DSD has called me Mom twice... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And both times DP has scolded her telling her I'm not her Mommy, and she better not get it confused to call me Jen.

I knew this from Day 1 of getting involved... He told me straight out that his daughter has one Mom and one Dad, end of story...

But now that she has actually tried to call me Mommy twice... and to hear him scold her for it... it hurts.

Do you all have any advice for dealing with this?

I'm also worried that if he keeps scolding her for it... will that hurt my relationship with her??

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#2 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Yes. Have it out. She wants that sort of connection to you, and it isn't his right to tell her that she isn't allowed to.
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#3 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Yeah, especially if she is initiating it. That is just crazy. I understand the one mom and one dad thing but hey if you aren't more than just Jen, why is he with you and raising his child with you?
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#4 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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I'm imaging what my stepmom would do if my Dad tried that.

I'm pretty much sure that it would have activated her Mother Bear instinct, and he wouldn't have survived for much longer.
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#5 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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WoW !!! In NO way would this fly in our house not by me or my step children ..
My step kids have called me mom since the age of one !!!
In fact as far as they are concerned they have 2 moms 2 dads and that's that you try to tell them different and they will set you straight..

I DO NOT understand the whole one mom one dad thing ..
Is there not enough love in a child's heart for more than one ?

Not to sound mean but it sounds like your partner is going to have some major issues if the mother of this little girl finds a man and he starts acting as a father figure to this little girl ..

My heart goes out to the little girl put in the middle of her fathers issues ...
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#6 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Her Mother does have a boyfriend... and that is where his insecurities stem from... he does not want her calling some one else Daddy ever, and wants to pay the same respect to her Mom.

In their view they are the ones that conceived her... they are the only ones that have the right to that title.

A friend of mine who was a step-kid feels the same way. She said even though she has had step-parents most of her life, she always just called them by their name, and if for some reason her and her husband ever seperated, she'd freak out if her daughter called someone else Mom, so basically I should just get over it...

But it's difficult... I do everything a Mother does for this child... I guess I just don't get it because I don't have any children of my own. That is what everyone tells me.

I'm not asking to replace her Mother... I'm not even asking to be called Mommy... but I hate seeing the confusion on this little girl's face all the time. And honestly, I don't feel it's right that I'm just Jen sometimes... some sort of title would be nice to sort of show the respect and family ties.

*shrugs*

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#7 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Her Mother does have a boyfriend... and that is where his insecurities stem from... he does not want her calling some one else Daddy ever, and wants to pay the same respect to her Mom.

In their view they are the ones that conceived her... they are the only ones that have the right to that title.

A friend of mine who was a step-kid feels the same way. She said even though she has had step-parents most of her life, she always just called them by their name, and if for some reason her and her husband ever seperated, she'd freak out if her daughter called someone else Mom, so basically I should just get over it...

But it's difficult... I do everything a Mother does for this child... I guess I just don't get it because I don't have any children of my own. That is what everyone tells me.

I'm not asking to replace her Mother... I'm not even asking to be called Mommy... but I hate seeing the confusion on this little girl's face all the time. And honestly, I don't feel it's right that I'm just Jen sometimes... some sort of title would be nice to sort of show the respect and family ties.

*shrugs*
I DO have children of my own and I still don't get it ..
Your step-child has every right to call you MOM if she wants to .
It's childish to tell her she is not allowed to ..

I am in no way trying to replace my step-children's mother nor do I want to ..

My step children's mother will have a special place in their heart for only her but that doesn't mean that they don't have a special place in their heart for me as well..
My step-children took it upon themselves to call me mom and that was their choice and I honor that .. They have also made it clear to me that I am not allowed to leave and that I am stuck with them for the rest of my life ..

Oh and just so you understand my step-child have an amazing relationship with their mother and step father and other siblings
we do the 50/50 week on week off ....
It takes time but parents learn to GROW UP and do what is best for the children !!
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#8 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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YOU are in NO WAY disrespecting her mother by allowing her to call you mom ..

As long as you remind her that it is ok to have 2 mothers and there is nothing wrong with have feelings for both!! Remind her that her MOTHER will always have that special place in her heart but their is nothing wrong with having another special place in her heart for YOU !!!!
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#9 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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If it was out of your initiation - then yes, that would be wrong. Since it's the kid's initiative, then you need to have a discussion with your husband on this topic.

Honest, calm, discussion about what is truly wrong about this situation. Step parent can't substitute a parent that is present in the life of a child. It just doesn't happen. His insecurities should not be passed on to his daughter.

