Mother as "bm" or "birth/bio" mother, or, Why I don't come to this forum - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Well, I accept that stepmother is what is going to be used, but I think another word - a whole new word - would be better.
Do you have any suggestions?
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#182 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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I find it interesting, that right underneath this thread, another thread has been started with a title "my kids' stepmonster", yet, that's acceptable?
How would one feel if I started a thread: "My kid's monstermom"?

Regardless of conflicts we go through in this difficult blended family situation, can we at least agree not to resort to name-calling?..

Mom is a mom, no one can take that away. And stepmom has a nasty connotation because people make it so. The truth is - I actually like it, I want to be a "stepmom", but please, don't twist it any further, it's been twisted enough...
If we are talking about being curteous with each other, let's leave the arguing behind:

You are a mom, and I am a stepmom. and we should be able to disagree and discuss things civilly, and adress each other what for we are: mom and stepmom.

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#183 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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cycle - I forget how much people know about our situation. I've been visiting this board for a while and have put the details out over and over again. I just assumed people knew the story. Sorry! Anyway, Yes, our situation is not the norm. I should have elaborated some in OP so there would not have been any confusion.

oriole - I saw that post and replied. I chose to just over look it because there are so many stereo types surrounding step parents that it just gets old defending myself and others. I agree with you. In theory the titles we have/use should not be complicated but since we all have our emotions invested in these titles (aka our lives) it makes it a bit chaotic. :
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#184 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I find it interesting, that right underneath this thread, another thread has been started with a title "my kids' stepmonster", yet, that's acceptable?
How would one feel if I started a thread: "My kid's monstermom"?
Yeah, that.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#185 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record here. I've suggested this in posts time and time again. I am all about unity and over coming our differences, etc. However, this forum can be a heated one and people do often come here for support. How hard would it be to affix two or three folders at the top of this forum? Step parent folder, bio (I don't even know what to say anymore or how to describe the difference) parent, or even a folder specifically for topics that might be offensive..kind of a read at your own risk thing. That way no one HAS to see it, etc. Just a thought.
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#186 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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How about letting the kids call people what they're comfortable with, depending on the nature of the relationship? "My dad's wife"? "Sharon"? "Stepmom"? "Mom"?

I have a stepmom and stepdad, and that's what they are to me. I would even go as far as to say that my stepmom is my other mom, simply due to the closeness of the relationship we have. It is NOT a shot at my mom, who I also have a close relationship to. I think the parents (biological or otherwise) need to think more about how all the bickering over names might make a child feel about their relationship with their various parents. If my mom ever suggested that I shouldn't call my stepmom "stepmom" because she's "not a parent", I'd be hurt and resentful, and probably tell her (lovingly) to go jump in a lake. She should be secure enough with her role in my life and our relationship not to go imposing her own ideas on the relationships I form with other people. And for the record, she IS, and she DOESN'T.
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#187 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Hmmm....Wannabe, I think this thread is more about how we use the names here. Some people are offended by the use of BM, Bio mom, 1st mom, etc. Then some people were offended by step mom, step kids, skids, etc.

I don't think this will ever be worked out. I think we'll all try and be more aware (hopefully) of what we say...especially considering that there are members here who are birth parents, step parents, and both. You cannot simply ban something like BM or stepmom because they define the situation in writing. In real life I would just refer to DD's "mom" by her name. DD calls me mom because she chooses to and she calls her "mom" by her first name by choice.

However on here I refer to her as BM normally because she does not play a role in parenting my DD. She essentially only provided genetics and a womb. Harsh? Yes. True? Yep!
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#188 of 264 Old 11-22-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Hmmm....Wannabe, I think this thread is more about how we use the names here. Some people are offended by the use of BM, Bio mom, 1st mom, etc. Then some people were offended by step mom, step kids, skids, etc.

I don't think this will ever be worked out. I think we'll all try and be more aware (hopefully) of what we say...especially considering that there are members here who are birth parents, step parents, and both. You cannot simply ban something like BM or stepmom because they define the situation in writing. In real life I would just refer to DD's "mom" by her name. DD calls me mom because she chooses to and she calls her "mom" by her first name by choice.

