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Mother as "bm" or "birth/bio" mother, or, Why I don't come to this forum - Page 6

post #101 of 264
Sooooo... let me get this straight. There a remembers of this community who have blended or step family issues and would like to participate on this board but find some of the language here upsetting or insulting. Some simple, straightforward alternatives are offerred that would really solve this problem, but you won't because....?
post #102 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj119 View Post
I don't feel at all sad about this discussion.

Like the previous posters, I also love coming here and I, for one, am glad that someone had the kahones to say something about it, finally.

Apologies to everyone who is upset to learn that the status quo is not working for others as it is for them.

Any conversation on the internet or in 'real' life is subject to some general rules of courtesy.... its not even really courtesty... more like practical guidelines one follows when ones intent is to express themselves in a manner which they would like to be thoughtfully considered rather than shrugged off or given a cursory glance. When I learn that, by my use of language or by my mis-use of it, I unintentionally cause offense or insult to my audience, then I have a choice to make.
I either blame the audience, deny any responsibility, and assert the goodness of my intentions
or I modify my language to achieve my goal which is open communication with a diverse community.... to represent myself accurately, honestly and with respect for how that will translate with my audience.

If it is, as it has been suggested, simply a matter of habit, of using a widely accepted form of internet shorthand, then the change will be within the reach of anyone who chooses to recognize the validity of the feelings expressed by the OP and supported by several subsequent posters. It will not be within the reach of those who, for whatever reason, reject the idea that there is now -or was ever a problem, and who believe that the injury expressed by the OP is a problem only in that it was expressed and seems to be interfering with business as usual.

Did I mention yet how down I am with pinksparklybarefoot's suggested alternative shorthand? 'cause I'm way down with it, cuz. bee-lee dat.
DearStepSon'sMother DSSM
DearStepDaughter'sMother DSDM
or DearStepChildren'sMother DSCM
these are good! And, easy to use!
are they not?

-anj119


As a single, custodial mother, I would be patently offended if any future partner of my ex were to refer to me as DS's bio-mom, birth mother or BM. Frankly, this is one of the MDC fora that scare me. I used to come here to gain insight and possibly post as the "other" side of co-parenting. I was immediately put off by the bio/birthmom reference and its shorthand. Honestly, how hard is it to say, "Gee, I didn't realize the terms I was using were offensive to anyone. Thanks for the alternatives, I'll be using them from now on." It takes no more time or action to type that than it does to come here and complain about this thread being trivial. I wonder if some of the defensiveness some posters have to adopting new shorthand is rooted in the general ill-will toward DSKMs I, and many others, find so prevalent in this forum.
post #103 of 264
But I AM their birthmother. It is what it is...why would that offend me?!? :

My ex's new wife can call me whatever she wants and it doesn't change who i am. I honestly don't understand how there is so much offense being taken all over this place about these things. If you don't want to be referred to as BM or whatever, ask them not to call you that. It doesn't have to be a global case of insult unless you let it be.
post #104 of 264
I guess I have to repeat myself, more clearly. The suggested "New" shorthand is insulting to stepmoms, in that it makes us "not the mom."

DSDM - Dear StepDaughter's Mom, means that I, the stepmom, am Notamom. For some of us, this is true, but for others who are filling the role of mom in their stepkids' lives, it is insulting. Some of the stepmoms on here are mom 24/7 to their stepkids, and their stepkids call them Mom/mama/mommy. It is totally dismissive of that to use the shorthand DSKM to refer to the biological parent.

I think the biomoms are offended at the very existence of the stepmoms and are just using the acronym BM as an excuse to be pissed off. I do enough tiptoeing around biomom in real life without having to do it here too.

It is fair for both the step and the bio to have a qualifier in front of the word "Mom." We steps don't like the word step any more than the bios like the word bio.

Maybe we could switch to OM and BM - Original Mom and Bonus Mom.
post #105 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
It is fair for both the step and the bio to have a qualifier in front of the word "Mom."
I think this is a great point, Laggie. Obviously those of us who didn't give birth still care enough to be here. Care enough to be trying to get through life and really do more than that - help raise healthy, well-adjusted kids.
I think we should be able to clarify the situation (just who's who) without having to but the D (dear) in front of the step-kid's mom - that's why I have a problem with DSDM or some other abbreviation like that. While I think children are dear, I don't think I should be required to refer to my partner's ex as dear. Quite frankly she's not. Her daughter is, but the mom is not someone I will refer to in that way!

