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Mother as "bm" or "birth/bio" mother, or, Why I don't come to this forum - Page 12

post #221 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.
Same here, by her choice.
post #222 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
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.
And see if my kids ever do end up with a stepmother and she'd prefer not to be called that I'll go along with bonus mom or the like if stepmom is offensive. Which is part of what I find confusing about the step/bonus moms at the beginning who were denigrating wasting our time discussing this issue when there are so much more important things to deal with as blended families and besides they are only doing it for clarity. It doesn't matter if you only do it for clarity if you discover it hurts the other person. How can it not be a meaningful discussion if you are insulting the person you're trying to make a blended family with? How can you say that's your main goal and yet refuse to consider the label you apply to the other half of the family? It's interesting that in so many threads on this board people speak up and explain why various words and labels are upsetting and people usually fall all over themselves to say they'll never do it again. But with this one people who insist they aren't putting the mother down when they say biomom just shrug their shoulders and say 'well it's silly for a mother to be upset about that. That's her insecurity not mine.' Why is this the one issue that's the case for?
post #223 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
It's interesting that in so many threads on this board people speak up and explain why various words and labels are upsetting and people usually fall all over themselves to say they'll never do it again. But with this one people who insist they aren't putting the mother down when they say biomom just shrug their shoulders and say 'well it's silly for a mother to be upset about that. That's her insecurity not mine.' Why is this the one issue that's the case for?
Hm. I actually find the opposite to be true. I find most threads go kind of like this one did. (I can think of more than one that I've read recently, but obviously can't link to or mention them.) Several people immediately apologize, but several others don't get it right away and maybe requite a bit more discussion of the subject before their view changes. And then some never change their view. I see it as pretty much the norm for threads like this... and for the way things go in real life. People are just different and don't always agree or see the other side.

I don't necessarily take it as "refusal" to understand... sometimes people just don't understand because they don't share the same experiences or their experiences are so vastly different, they just can't see the other side, or they made such an honest mistake and didn't mean any insult and are unable to see how what they said was insulting because they didn't mean it that way. I think the fact that someone is at least participating in the discussion shows that they are trying to understand, even if they never get there. And I think that's totally normal human behavior.
post #224 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg View Post
Hm. I actually find the opposite to be true. I find most threads go kind of like this one did. (I can think of more than one that I've read recently, but obviously can't link to or mention them.) Several people immediately apologize, but several others don't get it right away and maybe requite a bit more discussion of the subject before their view changes. And then some never change their view. I see it as pretty much the norm for threads like this... and for the way things go in real life. People are just different and don't always agree or see the other side.

I don't necessarily take it as "refusal" to understand... sometimes people just don't understand because they don't share the same experiences or their experiences are so vastly different, they just can't see the other side, or they made such an honest mistake and didn't mean any insult and are unable to see how what they said was insulting because they didn't mean it that way. I think the fact that someone is at least participating in the discussion shows that they are trying to understand, even if they never get there. And I think that's totally normal human behavior.
I've noticed that, also.
post #225 of 264
If we do agree to stop using the term, we need new terms. Having only two options, "mom" and "stepmom," just isn't enough. To me, "mom" means primary care giver and stepmom means dad's new wife who you see every other weekend. I suppose I could say "non custodial mom" for our situation. Dss and his mom used to call me his "second mom" when he was little and I did like that. I need a word for stepmom-who-lives-with-the-child-fulltime-and-does-a-lot-of-parenting. I tried out the terms "custodial stepmom" but it sounds like I personally have custody instead of the biological parents, and "full time stepmom" sounds like I don't work outside of the home.
post #226 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg View Post
I think the fact that someone is at least participating in the discussion shows that they are trying to understand, even if they never get there. And I think that's totally normal human behavior.
Oh I don't disagree. I'm not talking about the women who are actually discussing. i was talking about the ones who rolled their eyes at the beginning, posted pithy one liners and left to go take care of "more important issues" than whether or not they're being insulting to both birthmoms and biological mothers. Or the ones who posted to ask "oh are we still talking about this?"

