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Mother as "bm" or "birth/bio" mother, or, Why I don't come to this forum - Page 11

post #201 of 264
I am new to this forum, but it seems like using words like bio mom or birth mom is just a way of clarifying who is who.

I came to this forum looking for a place where people would likely understand the broad spectrum of emotions that I feel as a step daughter, step mother and mother. If some people use words that I dont agree with, I can overlook that because it's easy to see that we are all here for support. I know that I will not always agree with everyone and that is just life.

As a mother and step mother, I personally do not find the word "bio mother" offensive. What offends me is when people come here and rudely attack one another. I'd like to think that as adults, we could be a little more civil.

And by the way if I have to try and decipher another acronym I might go crazy.
What is DSDM?
post #202 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama parrot View Post
And by the way if I have to try and decipher another acronym I might go crazy.
What is DSDM?
I'm guessing Darling/dear Step Daughter's Mother
post #203 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
My understanding is that "birthmother" refers to exactly what you say -- a woman who gave birth but the child was adopted and she is likely no longer a regular parent to her child. "Biomother" I thought was analogous/complementary to stepmother, in distinguishing the 2 types of motherly roles discussed herein. I can see how some people might not like it, though. I use it for clarity here sometimes, hope I don't offend. Just remember, I'm not talking about any of *you* -- I'm talking about *her*!

At least I don't say it to the kids, though. Their mom (or someone else with influence) has told them I'm their stepmom now, and our little 3.5 yo was very confused and wondered how that could be, since stepmoms are mean. Moms (I feel like I should say "biomoms" here, as I'm distinguishing between biological mother and stepmother -- see?) are so exalted in kids' books -- I can hardly read them a book where we're not praising "Mommy!" But the evil stepmother -- well, that's another story..

As far as the "stepmom" teminology, my kids call me their BonusMom sometimes (see www.bonusfamily.com for more on this idea). Plus, I have my own made-up title that they use when addressing me, so I'm not just my first name, but I don't get called Mom, so I'm not set up in competition with her. But my stepson still says he has two moms (we've never encouraged this, and we don't have him call me this -- this is why we made up a title for me), so doesn't it make sense to qualify the word "mom" to say which one we mean?
I agree it is depressing to try to read bedtime stories to your young stepchild when it seems like there is always the exalted mother and/or an evil stepmother.

Dss also says he has two moms and his mother says he has two moms so we do use bio and step to distinguish. She also calls me his "other mom." I really don't like the term "bonus" mom. Not sure why.. . . sounds like something that comes free with the big box of detergent? I've tried to just make "stepmom" sound cool, but I don't know. Still looking for the perfect terms.

I also call my kids "my bio son and my stepson." I could never say just "my son and my stepson" because it would sound like dss isn't my son, and he wants to be called my son, so they each get a qualfier.
post #204 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I also call my kids "my bio son and my stepson." I could never say just "my son and my stepson" because it would sound like dss isn't my son, and he wants to be called my son, so they each get a qualfier.
This is a really good point. I've done the same, because people are sometimes confused when I count my DSS as one of "my kids" because he is 15 and I am only 34 and am often told I look about 30. I'll say something like, "these two are my biological kids and the older is my stepson, but he lives with us, and they're all 'my kids'".

I understand some here are saying they are offended by biomom, and by all means, I'll stop using, but I am one of those who truly meant no offense by it and I'm just trying to further explain where I was coming from.

I also agree that, to me, birthmother referred to adoption situations, but that biomother is a catch all phrase that simply indicated the biological connection, but with no insinuation one way or the other about the moms role in the child's life.
post #205 of 264
are we seriously still on this?
post #206 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsadvice View Post
are we seriously still on this?
Ummmmm..... : :
post #207 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsadvice View Post
are we seriously still on this?
LOL! My thoughts exactly!!!
post #208 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsadvice View Post
are we seriously still on this?
I suggest just ignoring threads that you are no longer interested in instead of posting something that seems kind of dismissive of people who are still interested or working through what they think about a topic.

Lots of other threads to read around here if this one doesn't engage you anymore.
post #209 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
But in a forum like this, I can see referring to stepkids as stepkids to make things clearer. Like, it would be odd (for a mama, not a papa) to say "my daughter's mother" unless you were in a two-mommy family, yk?