I really do think that what is happening on this thread is an extension of the hostility and lack of acceptance that goes on in the world in general. And that's unfortunate. But at the same time, this should be a place where step-moms can stand up for ourselves and make sure that we do feel comfortable. Trust me - there are a lot more places on MDC and in the world where step-moms are made to feel uncomfortable or excluded. I'm sorry if moms don't feel like this forum always caters to them but I guarantee that the rest of the world and MDC isn't catering to me!
post #106 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I guess I have to repeat myself, more clearly. The suggested "New" shorthand is insulting to stepmoms, in that it makes us "not the mom."

DSDM - Dear StepDaughter's Mom, means that I, the stepmom, am Notamom. For some of us, this is true, but for others who are filling the role of mom in their stepkids' lives, it is insulting. Some of the stepmoms on here are mom 24/7 to their stepkids, and their stepkids call them Mom/mama/mommy. It is totally dismissive of that to use the shorthand DSKM to refer to the biological parent.
Yes, some of the stepMoms are 24/7, and I can see why it would be insulting to have that ignored. So I am certain you could understand why some of us who are 24/7 Moms to our kids would find it offensive to be referred to as the equivalent of a pile of poop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I think the biomoms are offended at the very existence of the stepmoms and are just using the acronym BM as an excuse to be pissed off. I do enough tiptoeing around biomom in real life without having to do it here too.
I don't know about anyone else, so I won't speak for them. But for me, you think wrong. I'm glad my ex has found someone he seems to be happy with. We were totally wrong for each other, so that he found someone right is cool. But... She's not around my kids 24/7. More like 48/30. And I can't imagine it would be difficult to understand why it offends me that she presumes to be equal in their lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
It is fair for both the step and the bio to have a qualifier in front of the word "Mom." We steps don't like the word step any more than the bios like the word bio.

Maybe we could switch to OM and BM - Original Mom and Bonus Mom.
I'd be as offended as an other Mom as I am as my kids' Mom to be referred to as the equivalent of a pile of poop. Nor would I be likely to use it. But I'm sure we can all brainstorm something mutually acceptable for BOTH.
post #107 of 264
I can only speak for myself (but can assume for other steps) when I say that when I type BM is does NOT equal bowel movement.
ETA: And, whomever refers to me as SM, I will not assume that you are assuming my sexual lifestyle is anything but vanilla.
post #108 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
It is fair for both the step and the bio to have a qualifier in front of the word "Mom." We steps don't like the word step any more than the bios like the word bio.
You got that right!

[QUOTE=Laggie;9238710Maybe we could switch to OM and BM - Original Mom and Bonus Mom.[/QUOTE]

I would love to be called Katherine's Bonus Mom instead of her Stepmom. BM for short? No problem.
post #109 of 264
Quote:
I am not talking about those mothers who have abandoned or all-but-abandoned their children and you are raising them 100%. If you are in that situation, you can certainly make a case for calling her that.

I am talking about the moms who are being moms to their children, even if they do not have primary custody. Calling the mother of your stepchildren something other than their mother is beyond insulting.
Well, gee. See, I'm in a situation like you described above. The woman who gestated and bore the children that I am raising is not in any way a mother. She has little to nothing to do with them by her own choice, and when she does actually make a rare appearance, it usually ends up in them being upset and hurt. I have never seen her do one thing that could possibly be considered "parenting" in even a loose definition, and frankly I'm not quite sure that she's even capable of loving them in the sense that I understand a mother's love for her offspring.

But I'm sorry, it is not my responsibility to post this disclaimer any time I mention her, just to justify that I'm *allowed* to refer to her purely by technical association. I can understand why someone might take offense, but I agree with other posters who have referred to BM/SS/etc. as shorthand qualifiers, used because we are a large community who aren't all current with the intimate details of each other's lives. I come here to post (or answer) specific issues, NOT to give a full history of our situation every time.

