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"You're Not My Mom" - what's your answer?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
On a lighter note, I'm just wondering how other stepmoms handle the inevitable "You're not my mother!" comments. Actually, DSD has never said this directly to me: she says it to the kids at daycare, as in "She's NOT my MOM!"

I was reading a book written by a stepmom recently who said she just responds: "You're not my daughter." Fair enough, I guess!

I dunno, usually when SD says that at daycare I just smile, but last time I was not in a great mood and I talked to her about it as we were leaving. I basically said I didn't really think it was necessary for her to say that. Of course her argument is "but you're NOT..." and how can I argue with that? I finally just said "how would you like it if I said: She's not my kid!" To which she responded, "But I AM your kid!" I wasn't sure where to go with that!

Anyway, it hasn't come up since... now all the kids at daycare say "There's a person here for you." or something to that effect....

What do YOU say?
post #2 of 38
"your right, but I am the adult in charge right now- now go get your shoes on "

I don't let this statement have power. We are not the mom. true. And the sky is blue. true. Not very interesting but true.
post #3 of 38
My sc have never said this directly to me either...yet, but I have heard it at daycare too. I say to them "I may not be your mother but I am the woman who your daddy married and you need to respect me because of that." They are young and like to hear that their daddy loves me. It is still hard and I imagine I will have to deal with this much more when the teenage years come along.
post #4 of 38
That's never directly come up for us either. But I imagine it would go something like, 'well, no I'm not, but I care about you just the same'... No big deal, no anger, just the facts...
post #5 of 38
Not a stepmom myself, but I was a stepkid... and my stepmom had two good (or at least good for the kid I was to hear) answers: "No, I'm not. You already have a wonderful mom and I don't want to replace her. But, I am your father's wife and this is my home too and you need to treat me with respect." and "No, you already have a great mom. But, I am your father's wife and you and I can decide to be friends if you want."

(For the record, I rejected "friends" and told her I wanted us to be "cousins" which meant in my 9yo mind "friendly family").
post #6 of 38
If she is saying this to anger you then a calm “You are right I am not but I am the adult in charge” is the best way to handle it. Don’t let her know how much this bugs you…..It can become a power struggle.

As for saying it to her friends: She might not be trying to hurt your feelings. She might be just trying to clear up that you are not her bio mom and it just sounds bad how she is saying it. For a child it can be hard to gracefully say “No, she is not my mother. But my step-mom who I love.” Kids can be insensitive clods but that is because they are children not developed enough to give a graceful answer. My great-niece does this. She is adopted and being raised by my sil (grandma). What is funny depending on the situation she will tell people “No, that is my mom not my grandma.” then other times because of the situation she has said “She is not my real mom” Meaning she is not her birth mom.

You are two separate people and you cannot love two people the same. You can love them just as much but it isn’t the same. I love all three of my children. I do not love one more than the other but none of the relationship and love are the same. I would not say “No, I am not your mom but I love you the same.” She knows darn well the relationships are different. This can be hurtful and disrespectful to her and her mom’s relationship.

If she is being vengeful with her friends saying “She isn’t my mom.” There is other issues you need to deal with rather than addressing that issue. Is she angry with your presence? Does she feel you are replacing her bio “real” mom? (This is one reason why you don’t want to say I love you the same. It can invoke those emotions). There are many reasons there can be anger issues that I would address long before her emotionally hurting you saying you are not her mom. I also think if she is saying “You are not her mom” to hurt you she is most likely doing other things to hurt you. Why battle over a “truth”.
post #7 of 38
It sounds like she's not saying it in the sense of "I don't have to listen to you, you're not my mom," to which the answers is, "so?" Dh made it very clear that dss respects the adults in his life-- teachers, day care providers, grandmas and stepparents. He always said, "whoever I leave you with is in charge" no questions.

It sounds like she is saying it to clarify for the other kids. Dss has had this awkwardness. I have voluteered in his classroom a lot. The kids assume I'm his mom, but then he calls me Jenny and they are confused and he's the center of attention and feels embarassed. Once, he called me mom at school, because the other kids were calling me his mom, and it kinda embarassed us both. It just wasn't quite right. I try to take the embarassment off him, completely own the word "stepmom" so that it isn't an embarassment and put myself in charge of clarifying for the other kids. I'd come in and introduce myself to kids, "HI, I'm Michael's stepmom!" I just say it again and again so that they hear it, and they start using that language. Sometimes the kids ask me what that means and I explain a little. I just try to keep dss out of it. "She's not my mom, " is true, but it WOULD hurt my feelings to hear, and he always knew that.

