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Wondering about the "mom" title as well as BM

Blueburger's picture

Recently I have been helping SD7 with her handwriting because it's gotten pretty sloppy as well as her sentence structure. I had gotten her a composition book to ask her things and have her write her experiences using what she has learned in school. I'll ask her simple questions like, 'what is your favorite animal?' and I'll ask her to elaborate and ask 'why?'...
Now, about a week ago, the journal entry was "write about your family and you going on an adventure." she wrote that she went picking flowers with her family and then went on to describe exactly how many flowers of which color she got lol. She mentioned her dad was helping her and her mom was as well and that her brother was pretty much being a pest trying to take her flowers lol. (She calls my BS4 her brother even though he's her stepbrother)
When she finished reading it to me and showed me it to check for spelling, I asked her where was I? I assumed I'd be in it as well because she mentioned my BS and DH, just wondered if maybe she wasn't done yet or if she had forgotten me or didn't want me in her story...she looks at me and then points to it as she says, "Well, I put Mom, so..." I didn't understand what she was telling me at first and thought that she put her actual mom in the story and that maybe there was already a mom-figure in the story and that's all the mom-figures she wanted in it lol.
I said, "I know but, what about me? Where am I in your story?" I was waiting for her to say something like 'oh, yeah, I forgot about you!' and continue writing to fit me into her story (she's pretty forgetful, seriously)
Then she looks at me again, and says as she points to the word "Mom" again, "I know, I already put Mom...that's you."
I was taken a bit aback...didn't know what to say, and just said oh. She turned around away from me to do something else.
I loved that she did that although, at the same time, I didn't want to be like MIL and just let her call or refer to me as mom when she has a mom (she hasn't seen her in about 10 months). I feel like I'd be doing the same as MIL...DH says I should just let her because if that's how she sees me, then what's wrong with that? When I reminded him about MIL he said it wasn't the same thing because I'm not telling her to call me mom and that that's how she feels she should call me...
I guess I just don't want to confuse her, or make BM angry IF she decides to see her at some point...I also don't know if I should keep reminding SD about BM and her half sister. I'll ask every once in a while if she misses them, and sometimes has forgotten about them because of the now 10 month gap of their absence. I know it's the right thing to do but, at the same time I wonder if it's even worth it...BM doesn't care about anyone else but herself (not even SD's half sister) so now it's not such a surprise that she hasn't called to go to visitation. Just wondering if it's a lost cause...


Ninji's picture

It has to be something both you and her are comfortable with. My SKids sometimes call me mom or refer to me as mom to their friends. 99.9% of the time, I'm Cindy.

It can get confusing to kids what to call us. If little bro is calling you mom, she may just be picking it up.

My BF refers to his SM as mom but calls her by her name to her face and calls his BM real mom, instead of just mom.

msg1986's picture

That's so sweet. I'd say don't worry about it, if she wants to call you mom and Bm isn't in the picture, why not? This makes me think of a xmas 2 yrs ago. Dh, ss and I went to a holiday party and at one point another kid came up and asked Ss to play and he said wait I have to ask my... my... my parents?" and looked at me and Dh and we smiled and he went from there. Ever since then when we're out he refers to us as his parents, I think it's cute. He's slipped up a few times and called me mom but he corrects himself right away.

HungryEyes's picture

I always said all parties have to be comfortable. In my case, I'm not comfortable with Skids calling me Mom. I'm also not comfortable with my bios calling DH Dad. They both have other active parents.

In the case where there's an absent parent, I think it's important that the feel someone fills that role. Especially socially kids at her age are learning about families. And it's 'There's a Mommy and a Daddy' My 8 year old son once said 'I call him (DH) Dad when other people are around so that they think we're a family and they dont ask where my Dad is.'

In the case of an absent parent, if that will continue to be a long term thing and you're both comfortable, I would probably explore it.

Jsmom's picture

I personally don't think if you are not the bio you should be called mom. Unless they are dead. Now my BS's dad is deceased and it still doesn't feel right. DH even has it in the CO that no one but the bio's can be called Mom or Dad.

I think it confuses kids and even if the BM is a piece of crap they gave birth to the kid and that title is theirs. Say thanks, but let's find another name for you to call me.

I am raising my SS16 and he doesn't call me mom, he has a mom, piece of crap that she is, he still has one and I try to respect that.

momandmore's picture

I deal with that special kind of creep when she decides she wants to have ANYTHING to do with her kids. I completely agree with the rest of your statement.

Jsmom's picture

Adoption is different that BM gave up that right when she gave up the child. Our BM's didn't give up the child. If the BM is around they have the title.

I am mom for my SS, but it would not feel right to he or I if he called me that.