Furthermore, I am sure that with few exceptions, most of the posters here do not intend a blanket insult against all mothers or children, whatever the flavor (bio, step, adopted, what-have-you). Each of us is posting from our own experience, and not pointing fingers at anyone else's. If I refer to the my husband's ex-wife as BM, I am in no way suggesting that ANY other woman who has borne a child deserves a lack of respect.
post #110 of 264
I have to add, I think that we are getting confused by talking about two separate issues:

1. Is BM offensive?

and

2. Is biomom offensive?

We have the "BM is an acronym for poop and therefore offensive" moms getting lumped in with the "how dare you call me a biomom, I am THE. MOM. and will not accept any qualification of that fact" moms. Which, really, are two different arguments.

I suppose I will type biomom instead of BM. Or I could call her DH's ex. Or his babymomma.
post #111 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I guess I have to repeat myself, more clearly. The suggested "New" shorthand is insulting to stepmoms, in that it makes us "not the mom."

DSDM - Dear StepDaughter's Mom, means that I, the stepmom, am Notamom. For some of us, this is true, but for others who are filling the role of mom in their stepkids' lives, it is insulting. Some of the stepmoms on here are mom 24/7 to their stepkids, and their stepkids call them Mom/mama/mommy. It is totally dismissive of that to use the shorthand DSKM to refer to the biological parent.
I'm going to come right out and say that this is a slight that the members should probably live with. Yes, some stepmothers take the role of mother full time. So do some grandmothers, aunts and the like. They cannot all be called "mother" just because they are currently filling that role. We are looking for accuracy, I hope, and not just verbal awards.

The name "birth mother" was used in adoption discussions to differentiate between the woman who gave birth and the woman who adopted the child. It was a reasonable distinction, because an adoptive mother is considered to be the child's mother now, period. That is not normally the case with step or extended families.

I am my children's mother. If my DH divorces me and marries another woman, I would be their mother. If he joins a cult and marries six teenaged girls, I would be their mother. Not their bio, birth, ovulatory, genetic, or uterine mother. No prefix is needed on the term mother because it is accurate and sufficient by itself.
post #112 of 264
I, for one, have learned NOTHING from this thread except that this argument will never end.

I'll will continue to write as I always have. If you do not like what I have written or how I've written it, then don't read my post/thread. It's as simple as that.


I can't believe this thread is like 6 pages now. over something like this. I've got better things to worry about. Like, how to actually get along with my stepkids.
post #113 of 264
Well, I see my stepfather as just as much of a dad as my biological father. I am never going to negate that by calling my biological father my dad, and calling my stepfather something else.

I don't see how this is any different.
post #114 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
Well, I see my stepfather as just as much of a dad as my biological father. I am never going to negate that by calling my biological father my dad, and calling my stepfather something else.

I don't see how this is any different.
me, neither.

my step-father was my "dad", period. the only father i really ever knew...

i am my daughter's MOTHER, regardless of whether i birthed her or not. the woman who DID have that privilege, she calls carol.
post #115 of 264
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie
I think the biomoms are offended at the very existence of the stepmoms and are just using the acronym BM as an excuse to be pissed off.
Response by MTiger

I don't know about anyone else, so I won't speak for them. But for me, you think wrong. I'm glad my ex has found someone he seems to be happy with. We were totally wrong for each other, so that he found someone right is cool. But... She's not around my kids 24/7. More like 48/30. And I can't imagine it would be difficult to understand why it offends me that she presumes to be equal in their lives.

See, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. You're glad your ex has a new wife. But you're upset that your kids might see her as a parent in some way. Uh, we know we're not equal to the Real Mommy. We have enough reminders of that every day. And really, if my DH was not a father when I met him, life would be much simpler. None of us chose to be stepmoms, but we have to make the best of it.

