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#1 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My name is Rebecca and I am new to this forum, but obviously not to MDC.

My girlfriend and I have six kids between us. We have been together for almost a year. We make no distinctions between the kids such as step or hers/mine. When people ask us which kids belong to who we tell them they all belong to all of us. The only time we use any distinction is filling out forms/school where we list whoever the bio mom is and put the other mom as parent/guardian/whatever the listing is.

I am honestly curious why the distinction of step is listed for kids....

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#2 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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While I consider Mona to be my child, and the love I have for her is just as great as for my son, and I have always referred to her as my daughter and leave the step off a lot of the time, I do occasionally put in that distinction out of respect for Mona's mother, who is a great mother and out of respect for Mona's love for her. It has in the past made Mona uncomfortable when people comment on how much she looks like me, etc. because she feels like it is disloyal to her mother. I don't bother to make the distinction in most casual conversation, and those close to me know my love for my children, both of them. However like on here, I joined specifically for the phenomenal stepparenting forum so I make that distinction for when I talk about her, her mother, the whole blended family dynamic. Make no mistake, she is the daughter of my heart, but she also has another wonderful mother, and I have the utmost respect for her and I can't express my gratitude to her for sharing her child with me.

That may have been a bit convoluted, sorry.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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my dsd looks very different from her father and I. She is has strong Japanese and Hawaiian characteristics. She is also only 16 years younger than me. I think it is less confusing just to introduce her as "My stepdaughter, Amanda." Most people are shocked when I say that I have a daughter who is 14.

edited to add: As a child growing up, my mother died My father remarried rather quickly (5 months). I felt forced to call her Mom. At first it was ok. Kinda like a stepmother honeymoon. Then she seemed to take over the family. Her rules, she disciplined, she had a hard time making 5 wild mud children fit into her family mold. My father kinda backed out and was working all the time. I wanted to stop calling her mom. But I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But I felt like I was forgetting my real mom by pretending that my SM was my mom. I only called her by her real name when I was angry, as if her name was a threat.

Now that I am a step mom, my dsd calls me by my name. And I refer to my self as a step mom. It is really important to me to redefine the relationship of step-ism as a positive one. So when I call dsd my step daughter, most of the time I make it a point to look at her lovingly and give her a hug at the same time.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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I cant speak for everyone... But I think the distinction is because to the step child the step-parent is NOT their biological parent. Simply ignoring the fact that they have a biological mother or father out there isn't recommended. I think the step kids would be emotionally harmed if this was the case in my situation. If I were to completely ignore DS1's father... I think DS1 would be awfully upset.

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
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#5 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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I think you have to acknowledge the existence of biological parents, and in my personal case, DSD wouldn't want me to address her as "daughter", and would most certainly correct me growing up if I ever implied she was MY daughter, kwim?

We have a good relationship overall, but it is because we found the balance between love and that we share and respect for the complicated family tree.


P.S. My sister has a stepdaughter, and they address each other "mom" and "daughter". The child's real mom died, and I think that my sister really did fill in that role for this child, so it's different for them.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#6 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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I think a lot of it does depend on the overall family dynamic, including that with the child's biological mother, our partners' relationship with her, and whether she is OK with blurring the titles. (Even though many of us have problems with our stepkids' mothers, we generally respect that she is the mom.)

Two of my good friends are in a relationship. "Lisa" has a son from a previous marriage to a man "Tom," and is now partnered with "Mary." The divorce was amicable (the divorce occurred when Lisa came out to herself), and the son was about 5 when it happened. Lisa is "Mom," and Mary is "Mommy." To me, this makes sense--Lisa is obviously onboard with her child calling another woman "Mommy." It's probably easier to accept and even encourage your child to have a mother-child relationship with someone other than you when you've chosen her.

"Tom," on the other hand, has remarried, and "Alison" is not "Mommy." She's "Alison." I asked Lisa about this, and she said she's never encouraged nor discouraged a title--she gets along well with Alison, and is glad her son has another stable role model in his life. She thinks Tom may have steered her away...but who knows?

This is my very long-winded way of wondering out loud if it's different for same-sex stepparents.

Also, what Oriole said: I don't call my SD my daughter. I do sometimes call her my kid, though, which I think is different. (My dad's a retired teacher and he talks about "his 8,000 kids" all the time.)

She doesn't call me mom (but she did say, when she was sick, that I took care of her "just like a mom to me" and that truly ruled).

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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#7 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev1053 View Post
I cant speak for everyone... But I think the distinction is because to the step child the step-parent is NOT their biological parent. Simply ignoring the fact that they have a biological mother or father out there isn't recommended. I think the step kids would be emotionally harmed if this was the case in my situation. If I were to completely ignore DS1's father... I think DS1 would be awfully upset.
We have yet to ignore that they have any other biological parents though in our case there is no contact with any other bios.

I grew up in a step, bio, half environment and I never felt harmed by the distinction....interesting.

I guess it doesn't make sense b/c acknowledging both my bio parents and 'step-parents' doesn't give any less credence to the others...does that make sense. I never ignored that I had bio parents...just more than one of each I guess.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#8 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I think you have to acknowledge the existence of biological parents, and in my personal case, DSD wouldn't want me to address her as "daughter", and would most certainly correct me growing up if I ever implied she was MY daughter, kwim?

We have a good relationship overall, but it is because we found the balance between love and that we share and respect for the complicated family tree.


P.S. My sister has a stepdaughter, and they address each other "mom" and "daughter". The child's real mom died, and I think that my sister really did fill in that role for this child, so it's different for them.
I do agree it has to be on the child's comfort level. A few of our kids prefer if we use the term step when referring to the other one in introductions, but in generalities and for purposes of talking I never use step in referring to them.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#9 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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It depends on each family.

For example, my step children are older, in fact old enough that there is no way I could pass off as being 'mom' to them. It would make them uncomfortable for me to call them 'my kids', so I don't and no one is bothered by this, neither I, or them.

*My* children are 13, 12, and 10, and Dh just refers to them as our kids, and it does not bother them at all, though when the kids themselves talk to others they call him their step dad, and no one is bothered by that either.

I think whatever suits an individual family best is fine either way. While some folks refer to their stepchildren as theirs, others do not out of respect for the child. It makes us no less loving.

Also, in my case, since my stepchildren were already grown, or almost grown when their father and I married, I don't feel like a parenting figure to them (and vice versa), I have siblings their age.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LivingUnderGrace View Post
It makes us no less loving.
I never stated, nor implied, that those who offer distinction between their bio/step children loved them any less.....

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#11 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Houdini View Post
I never stated, nor implied, that those who offer distinction between their bio/step children loved them any less.....
I am sorry, I never meant to imply that you did. I was just saying...
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#12 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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The reason the school wants to clarify is for legal reasons. At least in my state, if the bio parent is listed on the birth certificate, it is legal for that bio to pick the child up from school (other bio's approval or not). If custody has been established, then this does not apply of course.

My family is a rainbow of colors. When we are in public, people are curious about us. We haven't come across anyone rude as of yet, but I'm sure it will happen.

Most people click with others who have gone through similar trials and trib's. So.....I might ask that question out of curiosity and/or to make a connection with another family who understands me. I don't believe most people are anything but "Wow, look at how that family came together". It's interesting and wonderfull to see a couple of family's come together and fill in those missing pieces.
I like to hear about other's success stories. :

I've said it before, it's comforting to share these things here. We are all connected in our quest to be better parents.
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