Mother as "bm" or "birth/bio" mother, or, Why I don't come to this forum - Page 9 - Mothering Forums
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#241 of 264 Old 12-09-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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I haven't found it to be that different. Honestly. ( I think it depends on the people involved).

Of course I sign my name on the school forms since they say mother/stepmother/guardian. I followed my stepson's lead. I think a stepparent should become what the child needs. He didn't have an everyday mom and he wanted one. His mother is an addict, but she has thanked me for mothering him when she wasn't there. He still calls me his mom, just one of his moms. His mom calls me his "other mom" or his "second mom." I (think) in your situation you were non-custodial against your wishes, but of course, that isn't the situation here. I didn't feel like I was "pretending" or playing mommy, I truly was parenting and I didn't have a name to describe my role.
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#242 of 264 Old 12-09-2007, 01:48 AM
 
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Like it takes longer to type out Mom instead of BM, which is capitalized, so people have to use the shift key in either case.
I don't know why, but that cracked me up

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#243 of 264 Old 12-09-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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I don't know why, but that cracked me up
I'm glad to have provided you a laugh.



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#244 of 264 Old 12-09-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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My Trusts & Estates textbook uses the term "natural parent," to refer to the genetic parent, whether or not that person has custodial or parental rights.

I kind of like it. It doesn't seem to affix a value judgment. Problem is, nobody would know what on earth I'm talking about, as it's not a term in common use. And we'd still have the problem of "well, if she's the natural parent, then am I unnatural?" (not to mention "why do we need a clarifier at all?"--which, I guess, outside of places like the law where it does matter, we don't, although sometimes it seems I need to add one for a sentence to sound right. Stupid law school making me parse everything that comes out of my mouth/fingertips).

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#245 of 264 Old 12-09-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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I kind of suggest we let it go, hug it out and agree that we are "moms" and "stepmoms", and wonderful at that.

It is very clear that moms are offended by the term "biomom", so lets stop using it, is it really worth a fight?.. I'm not sure what to suggest as far as using "sm" or stepmom goes.. I like it, I want people to call me "stepmom", so I wouldn't know what to suggest to substitute it, because I doubt anything would fit me better.




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#246 of 264 Old 12-10-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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Hello, mamas! I just found this thread. I'd like to say that, were my father's wife (because she was NEVER anything LIKE a mother to me) had actually CARED enough to call me a STEP child, as opposed to "his other kid", I might have had an actual heart attack.

Were she to have treated me with kindness and respect (she was abusive, as recorded by the court), I would certainly have been happy to call her my stepmother.

My mother is never anything but my mother. I don't need to qualify what kind of mother she is. I would never call her my biomother, and then (pretending that my father's wife were my stepmother) the other my stepmother, it would be my mom and my stepmom. I wouldn't expect her to call me her CHILD. I'm not. I'm her husband's child. If she loved me, I would have been happy to hear her call me "my step daughter." It would mean that, in some way, she felt motherly towards me.

I don't know that my little comments will make any difference to any of you in this discussion...but I thought you might like to hear it from a child of divorce. I say, ask the child what THEY would prefer you use as far as terminology. As, in most instances, they have very little say in most of what goes on (you know, in whether parents get divorced or remarried to begin with?)...it might make them feel a TINY bit like somebody wants to know what they think about stuff...especially if you DO!!

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#247 of 264 Old 12-10-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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I find the terms "BM" and "Skids" really yucky and weird. even if you don't mean to say those in their alternate form, they still bring up that image, IMO.
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#248 of 264 Old 12-10-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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I agree with a pp who said they try to follow their stepchild's lead... I call my dad "Papa" and my step-dad (with whom I lived since I was 3) "Dad." Both were very much "in the picture" while I was growing up and continue to be. When I am talking to someone, I refer to both of them as "my dad," and clarify only if needed because of whatever I am saying or whoever I am talking to. Personally, I would be upset if my (biological) dad gave me the impression that I HAD to add the "step" clarification everytime I mentioned my step-dad. My (biological) father knows he's my father, I know he's my father... both my dads have a very special place in my life and my step-dad certainly wasn't trying to take anything away from my father when he let us call him "daddy" and let us love him as much as we wanted to!

