not lying, it is easy for a 4-year-olds perpective to not be exactly "true" either. Could all be a big misunderstanding.
post #23 of 72
To me the biggest red flag is the GF telling her DD that her brother is not her brother. This to me would make a trip back to court appropriate. The other things just taken with this are huge problems because all of it is working to undermine OP role. But really telling her her brother is not her brother is a HUGE problem.
post #24 of 72
Thread Starter 
I respect everyones feedback. I listen to my daughter because I feel like she had to of heard that from somewhere like the my son is not her brother. I had asked my ex about it and he denied it and I also asked his girlfriend about it and she denied it but when my daughters dad and I went to court about 8 months ago the mediator asked him and he said it was true. I want to say that my ex and his girlfriend have been dating for about three years and yes they live together. I don't like that they live together but I can't do anything about it. I have tried to talk to both the ex and girlfriend and nothing gets better. My family knows that she is doing all of this to get under my skin and I could turn the other cheek but its my daughter and I don't want to back down so easly. I will say it again she is just the girlfriend to me thats it. Here today gone tomorrow. I wish she would back off.
post #25 of 72
Thread Starter 
On another note I feel like I am fighting to be a mother to my own daughter.
post #26 of 72
Do you live close enough that when she starts school, you can cut visitation down to every other weekend? When you were in mediation 8 months ago, did you discuss altering visitation? Does your daughter spend more time with the girlfriend than her father?

If she's been around for 3 years and has a child with your ex, she's probably not a "here today" thing. She still cannot replace you. Even step-mothers who have thier stepchildren full-time often feel frustrated and sad because the mother always has that place up on the pedestal. The more secure you are in your relationship with your daughter, the more of an authority you will be to her. Bond in every way possible when your daughter is with you. Engage her, cuddle, play with her hair, talk to her, read to her, etc. Make sure that she is secure in the fact that you are her mother and you love her.
post #27 of 72
I would be as upset as you are. It would be intolerable to me. [I had this issue but it was my own mother asking and encouraging my child to start calling her 'mommy' when she started babysitting him a few days a week]

Your daughter should be able to pick/have picked a special name for the girlfriend, if they don't want her to just call gf by name.

Sounds like GF has her own child...she can get her need to be called "mom" filled by him.

Even if she feels like an equal parent to you, since she is with your daughter 50% of the time, if she were a kind person who wanted the best for everyone, she would respect your feelings and encourage your daughter to call her by some other name. I don't think that she has just as much right to be called 'mom' as you. Maybe if you abandoned your daughter, or saw her rarely by your choice, etc, it would be different.

I don't like it when people [I mean ex or gf, not people in this thread] assert that something should be okay because it's 'fair' when it's hurtful to a family member/loved one. Even if your daughter is calling her 'mom' for a reasonable reason or she came up with it by herself, your ex and his GF should be kind and respect that it bothers you and choose/encourage another name.

On the other hand, I don't put a lot of meaning on marriage, so to me, she is just as valid as a permanant partner whether they're married or not, seems like she's there for the long haul. [I don't think that she should get to be called mom if they get married.]

If your daughter decides to call her mom after she's gained adultish consciousness, like after puberty, that's different...imo. Then that's her choice.
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
don't you think it would make the 4-year-old more confused and feeling the tension from her mom and encouraging hostility between the parents to tell her she is not allowed to call a parental figure, who she may love as another mother, by a parental name?
I can see the validity of this point of view. I don't necessarily agree - I think the people encouraging the child to say/do things that are inconsiderate of her mother are creating the negativity, not Mom, for objecting to it. But I do understand how someone could disagree with me on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
I especially disagree with telling her that it is disrespectful to her mother to call her stepmom "mom"-that is essentially telling her that loving her stepmom is disrespectful to her mom.
1- I feel strongly that instructing the girl to call her stepmom something else is not equivalent to forbidding the child to love her stepmom. I know my step-son loves me, but he would never call me "mom" because he understands that title expresses his respect for his actual mother and her singular, irreplaceable position in his life - plus he knows it would upset her to have him call me "mom". I don't think it is wrong to teach children that they should feel loyal to and concerned about the feelings of their parents, not just the other way around. Of course, that shouldn't be taken to unreasonable extremes. A little kid shouldn't be burdened with worrying about hurting Mom's feelings if she says she misses her Dad after a divorce. But it's not "over the head" of a 4-y-o girl to be told, "You'll have all kinds of loving, special relationships in your life, but you only have one Mommy and having you call me that is very special to me. If you call other people by my special name, it makes it not seem so special anymore. I want you to find some special name to call your stepmom that is all her own and let Mommy be just for me."