I guess I don't see stepmom/stepdad as a "lesser" title. I just don't want a "qualifier" on my motherhood title. I see "step" as a clarifier, not qualifier or quantifier. But "birth/bio" is a qualifier, and sometimes a quantifier, especially because it calls to mind the first parent of an adopted child, who has abdicated their role.
Word. I say this as both a stepchild with step-parents on both sides. I refer to my bio-dad as my bio-dad only because he did not raise me. My step-father raised me (and eventually adopted me) and my bio-dad was not in my life from the time I was six until I was 21. So he is my bio-dad and my stepdad is my dad. I only refer to him as my stepdad if I'm trying to describe the familial situation growing up. In conversation he's my dad. I am also a birthmother. A true birth/bio-mom. I gave birth to two children who I made the painful decision to place for adoption. Unfortunately I am not a part of their daily life. Someone else more truly fits the descriptor of mother in their case. Now if my stbx remarries I don't give a damn how wonderful and devoted that woman might be it will be a cold day in hell before she would refer to me as my children's birth or bio-mom in my hearing or to my knowledge. I am not their bio-mom. I am not their birth mom. I am their mother period. Barring my death she is not their mother but their stepmother. There is nothing wrong with that. I have a very nice stepmom. But I also have a mother and my stepmom does not replace her and if my stepmom called my mom who raised me something other than my mom there would be trouble.

Those who say it's just to distinguish oh come on now. It's not perfectly clear if I am talking about my children and I refer to their father and their stepfather that the father is the biological father? If you are a woman speaking of your stepchildren and refer to their mother is it not clear that you mean their biological mother? I don't see how it can possibly be for clarity. But I do not agree at all with applying that label to someone who is and has always been the mother to a child just because you married their father and love them too. And again I'm not saying that just as a woman who could be labelled that by my kids stepmom. I'm saying that as a birthmom. It is insulting in both ways. I mean really I'm getting incoherent and have to step away from the thread because yes trust me as an actual true birthmom that label alone can be very painful. It means lessor mom. It means not really mom. It means mom who does not matter. Well I did give those children away so I can't necessarily argue away that label but I'll be damned if I would allow someone to negate my meaning for children I have given everything for.
post #210 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by offwing View Post
And that is why some people are offended when it is used in general ... they are aware that biomom or BM is used as the maternal version of "sperm donor" and carries the implication of being at best an uninvolved mother -- at worst an uncaring or harmful mother.

And people wonder why anyone would take offense?

BTW; I'm not accusing you of anything, EJ ... you just gave me the example that made my point. You are using it exactly as it was meant to be used as far as I know. I've never seen people argue that it is a neutral term before coming to MDC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by offwing View Post
I think comes down to whether or not someone is old enough to know how the term "birth mother" came to be universally recognized in the general public.

It had nothing to do with divorced situations, it arose from adoptions, specifically to refer to the young, unmarried girl who was giving up a child. It recognized the biological involvement of birth because it was implied that was all the "mothering" the birth mother or bio mother would ever be doing.

And again, I really don't understand the posts saying "that's not how I meant it" as a response to posts pointing out that it does have that implied meaning.

It's kind of like people insisting that they really don't mean anything bad when they use the n-word with friends. The reality is that if you choose to use a phrase or word that has an offensive history and is still considered offensive to many, it's kind of odd to be surprised or defensive when someone does end up offended.
Yes to both. I mean seriously how can people not be aware of this?! How can people not see that unless it truly is a situation where the woman was an egg donor as we refer to deadbeat dads as sperm donors this is not appropriate. I mean really don't get it. It's a hurtful word. As a birthmom first mother feels better but again that's what I am to the children I gave up. It is not what I am to the children that have only known me as a mother and who will only ever be around this hypothetical stepmother about let's say approximately 90 days of the year at most? I am not their first mother, I am not their birth mother, I am not their biological mother. I am their mother. Period.
post #211 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
It is not what I am to the children that have only known me as a mother and who will only ever be around this hypothetical stepmother about let's say approximately 90 days of the year at most?
Not sure where you got this arbitrary number, but in my case, and in the case of many stepmoms here, the stepchild(ren) live with us and have weekend visitation with their mom. My stepson sees his mom 48 days a year. Oh, unless he has a cold - then she cancels because she doesn't want to catch it.
post #212 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
It means lessor mom. It means not really mom. It means mom who does not matter. Well I did give those children away so I can't necessarily argue away that label but I'll be damned if I would allow someone to negate my meaning for children I have given everything for.
I for one can say that anything I say about my stepsons mom is in no way a projection on to you or any other mothers. I was simply in a bad habit of using that terminology and will no longer do so. I can see how hurtful this would be, especially to someone in your shoes. I really do apologize for any hurt the use of the term has caused. I can really feel the pain in your post.
post #213 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg View Post
Not sure where you got this arbitrary number, but in my case, and in the case of many stepmoms here, the stepchild(ren) live with us and have weekend visitation with their mom. My stepson sees his mom 48 days a year. Oh, unless he has a cold - then she cancels because she doesn't want to catch it.
Um it's not an arbitrary number? I'm not sure why you think it is. My husband lives 1300 miles away from me. He sees the kids on holidays and during the summer. I was estimating the total time of holidays and summer vacation at approximately 90 days per year. Not arbitrary in the least bit.
post #214 of 264
Just a few more thoughts...

