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Calling stepparents mom or dad

strugglingSM's picture

I’ve noticed that a stepchild calling a SM “mom” or some other variation is a hot button issue, but what about a step kid calling a stepfather “dad”?

Both of my SSs, who have only know their stepdad for 3 years, regularly refer to him as “my dad” in front of me and DH and regularly refer to “our parents” when they mean BM and stepdad. I’m not sure it bothers DH, although sometimes he does correct them. They are almost 12, so not small children. If they ever referred to me at “mom” or “my mom”, BM’s head would explode. This double standard bothers me. Why do we preference moms so much? I also feel that if one parent demands a certain amount of respect, they should offer that same amount of respect to the other parent.

I’m interested to hear others thoughts and experiences.

advice.only2's picture

SD lived with us full time and referred to me by name and BS referred to DH by name. As BS got older he started calling DH "dad". Neither DH nor I did anything to correct him and just let him do what he felt comfortable with.

Meth ex used to tell SD she had to call second husband "poppa". When they divorced SD still called him "poppa" and looked up to him as a father figure (I think today she pretty much considers second husband her dad).

I was fine with SD calling me by my name after all both her parents were in her life. I think SD might have had a moment or two when she accidently called me mom, but then she made a huge production out of correcting herself.

My ex who is not in the picture at all used to send cards to BS when he was very little from "birth dad and mommy new wife" BS never even met new wife.

Personally for some people I think it's an emotional mindset...damnit I'm raising this kid I am their parent! Or damnit I'm married to a person with kids therefore I am a parent. I don't know for me I always just saw it that if you aren't their bio parent they refer to you by name, or whatever title the child is comfortable giving you (as long as it's not something crude or disrespectful)

momjeans's picture

I’ve always found this sort of double standard extremely comical.

Same here. BM would lose her proverbial sh** if skid called, or referred to me as “Mom”. In fact, I know firsthand that skid has had the fear put in her, by her Mom, that I would never be called “Mom.” I overheard tell DH this over our first visitation with a shaking voice.

On the flip side, BM has tried to rub DH’s nose in her fiancé “being more of a dad than he is”. Also, skid lives with her soon-to-be step-dad. We, DH, live 2000+ miles away. Not that that matters, but I can see BM playing the whole “fiancé is your dad - you can call him such. He’s the ONE that is HERE for you” card. Again, if anything but to try and pull at DH’s heartstrings. BM would pay good money to see DH’s face with skid referring to dudebro as her “dad.” Which is funny, since BM came hot out of the gate that I was NOT, and never would be, skid’s “Mom.”

My feelings are that it’s totally a female, emotionally insecure driven thing. A uterus double standard for sure. Perhaps even an ego trip, because I do know some women, albeit very few, that are okay with the SM being called “Mom.”

Teas83's picture

There absolutely seems to be a double standard. BM would lose her mind if SD called me "mom", but she goes on and on about what a wonderful "father" her husband is.

momjeans's picture

Also, BM is getting married next month. I cannot wait to see if skid refers to him by name or “dad,” when we see her next summer. I highly doubt it will bother DH, given how crazy he views BM to be, and how unlikely it is that she’ll remain married for very long. If the thought of it does bother DH, he hides it well.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Because our society has built up stepmoms to be evil and unworthy. We are home wrecks and murders. We don't care for the kids or we are trying to remove BM from their life.

On the other hand stepdads are saviors and amazing men who stepped in while real dad stepped out (even when BM never has the kid.) BM is ALWAYS the victim so any guy with her is amazing and worthy.

Mother's tend to be more 'involved' when it comes to kids. They are easily slighted and go crazy when their MotY identity is tarnished because a woman's worth is only based on her children so if another woman is called mom then that takes away from BM's worth right?

Dad's on the other hand can go out and father as many children as they want and just saying they have a kid is good enough. Saying they 'parent' a child who's not there even if really they just sit on the couch is still such an amazing thing you know because really stepdads our just so accepting and amazing for rescuing single mommy.

I could go on but you get the point I think. It's bullsh*t from the way our society views men and women and their roles as parents.

Maxwell09's picture

Bm can’t keep her men long term so though she harps on about Fiance3 being a great Stepdaddy, they call him by his first name. I’ve had a nickname I’ve always gone by with little children that SS uses. He does NOT call me mom and when he has in the past I’ve quickly told him “no” and corrected him. Our issue is SS calling his mom by her first name which is odd. Bm recently flipped her sh!t about it but DH told her to correct it and he’ll stop.

Goodluck's picture

SURE have the kiddlets call STEP PARENTS mom and dad AFTER you sign a binding legal document stating YOU will take on ALL Financial responsibility until the child is emancipated EQUAL to bio parents. EVEN if you divorce current spouse.

crickets....I bet.

No matter what the bio parents has done, good or bad they will always be mom or dad.

Focused_onourlife's picture

My YSD calls her SD "dad" and started calling me "mom" about a year ago and said "we've been in this too long for me to be calling you by you name so I'll call you mom". It makes me uncomfortable but luckily I don't see her much so it's not that bad. Hell, she even call my OSD bm "momma" so she's just weird and wired that way I guess.

--figureditout--'s picture

The CO for DH and the hag actually stated that no one other than the biological parents are to be called Mom or Dad. Didn't stop her from encouraging SD to refer to her father by his given name (even I don't call him that) and calling stepdad "Daddy Popeye."

I refused to allow SD to call me mom. I was the mother figure for 13 years while the hag did nothing. For a short while, SD used a silly name that we had agreed on.

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

Step Title 101

It is not a double standard. BM choose the father of the child. So he is Dad - your spouse. BM got divorced and has a new BF or husband. BM CHOSE him: he is new DAD. They are the parents. BM's choice as to who got the title MOM and DAD. BM can re-write biological history as a special skill. You can't.

YOU? BM never chose YOU. You are Dad's play thing. Why should you be MOM? There is a mom already.

Its not a double standard, it makes perfect sense to BM. If you want to be called MOM, have your own kids. Her kids are not yours, your wallet, however, is.

(I wouldn't want anyone but my son to call me Mom. Especially not IPOD-H's kids. Ewww...)

Ispofacto's picture

I don't think this is a gender issue, I think the issue here is narcissism.

Bioskank had Killjoy calling Mealticket 'Dad' when I met DH, but DH was "not allowed" to even date me.

I have a GF on the receiving end of this brand of BS. She's been divorced for a few years and her psycho XH has a new wife and he makes the kids call her Mom. He minimizes and demonizes my friend. PASinator extraordinaire. They have 50/50 custody. When my friend recently began seriously dating, her XH flipped his wig and ramped up the drama even more. Same story as many of us here, only reverse the roles.

Narcissists are special and irreplaceable, and everything and everyone are their sole possessions. Other people are expendable and have no rights.