Could anyone have substituted either one of your DH's parents for him? If that's a no, then he should give his daughter the same trust. By the way, if he is soooooooo scared of a name for the guy, then he should really consider what defines him as a father.

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#10 of 37 Old 03-11-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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I guess I'm in the minority here-
I don't think it's right AT ALL that your dp scolds her for calling you mom. That's not helping anything.
However, I wouldn't be comfortable with my dd calling another woman mom, and I am not comfortable with my dsd calling me mom either. She has asked a few time if she can call me mom, and we've discussed why it would be confusing, mostly just in reference to who she was talking about.
Have you considered coming up with a different title? That way you can have a special name, besides just using your first name, something that would encourage the bond between you two without "taking away" from the bond between her and her mom (not that calling you mom would actually take anything away from their bond!!! yk?)
Also, I don't know about your relationship with her mom, but that might avoid some trouble there.
I know dsd's mom would not be happy if she called me mom, and we have a decent relationship. FWIW, we have her EOW and one overnight per week, so my feelings would prob be different if she lived with us full time.

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#11 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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I was thinking that too, that maybe she or you two together could come up with a special name. She doesn't want to call you just "Jen" like any stranger on the street does, but she can have a special name for you without it being mom. (I don't have a problem with her callng you mom, but if it is just that she is showing love for you, it can happen in a slightly different way). Most people call me Jennifer but dss calls me Jenny. Just a little bit of affection. He also calls me his second mom.
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#12 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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Wow...it really does sound like he's more terrified of her relationship w/her SD than her relationship w/you. ITA w/the PP on that one.

And, wanted to reiterate, if SHE is initiating calling you mom, then there's no harm and no foul. If YOU are in any way encouraging it then it's a boundary issue, but otherwise she needs to feel comfortable w/the relationships in her life. My experience is that kids don't call another woman Mom unless there's a reason to, and if she 'fits the bill'. I'd be horrified if my kids did that, but at the same time I'm a full time devoted mama to them and it wouldn't cross their minds to do so. For moms that aren't very attentive or involved w/their kids, I can see why a kiddo would be happy for someone else to fill that void.

Now, if a SP ever insisted on it, that's a whole nuther story. But it doesn't sound like that's the case here.

Good luck!
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PS are you two in any counseling? If so this might be something to bring up. Just an added thought

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#13 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 01:59 AM
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she's trying to sort through her complex feelings. what if she got to make up a title for you?
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#14 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would be ecstatic with a special title. *nods*

I'm certainly not encouraging her calling me Mom... I know how DP feels about it, and a couple times that she did call me Mom when he wasn't around, I explained to her as best as I could that I love her very much and will always be there for her, but I'm her Jen, not her Mommy.

Her Mother is very active in her life. She takes her to dance classes and such. Her Mother and I get along for the most part. She isn't someone I'd ever choose to be friends with... but we are friendly to each other and can talk and such.

My DP's Mother and I had a chat last night... and she says most of his ideas stem from his Father. His parents split when he was pretty young and his Dad remarried a few times and his Mom remarried once. His Step-Dad was pretty abusive with his discipline techniques and DP never really bonded with him and never thought of him as a Father figure ever. They barely get along now...

His Dad always raised his kids seperate than his step-kids... all his marriages his wife had her kids and he had his ... they never came together as a true family.

I'm the one pushing for us all coming together as a family. Because I know one day DP and I will have a child together, and I WILL NOT raise a split household... DSD will be raised with my children and I will do my very best to make sure she never feels like an outsider and that she is part of the family, because SHE IS.

DP is slowly adjusting to this... because of how he grew up, it must be challenging for him to think differently.

His Mom fully agrees with me and thinks it the best for us to be a family together. She thinks a lot of her son's insecurities come from how his Dad raised him and the splitness of their homes with his various step-kids.

Anyway... his Mom thinks it isn't right to admonish a child for calling someone Mommy on their own either. Her grandkids (DP's sister's kids) call her Mommy sometimes and she doesn't correct them. She has a custody agreement to see them once a week and one weekend a month because her daughter tried to cut off her seeing them all together because she was mad at her.

DP's Mom agrees I should be called something... she suggested Mimi... which I have always liked, even though I have heard most commonly used with some children calling their grandmother, but DSD doesn't have any grandmother's with that nickname, so I think it would be okay...

I just am not sure DP will go for it...

