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what do they call you?

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
i was just wondering what other step parents are being called.

last night my youngest was calling my boyfriend "mama"
right now the kids have been calling him brandon.
my oldest considers him her friend or says 'my moms friend, brandon'
its been almost a year, were convinced were permanent and hes taking on a much more parental role. im wondering if hes ever going to be anything other than moms friend brandon...
post #2 of 66
How old are your kids and is their Biological Father in the picture?

My stepdaughter WANTS to call me "Krissy Mommy" or "Mommy Krissy" or "Mom" or "Mommy" and similar names. I met her Dad when she was a year old, moved in with them when she was three years old and married her Dad when she was four years old. This started about 8 or 10 months after I moved in with her and her Dad. What my Mother is ALLOWED to call me is "Krissy" or preferably, "my Stepmother" or, even better, "Daddy's Wife". (These are not my idea- I would prefer her calling me whatever she's comfortable with- but her Mother apparently has insecurity issues, so she actually had it put in the custody and visitation papers that she can't call me anything that has to do with "Mom" or "Mommy" and no one else is allowed to call her "daughter", except her Mom and her Dad, which, as you can see, just muddies the waters, and confuses the child.) Anyways, I think my own stepdaughter would have been calling me "Mom" after about a year and my son started calling my Hubby "Dad" after a year and a half. Also, if your oldest daughter is not comfortable isn't comfortable calling your boyfriend "Dad", maybe they can have their own special nicknames for eachother. My stepdaughter recently decided that she's gonna call me Chrysanthemum.
post #3 of 66
I came in into my dsd's life when she was 7 (now 15), and she always called me by my first name. We have a pretty good relationship, but I don't think she'll ever call me "mom".

My sister's daughter does call her "mom", and actually started doing so after birth of her sibling in my sister's family. Her real mom died when she was little , so I think she really needed that more than my dsd.
post #4 of 66
I've known my dsd since she was 2.5. She has always called me by my first name.
post #5 of 66
I have known my DSD for over a year and she calls me by my first name... more because that is what her parents are comfortable with than anything else though.
post #6 of 66
We have a 5 and 3 year old that are my bio kids and a 3 year old that is dh's bio daughter. When we are all together we refer to each other as Mommy Julie and Daddy Matt because it was too long and confusing to split things up to direct to each kid, example "Mommy and Matt, Julie and Daddy are making dinner, can you three play nicely?" Just drawn out and confusing. So we refer to each other as Daddy matt and Mommy Julie. Madison calls me Julie most of the time, sometimes MJ (for mommy julie). Maia calls Matt- Squiggles (her special nickname, in the begining we told her she could call him anything except dad or daddy and she thought this was hilarious), Matty, and ocassional daddy matt. Sage calls him Matty or Daddy Matt interchangably.
post #7 of 66
When he's feeling particularly lovey-dovey toward me, DSS calls me "The Step-ster" or just "Step-ster."

Otherwise, both he and DSD call me by my first name.

My DDs also call DH by his first name.
post #8 of 66
Harleyhalfmoon: Not wanting your child to call someone else "Mom" or "Mommy", etc, isn't necessarily an insecurity issue. I'd be seriously pissed off if DD's dad and stepmom had her call her stepmom some form of "Mom". However, they would never even consider this, because they respect me, and her stepmom has no interest in usurping my role. She loves DD, and loves parenting her, but she isn't her mother. We also see stepparent as a perfectly valid parent, and a perfectly valid parenting role. Just like DH and I would never have DD call him any form of "Dad". She has A Mom and A Dad, and she also has a stepmom and a stepdad. I'm really insulted by your attitude.

OP: DD calls DH and her stepmom by their first names. Noone gets confused. I had stepparents, and I called them by their first names. All of my parents, including stepparents, called me their daughter (unless there was a need to specify the step relationship). There was never any confusion when I got a sister through my dad and stepmom. When I was talking to my sister, I referred to my stepmom as "mommy", as in, "go in there to mommy."

Kids hear other people refer to their parents by their first names. It's not that much different when it's an older (half)sibling. You explain a few times, "no, Sissy* calls me X, but you call me Mommy," and the kid figures it out. You're going to have that conversation anyway, unless your partner always calls you mommy, never by your first name. (Which would be kinda creepy.)



