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Anyone else a little bugged by the use of "bio-mom" in this forum?

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
I've always thought of the terms "birth mom" and "bio-mom" in terms of a woman who places her child with an adoptive family and relinquishes all her legal rights to that child.

Everytime I read a thread in this forum it bugs me that mothers of children, whether custodial or not, whether liked or disliked, are referred to with this title. If my dd's father ever marries a woman, I would hope that she would respect my place enough to not refer to me in this way. Some might say its for clarity in an online discussion, but if you're a step parent referring to your step children's mother, mom or mother or similiar should be clear. Why the need to label mothers this way? It seems sometimes an attempt to negate or diminish the importance of your step children's mother(s). I am not my child's bio-mom, birth mom or BM (which I've alwyas known as an abbreviation for bowel movement.) I'm her momma, mommy, mom, etc.. Would you ever introduce yourselves as your children's bio-mom?
post #2 of 79
I use it, because that is what I choose to use.

I am a birthmother to a child placed for adoption, so, yeah, maybe I feel like I have more of an 'okay' in my own head to use the word for anyone.

But MANY people have told me, ANY woman who has given birth is in actuality a 'birthmother' or 'biomom' (etc), and that it shouldn't be solely used for women who place.

What gets me is, if we're okay with using that term in our home, why should it offend others?

ETA: No, I don't introduce myself as dd's 'bio-mom', but I also don't introduce myself as dss's 'step-mom'. I'm just Jenni
post #3 of 79
I also want to add, I don't really think I'd be bugged if my ex remarried and they considered me dd's bio-mom. That's their choice, and it's not a lie, or derogatory IMO.

I *AM* her biomom, as well as much more. I mother her daily. (Then again, I generally see the word 'mother' as a verb, not simply an adjective)
post #4 of 79
Thread Starter 
When you said you use the term in your home, are you referring to this forum as your home or your home with your family? Do you refer to your stepson's mother as his birth mom in front of him? I hope not. It bugs me because I feel that it relegates the mother to a different status than what she actually is.
post #5 of 79
My SO and I refer to her as 'B' (her first name), just as they refer to me by my first name. As in 'home', I mean when talking to friends, or my family who do not know her etc. He knows his mom's name, and will even refer to his father by his first name when talking to some people. This is something we feel okay with, as again, this is our home.

I'm sorry if you feel it negates anything, but we aren't as uptight about the uise of the word. Again, maybe because I am a birthmother to another child, the word seems much more usable to us... *shrugs* We all seem to understand that the term 'birthmother' isn't rude, mean, or derogatory here...
post #6 of 79
Thread Starter 
Who's all of us? Because I don't understand it at all. And considering that a whole lot of the discussion about "bio-moms" is negative, its hard to not associate it with being somewhat, well, negative. I'm not really discussing what you do in your home or with your IRL friends. The title of this thread specifically asks about the use of the terms in this forum.

I understand your perspective on it. Mine is different. Its okay that we don't agree.
post #7 of 79
Shonahsmom, what else would you suggest we use?
post #8 of 79
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
I understand your perspective on it. Mine is different. Its okay that we don't agree.
And I agree. I totally understand that you believe it's rude, and negates them as mothers.

For us, it's a simple word describing what she is. I mother dss too, so 'mother' doesn't seem to work. She's 'mother' adjective, I'm 'mother' verb...lol So, yeah...lol

I will, however, continue to refer to her here as biomom, because that is what I choose to do, and I choose it as a respecting adult, who is grateful that because of her, I have dss in my life
post #9 of 79
It does seem to me that the term biomom is often used when the woman being referred to is not viewed favorably-- I've noticed that not just here but on other (non MDC) forums. However, it could also be that if a person is motivated to post about a "bio mom" on a message forum, there are problems there to begin with, and the term is not a result of negative feelings, but is just being associated with an already troubled context.

It strikes me as "odd" sometimes but I can't say it offends me. Sometimes it rings of the term "sperm donor" but, it depends on the context. Sometimes it does seem like a necessary, if cold, term for the sake of clarity.
post #10 of 79
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mamameg
Shonahsmom, what else would you suggest we use?
My stepkids' mom? DSS's mom? DSD's mom? DSC's mom?
post #11 of 79
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
My stepkids' mom? DSS's mom? DSD's mom? DSC's mom?
This doesn't apply to me at all, but I'm wondering, what about the step-children who don't even call their biological mothers' 'mom'? Should we still be forced to call them that, just because it 'bugs' some people on an internet forum?