Any suggestions on how to talk to him about this? Last time I mentioned anything about it, it turned into a big fight.

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#15 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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It sounds like there is good communication between you, the ex and dp moms and that is great. He shouldn't scold the child for calling you "mom" but if he really feels that strongly, I like the nickname idea.
The first that came to mind was MamaJen. Mimi is cute but it brings to mind a grandma (IMHO)



Quote:
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I would be ecstatic with a special title. *nods*

I'm certainly not encouraging her calling me Mom... I know how DP feels about it, and a couple times that she did call me Mom when he wasn't around, I explained to her as best as I could that I love her very much and will always be there for her, but I'm her Jen, not her Mommy.

Her Mother is very active in her life. She takes her to dance classes and such. Her Mother and I get along for the most part. She isn't someone I'd ever choose to be friends with... but we are friendly to each other and can talk and such.

My DP's Mother and I had a chat last night... and she says most of his ideas stem from his Father. His parents split when he was pretty young and his Dad remarried a few times and his Mom remarried once. His Step-Dad was pretty abusive with his discipline techniques and DP never really bonded with him and never thought of him as a Father figure ever. They barely get along now...

His Dad always raised his kids seperate than his step-kids... all his marriages his wife had her kids and he had his ... they never came together as a true family.

I'm the one pushing for us all coming together as a family. Because I know one day DP and I will have a child together, and I WILL NOT raise a split household... DSD will be raised with my children and I will do my very best to make sure she never feels like an outsider and that she is part of the family, because SHE IS.

DP is slowly adjusting to this... because of how he grew up, it must be challenging for him to think differently.

His Mom fully agrees with me and thinks it the best for us to be a family together. She thinks a lot of her son's insecurities come from how his Dad raised him and the splitness of their homes with his various step-kids.

Anyway... his Mom thinks it isn't right to admonish a child for calling someone Mommy on their own either. Her grandkids (DP's sister's kids) call her Mommy sometimes and she doesn't correct them. She has a custody agreement to see them once a week and one weekend a month because her daughter tried to cut off her seeing them all together because she was mad at her.

DP's Mom agrees I should be called something... she suggested Mimi... which I have always liked, even though I have heard most commonly used with some children calling their grandmother, but DSD doesn't have any grandmother's with that nickname, so I think it would be okay...

I just am not sure DP will go for it...

Any suggestions on how to talk to him about this? Last time I mentioned anything about it, it turned into a big fight.

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#16 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lol

Thanks kennedy444. I've been racking my brain for neat things to go with Jen.. It's not an easy one that flows well with many things, in my opinion.

MamaJen seems like a mouthful... lol And since it has "mama" in it... I'm sure it would be turned down immediately.

I personally do like it, as I love Mama... I call my own Mother that, and when teaching future children to talk, it will be Mama.

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#17 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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We just made up a word for my title, and we made sure there was no "mom" or "mama" in it to avoid drama, and my first name is also not in it, as we don't think this is a peer relationship so first names didn't make sense to us. So we made something up. We love it, and it took a while, but their mom even refers to me by our chosen word now. We use it as a common noun and a proper noun, as in, "my [Violet]" and "Hey, [Violet]!" and their mom will say now, "your dad and your [Violet] are on the phone," for example. It works for us.

Also, when they do slip and call me Mom, it's usually like kids calling their teacher mom or their dad mom, as in, just a force of habit. So we never correct them for things like that.

Oh, and I never really bought into the "it's just a name" idea. Words are powerful.

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#18 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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I think the adjustment needs to come from your husband. Why is it that the ones that are reasonable have to be the ones to placate the unreasonable? A special title is nice but it isn't helping your DH a bit as far as growing as a person. His mom sounds nice, maybe she could have a talk with him. That kind of feet stuck in cement attitude about calling you mom just makes me see red flags. My DH had a stepdaughter who called him very lovingly at first "Daddy." Then, her maternal grandmother said he is not your real dad, call him Daddy Bob, and then you are too old now so call him Bob.By the time she was 15 they had no relationship thanks to grandma and mom constantly reminding her that he was just a step dad with no authority, no rights and no bio relationship. However, he went to Brownies with her, helped her with her homework, supported her monetarily, read stories to her and all the other things a daddy does. I would think this partnership through before you get married and/or have another child. This insistance that you are not her "Mom" could spread to other areas like discipline, respect, chores etc.
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#19 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He has actually gotten a lot better with the discipline and such. It was a few battles in the begining... but he came around after both me and his Mom talked to him. She gave him the same thing then, in order for us to work as a family, we need to be a family and DSD needs to know to listen to me too.