However on here I refer to her as BM normally because she does not play a role in parenting my DD. She essentially only provided genetics and a womb. Harsh? Yes. True? Yep!
I guess what I was trying to get at (badly) was, if biomom, or stepmom or whatever, is a term that is used comfortably byboth the children and adults in a particular family, then representatives of that family should be free to use that language in a space like this without being criticized for it, because I don't beleive they're using the language in a condescending way, at least not intentionally. If others have issues about certain language being used, I would want to ask "why?" when it is not being applied to other people in the forum directly?
For the record, our kids will have a "biological father "(BF) and/or a "donor", but not a dad or father, because our family uses those terms in a way that describes the nature of the relationship, and not the biological connection. That is what works for our family, and it is not meant as an insult to any other families.
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#189 of 264 Old 11-24-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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I may have used "birthmom" or "bio mom" on occasion on the forum (BM just reminds me of poo....I can't use it). Heck I've even referred to her as the "real mom" on occasion...but then was corrected by my DSD. (she told me that would make me a "fake mom" and I am not a fake mom...I love my DSD )But never in real life. She's "mom" and I'm the "step-mom". (Though my SK call me by my first name...but when they introduce me they refer to me as thier "stepmother")

I've never meant it disresectfully if I've used it though.
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#190 of 264 Old 11-24-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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However on here I refer to her as BM normally because she does not play a role in parenting my DD. She essentially only provided genetics and a womb. Harsh? Yes. True? Yep!
And that is why some people are offended when it is used in general ... they are aware that biomom or BM is used as the maternal version of "sperm donor" and carries the implication of being at best an uninvolved mother -- at worst an uncaring or harmful mother.

And people wonder why anyone would take offense?

BTW; I'm not accusing you of anything, EJ ... you just gave me the example that made my point. You are using it exactly as it was meant to be used as far as I know. I've never seen people argue that it is a neutral term before coming to MDC.
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#191 of 264 Old 11-25-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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Hi!

I only float over here on occasion, but I think, personally, for *me* the use of the term bio mom or bm is not welcoming.

I am my child's mother and her step-mother is her step-mother. Using the term "mother" feels more respectful to me.

I guess I would encourage folks posting here to consider changing their language since I am fairly sure there are many moms/mothers/mamas out there who feel similarly.

If we want to encourage positive, constructive dialogue it is best to avoid language that is alienating, if at all possible.

M
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#192 of 264 Old 11-25-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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meandmine - It cannot be avoided. Because we each use the acronym, nickname, abbreviation, etc that fits for our particular situation. I don't really see anyone using BM here as a reference to mother's being poop-like. I understand that some mothers feel stripped of what they are to their children by BM, Bio Mom, First mom, etc. BUT it's not meant to offend you or attack you. It's simply an explanation of who the person is. I don't know why we keep going over and over this here. Maybe people have not read the thread from the start??

As long as people are not intentionally being mean then I don't see the issue. It's simply a description. I don't get my feelings hurt when people introduce me as DD's step mom. I refer to myself here as her step mom. I tend to also explain the details of our relationship a bit further. StepMonster or BioB*tch or obviously bad. I think everyone needs to be a little more open minded and realize that Stepmom, BM, etc. are simply a way of defining who the person is in the situation. It's not meant to be an offensive verbal attack on any party.

offwing, no offense taken. I knew what I was typing when I typed it. That is the description of our situation and why I use that term. I'm sure it is different for everyone.
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#193 of 264 Old 11-25-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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I still don't understand why "birth mothers" can't be referred to as the childs mother. Seems that would be the most respectful way to all involved, because it IS afterall... what she is.

Its almost as if by saying "biological mother" it makes "step mother" seem more important. And I don't understand that. I am a mother, I am a step mother. They are both important roles. Why put down one, or make one seem "less"?

In normal conversation, using the word "mother" to refer to the childs mother is pretty obvious. Using the term "step mother" is reasonable because that is what you are.. Why qualify things with "bio" before it? It is used negatively more often than not, even if its just the sperm donor sense. Its disrespectful.

And yes I have read the thread and even participated already

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#194 of 264 Old 11-25-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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Mom is a mom, no one can take that away. And stepmom has a nasty connotation because people make it so. The truth is - I actually like it, I want to be a "stepmom", but please, don't twist it any further, it's been twisted enough...
I have to agree with this - I'm excited about becoming a stepmom. And my future stepson actually told me the other day that he can't wait for me to be his stepmom. High praise coming from a fifteen year old boy!
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#195 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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meandmine - It cannot be avoided. Because we each use the acronym, nickname, abbreviation, etc that fits for our particular situation. I don't really see anyone using BM here as a reference to mother's being poop-like. I understand that some mothers feel stripped of what they are to their children by BM, Bio Mom, First mom, etc. BUT it's not meant to offend you or attack you. It's simply an explanation of who the person is. I don't know why we keep going over and over this here. Maybe people have not read the thread from the start??