1. I don't think numbers of days matter... I'd hate to think that DP is less of a dad because court didn't award him physical custody, yet he is there every weekend to pick up his child for the past 12 years of his life... I rrrrrrrrreally don't want anyone to base relationship on a number of days they are allowed to spend with their kid. Trust me.. it is not by choice... Shouldn't love decide? Or we go back to "this is your real family", and that's "just your dad and stepmom".

2. Using DSDM would be hypocritical in my situation... I don't find her "dear" or "darling". We get along enough to be civil, went out to eat a couple times, I won't argue with her, but um.. .she's not dear to me, kwim?

3. DSD used term "this is my BIOLIOGICAL FATHER" when she introduced him to me years ago... He wasn't offended by it, she was trying to clarify for me who he was, I thought it was sweet and funny. So I never looked at terms "biological parent" as a bad word, or a put-down. Neither did DP.

4. BM is not an equivalent to SD (sperm donor), EG (egg donor) would be an equivalent.

5. I honestly thought it wasn't offensive because well.. I wanted to make a point that I am not a bio-mom in this situation. I never thought it will be viewed as an insult, but I stopped using it ever since this thread was posted. I'm sorry if I hurt anyone.
post #215 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
4. BM is not an equivalent to SD (sperm donor), EG (egg donor) would be an equivalent.
You can say that you did not mean it to be an equivalent. I am telling you as a birthmom that it is. That society uses it as an equivalent. And as for your husband not minding I think that mean as a whole are less likely to mind. He is after all her biological father so why should he care. Men more often than women take words at their literal and absolute meaning without factoring in cultural baggage that comes along with it. And to be clear biological is by far less of an issue for me than birthmother. I dislike it. I see no reason why my relationship needs to be qualified when it is the primary relationship. And yes I know it's not in all cases. But if your step-child lives with their mother and you have visitation then the mother is performing the primary mothering role is she not?

And let me address the other part which I did not last night. A woman whose husband happens to have remarried is not a birthmom because she has not walked my walk. She is not in my group. She does not know my experience and honestly she should be really glad she hasn't because it really really sucks and still hurts to this day almost 16 years later. She doesn't want to be in my group. I can think of when Natalie Portman gave an interview a few years back and said that after read W. E. B. DuBois she could really relate to slaves and all the flack she took from it because no she can't relate to it. And coopting adoptions terms to use for the other side in a blended family is not appropriate either. And it may sound like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth here (and that's becase it is such a loaded word that draws up so many conflicting emotions in those of us that have placed children for adoption) but even an egg donor type mother doesn't deserve the title of birthmom. I didn't just cut and run on my kid. I spent months planning and carefully selecting parents for them. I took good care of myself to give birth to healthy babies. It was a thoughtful decision and it was what everyone told me I should do. It was not done out of what would be best or most fun or easiest for me. That's not what I think of when I read about a mother who just left the baby with her ex when he was a few months old. So while that mother may have earned scorn she has not earned the title of birthmother which connotates (in most cases) a woman who has thoughtfully devised an adoption plan for the good of her child. Now the other half of it is that even though birthmothers might get a lot of praise there is also a lot of "well I could never have done it. How could you possibly give up your child, etc." There are a lot of assumptions about the kinds of women who are birthmoms--teenage crackwhores being a very popular one. And there's a lot of shame and hiding of pain associated with the word.