Flor non-custodial mom sounds like a great alternative except you are custodial it sounds like? I mean I get that your DH actually has the custody but you live with the child. Second mom works too.
post #227 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
If we do agree to stop using the term, we need new terms. Having only two options, "mom" and "stepmom," just isn't enough. To me, "mom" means primary care giver and stepmom means dad's new wife who you see every other weekend.
Why though?

When I hear "stepmom" I don't automatically assume the child lives with them only 20% of the time or some other number. I don't automatically assume the child doesn't live with them. What I do assume is that the child has more than just two people that love them.

The reason you don't like "mom" and "stepmom" is EXACTLY the reason why I don't like the term "biomom""BM" or any of those other terms. Because by default the assumption is that I am not involved in my childs life. And what you're saying is you feel by default the assumption of "stepmom" is that you are not involved in the childs life.

Could a large part of this disagreement over names be that both categories of people feel insecure and don't want to be viewed by others as that kind of mother?
post #228 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post

Could a large part of this disagreement over names be that both categories of people feel insecure and don't want to be viewed by others as that kind of mother?
Interesting perspective. I can definitely see how neither group wants to be THAT KIND of mother. So, then, since there is nothing more hallowed and sacred in our culture for a woman to aspire to than "mother," and there are few caretaker roles more reviled than "stepmother," would it make sense that stepmoms, particularly those who have a loving and mothering role with their stepchildren, might want to eliminate the value-laden language like "mom" and "stepmom" and even it out a bit with something more neutral? Maybe "biomom" is an (admittedly imperfect, as I am reading on this thread) way of doing that. Just a clear description of how each one came to a mothering role.
post #229 of 264
No one wants to be thought of as "less".

I do believe some people are just trying to explain the situation in terms that everyone understands. For me, it is important that people who read my posts understand that DD's mom is not in the picture because that changes their responses.

Also, It's not so much that I don't like people thinking of me as "less of a mom" because I'm a step mom. The problem is more within myself. I get a bit angry about the choices her mom has made...i.e. abandoning her the way she has and then she runs back in a few years later. I am protective over DD and I am protective over my role in her life. It doesn't really come from insecurity though. I think it is a mama bear kind of thing. "Don't come back here and hurt my baby AGAIN." I just don't think she deserves the title "mom". There is so much more to being a parent than genetics.

So basically are we all waging the same war, we're just on opposite sides of the line? Taking that into consideration it should be easier to resolve this. I think?

I like "non-custodial mom". It accurately describes our living situation.
post #230 of 264
I do think so.

One question.. when you say "biomom" do you find that those you are talking to automatically think that you are the mother that parents full time? Or do you have to further explain that "biomom" is not in the picture much?

I'm trying to figure out if its larely an insecurity of mine, that when I hear biomom I feel "less than." Much the same as some feel "stepmom" is just the weekend mother.

Do we really have preconceived stereotypes with these words? Do most people think non custodial when they hear "biomom" like I do? Do most people think weekend parents when they hear "stepmom?"

This is very interesting. When you look at it from a language point of view instead of a personal standpoint.
post #231 of 264
This isn't a forum I am generally in, but saw this thread under new posts. Only read the first and last pages (got to get ready for work!) but have an opinion as this just came up while planning the funeral of one of my best friends.

Her mom died when we were 14. Her dad was married (her stepmom) and later - couple of years, maybe more? - SM adopted her. I don't know if this was dad's idea or SM's idea or my friend's idea. Over the years they had their share of ups and downs.

Fast forward to last month. My friend's SIL had the form the mortuary uses to gather information for the obituary. SIL took it to friend's dad and SM's house to get some information from them. SM wanted the obit to read mother and father John and Jane Doe, and biomother Julie Doe.

SIL came to me, feeling odd about phrasing it that way. I agreed with her, and we phrased it "survived by parents John and Jane Doe. Preceeded in death by mother Julie Doe."

My parents both died when I was in junior high. But they are still my parents, my mom and dad. They are not my bio parents - to me that implies that you were given up for adoption.

