StepmomOfFour2011's picture

Seeking advice... correct the kids when they accidentally call me "Mom"????

Last night DH and I had a meeting with BM and her new BF to discuss a bunch of crap that's been going on for the past year. Long story short... she brought up something from Feb 2011 (nothing like letting that fester for awhile). She said that at SD14's Solo & Ensemble competition (in Feb 2011) SS5 called me Mom and I did not correct him. She claims I'm encouraging her kids to call me Mom and I'm trying to replace her.

I'll start with this.... NOT ONCE have I ever asked any of the 4 skids to call me Mom, nor am I trying to replace anyone. I'm not stupid, I know that no matter what I do I will never be able to compete with BM (and it's not a competition, I have my own separate relationship with the kids). She's their mother, nothing will ever change that, and that special mother-child bond will always be there. I'm just trying to do the best I can for the kids when they are with us. (DH & BM have 50-50 custody)

If SS5 did call me "Mom" at the competition I certainly didn't hear it, when she brought this up I had no idea what she was talking about. So even if I was supposed to correct him, you can't correct something that you didn't hear. DH didn't even hear SS5 call me Mom, so I'm wondering if this was just something she imagined so she could complain at me.

Every once in a great while one of the skids will slip up and call me Mom...they also sometimes call me Dad. It happens. I have never corrected them. Sometimes they catch themselves, sometimes they don't. I don't really think it matters. We all know who the BM is, so is it really necessary for me to stop the child and tell them "I'm not your mom"??? One time when SD8 slipped up and called me Mom she was so embarrassed about it I just told her "It's ok honey, we all get names mixed up sometimes. You can call me anything you want as long as it's not a bad name".

So I asked DH last night, do I need to start drawing attention to when the kids call me Mom? Do I need to start reminding them that I'm not their mom??? I think that calling it out just makes it awkward, especially since it's just a slip up. DH didn't know what to tell me. He's not sure how to approach this situation. We have a meeting with the family counselor this afternoon, I'll ask for his input as well.

Sometimes when I'm in public with one or more of the skids someone (a store clerk, etc) will refer to me as "Mom" when talking to the skids. How is this total stranger supposed to know that I'm not actually "Mom"?? One time I corrected the clerk, I will never do that again...I did it gently, but she felt so dumb and I embarrassed her. It's not worth it to me.

What if one or more of the skids actually wants to start calling me Mom?? Growing up my family was very close with the family next door. I called the neighbors "Mom" and "Dad" and the neighbors' kids called my parents "Mom" and "Dad". My mom calls her MIL "Mom". I don't see anything wrong with calling someone who isn't your BM "Mom". So if at some point one or more of the skids wants to call me Mom I don't feel right telling them that they can't...but SHOULD I?

BM also told me I can't call the skids "honey" or "sweetie", etc... because in doing so I'm disrespecting her. That using pet names is encroaching on her relationship with them. To this I want to say "put on your big girl panties". REALLY????

Thoughts??


IAmALady77's picture

If the kids are comfortable

If the kids are comfortable and want to call you mom than let them. In no way are you obligated to stress yourself out over something as stupid as a name or term of endearment. Obviously you are not forcing them to call you mom, they are doing it on their own. Any woman that makes a stink over the title of mom is just insecure in my opinion. She is just trying to validate that shes the "best". Whatever. As for your petnames for the kids. DO IT. It's none of her business what you call them to express your affection, its not like you're calling them shithead or asshole lol.

"Hello darling, your crazy is showing...might want to tuck that back in..."

StepmomOfFour2011's picture

LOL!! I might have to do

LOL!! I might have to do that just to see her reaction! Sticking out tongue

Echo's picture

The choice of what kids call

The choice of what kids call their step parents is NOT and should not ever be an order from the birth parents. If these kids want to call you Mom, that is an honor and you should take it. Please...don't correct them. When they call you Mom, they're saying it from a place of love. If you attempt to make them stop in order to make their insecure Mother happy (and trust me...she'll never be happy. She'll always dislike SOMETHING you do) you're going to break their hearts.

She doesn't like it. Tough noogies. The KIDS care about you and are comfortable calling you Mom. I'd say you're a winner in their eyes !

If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it's not, you'll find an excuse.

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
Mohandas Gandhi

tweetybird74's picture

I woul dnot worry about it.

I woul dnot worry about it. If they slip up no big deal, if they asked you if they could call you mom that would be a different story. My nieces and nephews get mixed up all the time and call me mom no big deal, when someone at a store calls me their mom or my SS's mom I just let it go. We have all called someone by the wrong name. The other morning I called my SS by the cats name, it was a good laugh.