I think if I was in your situation, I'd come in a few times saying "Tell _______ her stepmom is here!" and pretty soon the other kids would say that too.
post #8 of 38
Flor I do the same thing. I always clarify that I am the STEPmom and when a friend refers to me as mom, I correct them and say "stepmom" not to distance myself from my skids but because I know from talking to them that they feel like it would betray their real mom if they let that confusion stand...so I make sure it is clear. Besides I AM the stepmom and I am happy to be the stepmom, and I am a great stepmom so I wear that title with pride
post #9 of 38
I have one suggestion...when you hear her tell anyone that you are not her mom, why don't you walk up to that person (whether it's a child or adult) and extend your hand for a hand shake and say, "Hi, my name is so-in-so, I'm so-in-so's stepmom. What is your name?" This is what I do everytime. It let's every person know who you are personally, one on one. They will get to know you and announce your name or so-in-so's stepmom when they see you.

I do this with everyone at school, sports, supermarket, anywhere that my stepdaughter runs into someone she knows. It also let's word get back to mom that you are representing yourself as stepmom just in case she had any concerns otherwise.

I've had that problem many times with people. Sometimes my stepchildren clarify it with, "she's my stepmom" and sometimes they don't even correct people because it's not that important especially when it's people they may never see again (cashier, etc).

I don't like the, "I married your dad thing." It doesn't sound personal enough for me. It's makes me hear, "I married your dad and now you're stuck with me."

In fact, their father and I would not have gotten married at the time that we did if the children had a problem with it. He actually took each one separatly into a room and asked their permission to marry me. It really made them feel important to our relationship. We explained that it's not just their father and I that are getting married but it's our two familys (me & my son, him & his two children) that are getting married.

Guess I'm just different that way.

I had a problem with my stepdaughter only once when she was 5. I disciplined her by making her sit in the corner (Dad's method of punishment) for being mean to her brother. She knew she had to be quiet for 5 minutes before she could get up. She threw a fit and screamed at me. I ignored her. She then yelled, "You're mean like my mom said, you are not my mom and my mom said I don't have to listen to you!" I just replied, "You will only have one mom. I am your stepmom. You will listen to me when you are with me because I am in charge." I then ignored her.

When dad got home, I let him know what happened and he took her to a room and had a long talk with her.

We never had a problem like that out of her again. Of course mom still tries to turn them against me, but they have learned to ignore most of her manipulations.
post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 
Back again. I just wanted to say that I know that in the daycare situation it is more of a clarification thing, but I do anticipate getting it in other situations too. So far she has stuck with "I hate you" when she's mad at me, rather than "You're not my mom!"

But, I do think there is an element of wanting to tick me off. With salespeople and the like she will *scream* it at them: "She's NOT my MOM!" which is kind of embarassing, and the sales people always look mortified.

I guess introducing myself as her stepmom would be a good idea. I'm a bit shy but I can work on it...

It's snowing here in Vancouver!!! Yippee!
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie

I guess introducing myself as her stepmom would be a good idea. I'm a bit shy but I can work on it...
Why do you feel shy about that? It is a fact. It isn't a bad thing. It isn't a good thing. It is just a fact. You are the stepmom. Why feel ANYTHING about it? Would you feel ackward introducing yourself as your niece's aunt? Do you feel ackward about refering to yourself as you husband's wife?

I think we create problems when we let the step title mean any more than it is. I am a great stepmom and I love being a stepmom. I am also a great mom to my biokids but my stepkids have a biomom and I want to keep for them a special place for her so I wouldn't dare step on her title. Besides, as I say I have a great title all my own- STEPMOM!

I just don't understand why folks tiptoe around this issue and create confusion and hurt feelings when there is no reason to. If you are custodial I think you can add that detail or you can just let it become apparent. It is kind of like do you tell people you are married (vs just living with) or just let them figure it out?
post #12 of 38
I felt awkward at first, too, guess all those evil stepmoms in literature and tv got into my brain. I just forced myself to say it over and over until it wasn't a big deal to anyone. When dss was in kindergarten, he was the only one with a stepmom, but now that he's in 5th, it seems like half his class has a divorce, stepparent, dad's girlfriend kind of thing so it isn't as weird.

When the cashiers say "ask your mom" or something, dss and I used to give each other a secret look and crack up. We decided it was none of their business, but we still needed a little acknowledgement that I knew I wasn't his "regular mom" (as he calls her). We made it our little joke.
post #13 of 38
I took it to mean Laggie was shy in general, not shy about the stepmom thing. Maybe I was mistaken.