So I do take part in some things... but as her Father he has all final say. That comes from his growing up too, as it was always the man that dished out discipline and set it and so forth.

I have made it clear I don't just sit back... when I am involved in something, I'm in 100%. So he is much better with that sort of thing.

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#20 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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Quote:
I know one day DP and I will have a child together, and I WILL NOT raise a split household... DSD will be raised with my children and I will do my very best to make sure she never feels like an outsider and that she is part of the family, because SHE IS.
Can I just say for a moment....



Great attitude, you are a wonderful stepmom. You respect her relationships w/her 'family of origin' while recognizing her need to be an inclusive and active member of your family. She is lucky to have all three of you

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#21 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post

So I do take part in some things... but as her Father he has all final say. That comes from his growing up too, as it was always the man that dished out discipline and set it and so forth.

Yikes! This would be a major red flag for me. It sounds like something that definitely needs to be worked out *before* the two of you get married, unless you want to feel like a second-class citizen in your own home. If you can't parent together with the stepdaughter, how will you parent together with a new baby? Will you have two sets of rules for the two kids? Or will you have to do everything for the new baby the same as the older child (i.e., as your DH and his ex have deemed appropriate) to have consistency? I'd be very wary of this arrangement. Unless you want him dictating all parenting decisions to you, then you need to sort that out ahead of time. Think about what it is you want and envision for your future and then have a long talk (or several) with him to make sure you're on the same page. If you have a child and then find out it doesn't work, you could be in a much worse situation. Best of luck.

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#22 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Subbing. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn I wrote the original post.

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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#23 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually Violet... we are on the same page with a lot of things... it really isn't as bad as it was in the begining. We have had our battles for sure, but I am a very outspoken and independent woman, and he has learned to respect that and the fact that I do speak my mind.

But yes... I fully agree... any big issues we need to be on the same page with as I won't have separate rules in my house... And I told him this, and he understands it. We will generally have a big sit down if something happened that I do not agree with, then we generally discuss it and see each others views and come to some kind of compromise.

I have to admit things have gotten a little lax on my part as of late because I've just been exhausted... DSD has been a terror lately... no idea why, nothing has changed in either of her environments... Her Mom and I have talked about it... all four parental figures had a big talk about it... the grandparents have talked about it... no one can determine anything except she is just being a brat. *shrugs* I have found this nifty positive banking system that I am going to try with that. Have all my notes printed out to go over with DP later tonight.

Like I said... he has come a looooong way since the begining. I saw the flags in the begining, and I laid law a few times... and it has always sunk into him.

The scolding for calling Mom thing simply hasn't... and that I know that is because that is his own biggest fear of losing his daughter... but I'm going to talk to him and mention some things, like I have seen here, one of my favorites being, "A parent can love more than one child... why can't a child love more than one Mommy or Daddy?"

I am sure it will all work out. He generally is stubborn at first and needs time to mull things over and come to terms in his own head about things... but we have pretty much come to a good compromise on everything. We really do have a lot of communication.

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#24 of 37 Old 03-12-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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I love the idea of a child being able to have more than one mom or dad. How great for them! Already both my son and dp's son have benefited more than you could imagine from having four parents in his life. I would LOVE for dp's son to call me Mom, but would check it out with his mom first. I am guessing I will end up getting a special name (bc he really loves me and I know he won't want to just call me Stacey for much longer). Maybe Mama Stacey or whatever version of mom that he does not use with his own mother.

I would tell your d to get over it, do what is best for his child.
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#25 of 37 Old 03-21-2008, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I finally found the courage to talk to DP about this again...

I said I'd like to think up a special name for DSD to call me, and we can say that when she calls me Mommy...

He reacted as I thought he would. Told me I'm being silly, basically. Said my role is no less just because I don't have a role title. And to a 3 year old they are all just names and it makes no difference.

He said he doesn't want to confuse her more, she knows me as Jen and that's final. He said there is no way to explain having two Mom's to her, and his beleifs are that a child is born with one Mom and one Dad.

I told him, yes they are born with one Mom and Dad, but sometimes things happen and they end up with more, and if they are all positive people in her life that she feels close enough to call that, what is the harm in it?

He said she isn't old enough to differentiate between the two and she won't be able to understand it and until she can he won't let her call anyone differently.

He said when she is older if she decides to call me something then we will cross that bridge then and if she decides to call his ex's partner something, he will talk to her at that time how much it upsets him.

