anyone know of any other labels besides " step"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, Im new to this forum, just found it! I have been a stepmom to my fiancees almost seven year old for about two years.  We have a very sweet relationship and I for some reason feel like representing it with the words step mom and step daughter doesn't do it justice.  anyone have any other terms or ways that they introduce themselves or their stepchildren to new people? I love her as if she was my daughter.... 


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#2 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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I call my stepmom (and think of her as) my "bonus mom"... if that helps.

 

That said, in introductions I tend in many cases to either introduce her as "my father's wife, [her first name]" or as my stepmom. Depending on who I'm introducing her to and how familiar they already are with my family structure/story.

 

But, we're both adults now. And as a kid, I used first names for everyone--mother, father, stepmother, stepfather--because I always called my parents by their first names. Still do most of the time.

 

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#3 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Belle-mère is the french word for stepmother (and mother-in-law, actually), and I know a sweet little girl who refers to her papa's life partner this way. It means, of course, "pretty mother". Very sweet. 

 


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#4 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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I call my stepmom (and think of her as) my "bonus mom"... if that helps.

 



 

 

 

Yep, me too. I like 'bonus mom'! :)

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#5 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Belle-mère is the french word for stepmother (and mother-in-law, actually), and I know a sweet little girl who refers to her papa's life partner this way. It means, of course, "pretty mother". Very sweet. 

 



That IS very sweet.  I like that one, too.  Sounds much nicer than 'step-mom.'

 

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#6 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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That IS very sweet.  I like that one, too.  Sounds much nicer than 'step-mom.'

 


It sounds sweet until you've had first-hand experience with some French MILs... Then the MIL association ruins it... whistling.gif

 

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#7 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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It sounds sweet until you've had first-hand experience with some French MILs... Then the MIL association ruins it... whistling.gif

 



Ha ha, I can see your point. :)

 

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#8 of 17 Old 03-02-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamareba View Post

anyone have any other terms or ways that they introduce themselves or their stepchildren to new people?  


I've been part of my 8-year-old step-daughter's life since she was an infant, and parented her since she was a young toddler. I (controversially to some) never bother with "step" unless there is a reason to specify... we have other kids, so I would never say "these are my kids and this is my step-kid." They are just "our kids" and she is "my daughter" unless there is a reason I have to specify that she is my step-daughter (which is rare). Her mother is very much a part of her life, so it's not a matter of an absent mom, just a choice based on our own relationship.

 

As far as I am concerned, my step-daughter is the only one whose opinion matters, and she likes being referred to without the "step." And she generally chooses to just say "my mom" or "my dad" to refer to both biological and step parents alike unless there is a reason to specify. I grew up in a blended family, and I refer to my parents and step parents the same way unless there is a reason to clarify for someone. She doesn't call me or her step-dad "mom" or "dad," but by special family nicknames... but when she is just referring to us she doesn't usually use "step." 

 


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#9 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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I just love "belle mere", which a PP mentioned.  But, since we're not in France (so it's not the norm), you might consider how your SD's mother would feel about that.  If one were so inclined, one could certainly perceive it as, "My Dad dumped my Mom and his younger, sexier new partner is my pretty mother (as opposed to the old, frumpy mother that gave birth to me...)"  

 

I have never even brought up the phrase to my beloved step-son, who lives with us, because his mom is one who might be inclined to look at it like that.  

 

Now that I think about it, even though I'm friends with my sons' step-mom and I think she's just terrific, even I might squirm, if they started calling her their pretty mother.  I mean, she is younger and cuter than I am.  And she's not their mother.  

 

So, if the Mom's sensitive - and you've not only replaced her with her ex, but her daughter loves you like a mother - there's no need to rub it in, right?

 


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#10 of 17 Old 03-03-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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this is exactly what I thought when i saw that name, lol!  We just use the "step" names and it has never been an issue.  Despite all the evil stepmom stories, neither dsd nor I are bothered by any negative conotation. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

I just love "belle mere", which a PP mentioned.  But, since we're not in France (so it's not the norm), you might consider how your SD's mother would feel about that.  If one were so inclined, one could certainly perceive it as, "My Dad dumped my Mom and his younger, sexier new partner is my pretty mother (as opposed to the old, frumpy mother that gave birth to me...)"  

 

I have never even brought up the phrase to my beloved step-son, who lives with us, because his mom is one who might be inclined to look at it like that.  

 

Now that I think about it, even though I'm friends with my sons' step-mom and I think she's just terrific, even I might squirm, if they started calling her their pretty mother.  I mean, she is younger and cuter than I am.  And she's not their mother.  