*yes, my baby sister called me Sissy. She's 20 and she still does. Sigh.
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
Harleyhalfmoon: Not wanting your child to call someone else "Mom" or "Mommy", etc, isn't necessarily an insecurity issue. I'd be seriously pissed off if DD's dad and stepmom had her call her stepmom some form of "Mom". However, they would never even consider this, because they respect me, and her stepmom has no interest in usurping my role. She loves DD, and loves parenting her, but she isn't her mother. We also see stepparent as a perfectly valid parent, and a perfectly valid parenting role. Just like DH and I would never have DD call him any form of "Dad". She has A Mom and A Dad, and she also has a stepmom and a stepdad. I'm really insulted by your attitude.

I don't think Harley has ever ever tried to usurp her DSD's Mom's role.

It would be theraputic I think if everyone tried to see things from the other sides role sometimes.

StepMoms are StepMOMS... just being called by our first name like some friend or something can be really agitating at times, and it can cause disrespect in the home because there is no clear title of authority.

There are still times that it bothers me that EVERY single adult who is important in DSD's life has some sort of respective title, but me... it makes it seem like I have no authority or whatever you want to call it with her.

All her teachers at school and dance are Miss so and so... all her relatives, step and otherwise are Grammy, Aunt, Uncle, etc... then there is me with just my name. My sisters are Aunts, my parents are grandparents and I'm just Jen.


This has been increasingly confusing for her as we talk about the baby joining our family. DSD cannot wrap her mind around that fact that I am a Mother at all. When we say I am Kallie's mother she will laugh and say "no silly, you are Jen, not a Mommy!" And things like that. It doesn't matter how many times we explain it, she just doesn't see me like that.

So I think in cases with small children... and when the blending begins with additional children it can cause a lot of confusion...

But this has nothing at all to do with usurping DSD's Mother's role... I am fully aware DSD has a Mom... but fact of the matter is she also has a StepMom. And I honestly don't see why it is such a hard thing for all parents to be given equal respect just like every other family member.
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
Harleyhalfmoon: Not wanting your child to call someone else "Mom" or "Mommy", etc, isn't necessarily an insecurity issue.
Insulted by my attitude? My stepdaughter's Mother will not even allow my stepdaughter to mention my name in her presence. She's not allowed to refer to me as her Stepmother because the word has "mother" at the end. If my stepdaughter even refers to me as anything besides "Daddy's Wife" in front of her Mother, or expresses any enjoyment in anything she "has" to do with me and her Mother finds out, she has to worry about hurting Mommy's feelings and trying to replace Mommy with "that woman". This is said to an 8 year old child. If that's not insecurity, I don't know what is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
I'd be seriously pissed off if DD's dad and stepmom had her call her stepmom some form of "Mom".
I don't think anyone mentions "having their child call their Stepmother Mom". You try constantly pushing a child away who wants to bad to be "yours", as well as her Mom and Dad's, especially when it's the child who's wanting that close relationship. If my stepdaughter wanted to call me Mom and was allowed to, I would not be pushing her away, making her feel like a second class person- "Sorry little girl, you're not MY child." You explain to a child when they ask "Why don't you want me for a little girl." and you can't tell them the truth- MOMMY doesn't want me to be part of your family- so you end up hurting the child by, in her eyes, "rejecting" her over and over again. Gee... I wonder where I could have gotten my "attitude"? Believe it or not, not all Stepmtoehr's are out to "steal" their stepchildren or "have" them call them Mom to unsurp their Mom's role.

Neither would I force her or "have" her call me Mom if she never came up with it first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
We also see stepparent as a perfectly valid parent, and a perfectly valid parenting role
If you do see a Stepparent as a perfectly valid parent, then you're a better person than alot of people I know. In my experience, a Stepparent is lower than a teacher, lower than a babysitter, lower than a distant relative you've never met but you're related to by blood. In my experience, a Stepparent is to be disrespected, as much and as often as possible, in front of the child and, if somehow, despite all this, the child still loves the Stepparent, then the child and the Stepparent are both in the wrong and should both be "punished" in any way possible. In my experience, a Stepparent is only there to steal you're Husband (that you already divorced) and steal your child and should be treated like the lowest scum of the earth. Not all parents who have stepparent counterparts are nice, or even thinking in the best interest of their child, you know. Unfortunately.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I don't think Harley has ever ever tried to usurp her DSD's Mom's role.

It would be theraputic I think if everyone tried to see things from the other sides role sometimes.

StepMoms are StepMOMS... just being called by our first name like some friend or something can be really agitating at times, and it can cause disrespect in the home because there is no clear title of authority.

There are still times that it bothers me that EVERY single adult who is important in DSD's life has some sort of respective title, but me... it makes it seem like I have no authority or whatever you want to call it with her.