2- In cases where a step-mom really does function as the mom, obviously this could be different. But clearly this mom is involved in her kid's life. Moreover, she has expressed her feelings to her ex and his girlfriend and instead of being appropriately considerate and responsive, they completely rejected her request. It is not good for the child to be taught by one parent that it is OK to dismiss and disregard the other parent's feelings - feelings which everyone seems to acknowledge are understandable, even if everyone does not agree how this mom should handle them.

3- This isn't her step-mom. I guess if the girlfriend has lived with dad a long time, that's one thing, but for all we know (unless I'm forgetting some details), this could be a relatively new girlfriend, who may eventually pass out of dad's and daughter's life. Daughter (who may be a Mommy herself, one day) should know that Mommy is an important, not a trivial, title.
post #29 of 72
I believe she said they have been living together for three years, but that she sees her as "just the girlfriend" because they are not legally married, which obviously doesn't exactly go with my point of view seeing as I am not married to dp and we have lived together for 4ish years and I consider myself the stepmom, as does everyone else, but that is neither here nor there. Obviously the girl's stepmom considers herself as such, as does the little girl.

FWIW, when dsd has asked to call me mom, I told her no, for all the reasons above, and gently explained that that was a special name for her mom, etc., so I am not defending the stepmom in this case, because I honestly do believe that in most cases, the mom/dad title should stay with the mom/dad. However, I also do not think that the little girl should be further put in the middle, nor exposed to her mom's feelings about this since the stepmom/dad have already told her it is okay to use the title. What will be gained by telling her that it hurts moms feelings for her to use the name mom for her stepmom? She will feel guilty and like she has betrayed her mom in some way that she can't quite identify. Yes, it will be hard for the OP to deal with it, and yes, I think she shoudl continue to try to communicate with her ex and his partner that she does not like it, but going through the child is almost never a good idea. To you and me, asking us not to use a certain name (mom) does not mean that she can't love her stepmom. To a four year old, I almost guarantee that yes, it means that her mom does not want her to love her stepmom like a mom/parent/parental figure. That doesn't mean she will stop loving her like that, it just means that she will feel guilty about it everytime she does it.
post #30 of 72
Thread Starter 
Our custody has been 50/50 because that is what my ex wants but I think it is more of a control issue with him. Like for example I don't have to work this coming monday because of the holiday and my daughter doesn't have school but her dad works until six at night. He happens to work five minutes from me but lives 30 minutes from me. He is supposed to have her on Monday so I asked him if I could pick her up on Monday morning and he can pick her up after he gets off work. He would rather tell me that I can have her if he can have her on one of my days that I work and he doesn't but she is at school anyways. Maybe I am being to harsh. We live 30 minutes between each other so he wants everything she does to be in the middle which is understandable but it won't work. We both work full time and his girlfriend doesn't work at all so she takes her everywhere when her dad can't. My mom takes her to school during the week but I can't ask my mom to do this forever. I want my daughter to go to school where I live but her dad wants somewhere in the middle even though he works five minutes from where I live and ten minutes from my work. I hope I am making sense. I would love to cut down visition down to everyother weekend and sometime during the week but he won't let go of 50/50.
I don't think that girlfriend is going anywhere anytime soon but I don't understand how someone can I have so much disrespect for someone eles kids mom.
post #31 of 72
Havn't read all posts just skimmed.