Now as a step-parent, it is hard for me to understand my step-daughter's mother's perspective when she is upset about the "mom-like" family name my step-daughter calls me. Mom won't use it, which is certainly her choice, and one I try to respect by not using it in front of her. But she also doesn't want US to use it within our own family. But my step-daughter chooses to call me that, and continues to call me that despite her mother only referring to me by my first name. So I want to respect my step-daughter's right to develop her own relationship with me separate from her mother's opinion, and to me that trumps mom's feelings about something that is between me and my step-daughter.

And I am NEVER trying to take away mom's role as "mother" or diminish their relationship in some way. I am promoting my legitimate role as an involved and loving step-mother, which I should be allowed to develop to its fullest. Frankly, I feel my relationship with my step-daughter is between me and my step-daughter, and if mom thinks I love her daughter too much, treat her too much like the other (biological) children, allow her to love me too much, or don't maintain some emotional distance... well, I think that is HER issue, not mine. I'm not going to diminish the relationship with my step-daughter because of it, though I DO make an effort to respect mom's feelings when we are all together. I show nothing but respect and support for their mother-daughter relationship, and I believe my step-daughter will grow up to be secure in her unique relationships with both of us.

Also, just an thought on a discussion from a couple previous posters about having to "reveal" that you are actually your step-child's step-parent... Again, I think it can be hurtful to the step-child to constantly make sure everyone knows you are not the child's "real" parent. I don't feel the need to wear a big name tag that says "just the STEP-mom" when I am with her... If I am the only one who ever takes her to gymnastics class, it's fairly natural that the other parents will assume she is my child. I refer to her as "my daughter" and include her as one of "my kids," and I clarify that she is my step-daughter when necessary for the context of the conversation... some people are surprised to learn that I am not her (biological) mother, but it is not because I have purposefully mislead them or lied by omission... they have simply gotten that impression and made that assumption themselves through our actions and our relationship. If we are meeting a teacher, talking to a doctor, etc, I would certainly introduce myself as her step-mother, but in casual conversation with another parent who has seen me around the neighborhood, I just don't feel the need... and again, if mom is upset by me not correcting the barista at Starbucks when she says "anything for your daughter?"... ("Oh, actually, coffee lady, she is my STEP-daughter...") well, I don't think that is really MY issue.

And, yes, it is different to have a biological child and a step-child. But if you are an involved custodial (whether primary or joint) step-parent, you may be a "first time parent" through pregnancy and childbirth, but not as far as most of the day-to-day business of raising children. It is different, but it is not brand new to have to set limits, find childcare, try to get kids to eat their vegetables, dress a wiggly 1 year old, change diapers, sing lullabyes, take temperatures, etc. If anything, with your biological children it is the first time you get to do some of the "fun stuff" and really relax and enjoy it without worrying that someone will take your actions the wrong way and feel that you are trying to undermine them.

At least that's the perspective from where I'm sitting...

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#249 of 264 Old 12-10-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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If we are meeting a teacher, talking to a doctor, etc, I would certainly introduce myself as her step-mother, but in casual conversation with another parent who has seen me around the neighborhood, I just don't feel the need... and again, if mom is upset by me not correcting the barista at Starbucks when she says "anything for your daughter?"... ("Oh, actually, coffee lady, she is my STEP-daughter...") well, I don't think that is really MY issue.
My daughters step mother did not even tell doctors and teachers that she was in fact the step mother. She wrote her line on the "mother" line for school forms, despite the fact that I was/am an active and involved parent.Thats the kind of situation I'm talking about. Gymnastics class? She dropped her off and I picked her up. Do you know how many times I was referred to as the "babysitter?" I was denied access to her paperwork because I wasn't the "parent." I had to bring documentation in to prove I was her mother. I had to change the forms TWICE because she kept drawing a line through my contact information. Its not very fun to be told you aren't the mother and snubbed to your face over and over again.
I admit, she had issues. I was never as mean and vindictive and hateful when I was a step mother. Ever! So I know not everyone is.

