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Stepchildren and the "MOM" or "DAD" word

dreamingbig19's picture

Long story short...I need some advice on how to handle a current situation. I have two stepkids one is 4 and the other is 2. i have been in thier lives for almost 2 years now and the biological is starting to cause issues again. the youngest was 6 months old when i got involved with thier dad so i got to watch her grow up. My issue is the children call me mom, we tried to to correct them and the 4 year old who was 2 at the time would get so upset and angry that he would start hitting his sister. Mind you they both know my name and they do call me that sometimes. well bio mom got upset about it and started major drama about it. I get why shes upset but i didnt force them to call me that they choose to. What are my options here i can elaborate more but i figured this is a good start. Please help

Booboobear's picture

HEY!  what about if you ask the kids to call you Co-Dad? or Lieutenant-Dad? or Mrs. Dad  and make it a funny game?  That way no one mistakes you for the person who always drops the ball, and Dad wont get jealous, and you still get to be the awesomest?!   

I only wish I would have thought of that, because My skid started calling me that when she was young, and I never encouraged her or stopped her,  then she grew up and said I FORCED her to call me mom when she was young.  I wish I would have told her, "No, IM not your mom, but I still love you." cause it backfired 24 years later. 

BethAnne's picture

You have 2 options:

Correct the children every time that they call you mom 

or ignore their mother and let them call you what they want 

It is up to you and your partner which option you choose. 

dreamingbig19's picture

they do know my name and its a toss up of when they call me livy or when they call me mom. I spend alot of time with these kids i have the same if not more than the bm does. that is the part that sucks i do EVERYTHING with them and she does nothing besides buy them presents ALL the time. I take them to the library and swimming and to my familys farm because they love animals and she only does things with them that make her look good in the publics eye. We went together tonight to see the grinch and of course the older boy called me mom and i didnt respond per her request and of course she didnt respond either so to me i feel like that is just confusing for them. UGH so frustrating. 

BethAnne's picture

This is not a best mom competition. This is a decision between if you want them to call you mom and deal with the consequences of that or if you want to avoid the consequences and put in some effort to correct them every time they slip up. 

When they call you mom, just say "please call me dreamingbig" and then repeat that everytime. Do not ignore them, of course that would confuse them. 

dreamingbig19's picture

I know this is not the best mom competition, she told me to ignore them when they call me mom. I wont lie I love that they are comfortable enough and feel safe enough to call me that. that makes my heart happy. its not a matter or me having to deal with the wrath of her its she yells at them, for the longest time we did correct him(its mainly the 4 year old) and after a while you just get sick of hearing the screaming tantrums. I know very well that she is thier mom, but i feel like you are allowed to have more than one mom and dad. I had multiple stepmoms growing up and i have a wonderful stepdad whose took better care of me than my real dad did.

BethAnne's picture

You sound very conflicted over what you want to do. Talk it over with your partner and take some time to decide. Currently you seem to be stuck between complying with bm’s wishes and rejecting them. 

dreamingbig19's picture

i am conflicted beyond words. I get where she comes from i really do, i want to comply with her because she makes my life a living hell otherwise. At this point i dont really care what she thinks because i know in my heart that the well being of  the children is what matters most and as long as they are happy and healthy thats all that matters. there is alot of more behind the scenes stuff that i cant really share on here without it looking like i want to bash her, but the stuff she does with the kids not in mind is not ok. if you like more insist for clarification dm i am not comfortable yet with putting it on here. I really dont want to bash her but she really is a crappy parent. and that breaks my heart for them. 

STaround's picture

But until her parental rights are terminated, she is the one an only mom.  I really question how matter of fact DH and you are in correcting the kids.  As a pp said, if you cannot get these kids to stop calling you mom now, how much control do  you think you and DH will have over them as teens. 

Leave her out of your head, even if she said nothing, it is still wrong to allow the kids to call you mom.  There will come a time when it bites you. 

Harry's picture

No good is going to come from them calling you mom.  Just setting yourself up for a lot of drama as they get older anf BM takes control

Lndsy747's picture

Frankly I've never understood this "we tried to get them to stop" excuse. You allow it because you like the name. I'm sure if they started calling you a s**thead and when you told them no they hit their sister I bet you'd find a way to make it stop. 

If their mom has a problem with it don't do it. This is not a competition that you can win. She is their mom. If they don't want to call you by name find another nickname that's makes you feel special.

STaround's picture

I am guessing that when DH or Op says do not call me mom, it is in a gentle voice with a smile.   Not a stern or neutral face.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Kid's will quickly correct you and let you know that they do not like that. You can use that as your teaching moment to let them know that you too have a name and it is not mom.

This is a benign but effective way to solve the problem. It will take very times of your calling them by their sibling's name to resolve the problem.


Mominit's picture

This is one of those discussions like belly buttons - everyone has one - and there's no right or wrong about preferences.  I am a BM and an SM - so I make sure I practice what I preached.  My kids called their SM Mama-J.  Did I like it - no, not really.  Especially since she lived in another province, had no kids, and enjoyed "playing" Mom without any real responsbilities. kids calling her Mom didn't diminish my role in their life.  There is no magic in the name.  She wasn't stealing our relationship.  As a BM I may not have liked it, but people who say that it is "wrong" and how DARE you make my teeth itch.  Kids can and do adapt to reality.  Sometimes...they have two Moms!

As a SM - my kids came into my lives YOUNG!  2 years and new born.  We formed a blended family in every sense.  So yes, they call me Mom.  And yes, I have ALL of the responsibilities that go with that title.  My SS is grown and out of the house now.  I do NOT regret allowing him to title me Mom when he was 2.  I have been his Mom for almost 20 years ago.  BM HATED hated hated that they called me Mom.  But sure enough years later when she remarried, she tried to get the kids to call her new spouse Dad.  Didn't stick (they formed their own relationship, and he never did any of the Dad stuff, right down to rides to the relationship formed naturally in a different way).  

All that to say - make your decision and own it.  People will tell you you're wrong.  People will complain if you don't.  Ignore them and make your decision based on you, your husband and your SKs.  If you're in this for the long haul, and they're quite young, and everyone is comfortable in YOUR house - go for it.  Be the Mom in your home.  But....know that when they go to BMs house they are calling you by name.  And be fine with that!  Do not put them in a loyalty bind.  In public...they'll generally just try to avoid calling you by anything :).  It's not about being in a competition with BM.  It's about being true to the relationship you and the kids have, and allowing yourself to answer to Mom if that's truly what you want.  Don't let others define your relationship! If you don't want to be Mom, that's fine - find a name you all agree with.  If you are Mom in every sense and don't mind the kids calling you that, go for it.  You'll be judged either way!