All her teachers at school and dance are Miss so and so... all her relatives, step and otherwise are Grammy, Aunt, Uncle, etc... then there is me with just my name. My sisters are Aunts, my parents are grandparents and I'm just Jen.


This has been increasingly confusing for her as we talk about the baby joining our family. DSD cannot wrap her mind around that fact that I am a Mother at all. When we say I am Kallie's mother she will laugh and say "no silly, you are Jen, not a Mommy!" And things like that. It doesn't matter how many times we explain it, she just doesn't see me like that.

So I think in cases with small children... and when the blending begins with additional children it can cause a lot of confusion...

But this has nothing at all to do with usurping DSD's Mother's role... I am fully aware DSD has a Mom... but fact of the matter is she also has a StepMom. And I honestly don't see why it is such a hard thing for all parents to be given equal respect just like every other family member.
JSMa, you say things much better than I do.
post #12 of 66
harleyhalfmoon- is that even legally valid to request a CHILD not call another person certain names/terms? i mean how is that enforceable? i don't know why judges/lawyers put stuff on paper that isn't really legally enforceable. even the good stuff like "no bad talking about the other parent to the kids" isn't REALLY enforeceable as one cannot police another's home and even if one could what could one do about it? it is sad for the child though, that what they choose to call someone in their life is dictated by someone else. usuallu kids come up with their own creative namings so it seems futile to create mandates for this behavior. so sad for the kid pschologically.

my step sons usually call me emily, but my DSS age 6 oftenm says "mommy" and then says "i mean emily" and i say "it's ok to call me whatever you want to call me". my son has occaisionally called my DH "dad" but i think kids at the ages our kids are feel protective of their biological/custodial parents and try not to call their stpparents mom or dad because they are growing up and learning that parents get all up in arms about silly things like names.
post #13 of 66
Ladies. I know that this is a heated topic. Please PLEASE remember to keep the "comfortable and respectful atmosphere" that you all agreed to when you signed the User Agreement, and not to generalize in your posts. I think this is a valid discussion and really want to keep it open. Thanks for your help with this!

Warmly,
Courtenay_e, Moderator of Blended and Step Family Parenting
post #14 of 66
Just to lighten the mood a little, here's a funny one for you:

When my daughter Eleanor comes back to me after a week with her father and stepmother (Amy), she usually goes through a few hours of calling me "Amy" before the Mom thing kicks back in.

I actually get the biggest kick out of it and we have a running game that we play when she does this. She'll say, "hey Amy, can I play my new piano song for you?" And I'll say, "Yes Philomena, please do." And she'll say, "Okay Gertrude, come over here and I'll play it for you!" And we go back and forth trying to come up with increasingly silly names to call one another until we just fall over laughing from the effort. Last week, we got to a point where she literally could not think of one more name and called me "Grass." I laughed so hard I cried.
post #15 of 66
That is great Sarah!

I have to agree with Harley half-moon. Why does every other important adult in a child's life get a special name? Give a step-parent a special name and the world falls apart.

In the divorced parent parenting class I had to attend prior to my divorce (county requirement) the psychologists (2 of them) and the social worker all said that if the child decides to bestow the title of mom/mommy/mother/momma, whatever, on the step-parent that is a a wonderful sign of healthy attachment and healthy relationships. All pointed out that really the one that gets hurt or has an issue is the bio parent and that it is an adult issue not a child issue.

I am imagining how aweful it would be, our three year olds running up to Matt yelling together "Daddy, daddy, guess what?" only to be answered with "Sage, call me Matt, I am not your daddy, I'm Madisons."
post #16 of 66
My first name, or one of many nicknames she's invented, or very occasionally "mommy" or "mom" or "hey you." Her mother is "mama," I've never had a desire to be called "mama" by anyone (just my preference), and her mom has affirmatively stated it's OK if she calls me "mommy" (she said this WAY before it would have been appropriate, too), so it works out OK.

Sometimes, she does the list: "Mom! I mean...Mrs. Teacher....I mean...PROTOLAWYER!"

(Her dad does it, too--most of the women in his life have names ending in the same sound and it trips him up.)
post #17 of 66
Mommyto3girls... I wish that class was mandatory throughout more states. lol


DSD had "slipped" up and called me Mommy a few times months ago and DH reacted so strongly, same when she "slipped" up and called her Mom's BF Daddy... so after being yelled at and scared to ever slip up again several times she hasn't done it... I fear this has led to the total confusion that I am in no uncertain terms a Mother.