But, correcting the guy at Starbucks? No. At least thats not what I was trying to say. I was talking about more important things.

Take my situation for example. Even though my daughters step mother walked out on them, and she is now back living with me full time... I still have no problems with her visiting with her (step) grandmother. She calls her Meme. She spent this past weekend with her in fact. Her dad didn't have any time off, so instead she went with her grandmother. So even though there are no longer any family ties by marriage there... I'm not about to rip her away from someone that cares about her or force her to change the name. She loved my daughter for 5 years and she cares about her. My daughter loves her. And thats all that matters to me.

Now the step mother? No. She has no relationship there anymore. My daughter doesn't want one. She's pretty angry and hurt that she walked out after trying to destroy her relationship with me. I don't blame her. Still, if it were what SHE wanted.. I would let my dd visit with her. No overnights, because I no longer trust that she can keep my dd safe.. but visiting .. I could deal with that. In fact, she was invited to my daughters last big gymnastics show.. and she declined the invitation. My daughter was crushed all over again... so I think keeping distance now is whats best.

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#250 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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I agree with Flor. I think it's about the relationship the child wants to have.

I sign on all of the mother lines. I'm thinking about it now and I have eventually told people who "needed" to know that I am DD's step mother. It's not something I would do right away. For example, I recently went to DD's school with our custody papers so they would have a copy. At that time I gave the ladies in the office more detail about our situation. I.E. Who to contact if there is a problem, who may have information about DD. That kind of thing. I also clarified that while I am her step parent I am also her mother figure.

I waited until our first parent teacher conference to tell DD's teacher. I really only told her because she may have confusion if DD talks about siblings the teacher doesn't think she has. Plus, DD got a little upset last year around Christmas because her mom refused to spend time with her. DD sees it as a time to be with family..so it really hurt her feelings...she may have the same problem this year so I wanted to give the teacher a heads up so she could deal with it if she needed to.

I don't tell her doctor's that I'm her step mom. I do tell them that I am not her biological parent. Thinking about it, I only do that because they ask for my medical history.

I can see how it would make you really angry, Nature, that your kids ex step mom tried to replace you and push you to the side. I think what makes the difference here is there are some of us who are parenting as if we've been there since birth...as if we had given birth. Not because we're crazy and we want to replace the missing parent but because it is a relationship that our children want. It grows into something more and it is natural. All children want a mother. I married DD's father and DD asked if she could call me mom. We said okay. It took time to build a bond and a relationship. There will always be holes that I cannot fill. But in my heart I am her mom and in her heart she is my child. I'm sure there really are evil step mother's out there but I'm not one of them. I think you'd be hard pressed to find one on this board...considering this is an attachment/natural parenting site.

I had to ask myself while typing this why I come to this board since my family does not fit into the normal blended family picture. I think I still come to this board because of DD's mother. I feel like I still have a place here because we have issues with visitation, amount of parenting, court stuff, etc. A year ago I came here because I desperately needed support. I felt like I was constantly fighting FOR my family and my position in my family. Things have changed...I've grown and matured. All that mushy stuff, etc. I no longer have issues with DD that come from being a blended family.

I think this board has a wonderful support system. I was in a very bad place last year and so many women here helped me through it. Of course there is going to be criticism. Of course people are going to butt heads. In the end we all want whats best for our children whether they are natural, step, adopted. It's a complicated world and we all have complicated relationships. The few of us here who fill the full time mom role in our "step" kids hearts feel like we deserve more than that title. We are just as protective of our step kids and our position in their life as you are about your kids and your position. Just because you feel having step kids and your own children are different does not mean I do...or will. DD's non custodial mom is so far out of the picture. They only role she plays in our lives is the occasional, "Did I get my blonde hair from ****?" As much as that might upset some of you, you have to realize that this is the role that her mother has chosen. She walked away. I picked up the pieces. I am fine with non custodial mom, custodial mom, mom, step mom, bonus mom, etc. I just wanted to make my point that not all of us are evil and we are all dealing with so many different situations.
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#251 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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OK, After reading through everyone's posts and responces (MAN very interesting ladies) I just wanted to say.
I am a "step" mom to my son. His mom is out of the pic left when he was 10 months and I have raised him with dh since then he is 6 now. Some with my son. Dh has raised him since his "bio" dad left at age 2. So for me it isn't about titles it for me is about confusing shorthand. LMAO. I can hardly keep track of the laughing my bum off the other laughing ect but throw in my DSD BM????? I mean really? I am so confused. though I knw it make it easier on everyone else to write like that I think I need allt he little shorthand downloaded into myhead to keep them all straight! Hahaha
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#252 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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I just wanted to make my point that not all of us are evil and we are all dealing with so many different situations.
I know that.