Also, I think Laggie's hubby needs to address the screaming out at sales people "she's not my mom" with her mom. Find out if it's encouraged. Sounds like dad needs to explain to stepdaughter that a stepparent is an authority figure as well.

I can't remember how the relationship with mom was.

Maybe some counseling would be in order for this child.
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yes, it's not the stepmom thing, I'm just shy about introducing myself in general.

As for SD, she is the opposite - not shy in any way. Which I guess is why she feels it necessary to let strangers know that I am NOT her mom! I dunno, she's generally a good kid, it's just annoying to me when she does that.
post #15 of 38
what does your step daughter call you to you. my stepson unfortunately knows his step dad as daddy and when he started coming over to our house called us by first names. we didnt want to make him feel uncomfortable. but a year and a half later we realized he needed to use a parental title when talking to us or in reference to us. we gave him the choice of mama reyna and papa ron or the hebrew names for mom and dad. he actually chose just mom and dad by themselves. either way when he is with us those are the titles he uses. the ones he chose. when he is at his other house we totally understand that its not comfortable for him to do so and told him that he can refer to us by our first names.

i think its important to have a parental or respectful title (their teachers do) and then have them use that. but it doesnt have to be mom or dad. i read a book once where a stepmom had her kids call her steppie.
post #16 of 38
My dsd is 7, so it hasn't come up often, except when she is stating it as a fact. (Even though that gets under my skin) She normally says, "She's not my 'real' mom." When it does happen, I say, "No. I'm not your 'real' mom, but I still love you and take care of you." I think it really bugs me alot more than it should when she says this, but her mom has barely been in her life at all for the last 4 yrs and I have been the one raising her this whole time, so I am a little territorial.
post #17 of 38
When I was a step mom, I always replied.... "nope, I am the WOMAN WHO CHOOSES to love you"

or I would then say to them " hey cinderella, get your booty in the car" they were older kids, about 13 and 14 when we were no longer family.


I miss the girls, I have not seen, heard or talked to them in about 3 years. They were actually my ex's former step daughters and I worked very hard at him keeping a relationship with them going. When we split up, he stopped seeing the girls.
post #18 of 38
As some one previously posted, I just say No, I'm not, but I love you, and you must respect me, put your coat on/etc.

Lisser
post #19 of 38
I am not a stepmom, but a now adult stepdaughter. I feel I must adress the poster saying they decided that the kids HAD to adress them with a parental titles. I'm sorry but thats not a good way to better the relationship with the child.

At 6 my dad died, and my mother met a man, almost immediately she made me start calling him dad. I was only about 7 at the time, and I resented that so much, it set the precedent for the relationship. My stepdad and I have never had a good relationship, and in my younger years it was pretty bad.

I'm sorry but you dont have the right to tell a child who is already trying to deal with so much that he or she HAS to call you something that in my mind is EARNED, not just given outright. If the child comes on their own to feel you deserve that title, wonderful. But don't force it on them.


The pps that said

I would not say “No, I am not your mom but I love you the same.” She knows darn well the relationships are different. This can be hurtful and disrespectful to her and her mom’s relationship. - marsupialmom

and

Not a stepmom myself, but I was a stepkid... and my stepmom had two good (or at least good for the kid I was to hear) answers: "No, I'm not. You already have a wonderful mom and I don't want to replace her. But, I am your father's wife and this is my home too and you need to treat me with respect." and "No, you already have a great mom. But, I am your father's wife and you and I can decide to be friends if you want." - Ione

I think those are spot on...and yes I am about to become the BIO parent with a stepmom coming into the picture...so I feel its a matter of respect that the stepmom acknowledge she is a stepmom.
post #20 of 38

Not my mom

You said she didn't say this to you directly. I don't think she's trying to hurt your feelings. She is simply stating a fact. When my step-kids call me by my name it's me who has the issue not them. I do everything their mother does and more sometimes so I feel I should get the credit but that's my issue. If she turned around to you and said she was your kid then this is where her heart is. She knows she belongs to you, but you aren't her mother. You are her Step-Mother which has no less meaning then calling you by your name. My husband's ex always tells the kids that we (me and my children) are "Step" whatever. I wrote her a note and told her how would she like it if my children called her children "Step". Did she purposely want to cause her own children to feel like they belonged less because they were at our house? It stopped all the "Step" calling. Now I am the other mother. Sometimes they call me mom and sometimes they don't. I know they love me and that's good enough for me.
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