So I don't want it applied to me just because my husband remarried when the fact is that I am and always have been and always will be their mother and I do not deserve either the negative or positive associations that come with birthmother. But it's adoption's word. It is the word of mothers who gave up their children for adoption. You (general you) don't get to use it as a subtle cut down to the woman your husband used to be married to. And yes maybe some only used it for clarity but I've seen it used sneeringly quite a bit as well. And you shouldn't lump me in with abandoners either. But the point is it is not a word of divorce. It is not a word of blended families and you shouldn't use it if the situation doesn't fit the word.

And I do appreciate those who say they didn't realize the connotations and have stopped doing it. Being thoughtful and considerate even if you don't get it is always a good thing.
post #216 of 264
After reading several of your posts, Wasabi, I'm changing my use of BM (Bio-Mom). I'm sorry if I've offended people but in the end I just wanted to be recognized for who I am and what I do. Even if it is just a silly word "step mom" hurts sometimes because I am so much more than what that word defines in MOST people's opinion.

Using BM to clarify my DD's mom makes sense to me because I believe it takes more than birthing someone to be a mother. Anyway, I'll take the extra 2 seconds and type out a more thoughtful explanation of who's who instead of using the abbreviations from now on.

Also, I wanted to add that I hope my birth mother (I am adopted) is like you. I hope she made her decision out of love instead of just throwing me away. I am disappointed that I don't know her on an almost daily basis EVEN though I have wonderful adoptive parents and a great relationship with them. It would mean the world to me to know that she cared and thought of me.
post #217 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
Um it's not an arbitrary number? I'm not sure why you think it is. My husband lives 1300 miles away from me. He sees the kids on holidays and during the summer. I was estimating the total time of holidays and summer vacation at approximately 90 days per year. Not arbitrary in the least bit.
Oh, I totally misunderstood. I thought you were living to your husband, hence your use of "hypothetical" in your previous post. Now I understand.
post #218 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg View Post
Oh, I totally misunderstood. I thought you were living to your husband, hence your use of "hypothetical" in your previous post. Now I understand.
No it's the stepmother who is hypothetical because she does not exist and honestly I doubt she ever will exist. But the days were not hypothetical.

Earthly_Joys thank you for your post. I can't tell you for sure of course but all the women I know who gave up a child for adoption think of them all the time. None of them threw their child away. None of them did it lightly. Many of them regret it and feel it was a permanent solution to temporary situation (the difficulty of being a teen mother and not having education and resources etc). I'm sorry that you have not been able to have any knowledge of your mother. I am very lucky that while my adoption is a closed adoption the wonderful couple who adopted both my son and daughter have remained in steady contact with me through the years. We've come to think of each other as sort of extended family. In May I received a letter that definitively said for the first time that my children wanted to meet me when they were of age and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. For every birthmom I know that is our deepest fear that our children will never know how much we loved them and how much we cared and how much we still care or even worse that they will hate us and think horribly of us. Again obviously I don't know your mom but having been in contact with a lot of birthmoms I'd say the odds are high that her feelings are not unlike my own.
post #219 of 264
Possibly, the reason I do not like bio-mom or biological mother is because it was first used in a situation where there were two moms from the start (ie lesbian couples).

My wife and I *might* be able to use the term since technically one of us is the biological mom, however, we try to avoid any modifying terms since there is no good word for the type of mom the non-bio mom is.

Similarly to the feeling that birthmom is not appropriate because it is from the adoption world, bio-mom feels inappropriate for blended families because it is from the same-sex parenting world. Additionally, it still feels to me like it negates my mom's standing as my mother, by trying to give my stepmother an equivalent standing to my mom. When my mom and dad had kids, there was no thought that down the road there would be additional parenting relationships to name and incorporate. Therefore, my mom is my mom, my dad is my dad, and my stepmother is her first name (occasionally, "my [firstname]").
post #220 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthly_Joys View Post
After reading several of your posts, Wasabi, I'm changing my use of BM (Bio-Mom). I'm sorry if I've offended people but in the end I just wanted to be recognized for who I am and what I do. Even if it is just a silly word "step mom" hurts sometimes because I am so much more than what that word defines in MOST people's opinion.
I'm just using your post for my jumping off point.

My husband's son and I have pondered what I should be called, but it's always been a given that his mom is called his mom.

He and I agreed we both like the term bonus mom instead of step mom, and bonus son instead of step son.

Bonus is so much better than Step.
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