I don't see how it's constructive to insist that stepmoms are not moms. This is the kind of thinking that leads to arguments over who makes the child's lunch or drives them to school - biomom doesn't want the stepmom doing any of that. Or buying socks or clothing or tucking the child in to bed. Never mind that the child would actually feel totally ignored and isolated at dad's house if the stepmom never did any of these "mom" things.
post #116 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
See, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. You're glad your ex has a new wife. But you're upset that your kids might see her as a parent in some way. Uh, we know we're not equal to the Real Mommy. We have enough reminders of that every day. And really, if my DH was not a father when I met him, life would be much simpler. None of us chose to be stepmoms, but we have to make the best of it.
I'm not upset. 'Cause my kids don't see her as a parent, to be honest. They see her as their Dad's wife. Why? Because she has tried to be their mother to the exclusion of, well, their mother. She's not. I can make them be respectful and tolerant, but I cannot make them love her. Their refusal to do so is on her, I'm afraid. I don't say that to hurt anyone; I hope that I could help other bonus/second moms figure out how to make things better for themselves AND the kids than it is in our situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I don't see how it's constructive to insist that stepmoms are not moms.
Well.... my kids' stepmom IS a mom. To her kids. I respect that, and I don't put up with any smack about it from my two. But.... she is not my kids' mom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
This is the kind of thinking that leads to arguments over who makes the child's lunch or drives them to school - biomom doesn't want the stepmom doing any of that. Or buying socks or clothing or tucking the child in to bed. Never mind that the child would actually feel totally ignored and isolated at dad's house if the stepmom never did any of these "mom" things.
See, you assume that all stepmoms do these things. Well.... they don't. I was told quite definitely that I was not to send anything with the kids. They had everything they needed. Well, uuhh.... you tell me how comfortable a developing 15yo would be wearing a 12yo's briefs. 'Cause that was what he had wrt underwear. He wore the jeans he went up in and his Dad's tshirts. The younger at least had her own underwear.

As for feeling ignored and isolated? Let me tell you about a recent New Year's Eve. I passed up several invites as I had to work New Year's Day, early. Figured I'd hang out, watch the ball drop, go to bed. 11pm, the phone rang. The kids on #2's cell. KEWL! "Happy New Year! Whatcha Doin?!?!?! " Nuthin'. Uuuuh, nuthin'? How could that be possible?!?!? Step-sibs at their Dad's, Dad & stepMom at a party. My two? Home alone. Well, surely something was left for them to ring in the new year! Right? Nope. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. A slab of cheddar and some crackers. Oh come on - you have some cash to call in for pizza at least. Nope. The money they arrived with was taken and put away as it wouldn't be fair for them to have more money than their stepsibs. Ooooooookay. So.... hang up, I'll call you on the house phone so we don't waste your minutes. Oh no - they'll see the number on caller ID and know we called you.

So, I am sorry for all the stepmoms who have to deal with b**** moms. But.... some of us have to deal with the antithesis. This woman will never be my kids' any kind of Mom. I know you're not all like that. But the one I deal with is. And it just isn't okay with me.
post #117 of 264
Fact is, we can create any acronym language we want here, but lots of us spend time on other boards/loops/groups related to blended family life and shifting language from place to place would be hard.

Whatever happens, and whatever people decide, I'll go along, but please remember that some of our family situations are EXTREMELY complicated! I have a stepson from my first marriage, two children from my first marriage who have a stepmom, a stepson who has a stepdad, and a youngest son who's mine and my DH's and who is, quite honestly, a bit confused!

I mean, really, can we all just get willing to believe that shorthand is about convenience? Yes, I am a BM and a SM. I have a skid. I can live with that; if other's can't, OK, I'll change my language, but could we please keep it simple?

And BTW, I'm not calling my SS's mother "dear" anything, and I'm not calling my eldest children's father "dear" anything either! I'll reserve that prefix for the people that I love. I feel no hate or ill-will toward either of them, but calling them "dear" is way too much.
post #118 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
See, you assume that all stepmoms do these things. Well.... they don't. I was told quite definitely that I was not to send anything with the kids. They had everything they needed. Well, uuhh.... you tell me how comfortable a developing 15yo would be wearing a 12yo's briefs. 'Cause that was what he had wrt underwear. He wore the jeans he went up in and his Dad's tshirts. The younger at least had her own underwear.