My DSS called me mom from like the day we met, I was confused and felt bad esp. since Bio mom would often hang out for a bit before leaving. But I recognized he was calling me mom because his siblings do and figured as he gets older he'll decide what he wants to call me ( he also calls his younger brother my name) and making him not would be like pointing out he's different, yk? But I would NEVER make him call me mom just like I now feel bad for him bc Bio mom has scolded him for refering to me as mom. My point is making a big deal about it just makes it harder on your DD. It would be incredibly painful for you and she *may* continue to always call her that, most likely (if ur right) bc she feels she has to. But as she gets older she'll distinguish between what makes a real mom and what dosn't, and thats not biology or a name but the love that makes it hurt when she uses the name for someone else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenalexcase View Post
Our custody has been 50/50 because that is what my ex wants but I think it is more of a control issue with him. Like for example I don't have to work this coming monday because of the holiday and my daughter doesn't have school but her dad works until six at night. He happens to work five minutes from me but lives 30 minutes from me. He is supposed to have her on Monday so I asked him if I could pick her up on Monday morning and he can pick her up after he gets off work. He would rather tell me that I can have her if he can have her on one of my days that I work and he doesn't but she is at school anyways. Maybe I am being to harsh. We live 30 minutes between each other so he wants everything she does to be in the middle which is understandable but it won't work. We both work full time and his girlfriend doesn't work at all so she takes her everywhere when her dad can't. My mom takes her to school during the week but I can't ask my mom to do this forever. I want my daughter to go to school where I live but her dad wants somewhere in the middle even though he works five minutes from where I live and ten minutes from my work. I hope I am making sense. I would love to cut down visition down to everyother weekend and sometime during the week but he won't let go of 50/50.
I don't think that girlfriend is going anywhere anytime soon but I don't understand how someone can I have so much disrespect for someone eles kids mom.
Like I above stated I didn't thourghly read but is the gf your main reason for wanting to change this?
post #32 of 72
I say this from a position of great sympathy, BUT I really think you need to realize that this is your issue with your ex's girlfriend. This woman and your ex have been together for 3 years and your daughter is 4. This means a few very important things:
1) this woman has been a stepmother to your daughter since she was a baby - that is, her entire conscious life
2) this woman has developed a close and loving bond with your daughter
3) she is most definitely not "just the girlfriend. here today, gone tomorrow" just because they are not legally married doesn't change the actual content and nature of their relationship or her relationship to your daughter.

For all intents and purposes, your daughter does have two mommies (and it sounds like two daddies); and she is a luckier child for it - IF the adults involved can support her relationships with all the parental figures and put their own feelings aside. The fact that your daughter even had to explain, if it's even true, that her stepmom asked her to call her "mommy" implies that you must have been questioning her about it. This probably made her feel bad and like she was betraying her mother; she's going to say what her mom wants to hear. And I would bet she picks up on the hostility between you and the girlfriend. I'm not saying it isn't a two-way street; sounds like the gf is definitely engaging in battle too. But you can choose to try to change things. To me, this isn't even about what she calls the stepmom as you won't even acknowledge her as even a stepmom.

I think if you want to do what's best for your daughter you need to accept that your ex has made a committment to this woman and that she will likely be in your life for a long time. You should figure out how to build a respectful relationship with her. From there, you might be able to express how much it hurts you to have your daughter call another woman mom and perhaps negotiate some kind of acceptable alternative. But as long as this woman gets the message that you think she's irrelevant (here today, gone tomorrow), she's going to dig in her heels. You hate her - that's clear. But chances are, your daughter loves her if she's spent 1/2 her time with her since infancy or toddlerhood. You need to focus on your daughter's needs at this point.

Btw, I say this from the point of view of the bio-mom; I am not a stepmom. I really do get the intense mother/daughter bond and how hard that can be to share; but I also think kids only benefit from an abundance of love and diversity of influence in their lives.
post #33 of 72
I have to agree with Bronxmom.

This woman is not just his girlfriend, they have been together 3/4 of your daughters life. She is her other mother. Accepting her and respecting her role in your daughters life will only add harmony to your child's life.

I do think you can work out alternative name but I think you need to focus on accepting her other mother, including not excluding.

I hate to say this but some of the last post sounds like you are jealous of your ex's new partner. This is the same jealousy that I have seen and heard about towards child care providers. They (she) is doing things you would love to do. It makes you feel replace. You for what ever reasons are feeling insecure, so you are holding on to the mom title. You are feeling if your daughter does not call her mom she won't/can't love her as much as you. You will only hurt her in the end if you do not accept that she will have an intense and special bond with her stepmom. It will be different than your relationship. You will always be her "mom" that her stepmom is second to.
post #34 of 72
I can understand why you are upset, especially with that mother's day thing. Have you asked your daughter what she wants to call the girlfriend?

It is really hard because the girlfriend does fill that role in that house, and at that age your daughter is probably defining it as the role that is played.

However, it is wrong for the girlfriend to completely ignore/diss your wishes on the subject. She does not have the right to do so. Try talking to your ex privately if your daughter says she does not want to call her "mom"
post #35 of 72
I think the recent PP have said it well. It sounds like you and the stepmom are kind of pushing each other back and forth. You don't respect her role as a stepmom, and in fact act like she is not a parent to your child because they are not married despite her being a parent for the past three years. To her, that probably makes her feel like she has to "prove" that she is, in fact, a parent to your child, by trying to be more of a "mom" and kind of showing you that she is here to stay. One of you has to stop pushing. It is not (just) your ex/stepmom who are showing your dd that hostility exists between all four of her parents, you seem to have a part in it here too.