Anywho78's picture

I'm with the others...IGNORE

I'm with the others...IGNORE the bat crap crazy BM rules. She can't control what you call the SKids & you can't be expected to "correct" the Skids if they slip & call you "mom".

hereiam's picture

My niece and her dog are here

My niece and her dog are here this weekend and I have already called the dog by my niece's name and vice versa. My parents would sometimes go through all 3 of us girls' names 'til they got the right one. It happens all the time. My niece will sometimes slip and call me mom. I am a mother figure to her but she knows who her mother is, geesh! These kinds of BMs make it so hard for these kids.

stepmisery's picture

Since you actually meet face

Since you actually meet face to face, just smile, nod, make a noncommittal comment and then do what you want anyway.

It's really so common for kids to call other females "mom." At elem age, kids do it all the time to the teacher. It never means Mom is being replaced, it just means the kid feels comfortable and the most comfortable thing slips out.

Really. One incident over a year ago. SMH. Hope she hasn't really been stewing on that for the last year and a half. More like she's stretching and reaching for things to bitch about.

Orange County Ca's picture

Well she is worried she may

Well she is worried she may be replaced but its not your fault. Most likely it was just a slip - after all you are the mother figure at that moment weather anyone likes it or not. If done deliberately then its their choice unless you want to object. I just ignore the use of the title and let the conversation move on.

realitycheckmom's picture

I have to say that perhaps BM

I have to say that perhaps BM is not off the mark on freaking out when the skids call SM mom. I dated a guy with two little girls and he wanted them to call me mom and he told me I could be their mom since their BM was a POS.

FDH told me that we would be a family and I would be mom to his son since BM was a POS and didn't show up, blah, blah,blah. He also got excited when SS started calling me mom.

So yeah when you are a shitty BM (that just cracks me up) I can see getting worried that you will lose your kids to SM and if they have dated men like the two I have I can understand the worry there too. No one likes to be replaced but when you have kids with an ex it is in your face. Smiling

*You are a Speshull Sparkly Snowflake!*

sammmx's picture

She's just being a drama

She's just being a drama queen. I remember kids accidently calling the teacher "Mom" in public school. It happens. I'm sure they know who their mom is. SS2 calls me Mom sometimes by accident but he always corrects himself, "Oh wait, you not Mom, you Sammmx!" And if people say something like "blahblah your mom" he always jumps in with, "No, that's my Sammmx!"

What DOES annoy me though is... SS2 literally replaces me with his Mom in his head in all his memories. He talks about his mom alot and even the other day he said to me, "I went camping with my Dad and with my Mom and my Mom caught me when I JUMP in the pool and splash!" ... uh no, ME and your father took you camping and *I* caught you in the pool. Frustrating. Or he's convinced that BF and BM took him to the zoo with SS9... uh no, THAT WAS ME. Sometimes I just want to scream NO, MEEEEEEEEEEE. I just gently correct him, but still. I don't want BM taking the glory for the good memories in his life !

frustrated-mom's picture

My (former) SS7 used to slip

My (former) SS7 used to slip up and say "mom and dad" when referring to me and his father. I never made a big deal about it. But SS9 and SD15 went absolutely bonkers if SS7 called me "mom" and would make him do things as punishment like eating a cup of spicy mustard.

Nevermind SS9 and SS7 called their mom and stepdad "mom and dad" all the time and didn't think anything of it.

StepmomOfFour2011's picture

In our situation BM is crazy

In our situation BM is crazy (clinically). It seems like the skids are more "touchy" about situations that they know will hurt BM. They have no problem treating BM's BF like a dad, even in front of my DH. But they get awkward with me if BM is around. They have to show their loyalty to her. It kinda sucks. But I also know that she has yelled at them for hugging me and sitting on my lap. She told them they can't do those things, that it's wrong. SD8 was bawling at our house one night, for no apparent reason, so DH went to talk to her. She was tore up inside because BM yelled at her for hugging me and she didn't understand why hugging me was wrong. So DH had to explain to her that it's not wrong to hug me, sit on my lap, cuddle with me, etc... That she did nothing wrong. But now, SD8 is a bit awkward about showing affection, and it used to just be natural for her.
Your comment made me think about how the skids seem to show more loyalty to BM than to my DH...I thought maybe it was just because they know BM has different emotional needs than dad...but it sounds like your former skids were doing something similar.