 

So, if the Mom's sensitive - and you've not only replaced her with her ex, but her daughter loves you like a mother - there's no need to rub it in, right?

 



 


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#11 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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We forgo the term "step" in our house, but it might be easier for us since my son's biodad only comes around maybe twice a year. My son calls my husband by his first name, but refers to both of us as his parents. My husband refers to both kids as "his kids." I dislike the term "step" for some reason I can't put my finger on, and everyone in my family feels the same way, so we just don't use it. 


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#12 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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 My step-daughter calls me mumsy and her mom "Mom" that way there is a clear definative difference  (for her moms feelings) but a clear connective "label" for my step-daughter to address me in a manner that expresses how she feels about me. I am always certain to introduce myself as her step-mom when in public, but again that is because DSD mother has flipped out on everyone about this.

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#13 of 17 Old 03-04-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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The daughter I helped my former partner raise calls me Ma and refers to me as that when introducing me to others. I call her my daughter and consider her as much my child as the sons I gave birth to. So, she has Mom and Ma (and two brothers) and we all love it!


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#14 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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We haven't encountered this yet thankfully, since my DD is still young.  Since her family (as far as my DD is concerned) is me as 'mom' and SO as 'dad' I'm HOPING to be able to institute bio as 'Papa XXXX' so he's still being called 'dad' to make him happy but it avoids confusion and makes me and SO happy.  As far as bio's gf - I think her name is sufficient.  GL in figuring it out mama!

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#15 of 17 Old 03-09-2011, 09:56 PM
 
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I married my DH when his kids were 3 and 6.  We decided that since all other adults in the kids' lives have titles of respect (Nana, Auntie, Mrs.) that I should also have a special name.  We chose together, "Ema".  Which is Frisian for Mom.  The kids love it, the BM doesn't mind and even the teachers have supported it.  When needed the kids know they need to explain that I am their Stepmom.  I also just refer to the kids as our kids... I asked them what thy wanted if we were out together, as in should I correct people when they assume I am their mom.  They both now feel to just smile and let it go is best.  The great thing too about having a special name like Ema, is that we rarely use the word step in our home....  My DH never needs to say, what did your stepmother say? Or use my first name either.  It feels better for everyone!

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#16 of 17 Old 03-12-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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We told the kids directly that they could call dh whatever they were comfortable with, and that it was ok of it changed sometimes, too. We follow the kids' lead. At this point, they call him by his name when addressing him directly and call him "dad" when talking about him to others. They also happen to be the spitting image of him (unlike their biodad) so everyone just assumes their his biokids.

 

Their biodad passed years ago, though, and was in hard competition for the title of Worst Human Being Ever. They usually refer to biodad as "our old dad", and "birth father" is becoming more and more common. We usually refer to him by his first name at home, too, and "birth father" outside the family. The kids really don't like us calling biodad "dad" and "their old dad" is much more awkward coming from adults than kids. lol The old dad thing actually came from xh's family, oddly. They started calling dh the kids "new dad" (totally accepting, not bitter or anything. they adore him.) when talking to them and the idea caught.

 

In a situation with a living parent, I'd talk to the kids directly about it. Let them know that "mom" or "dad" are special titles and it's disrespectful to the biomom or biodad to call someone else that, but that you feel closer than the title "stepmom" implies and see how they feel. First names or special names are options and they can play with the options and decide what they like. In really rare circumstances, it will fit into a family to call a step "mom" but usually it leads to hurt feelings, confrontations, drama, and other problems. Worse, it makes the child feel like the cause of all that. =( Biomom might be cool with your dsd referring to you both as mom to others so long as she's not calling you mom, though. Maybe bring up that it is awkward and (if it does for you like it does for us) the "step" seems to invite people to ask invasive questions and nose into dsd's, yours, biomoms's, and biodad's private business and history. Would it bug her if you dropped the step with strangers, so long as you were very clear not to step on the mom position interpersonally?

 

not coming from similar position, I'm just brainstorming here.

 


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#17 of 17 Old 03-20-2011, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone! 

I haven't been on in awhile, so I just read all these great responses.  At home, my dsd calls me Mama G, which is nice, and something that our family came up with together.  I guess I just felt a little weird saying step in public.  But dsd doesn't seem bothered by it.  Maybe in a couple of years I will ask her if she would rather just be introduced as my daughter in public.  I have no idea how her bio mom would feel about this since she seriously does zero communicating.  

 

thanks for all the advice ladies! 


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