I think mom and stepmom (or SM for short) are appropriate. Unless mom relinquished custody, or gave the child up for adoption, I don't think biomom is appropriate.
post #232 of 264
In every day life when I introduce DD I say, "this is my daughter Angelica." I don't call her my step daughter because in our every day life that is not part of our family definition. She does not like being referred to as a step daughter because it actually makes her feel like "less".

After thinking about it...the few times I have mentioned something about her mom and used Biological mom people have assumed she was out of the picture. However, I still introduce myself as her mother. If I was to introduce myself as her step mother and then say bio mom the person I'm talking with would probably not make assumptions at all about who the primary care giver is.

On here, I think step parent's get the shaft a lot. There are obvious stereo types that go with step mom and bio mom. When I hear bio mom I don't automatically assume the mother is out of the picture. When I hear step mom I don't assume that she is the primary care giver either. I think it takes more detail than that.

Soooo IMO there are two real issues:

1. How we use the word. I think the connotation is the issue and I don't think people always pick up the correct connotation considering this is the internet. If I was to say something sarcastic to you in person you would most likely know I was being sarcastic. On here, the meaning gets lost sometimes.

2. The word itself isn't the issue here. I think the way we perceive the word IS the issue. You hear step mom and think weekend mom..probably because of your own situation. I hear step mom and I get defensive because I feel like I'm so much more than that. You hear BM and think it is reducing you to something less...I hear it and it is a simply and empty explanation of genetics. See what I mean? I think we all put our own tiny definitions inside the word.
post #233 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthly_Joys View Post
In every day life when I introduce DD I say, "this is my daughter Angelica." I don't call her my step daughter because in our every day life that is not part of our family definition. She does not like being referred to as a step daughter because it actually makes her feel like "less".

After thinking about it...the few times I have mentioned something about her mom and used Biological mom people have assumed she was out of the picture. However, I still introduce myself as her mother. If I was to introduce myself as her step mother and then say bio mom the person I'm talking with would probably not make assumptions at all about who the primary care giver is.

On here, I think step parent's get the shaft a lot. There are obvious stereo types that go with step mom and bio mom. When I hear bio mom I don't automatically assume the mother is out of the picture. When I hear step mom I don't assume that she is the primary care giver either. I think it takes more detail than that.

Soooo IMO there are two real issues:

1. How we use the word. I think the connotation is the issue and I don't think people always pick up the correct connotation considering this is the internet. If I was to say something sarcastic to you in person you would most likely know I was being sarcastic. On here, the meaning gets lost sometimes.

2. The word itself isn't the issue here. I think the way we perceive the word IS the issue. You hear step mom and think weekend mom..probably because of your own situation. I hear step mom and I get defensive because I feel like I'm so much more than that. You hear BM and think it is reducing you to something less...I hear it and it is a simply and empty explanation of genetics. See what I mean? I think we all put our own tiny definitions inside the word.
post #234 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthly_Joys View Post
2. The word itself isn't the issue here. I think the way we perceive the word IS the issue. You hear step mom and think weekend mom..probably because of your own situation. I hear step mom and I get defensive because I feel like I'm so much more than that. You hear BM and think it is reducing you to something less...I hear it and it is a simply and empty explanation of genetics. See what I mean? I think we all put our own tiny definitions inside the word.
Except, when I hear stepmom I do NOT think weekend mom. Not at all. I've been and had a stepmother that was both, so I don't have any assumptions about what that means to that particular family. When I hear biomom, I do automatically think that A. the mother is not in the picture or B. that the mother is in the picture but the stepmother wishes she were not.

Its not a respectful term IMO, as its usually used to negate.

Hear me out here...I'm only trying to understand. You say that you don't automatically assume anything when you hear BM except an explanation of genetics, but yet you admit that the times you've used it.. people assume that she is not in the picture. And further, you introduce yourself as her mother instead. You have also said that if you simply introduced yourself as her step mother, that others would not have assumptions.

So, do you introduce yourself the way that you do because you want people to know right then that you are the one the does most of the child raising?

