She's making them call the new guy "dad"! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-21-2005, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since my dh divorced her, his ex has had two live-in relationships. Now she is married and she insists on all boys calling her new husband "dad".

Am I wrong to be irked by this? Will these children even have an idea of what "dad" means?
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:10 PM
 
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How old are they? Old enough to be uncomfortable, or no? If they are old enough and express some discomfort to you and dh, I'd be pretty low-key about it - ie it's ok of them to feel uncomfortable (if they're feeling pressured), but also that whatever words they feel they have to use around their mom, their dad-dad (your dh) will always be their dad, and words won't change that. If they're too young to take this in, just tell yourselves that.

I'm guessing she's doing it in order to be hurtful - we've heard that too at our place ("I'm thinking of finding you a 'new dad'," their mom has said to my stepdaughters), and yes it's hurtful and it sucks, but the only thing you can really do is to try to rise above it and focus on the bigger stuff.

Alternatively, the ex may just have a really hard time with any non traditional family types, and be trying to fit her new family form into a recognizable mode?
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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MY DH & yours were married to the same woman?!?!? :LOL Irritating, I know. :
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:54 PM
 
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I think it should be their choice. Thats so silly and confusing for them. My 2 stepsons called me Mom at first but their bio mum got really mad and told them she would kill them. I felt bad as I never asked them to or put them in that position. Sigh.

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Old 04-21-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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That should definitely be their choice! I couldn't imagine my parents making me call their significant others mom or dad. I call my stepmom and my stepdad by their names. I have on occasion called my stepdad dad but it wasn't a forced thing and it was usually in a joking but affectionit way. The whole dad and mom thing is something the child needs to decide on. My DSS does call his stepdad dad but he also knows the difference between DH and his stepdad. In fact DH is daddo and his stepdad is dad. I think the forcing thing just confuses little minds.

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Old 04-21-2005, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The boys are 13, 10, and 5.

The 13yo has been through so much with her, he is jaded, and just does as she asks to not get in trouble. He still calls my dh "Dad", and knows he has a home with us when he needs it.

The 10yo is all confused. A year ago he told my friend's ds tha he had 6 moms, four of them were male.

The 5yo is too young. He doesn't know yet. I do admit I've had the whole conversation: "you have a mom, and a dad, and a stepmom, and a stepdad! isn't that fun? Now, who is who?" with him once.

I started joking with the oldest that I was the Wicked Stepmother (wicked, the way Ron says it in Harry Potter), and that turned into the little cuddling up to me saying "you are my Very Nice Stepmother, and I am your baby!" It's our game now.
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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It sounds like you're handling it fine! Yes, it should be their choice, but rather than you and dh getting embroiled in a conflict with their mom over it, you're making sure they feel loved and unpressured when they're with you.

We've had our share of back and forth on this kind of thing too, with dh being demoted from daddy to his first name only for some time. And I was "your father's cohabitant."
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2

Alternatively, the ex may just have a really hard time with any non traditional family types, and be trying to fit her new family form into a recognizable mode?
She likes to think of herself as "the girl next door", so that might be part of it. Although if she was the girl next door, I would be moving pronto!
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaBL
MY DH & yours were married to the same woman?!?!? :LOL Irritating, I know. :
I wouldn't be surprised! :LOL She seems to go for the nice ones, and play the damsel in distress card. But that is a rant for elsewhere.
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destinye
I think it should be their choice. Thats so silly and confusing for them. My 2 stepsons called me Mom at first but their bio mum got really mad and told them she would kill them. I felt bad as I never asked them to or put them in that position. Sigh.
That must have been hard for you and them. It's not fair, and it's not healthy. I'm sorry that happened.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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It should be their choice, of course. How terrible for those guys. Ds tried calling me mom a few times when he was little but it felt a little forced for both of us. He says, "my mom" when he is talking about me but says my name when talking to me.
His biomom freaked out one year at mother's day because he told her on the phone, "I made you a present but you have to share it with Jenny." She flipped. She told him that a woman has to give birth to be a mom and that I was just "Daddy's wife." The best part is, that little 5 yearl old told her that OPRAH SAID that a step mom is a mom if she takes care of you!
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoreno
It should be their choice, of course. How terrible for those guys. Ds tried calling me mom a few times when he was little but it felt a little forced for both of us. He says, "my mom" when he is talking about me but says my name when talking to me.
His biomom freaked out one year at mother's day because he told her on the phone, "I made you a present but you have to share it with Jenny." She flipped. She told him that a woman has to give birth to be a mom and that I was just "Daddy's wife." The best part is, that little 5 yearl old told her that OPRAH SAID that a step mom is a mom if she takes care of you!

How sweet!!!! (the Oprah comment)

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Old 05-03-2005, 04:10 AM
 
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I don't think it should be a *forced* thing, more like a *felt* thing. I would have LOVED to see her face with the Oprah comment!! :LOL
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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Me, too. Too bad it was on the phone, but you can't argue with Oprah, right?
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