Again, it doesn't apply to me, but in all hoenstly, sometimes a blanket term is better on a whole, even if not everyone likes it, and even if it doesn't totally apply to everyone...
post #12 of 79
I use bio-mom in reference to my SD's mother because that is excatlly what she is, their biological mother. I am their stepmother. It helps clarify the situation. In my particular case, she really is JUST the bio-mom, she has not done one thing to raise HER daughters in a positive and constructive manner. I've been doing that. But I am still their STEPMOTHER and always will be. They introduce me that way to their friends and we are all fine with that. They also have used "bio-mom" themselves when talking about the women who gave birth to them so other people understand who is who. They did this on their own. Nobody forced them to.
When other people use" bio-mom", I understand what they are saying, who they are talking about. It makes it very clear about who is who, since we don't know each other IRL.
So no, I am not bugged by it and I probably continue to use it, especially since the origional post did not have any suggestions about any other terms that EVERYBODYELSE HERE AND IN SOCIETY IN GENERAL would be clear on and understand without having to give a long,drawn-out explnation or someother confusing abbreviation.
post #13 of 79
Thread Starter 
I'll respond more to this tomorrow. Gotta go get my dd and I don't have internet access at home at the moment.
post #14 of 79
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
Would you ever introduce yourselves as your children's bio-mom?
Yes, I would.
post #15 of 79
I've been on a few boards the last several years (mainly step-parent related) and I use certain acronyms simply out of habit. I have FOUR step-daughters. When I refer to them in general (all 4) I'm not going to sit and type out all of them, I simply type "skids". When I refer to their non-custodial mother, I type "NCBM" or "BM".

I don't have much online time, so I try to 'abbreviate' whenever I can...
post #16 of 79
I think I understand your point, Shonahsmom - all these abbreviations can be a bit dehumanizing, and they do create a distance. Sometimes, though, in the context of a forum, particularly when someone really needs to vent and express things freely that perhaps they can't do in their home situation, they may, for themselves, need the power that comes with using a word that creates some distance. I can't personally say that the use of 'biomom' is always inappropriate, since in some circumstances it may be just what someone needs to do.

As stepparents, we're always described with an extra moniker that adds distance and 'otherness.' There's a bit of freedom in coming up with a term that has the same effect respecting biological mothers, I suppose. And it is accurately descriptive, if not exactly endearing, since the woman in question would be a 'biological' mother. Whereas 'step is a bit more mysterious -step up? step down? In my husband's culture, the only word that translates as 'stepmother' means, in exact terms, 'evil mother.' Guess what an uphill battle I've had being accepted by my in-laws?

Sometimes, in fact,"biological mother" is useful as a way to describe a family's living situation - for example, when someone assumes you are your stepchild's mother, based on your interaction with them, I think it would actually be healthier to say "oh, actually her biological mother lives in [city]" as opposed to "no, no, I'm not her mother!" or "no, I'm 'only' her stepmother, not her 'real' mother." It recognizes that there are different ways of mothering and that children can have more than 2 parents - rather than the idea that one will always be the real, unmoderated by adjectives mother, while the other will always be the not-quite, stand-in mother.

Actually, it's a term I tend not to use myself, but it doesn't bother me, for the above reasons.
post #17 of 79
I don't use this term, or stepparent, we just use mom, dad, and papa (no step mom yet). We also don't use half or step sibling. My brother and sister are my brother and sister, I might occasionally clairify that we have different moms, but I rarely use half, and can't imagine I will with the baby I am carring now.

I have to admit I am not even that good at ex , for my ex's parents I usually say my kids grandparents, but I do still say in-laws, and even when I am talking about my ex I will either say his name or if I am telling about something that happened when we were married I just say husband.

But I do use terms like that more on a bulliten board, where it can be so hard to get your point across clearly anyway.
post #18 of 79
I think bio-mom is a simple, descriptive term- I understand that it can feel very loaded, but then I think some of this maybe comes from a misogynistic viewpoint- for instance, a man who relinquishes contact when a relationship fails is criticised but not, IMO, in the same way as a woman is. I have a friend whose children don't live with her and some of the comments I've heard people make are, frankly, unbelievable.
If the situation comes up, I tell people that we're a four-parent family. It kind of overestimates their father's contribution in their lives, but it seems the nicest way of doing it. (they effectively have a stepmum, though their father isn't married yet, but it's a moot point because he makes so little effort to see them.)
post #19 of 79
I guess I never really thought about it much since I don't have stepchildren or adopted children. So it doesn't really bug me much.

I have friends with adopted kids. And my best friend's family is very confusing to figure out without using terms like "step" and "bio" but she's never used them in a negative connotation.

Interesting question, though.
post #20 of 79
I understand why it is used, though I do not use it myself. I call my step son's mom, my stepson's mom. I call my ex my children's father, my dp, my children's future stepfather, and my ex's gf, their dad's gf. When and if they marry, I'll call her their stepmom. The only reason I refer to my dp now as their stepdad, is because they children themselves refer to him that way, and because we ar engaged. They refer to my ex's gf by her first name, or as dad's gf.
They are just labels. In the end, it really does not matter what we call each other, and too many people get hung up on it. It only matters that we are all part of our children's lives, you know?
The other night, we were talking at dinner about adoption, as my fiance is adopted. His son said, 'Has my dad ever wanted to meet his "real" mom?"
I answered him "Your gram is his "real" mom. She is the only mom he has ever known."
I understand then, when there has to be a clarification between birthmother/mother, but it still feels disrespectful to my dp's mom to refer to her as anything other than his real mom.
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