As for feeling ignored and isolated? Let me tell you about a recent New Year's Eve. I passed up several invites as I had to work New Year's Day, early. Figured I'd hang out, watch the ball drop, go to bed. 11pm, the phone rang. The kids on #2's cell. KEWL! "Happy New Year! Whatcha Doin?!?!?! " Nuthin'. Uuuuh, nuthin'? How could that be possible?!?!? Step-sibs at their Dad's, Dad & stepMom at a party. My two? Home alone. Well, surely something was left for them to ring in the new year! Right? Nope. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. A slab of cheddar and some crackers. Oh come on - you have some cash to call in for pizza at least. Nope. The money they arrived with was taken and put away as it wouldn't be fair for them to have more money than their stepsibs. Ooooooookay. So.... hang up, I'll call you on the house phone so we don't waste your minutes. Oh no - they'll see the number on caller ID and know we called you.
That is just horrible, how your children's Stepmother and Father treated your children, but it's not always like that. Many Stepmothers are good to their children. Just because there's a "Step" or a "Bio" (or a "Foster" or an "Adopted") prefix before "Parent" doesn't mean that they are either a good or a bad or even a mediocre parent. Anyone can be a bad parent. Anyone can be a good parent. Some children are lucky enough to have three or four good parents, some children only have one. Same goes for having bad parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownZoo View Post
Fact is, we can create any acronym language we want here, but lots of us spend time on other boards/loops/groups related to blended family life and shifting language from place to place would be hard.

Whatever happens, and whatever people decide, I'll go along, but please remember that some of our family situations are EXTREMELY complicated! I have a stepson from my first marriage, two children from my first marriage who have a stepmom, a stepson who has a stepdad, and a youngest son who's mine and my DH's and who is, quite honestly, a bit confused!

I mean, really, can we all just get willing to believe that shorthand is about convenience? Yes, I am a BM and a SM. I have a skid. I can live with that; if other's can't, OK, I'll change my language, but could we please keep it simple?

And BTW, I'm not calling my SS's mother "dear" anything, and I'm not calling my eldest children's father "dear" anything either! I'll reserve that prefix for the people that I love. I feel no hate or ill-will toward either of them, but calling them "dear" is way too much.
post #119 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownZoo View Post
And BTW, I'm not calling my SS's mother "dear" anything, and I'm not calling my eldest children's father "dear" anything either! I'll reserve that prefix for the people that I love. I feel no hate or ill-will toward either of them, but calling them "dear" is way too much.
FTR (and not that I am in love with my acronym suggestion - it was just an idea), the "dear" part refers to the child and not the mother. As in "mother of dear stepchild," not "dear mother of child."

I just wish we could all decide on something. It is making my posting awkward, as I don't know how to word things.
post #120 of 264
I know this thread is long and dragged out, but I did want to say that I do agree with the OP.

I am a mother who's ex has residential. According to paperwork we have 50/50 however she goes to school there, so she's with him all week. He remarried, and they immediatly started trying to get my daughter to call me by my first name. They made her call his new wife "Mommy." Every year they take my information off contact lists with the school, gymnastics, camp, etc. And every year I have to go and write it back in. He even puts his wifes name on the: Biological Mother line. And leaves the Step Parent line for me. They don't tell me if she's very sick, or goes to the hospital. They don't let me know important things going on. In short, they try to pretend I don't exist and leave me out of the loop as much as possible. Erase me from her life.

And lets not get confused here.. I am an active participant. I fought in court for her for 2 years. He won custody on lies and more money than I had. He took my little girl that was only 4 years old at the time and ripped her away from me. Found a new woman and had an insta family.

She still calls her Mommy, and calls me Mom. When they speak about me, they don't refer to me as her mother at all. They use my first name to her.

So yes, I may have personal feelings as to why I agree with the OP. The fact remains that I do have feelings. Most of you here might be great step parents, and want nothing but peace between everyone. But some of us have the opposite problem. Some of us find that the step parents are cruel, insulting, dismissive, and disrespectful about us and our roles in our childrens lives.

And in my case, her step mother may very well be around her more than I am... but its not because I refuse to be a parent, and that doesn't give her the right to take my role or my title away from me. Using the term Biological Mother implies that the mother is no longer in the picture or that they have a limited role in their life. When saying Biological Father, you might as well say sperm donor.. because that is what everyone else hears.

It does seem picky, tearing about acronyms and word usage.. but its really just a respect thing. We want to feel respected just as much as you step mothers do.
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