I have realized where my uncomfortablness with this forum comes in. (is that even a word?) Sometimes when the step parents on this board write things, they do so with a kind of blanket statement. I am sure that some of the mothers do this as well and I just don't notice as much. I can only think of one example that I remember reading, it was something like " and you know how biomoms can be."

For a long time I didn't write on this board because it seems to be dominated by step mothers. Even though I'm still in a blended family situation, it didn't feel like this forum represented my situation well. The ratio here seems very much step mothers that have custodial rights in the majority.

I have recieved a lot of support here on this board despite me feeling like an outsider much of the time, or "the other side." We are able to put aside our differences when it matters.

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#253 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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I agree with Flor. I think it's about the relationship the child wants to have.

I sign on all of the mother lines. I'm thinking about it now and I have eventually told people who "needed" to know that I am DD's step mother. It's not something I would do right away. For example, I recently went to DD's school with our custody papers so they would have a copy. At that time I gave the ladies in the office more detail about our situation. I.E. Who to contact if there is a problem, who may have information about DD. That kind of thing. I also clarified that while I am her step parent I am also her mother figure.

I waited until our first parent teacher conference to tell DD's teacher. I really only told her because she may have confusion if DD talks about siblings the teacher doesn't think she has. Plus, DD got a little upset last year around Christmas because her mom refused to spend time with her. DD sees it as a time to be with family..so it really hurt her feelings...she may have the same problem this year so I wanted to give the teacher a heads up so she could deal with it if she needed to.

I don't tell her doctor's that I'm her step mom. I do tell them that I am not her biological parent. Thinking about it, I only do that because they ask for my medical history.

I can see how it would make you really angry, Nature, that your kids ex step mom tried to replace you and push you to the side. I think what makes the difference here is there are some of us who are parenting as if we've been there since birth...as if we had given birth. Not because we're crazy and we want to replace the missing parent but because it is a relationship that our children want. It grows into something more and it is natural. All children want a mother. I married DD's father and DD asked if she could call me mom. We said okay. It took time to build a bond and a relationship. There will always be holes that I cannot fill. But in my heart I am her mom and in her heart she is my child. I'm sure there really are evil step mother's out there but I'm not one of them. I think you'd be hard pressed to find one on this board...considering this is an attachment/natural parenting site.

I had to ask myself while typing this why I come to this board since my family does not fit into the normal blended family picture. I think I still come to this board because of DD's mother. I feel like I still have a place here because we have issues with visitation, amount of parenting, court stuff, etc. A year ago I came here because I desperately needed support. I felt like I was constantly fighting FOR my family and my position in my family. Things have changed...I've grown and matured. All that mushy stuff, etc. I no longer have issues with DD that come from being a blended family.

I think this board has a wonderful support system. I was in a very bad place last year and so many women here helped me through it. Of course there is going to be criticism. Of course people are going to butt heads. In the end we all want whats best for our children whether they are natural, step, adopted. It's a complicated world and we all have complicated relationships. The few of us here who fill the full time mom role in our "step" kids hearts feel like we deserve more than that title. We are just as protective of our step kids and our position in their life as you are about your kids and your position. Just because you feel having step kids and your own children are different does not mean I do...or will. DD's non custodial mom is so far out of the picture. They only role she plays in our lives is the occasional, "Did I get my blonde hair from ****?" As much as that might upset some of you, you have to realize that this is the role that her mother has chosen. She walked away. I picked up the pieces. I am fine with non custodial mom, custodial mom, mom, step mom, bonus mom, etc. I just wanted to make my point that not all of us are evil and we are all dealing with so many different situations.
I like your post!