As long as people are not intentionally being mean then I don't see the issue. It's simply a description. I don't get my feelings hurt when people introduce me as DD's step mom. I refer to myself here as her step mom. I tend to also explain the details of our relationship a bit further. StepMonster or BioB*tch or obviously bad. I think everyone needs to be a little more open minded and realize that Stepmom, BM, etc. are simply a way of defining who the person is in the situation. It's not meant to be an offensive verbal attack on any party.

offwing, no offense taken. I knew what I was typing when I typed it. That is the description of our situation and why I use that term. I'm sure it is different for everyone.
Well, it really comes down to individual situations. *I* am my kids' Mom. Plain and simple. Their stepmom... honestly is not any sort of Mom to them. I use stepmom pretty much as a way of being polite. She sees one kid 30 days out of 365; the other less than 20. At most. That is by their father's choice, not mine. What sort of parenting is done in that amount of time? When you come down to brass tacks, I'm Mom AND Dad to both of them.
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#196 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Individual situations are different. As I said earlier, dss's mom does introduce herself as the biological mother when we are together. She says, "I'm M's biological mother and this is his stepmother." So, it's really not a big deal around here. In many cases on this board the mother really is not the main female caregiver. I try to "reclaim" the word stepmom. I wish their was a word that didn't sound like "dad's wife who only sees the kids every other weekend." I wish their was a word that meant "full time, all day, pretty important other parent."
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#197 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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Individual situations are different. As I said earlier, dss's mom does introduce herself as the biological mother when we are together. She says, "I'm M's biological mother and this is his stepmother." So, it's really not a big deal around here. In many cases on this board the mother really is not the main female caregiver. I try to "reclaim" the word stepmom. I wish their was a word that didn't sound like "dad's wife who only sees the kids every other weekend." I wish their was a word that meant "full time, all day, pretty important other parent."
I am known as the "bonus" mom or "other" mom ..
In school documents it will state something like "childs father, bonus mom and mother all attended the parent teacher conference"

My son will introduce me as , this is my "bonus mom" or this is my "other mom"
He always says 2 is better than 1 ...

But I know some mother don't like this either I don't think you can please everybody , because we are all different
and I become the BM (bonus mom)
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#198 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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If my stepmother had ever called my mother my "birth mother" or my "biological mother" I would have been tremendously offended. (To me, both of those terms are used to negate the parent/child bond and relationship my mother and I share since typically they are used in situations where a mother has given her children up for adoption).

My stepmother (who has been my stepmother for 25 years) dislikes the term stepmother because of the connotations of the evil stepmother, etc. Therefore, I tend to introduce her or refer to her by her first name. I call her and my dad "my parents" and refer to my mom as "my mom."

It confuses some people, but I don't really care. I lived with my mom fulltime from middle school on when we moved away, but was in a two-home situation before that.

My son has a Granny (my wife's mother) a Me-Ma and Be-Pa (my parents) and a Grandma (my mom).

My wife and I go by mommy and mama. We do sometimes call me "the milkmom" which does indicate that I birthed him. We never refer to her as "the other mother."
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#199 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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I think comes down to whether or not someone is old enough to know how the term "birth mother" came to be universally recognized in the general public.

It had nothing to do with divorced situations, it arose from adoptions, specifically to refer to the young, unmarried girl who was giving up a child. It recognized the biological involvement of birth because it was implied that was all the "mothering" the birth mother or bio mother would ever be doing.

And again, I really don't understand the posts saying "that's not how I meant it" as a response to posts pointing out that it does have that implied meaning.

It's kind of like people insisting that they really don't mean anything bad when they use the n-word with friends. The reality is that if you choose to use a phrase or word that has an offensive history and is still considered offensive to many, it's kind of odd to be surprised or defensive when someone does end up offended.
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#200 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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My understanding is that "birthmother" refers to exactly what you say -- a woman who gave birth but the child was adopted and she is likely no longer a regular parent to her child. "Biomother" I thought was analogous/complementary to stepmother, in distinguishing the 2 types of motherly roles discussed herein. I can see how some people might not like it, though. I use it for clarity here sometimes, hope I don't offend. Just remember, I'm not talking about any of *you* -- I'm talking about *her*!