(I have been on both sides of the fence, so I do know that its quite possible to be the weekend mother and still be the primary caretaker, so really.. stepmom, BM, whatever word gets used.. it isn't any indicator of who is raising the child.. only who gets the child the most on paper. The one that has them the most may not even be doing much caretaking. )
post #235 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
And see if my kids ever do end up with a stepmother and she'd prefer not to be called that I'll go along with bonus mom or the like if stepmom is offensive. Which is part of what I find confusing about the step/bonus moms at the beginning who were denigrating wasting our time discussing this issue when there are so much more important things to deal with as blended families and besides they are only doing it for clarity. It doesn't matter if you only do it for clarity if you discover it hurts the other person. How can it not be a meaningful discussion if you are insulting the person you're trying to make a blended family with? How can you say that's your main goal and yet refuse to consider the label you apply to the other half of the family? It's interesting that in so many threads on this board people speak up and explain why various words and labels are upsetting and people usually fall all over themselves to say they'll never do it again. But with this one people who insist they aren't putting the mother down when they say biomom just shrug their shoulders and say 'well it's silly for a mother to be upset about that. That's her insecurity not mine.' Why is this the one issue that's the case for?
Was your post directed at me?
Not sure.
This thread started a long time ago and I cannot remember what I posted previous to my last post on this thread.
I don't think it's silly for a mom to be upset about what she is called.
I think all moms should just be called mom.
I don't like any abbreviations used on MDC, such as BM, SM, DS, etc.
Like it takes longer to type out Mom instead of BM, which is capitalized, so people have to use the shift key in either case.


Well, your posts sounded like you were attacking me, or arguing with me, when it seems to me that you and I agree, so not sure where that came from.
post #236 of 264
I read your post wrong, Nature. I thought it said that you see a stepmom as a weekend mother...not some see. So when I replied I was replying to what I thought I had read. Whoops! LOL

I've already agreed that I won't be using BM as an explanation anymore on here because I did not realize that people really find it so offensive. I thought that if I explained how I was using it and that I was NOT being derogatory then people might not take offense. Which is evidently not the case. So at this point I'm not arguing for the use of the word. I did find one of your previous posts interesting and it made me think about how each of us may interpret what certain words and abbreviations mean.

I'm not sure my personal experiences are really a good example for this. Considering that when I have said Bio-Mom I've also said I'm her mom. That combination obviously leads people to think that her mom isn't around. Which is the truth. I do introduce myself as her mother because in my opinion that is what I am. In HER opinion that is what I am. If we had a "normal" blended family situation and her mother was still involved I doubt that I would have ever taken on as big a role in her life. Sure, I would still love her but she wouldn't be calling me mom and she wouldn't look to me for everything. I think I'd be more of a friend or support person than a parent figure.

So, to recap...I don't assume anything other than genetics in reference to BM when there is further explanation...like step mom. However, if someone was to say birth mother or biological mother and then refer to themselves as the mother then naturally I would assume the other parent was not in the picture. Does that make sense?? It's not intentional. After thinking about it I realized this is how I've been thinking.

All of this only applies during an introduction. At this point I don't even mention her mother. I just introduce her as my daughter. When I was first married (I was 19) and it was obvious to people I knew that she wasn't my daughter considering I would have been 16 when she was born. I'm 23 now and look a bit older lol and I just introduce her as my daughter. I have legal guardianship of her. We're pushing to have her mother's rights terminated so I can adopt her. I sign all of the papers for her school in the mother's spot. Etc. The only place I really need to give a definition/explanation is on here.
post #237 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Except, when I hear stepmom I do NOT think weekend mom. Not at all. I've been and had a stepmother that was both, so I don't have any assumptions about what that means to that particular family. When I hear biomom, I do automatically think that A. the mother is not in the picture or B. that the mother is in the picture but the stepmother wishes she were not.

Its not a respectful term IMO, as its usually used to negate.

Hear me out here...I'm only trying to understand. You say that you don't automatically assume anything when you hear BM except an explanation of genetics, but yet you admit that the times you've used it.. people assume that she is not in the picture. And further, you introduce yourself as her mother instead. You have also said that if you simply introduced yourself as her step mother, that others would not have assumptions.