I tried telling DH then that this could be an issue, but he said she is too young and shouldn't get confused her her Mother and Father are and if she decides when she is older to call us Mom and Dad, as long as she understand we aren't her biological Mother and Father then he'd learn to deal with it...

Though I think with spending more and more time with my Mother's family is opening him up to see that blood doesn't have to be involved to be a substantial parent in one's life. My Mother has always called her stepfather Dad, and her step brothers and sisters have always been just brothers and sisters.


I think it is incredibly damaging to a child to be told that some parents are less than others, and I'm sorry, but to me, that is exactly what telling them that the title cannot be used for one of their parents does... it undermines stepparents in my personal opinion.
post #18 of 66
My dsc call me by my first name. My dss has always done so. My dsd started out calling me "mom" and "mommy" right after we got married -- she was VERY excited about being able to do so--but within a couple of weeks she suddenly started calling me by my first name. We are quite sure that her maternal grandmother and her bio mom put an end to it. My position all along was that they could call me whatever felt right to them. I don't have a vested interested in it personally. All I want is for the kids to feel comfortable, so for that reason I felt a bit sad that dsd was made to feel like it wasn't appropriate.

I'm sure that if my exh ever remarries and my dc call their stepmother "Mom" it will sting. So I don't blame biomom for her feelings at all. But I have always been very clear to the kids that I'm not their mom, that they already have a mom, but that I am another parent in their lives and someone who loves them a lot. What they call me just doesn't really matter to me.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Mommyto3girls... I wish that class was mandatory throughout more states. lol


DSD had "slipped" up and called me Mommy a few times months ago and DH reacted so strongly, same when she "slipped" up and called her Mom's BF Daddy... so after being yelled at and scared to ever slip up again several times she hasn't done it... I fear this has led to the total confusion that I am in no uncertain terms a Mother.

I tried telling DH then that this could be an issue, but he said she is too young and shouldn't get confused her her Mother and Father are and if she decides when she is older to call us Mom and Dad, as long as she understand we aren't her biological Mother and Father then he'd learn to deal with it...

Though I think with spending more and more time with my Mother's family is opening him up to see that blood doesn't have to be involved to be a substantial parent in one's life. My Mother has always called her stepfather Dad, and her step brothers and sisters have always been just brothers and sisters.


I think it is incredibly damaging to a child to be told that some parents are less than others, and I'm sorry, but to me, that is exactly what telling them that the title cannot be used for one of their parents does... it undermines stepparents in my personal opinion.
:

Well said, JSMa.

I would urge all parents who have a problem with thier children calling another loved, trusted adult by a special name to very closely examine the reasons behind their discomfort (or anger!). Do you *truly* believe that it would be damaging to your child to have a special name for their step-mother or step-father? If so, ask yourself *how* it would be damaging. Does your relationship with your child *really* suffer because she chooses to call her step-mother "ma?" Has something been taken away from you as a biological parent?

As a bio-parent and a step-parent, I can tell you that of course it's strange and even sometimes hurtful to see your child loving another parent-figure just as it's confusing and delicate to try to figure out how to express love for your step-child.

Please be gentle with each other. I promise you that it's in the best interest of the wonderful children in your lives.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fianna View Post
My dsc call me by my first name. My dss has always done so. My dsd started out calling me "mom" and "mommy" right after we got married -- she was VERY excited about being able to do so--but within a couple of weeks she suddenly started calling me by my first name. We are quite sure that her maternal grandmother and her bio mom put an end to it. My position all along was that they could call me whatever felt right to them. I don't have a vested interested in it personally. All I want is for the kids to feel comfortable, so for that reason I felt a bit sad that dsd was made to feel like it wasn't appropriate.

I'm sure that if my exh ever remarries and my dc call their stepmother "Mom" it will sting. So I don't blame biomom for her feelings at all. But I have always been very clear to the kids that I'm not their mom, that they already have a mom, but that I am another parent in their lives and someone who loves them a lot. What they call me just doesn't really matter to me.
while my situation is not the same, I have exact same feelings on the subject. I'm with "whatever feels right to the child" kind of name. I strongly disagree with shaming kids into calling stepparents one thing or another.

I remember a post here from someone who was a stepchild, and they were forced to call their stepmom "MOM" growing up. That only built resentment, since it wasn't natural.

I also naturally disagree with telling a child "don't call me mommy", or "don't call HER mom, she's not your mom", if they feel drawn to use "mom" with their stepmom out of their own choice.

Overall, I think the quality of the relationship is more important than the name. Although, if dsd will ever call me "mom", I will melt.
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