Dss also asked me to be his "second mom" when he was a little boy and I believe he still feels that way.

I also wonder if my feelings for him are so strong because I was a stepparent before I was a biological parent. Though he wasn't my "first born," he really was my first little boy.
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#254 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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I have been keeping track of this thread and I have noticed that in the end most posts have been kind and willing to 'see the other side' even though there may not be complete agreement. I do not post very often but I read a lot of the threads and so many have insights that have helped or given insight in my challenging family situation. . . THIS is why I come to this forum.
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#255 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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I also wonder if my feelings for him are so strong because I was a stepparent before I was a biological parent. Though he wasn't my "first born," he really was my first little boy.

I don't know, I think age has a lot to do with it, and whether or not a person even likes other people's children in general.

At least for me, it does.
I was a step mom before I was a mom.
I am not close with my step son, I don't feel motherly toward him.
He has a mother. He has a father. I'm just extra, which is why he and I like calling me bonus mom and calling him bonus son.
He was no baby, no toddler when I met him. He was 7 years old.

When my dad (step dad) married my mom, I was only 3.
The age of the child has a huge impact on how strong the bond is.
Also, my mom married him and I lived with him daily.
I almost never saw my father, so he wasn't a part of my daily life.

Also, I've never been fond of other people's children.
I mostly find them obnoxious. I don't like babysitting. I never have.
I was childless for 30 years, the entire time never being fond of other people's children. That is my personality.
So, I'm just saying that could be a factor in how a step parent bonds with a child.

1. Age of child.
2. Daily interaction/living with child.
3. Liking/not liking children in general.

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#256 of 264 Old 12-11-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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Bonding was difficult. DD was 2 1/2 when I met her and she was VERY attached to her dad. He's a big time attachment parent and she definitely felt threatened when we first met. She was thrilled to have a female touch (we could tell by the way she acted towards me) but she was not thrilled to have her dad touch me. She didn't want there to be any kind of hand holding. She loved to sit between us and have us hold her hands though. LOL

I became her primary care taker about 2 months after I met her. So we were able to bond while her dad was at work. From the start I would have done anything for her. I would have thrown myself in front of a bus to save her...that kind of thing. I'd like to think I'd do that for any child though. I did not really feel a motherly love towards her until several months later. DH and I were married 9 months after meeting so things went kind of fast. By the time we got married she was my baby.

It's been an up and down struggle since we met. We have our moments. She'll be 7 in a few weeks. She's putting two and two together. She has at times (when she's mad) told me she didn't love me, that I wasn't her mom, that she could just get a new mom, etc. I kind of expected that but did not expect it this early. She never tells her dad that she doesn't love him. So I'm assuming she says it only to me because of the lack of a biological relationship with me? Things are hugely better now than they were a year ago. A year ago I thought she'd be the death of me. We're in a much better place now. I've grown a lot and really put a lot of time and effort into being a better parent. Plus, I'm on anti depressants. I was very reluctant to give them a try because I don't really like medicine. But I tried them and my ability to deal with things without getting upset has changed soooo much.

So here is a run down of the facts (I talk so much I thought I'd give you a recap):

* DSD was 2 when we met.
* Her mother had not seen her for over a year when we met. We did not hear from her mother until she was 4. So I was the ONLY mother she had.
* I love kids. I'm working on a BA in Early Childhood Education and may pursue social work in the future. Kids are my life.
* I have no other children than DSD.

All of that makes a difference in our relationship.
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#257 of 264 Old 12-14-2007, 06:44 AM
 
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Having read the first and last pages of this thread who has time to read them all. Stepping on to my

I have to say that I would be really offended if any of my exs partners called me my DD's Biomum, BM, etc I am simply her mum nothing more is needed. Also her father is her father or her dad and no one else will ever have that title as long as he is still involved in her life. New partners and our chldren will have to work out together what kind of title they will use for one another but some will be off limits. As I said she only has one Mum and one Dad. The more loving and caring people our DD has in her life the better I do not think a child can have too much love but a level of respect for involved natural parents must be maintained by everyone.