So, do you introduce yourself the way that you do because you want people to know right then that you are the one the does most of the child raising?
Right exactly. Using that term does much more than simply clarify that another woman gave birth to the child. It comes with an entire set of baggage. The person hearing it forms automatic assumptions about the "birth/bio mom." I don't see how "mom" has any value associations with it. Step-mom sure I'll give you that because of the whole wicked step-mother but I don't think it's anything compared to the associations with birthmom where it's assumed that she must not be involved in the child's life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Was your post directed at me?

Well, your posts sounded like you were attacking me, or arguing with me, when it seems to me that you and I agree, so not sure where that came from.
I was agreeing with you about the bonus mom and that being a good term. I'm not sure how it sounded like I was attacking you but no that was not the case.
post #238 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
I was agreeing with you about the bonus mom and that being a good term. I'm not sure how it sounded like I was attacking you but no that was not the case.
OK.
I just wasn't sure.

It's good to have someone agree with me.
Maybe I'm just not used to it.
post #239 of 264
I do feel that "mom" comes with connotations. I do think it means primary care giver (to me). I've used "biomom" because she is in and out, moves away, comes back, cancells visitaiton, etc. She isn't out of the picture, but she is non-custodial and not a steady presence. I will use non-custodial mother instead.

I used to hate "revealing" that I was actually dss's stepmother instead of his biomother. I remember I had a boss when I was pregnant with ds. He had always called me a mother, asked my about my "son" (dss), and encouraged me to use my mommy-charm with my first grade students. One day he asked if my pregnancy was the same with ds as it was with my first child. I told him that dss was actually my stepson. He got this look on his face like 1. I'd totally deceived him and 2. I was no longer a real mom. I have felt that a lot, though usually more subtly. People try to figure out how much parenting I do. Teachers trying to figure out if they should talk to me. People fussing over my "first baby" though I'd been raising dss for years. His mom keeps calling me a "first time mom." Grrr. You all know this all.

Personally, I think mom and stepmom are both words that carry connotations.
post #240 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I do feel that "mom" comes with connotations. I do think it means primary care giver (to me). I've used "biomom" because she is in and out, moves away, comes back, cancells visitaiton, etc. She isn't out of the picture, but she is non-custodial and not a steady presence. I will use non-custodial mother instead.

I used to hate "revealing" that I was actually dss's stepmother instead of his biomother. I remember I had a boss when I was pregnant with ds. He had always called me a mother, asked my about my "son" (dss), and encouraged me to use my mommy-charm with my first grade students. One day he asked if my pregnancy was the same with ds as it was with my first child. I told him that dss was actually my stepson. He got this look on his face like 1. I'd totally deceived him and 2. I was no longer a real mom. I have felt that a lot, though usually more subtly. People try to figure out how much parenting I do. Teachers trying to figure out if they should talk to me. People fussing over my "first baby" though I'd been raising dss for years. His mom keeps calling me a "first time mom." Grrr. You all know this all.

Personally, I think mom and stepmom are both words that carry connotations.
This is all very interesting to me.

When my ex husband was in and out of our daughter life, I never once referred to him as her biodad. He was her father. Her dad. Her dada. No matter his behavior, that was what he was and I didn't feel the need to strip him of that title. Even now, as I am again the parent that has her 24/7, I do not call him that or think of him like that.

Honestly.. the thought of my dd's ex step mother acting as you did really makes me angry. And I know she acted that way. We had different circles of friends, different family, lived in different towns. I know she signed her name in the "mother" line on school forms and everything else. I know people called her the mother and she didn't correct them.

I wasn't an absentee parent. But that didn't matter to her. She took my role, and my title.. and never looked back. And my ex never stood up once to defend me.

Its almost as if its a step parent thing.. and yet I know that can't be it either, because I was a step mother. My step childrens mother wasn't the best person in the world and she made a lot of mistakes. Still, I never referred to her as biomom.. and I never pretended I was anything other than what I was. Their step mother that loved them a lot. And we were the custodial parents as well.

And, having your own baby is different than being a step parent. I used to feel the same way.. that it wasn't. I'd already done this. I wasn't a first time mom, etc.. but really, it IS different. And other people know that, which is why you get the comments.
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