Blueburger's picture

Honestly BM didn't even have that role til I came along and steered SD away from calling MIL mom. That was 2 years ago. BM/Psycho was called by her first name by SD, and of course no one corrected her, not even BM. DH hated the fact that SD called MIL mom but anytime he said anything about it she'd flip the F out. Once he got my support and finally moved out he was able to enforce it and explain to SD that MIL was and always will be her grandma and that (Psycho) was her mom. So...before, "mom" was MIL...every once in a while when she remembers, "mom" is (Psycho)...and now...sometimes, it's me...I don't know

Blueburger's picture

MIL did this to DH with SD...after he broke it off with BM he went back to his parents house but MIL had been taking care of SD for a while before that. It didnt help that MIL wanted/needed to have SD there with her all the time when SD was a baby (when BM was still with DH) and also that BM didn't care enough about SD to actually take care of her and fight for her right as SD's mom (she claimed to always be too tired and SD was always crying for no reason...duh she was a baby!) They both screwed with DH's self esteem and he became insecure with SD.
MIL helped DH get custody of SD and then helped get a restraining order as well but then told him he should give custody to MIL and FIL because of medical insurance...DH had no idea it was going to get so bad with MIL taking over as mom AND dad to SD...
She was really upset when I convinced DH to finally get custody back since it didn't make any sense for them to have custody anymore...even MORE upset when he moved out and wanted to take SD with...

momandmore's picture

Whoa.. my SD called her gma mom too. Completely natural considering SD was with her most of the time and had her own room at her house..hell.. SD went home with her from the hospital. I was wondering if it was forced because lately after visiting with grandma she will come back calling gma mom but then I think it's just accidental because she has also called me gma after coming back.. lol. But then gma came here for a visit and when leaving said "come and give mommy a hug bye" That was questionable to me but then again MIL is losing it.

BM never cared b/c 8yo isn't her favorite child. I fully believe she would deny 8yo if she thought she could get away with it.. and wouldn't be shocked if she does to her friends.

I will never understand how people will try to force kids to call them something they aren't.

Blueburger's picture

Lol MIL WANTED SD to come home with her after she was born, DH had said no.

And I know I'm not SD's mom, that's why I wondered whether to put a stop to it or not...DH had been talking about getting BM's rights taken away...I really don't know if he'll really do it though...or whether he can...

momandmore's picture

I did want to add that when SD started calling me mom on a regular basis I always stressed to her that she was such a lucky little girl to have 2 moms B/C BM still pops in and out of her life. I won't talk down about her mom to or around her or any of my SKids.

momandmore's picture

My SD's were 4 and 6 when they first started calling me mom. I thought it was tooo soon for sure. I talked to DH about it, he didn't have an issue. I talked to older SD's counselor about it, she said it was completely natural for a child that age to do it, especially when the other parent is crappy or non existent.

How will BM feel.. She might be upset but she has no right to be after being gone for 10 months the child.. especially being a girl wants a mother.

Totalybogus's picture

I think she put it that way in her story because its an awful lot to explain the step family dynamic in a little story.

I know when my kids are talking about my husband to anyone, they just say "my parents" rather than to get into the whole story of our relationships. I wouldn't worry about it.

BethAnne's picture


From your accounts she has had two other motherly figures in her life and has called them mom too, so for her mom isn't a name used exclusively for one person. It is natural that she wants to call you mom as well. But I would say that the overriding aim here is probably having to avoid explaining her family situation to everyone at school where she probably refers to you as mom to her friends and teachers as it is easier and less confusing.

If you object to her calling you mom to your face then that is fine and you can explain that to her and offer a preferred alternative (your first name or a nickname). But I would let her tell others that you are her mom if it makes her already complicated life a little easier on her. If clarifications are required they can always be made later. Think of it in terms of how she calls your son her brother rather than her step-brother. He isn't really her brother, but he feels like one to her and they act like siblings and it makes life easier to call him her brother to everyone rather than explaining that it is really her step-brother. It is the same thing really.

Blueburger's picture

She likes telling people that I'm her stepmom though...I don't think I've ever heard her say to anyone that I was her mom. She's really proud to tell everyone who I am, at first I didn't like it too much and I would get kind of offended even though I know thats what I am to her, but she really likes the fact that I'm her stepmom. Especially when I pick her up from school, she points to BS and me and says, "Look, that's my brother and my stepmom!" and comes running to us.
And yes it's as if they really were actual brother and sister the way they fight and then get along out of nowhere lol...

I really don't mind it, I actually love that she may want to call me mom...I was just wondering if it was wrong to let her and not correct her, like how MIL did it...
She still calls me by my first name.

kathc's picture

There's always the very deliberate and careful segmentation of me out of the "family". "Dad's wife" "Dad and his wife" I don't even get a name most of the time. NOT at all saying I want to be called "mom" ever but when we're shopping and he sees a friend who says, "Oh, you're with your parents?" and skid is really fast to correct, "NO! That's my dad and his wife! She's not my mom!" it's kind of harsh. What's wrong with just saying, "Yeah" and moving on? (Or, hell, "dad and his wife" without feeling the need to add "she's not my mom!")

So I think it's actually kind of touching that your SD refers to you as "mom". Could be she used that to test the waters about calling you mom? If you're OK with it and she wants to, why not let it happen?