Stepping down off my
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#258 of 264 Old 12-30-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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(I didn't read through all 13 pages of this thread so forgive me if someone else brought this up before.)

Every time I see "bio-mom" or "bio-dad" on a forum it makes me think that the person was grown in a laboratory. Like a clone of the actual parent, maybe.
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#259 of 264 Old 12-30-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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What if we started saying DBM would that be better?
Well, we'd probably get just as beat up for using that, but thanks for a really nice laugh.

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#260 of 264 Old 12-30-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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...Stepmother to me is an ugly word with all its connotations of wicked witches and posion apples. Can we stop using that please. And by the way,this same topic is discussed to death in other blended family forums and it makes me wonder if the same person is starting it in all of them--a birth mommy who is mad at all the steps or a troll. A troll is someone who starts discussions over feelings and people discuss it and real issues such as abuse, alienation, vistation and sibling rivalry and other things are not talked about. If a troll did start this, we all bought it and let it waste our time. What if we started saying DBM would that be better?
I try not to use any acronyms -besides dd or ds- on the blending and single parenting forum anymore. Makes it easier for me.

And I don't think Corasmama is a troll or mad at all steps. I hope that's not what you meant.
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#261 of 264 Old 12-30-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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Stepmother to me is an ugly word with all its connotations of wicked witches and posion apples. Can we stop using that please.
Only if you can stop using the phrase "wicked witches"

Personally, though its been rehashed enough.. I found this conversation a good one and I'm thankful the OP brought it up because it has been something thats bothered me.

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#262 of 264 Old 12-31-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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How many hours over two boards were spent on this one topic when we could have been supporting each other on things about our children?
Well, if some changed their minds or even came to a better understanding, I don't think it was wasted time. Support of one another can only improve after we take the time to understand what someone else is going through. Not everyone has that intrinsic understanding and sometimes it takes work and communicating to get there. I think that's okay. And i think this thread is a good example of how a potentially problematic topic can be hashed out and taken to that place of greater understanding when the participants don't give up in exasperation (despite being told we are beating a dead horse) and continue working through the issue. As a group, I think we are in a better place on this topic.

Happy New Year EveryMama! What a great way to end the year on this forum! Looking forward to another year of striving for understanding and using that understanding to support, help and heal.
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#263 of 264 Old 01-01-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Thank you, yoyo65! I think you expressed the whole thing very well. We spend too much time being "polite" and not enough time being truly compassionate. Communication is about clarity. I have also had problems with people here picking apart little details in my writing without giving me any help or listening to what was valid in my advice. I have found this true in all forums. I have also found some very nice people here who actually listen and offer help. I have 4 bio children all grown, one step son who is 13 and I am my husband's 4th wife! I have a lot to offer, too. Maybe we should pm each other as it seems we are on the same page as far as language.
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#264 of 264 Old 01-03-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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Mamas, thank you for a wonderful discussion!!

I think that we have come to a point in this thread that all the points of view have been discussed. I believe it to be a valuable thread, so I will keep it around, but I'm going to lock it to further discussion.

Also, some posts have been removed, primarily for Violating this part of the User Agreement:

MDC serves an online community of parents, families, and parent, child and family advocates considering, learning, practicing, and advocating attachment parenting and natural family living. Our discussions concern the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support, information, and community. Mothering invites you to read and participate in the discussions. In doing so we ask that you agree to respect and uphold the integrity of this community. Through your direct or indirect participation here you agree to make a personal effort to maintain a comfortable and respectful atmosphere for our guests and members.


and:

Do not post in a disrespectful, defamatory, adversarial, baiting, harassing, offensive, insultingly sarcastic or otherwise improper manner, toward a member or other individual, including casting of suspicion upon a person, invasion of privacy, humiliation, demeaning criticism, name-calling, personal attack, or in any way which violates the law.

Again, thank you all for your participation in a great discussion.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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