At least I don't say it to the kids, though. Their mom (or someone else with influence) has told them I'm their stepmom now, and our little 3.5 yo was very confused and wondered how that could be, since stepmoms are mean. Moms (I feel like I should say "biomoms" here, as I'm distinguishing between biological mother and stepmother -- see?) are so exalted in kids' books -- I can hardly read them a book where we're not praising "Mommy!" But the evil stepmother -- well, that's another story..

As far as the "stepmom" teminology, my kids call me their BonusMom sometimes (see www.bonusfamily.com for more on this idea). Plus, I have my own made-up title that they use when addressing me, so I'm not just my first name, but I don't get called Mom, so I'm not set up in competition with her. But my stepson still says he has two moms (we've never encouraged this, and we don't have him call me this -- this is why we made up a title for me), so doesn't it make sense to qualify the word "mom" to say which one we mean?

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#201 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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I am new to this forum, but it seems like using words like bio mom or birth mom is just a way of clarifying who is who.

I came to this forum looking for a place where people would likely understand the broad spectrum of emotions that I feel as a step daughter, step mother and mother. If some people use words that I dont agree with, I can overlook that because it's easy to see that we are all here for support. I know that I will not always agree with everyone and that is just life.

As a mother and step mother, I personally do not find the word "bio mother" offensive. What offends me is when people come here and rudely attack one another. I'd like to think that as adults, we could be a little more civil.

And by the way if I have to try and decipher another acronym I might go crazy.
What is DSDM?
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#202 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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And by the way if I have to try and decipher another acronym I might go crazy.
What is DSDM?
I'm guessing Darling/dear Step Daughter's Mother
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#203 of 264 Old 11-26-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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My understanding is that "birthmother" refers to exactly what you say -- a woman who gave birth but the child was adopted and she is likely no longer a regular parent to her child. "Biomother" I thought was analogous/complementary to stepmother, in distinguishing the 2 types of motherly roles discussed herein. I can see how some people might not like it, though. I use it for clarity here sometimes, hope I don't offend. Just remember, I'm not talking about any of *you* -- I'm talking about *her*!

At least I don't say it to the kids, though. Their mom (or someone else with influence) has told them I'm their stepmom now, and our little 3.5 yo was very confused and wondered how that could be, since stepmoms are mean. Moms (I feel like I should say "biomoms" here, as I'm distinguishing between biological mother and stepmother -- see?) are so exalted in kids' books -- I can hardly read them a book where we're not praising "Mommy!" But the evil stepmother -- well, that's another story..

As far as the "stepmom" teminology, my kids call me their BonusMom sometimes (see www.bonusfamily.com for more on this idea). Plus, I have my own made-up title that they use when addressing me, so I'm not just my first name, but I don't get called Mom, so I'm not set up in competition with her. But my stepson still says he has two moms (we've never encouraged this, and we don't have him call me this -- this is why we made up a title for me), so doesn't it make sense to qualify the word "mom" to say which one we mean?
I agree it is depressing to try to read bedtime stories to your young stepchild when it seems like there is always the exalted mother and/or an evil stepmother.

Dss also says he has two moms and his mother says he has two moms so we do use bio and step to distinguish. She also calls me his "other mom." I really don't like the term "bonus" mom. Not sure why.. . . sounds like something that comes free with the big box of detergent? I've tried to just make "stepmom" sound cool, but I don't know. Still looking for the perfect terms.

I also call my kids "my bio son and my stepson." I could never say just "my son and my stepson" because it would sound like dss isn't my son, and he wants to be called my son, so they each get a qualfier.
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#204 of 264 Old 11-27-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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I also call my kids "my bio son and my stepson." I could never say just "my son and my stepson" because it would sound like dss isn't my son, and he wants to be called my son, so they each get a qualfier.
This is a really good point. I've done the same, because people are sometimes confused when I count my DSS as one of "my kids" because he is 15 and I am only 34 and am often told I look about 30. I'll say something like, "these two are my biological kids and the older is my stepson, but he lives with us, and they're all 'my kids'".

I understand some here are saying they are offended by biomom, and by all means, I'll stop using, but I am one of those who truly meant no offense by it and I'm just trying to further explain where I was coming from.

I also agree that, to me, birthmother referred to adoption situations, but that biomother is a catch all phrase that simply indicated the biological connection, but with no insinuation one way or the other about the moms role in the child's life.
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#205 of 264 Old 11-29-2007, 05:42 AM
 
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are we seriously still on this?
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#206 of 264 Old 11-29-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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are we seriously still on this?
Ummmmm..... : :
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#207 of 264 Old 11-29-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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are we seriously still on this?
LOL! My thoughts exactly!!!
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#208 of 264 Old 11-30-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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are we seriously still on this?
I suggest just ignoring threads that you are no longer interested in instead of posting something that seems kind of dismissive of people who are still interested or working through what they think about a topic.