Again, I am a "bio" mom and stepmom, and I do see where you are coming from here emotionally. Unfortuantely, we can't react emotionally in front of our kids all the time. Your ex's gf is not "here today, gone tomorrow" She has alredy proved that in the three years she has been in your dd's life.

I hope you can find a way to make the whole thing easier for everyone, and that your ex and his dp find a way to reciprocate.
post #36 of 72
Thread Starter 
I have read everyone's responses and do respect them but I still believe that the girlfriend should take a step back and put herself in my shoes. I know for a fact that if my husband had another child from another relationship I would respect the mothers wishes and I would not over step anything. I would want to get along with her not for myself but for the child and the relationship I have with her ex. I guess I must be too nice. If my ex's girlfriend had my daughters best interest in mind then she wouldn't say such hurtful things about me or my family and it has happened.
I am in no way jealous of his girlfriend or their relationship. I was with him for four years and known him for 7 1/2 years and he has not changed. The only thing that was good from that relationship is my daughter. I have talked to my ex's mom and she doesn't like the girlfriend. As a matter of fact my ex's girlfriend won't even let my daughter see her grandma because she ( the girlfriend) doesn't like her. We are taking about a grandma and grandchild that lived together for two in a half years seeing each other all the time to now never seeing each other. The girfriend is very controling. She told my daughter things like I don't have time to take care of her because I work full time and she doesn't have to work at all. Who says that to a child? There was a day that I picked up my daughter from her dad and girlfriend's daughter was outside and started saying " I don't like Jenny (my first name) over and over again. My daughter was standing right there.
post #37 of 72
"My ex and I have 50/50 all the way, legal, physical. Her dad and I were never married. "

This is an unusual situation in a lot of ways - and it can be a GREAT situation, with a child having two homes and four parents that all fully belong to her.

But for that to happen, you can't have one household undermining the other household at every opportunity, and several of the incidents you've mentioned are HUGE red flags for me. You did the right thing by getting your ex to mediation and it was lucky that he admitted the truth about the "mommy" thing. The other undermining comments ("your mom can't take care of you because she works full-time," etc.) should certainly come up at any future meditations. Try to establish a pattern, on the record, in case you ever need it start a full-out war against this woman to protect your daughter.

... but probably you'll just end up gritting your teeth, enduring the catty nonsense, and waiting for your daughter to be old enough to process it. Give her lots of love, encourage her to think of your dh as a father figure, allow her to think of her stepmom as a mother figure, and just keep the drama to an absolute minimum. Stepmom may be the kind of person who thrives on drama, so if you don't feed her appetite for it her she may stop focusing on baiting you. Things like school choice, etc., should be decided in mediation with no stepparents present. (I'm sure you already realize that.)

Bottom line, if this woman loves your daughter and treats her well, your daughter will grow up to love her and have a momlike relationship with her. If she doesn't love your daughter and is using their relationship as a weapon, then your daughter is eventually going to realize that - at which point she'll need you very much to short up her sense of self-worth.
post #38 of 72
I agree that if the child chooses to call a step parent mom or dad, thats ok. Yes, it'd probably sting me a bit, but it'd actually make me happier to see that they liked their step mom, enough to start calling her mom. And as someone else said, I'd still know that I'm their real mom and nothing can replace that.

My kids have always called my fiance uncle Scott. I started it-its a very long story, but my ex actually WANTED them to call him dad at first. Then he said that he didnt want them calling him dad at all. Anyway, I refused to have them call him dad by force, and came up with uncle. I did however say that if they ever decide on their own to call him dad, I wont stop them. Its their choice to make.
post #39 of 72
I think the issue here would be if they are actually telling the child to call the girlfriend mommy. If your dd feels that way on her own and decided to call her mommy I don't think there is anything you can do. It is entirely different if the child is being forced to call her mommy.

I would never tell my kids to call DP daddy, but sometimes they do. He is around way more than their bio father, so it is natural that they would start calling him daddy because of the connection they have with him.
post #40 of 72
Thread Starter 
Not sure if my daughter is being told to call her mommy but my daughter did tell me that the girlfriend doesn't care what my daughter calls her as long as its not by her first name ok... that leaves what...
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