I even used my thing of if a parent can love more than one child, why can't a child love more than one Mom or Dad? He said because he earned being called Dad... I asked aren't we by parenting/raising/loving the child? Then it went back to she can't differentiate.

*bangs head on something*

He said if she wants she can call me Step-Mom... oh freakin joy. I hate the word Step-Mom... He said don't blame him, blame society for giving it such a negative vibe.

blah...

I'm just worried that it will really hurt DSD when she gets a little brother/sister and they can call me Mommy but she will get scolded for it.

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#26 of 37 Old 03-21-2008, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I even used my thing of if a parent can love more than one child, why can't a child love more than one Mom or Dad? He said because he earned being called Dad...(



And what did you earn with everything you do for the child?! What, does he think you're just sitting there twiddling your thumbs?! I would have smacked him!

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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#27 of 37 Old 03-21-2008, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah... DP can say insensitive things at times without thinking them through... to be fair I didn't pick the best time to bring this up.

He just got home from working all night, but he started talking to me, and what he was talking about had direct correlation to the title thing, so I went for it like a dummy...

Thing is I don't think there ever is a good time to discuss it.

I don't think he underestimates what I do for his daughter. He thanks me a lot... I think this really comes from the fact that he can't handle the idea of her possibly calling Jeremy (his ex's BF) Daddy and this makes him go through the roof.

Cause he actually admitted that in a few years when DSD can differentiate and if she decides then to call me Mom, then he knows she made that decision with knowing the difference... but if she did the same for Jeremy he'd talk to her and tell her how disspointed and upset it makes him. *shrugs*

But he also said that if his ex voices any displeasure in what DSD decides to call me, he will respect his ex's feelings on their daughter and have to put a stop to it.

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#28 of 37 Old 03-21-2008, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Forgot... wanted to add... lol

He knows I do A LOT of research and am on a blended families board... I told him I come to conclusions on things, not just from my own mind but from what other people say too... and this ranges from children of step-parents, to step-parents, to biological parents.

He says he loves that I take such an active role in research and that a lot of times it comes up with a positive result, but with this topic he doesn't care what other people have to say, it's his call as the Dad.

So what's behind a name?

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#29 of 37 Old 03-24-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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If the name/title is a priority for you, here's something to consider:

When kids, especially little kids, are around adults, they seldom use first names. They have Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma and uncles and aunts and teachers, none of whom get called by their first name in most cases. If little kids have a relationship with a special adult (like a stepparent), for whom there is no special name, particularly one acting in a very parental role, the natural thing for them to do is call that person Mom or Dad. A bunch of stepmoms on this board will vouch for this. It happens. And in the absence of loyalty issues, it would probably happen more.

In my case, we gave me a title from the get-go. We made it up. It doesn't have "mom" or my name in it. So they know I am a special adult with a special title and they already have a word for it. So they never try to call me Mom. I've been called Bonus Mom a few times (mostly right after we got married -- it was our response to the word "stepmom" that they had been taught elsewhere), but usually they stick to my title. I get called Mom about as often as I get called Dad (as in, just when they really mean "Parent!" but the wrong word comes out).

So, from your DP's perspective, if he really wants Jeremy to never be called "Dad," his best bet may be for Jeremy to have another title and circumvent that one ahead of time. Same would apply to you. I know lots of grandparents who raise their grandkids, but none of them get called "Mom." Why? Well, they already have a title.

Ok, so now that I've put this out here maybe someone will pipe up with a counter example? Maybe not? But as far as I know and from my experience I'd bet that giving you a title will:

1) signify that you are a special adult

and

2) lessen the likelihood of the child calling you Mom, as she won't need to.

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#30 of 37 Old 03-24-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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Jenifer,
Do you mind if I ask if you live together and how long you have been together? I ask this only bc I thought I remembered that you don't live together yet and there are other circumstances going on with your dp?

I have gotten some bad responses on this board for not being married to dp, so don't think it is that! I would not allow dp's son to call me his stepmom until we actually live together. He wants to call me that, but right now that is not the best choice. I would allow him to give me a special name now, since I am def a special person in his life. But not mom, or a variation thereof, yet.

I just wonder if it is too soon? How involved is he in the ttc? Is he really into it? If so, you are going to be the mom in the house. You want to be more than just Jen to her, since she is so young. I know that with my ds he will never remember a time without dp, since he met him when he was just 2. You will be special to her, I think you can claim that.
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