Lots of other threads to read around here if this one doesn't engage you anymore.
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#209 of 264 Old 12-01-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
But in a forum like this, I can see referring to stepkids as stepkids to make things clearer. Like, it would be odd (for a mama, not a papa) to say "my daughter's mother" unless you were in a two-mommy family, yk?

I guess I don't see stepmom/stepdad as a "lesser" title. I just don't want a "qualifier" on my motherhood title. I see "step" as a clarifier, not qualifier or quantifier. But "birth/bio" is a qualifier, and sometimes a quantifier, especially because it calls to mind the first parent of an adopted child, who has abdicated their role.
Word. I say this as both a stepchild with step-parents on both sides. I refer to my bio-dad as my bio-dad only because he did not raise me. My step-father raised me (and eventually adopted me) and my bio-dad was not in my life from the time I was six until I was 21. So he is my bio-dad and my stepdad is my dad. I only refer to him as my stepdad if I'm trying to describe the familial situation growing up. In conversation he's my dad. I am also a birthmother. A true birth/bio-mom. I gave birth to two children who I made the painful decision to place for adoption. Unfortunately I am not a part of their daily life. Someone else more truly fits the descriptor of mother in their case. Now if my stbx remarries I don't give a damn how wonderful and devoted that woman might be it will be a cold day in hell before she would refer to me as my children's birth or bio-mom in my hearing or to my knowledge. I am not their bio-mom. I am not their birth mom. I am their mother period. Barring my death she is not their mother but their stepmother. There is nothing wrong with that. I have a very nice stepmom. But I also have a mother and my stepmom does not replace her and if my stepmom called my mom who raised me something other than my mom there would be trouble.

Those who say it's just to distinguish oh come on now. It's not perfectly clear if I am talking about my children and I refer to their father and their stepfather that the father is the biological father? If you are a woman speaking of your stepchildren and refer to their mother is it not clear that you mean their biological mother? I don't see how it can possibly be for clarity. But I do not agree at all with applying that label to someone who is and has always been the mother to a child just because you married their father and love them too. And again I'm not saying that just as a woman who could be labelled that by my kids stepmom. I'm saying that as a birthmom. It is insulting in both ways. I mean really I'm getting incoherent and have to step away from the thread because yes trust me as an actual true birthmom that label alone can be very painful. It means lessor mom. It means not really mom. It means mom who does not matter. Well I did give those children away so I can't necessarily argue away that label but I'll be damned if I would allow someone to negate my meaning for children I have given everything for.
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#210 of 264 Old 12-01-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by offwing View Post
And that is why some people are offended when it is used in general ... they are aware that biomom or BM is used as the maternal version of "sperm donor" and carries the implication of being at best an uninvolved mother -- at worst an uncaring or harmful mother.

And people wonder why anyone would take offense?

BTW; I'm not accusing you of anything, EJ ... you just gave me the example that made my point. You are using it exactly as it was meant to be used as far as I know. I've never seen people argue that it is a neutral term before coming to MDC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by offwing View Post
I think comes down to whether or not someone is old enough to know how the term "birth mother" came to be universally recognized in the general public.

It had nothing to do with divorced situations, it arose from adoptions, specifically to refer to the young, unmarried girl who was giving up a child. It recognized the biological involvement of birth because it was implied that was all the "mothering" the birth mother or bio mother would ever be doing.

And again, I really don't understand the posts saying "that's not how I meant it" as a response to posts pointing out that it does have that implied meaning.

It's kind of like people insisting that they really don't mean anything bad when they use the n-word with friends. The reality is that if you choose to use a phrase or word that has an offensive history and is still considered offensive to many, it's kind of odd to be surprised or defensive when someone does end up offended.
Yes to both. I mean seriously how can people not be aware of this?! How can people not see that unless it truly is a situation where the woman was an egg donor as we refer to deadbeat dads as sperm donors this is not appropriate. I mean really don't get it. It's a hurtful word. As a birthmom first mother feels better but again that's what I am to the children I gave up. It is not what I am to the children that have only known me as a mother and who will only ever be around this hypothetical stepmother about let's say approximately 90 days of the year at most? I am not their first mother, I am not their birth mother, I am not their biological mother. I am their mother. Period.
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