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My son is having issues with my stepdaughters calling me mom

Wassingle's picture

I've raised my son(13) as a single mom for 10 years. 

I've been husband for 6 years and we tied the knock 3 years ago. My son LOVES my husband; Husband LOVES my son. They spend a lot of time together. 

My stepdaughters( both 11-twins) are very sweet girls. Their  mom basically up and abanoned them 6 years ago, for another man. These girls have always looked up to me as their mom, but have never called me "mom" before, and my son has never addressed my husband as "dad". 

About three weeks ago, my stepdaughters asked if they could call me "mom" while we were all eating dinner. My husband looked ecstatic, while my so turned as white as ghost. He looked as if he was about to break down right there; he said that he needed to use the washroom and exused himself. I told my stepdaughters that they can adress me as whatever they want. Ever since then, they have been calling me "mom", and every time by son becomes very teary eyed, and he just leaves the room. He's become very disant with everyone lately. He's been avoiding my husband, the stepdaughters(who love him btw!), and myself.  When I try to talk to him, he suddenly remembers what he was homework, or has to clean his room. After dinner on Fridays night, we always get dressed and take the dogs out for a walk. It's a good time for us to bond and everyone seems to enjoy it. Usually my son will either walk in beside my husband daughter, or close to us, but lately he's been keeping his distance from everyone. .

My husband told me today that when he picked up my son from school, he seemed "off", by stepdaughters have noticed that he's not spending as much time with them as he used too. My husband asked me if it would be okay if he were to have that conversation with my son about calling "dad"; I told him he should hold up on that because he seems (been) really troubled lately. 

I love my son!. He's my only son and only child I can ever have(can't have anymore children), and seeing him in that much pain is making me starting to regret having my stepdaughters call me "mom". I'm honored that they consider me their mother, but I'm starting to feel like a horrible person as well. 


marblefawn's picture

What a bittersweet thing.

I agree with MurphysLaw -- just try to talk to him about it or at least have plenty of alone time with him so he has an opportunity to raise the issue with you. Show him he's still your #1. Poor little guy -- this is really sad.

Kes's picture

I agree he needs to talk this through with you and maybe have it affirmed that them calling you "Mom" changes nothing apart from the name by which they address you.  Sounds as if he might be worried about his continuing place in your affections being usurped by them or something.  

ESMOD's picture

I agree that a direct conversation is in order.  You can explain simply that you have been "mothering" these girls for years and that their own biological mother has left.. so you are basically it for them in that department.  It's not too different than when people adopt kids.. they call their adoptive parents mom and dad.  Ask him why that bothers him.. is he jealous of sharing you because he already was.. you don't love him any less.. no parent loves a child less when they have more kids...Is it territorial?  what about his own bio father? is he in the picture.. if not, is he upset because no one suggested he could call your DH dad?  listen to  him and try to assure that this change doesn't mean there is any change in how you feel for him.

Thumper's picture

Singe MOM? As in you decided to have a baby by yourself without financial or emotional input from bio dad, dad never knew you were expecting?  

As the wife to my DH....I would never think of being ok with another womans kids calling me mom. NOR would I consider it or encourage it.

I was asked by 1 of my step child ...CAN  I call you MOM now?....You have 1 mommy at her house. You can call me GoodLuck Smile

You can hit the reset button today. IF you want to.

Your son has every reason to want YOU to be only HIS mom,,,because it is true.



still learning's picture

13 is a fun age, he's still a kid and momma's boy but teetering on the edge of manhood.  What was his exclusively (his mom) is now shared with two twin stepsisters. It's going to be hard for him and it'll take some adjusting but honestly he'll get over it.  Spend some one on one time with him and talk to him as others suggested above.  Also realize that it's time for him to start growing up and becoming his own person rather that being so attached to mom.  Make sure he has opportunities to be independant and part of other groups besides the family.  

Weesie18's picture

The twins mother ABANDONED them, they don't have a mother. I think it would be down right cruel to tell 2 six year old sisters that have NO OTHER family that they can't call me Mom. And why would the bio son not have to have a relationship with his younger step sisters...why wouldn't you want to encourage a loving close knit all inclusive family dynamic? ugh!

Some of you are very bitter....I feel bad for your skids


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

My Skids call me mom. They made the choice. They asked and I thought about it. At first I wasn't sure. Psycho had ditched, she's never taken care of them or done anything good, but she's nicknamed Psycho for a reason.

When I was first debating, I came on here, tons of people nade good points, but one of the biggest ones was a SD that mentioned her SM FORBID her from calling her mom. She was being raised by her, she felt she was a mom to her, and it made her feel like an outsider. There was also the point that people will call their friend's moms "mom" as well.

I think your kid is just struggling and you should have a sit down with him. But for what it's worth, I DO agree with you allowing them to call you that. You aren't forcing it, it was their choice, and as long as you aren't encuraging or discouraging either way (aka influencing) then I think they're old enough to know what they want and make that choice. 

It takes a lot more to be a mom than giving birth. I think this all solely depends on your relationship with the skids and their decision.

After Psycho started punishing them for calling me mom. (showed up to court after two weeks prior telling her sister she doesn't even want them... She's jsut a petty narc.) I did try and have a conversation with them for their safety about calling me PA. They rejected it. Told me I'm the one being mom and IF they do it it'll only be when they're around Psycho. I just told them I want them safe and happy.

Survivingstephell's picture

I went in to step life with a large open heart, room for everyone.  Gradually that was chipped at and eventually shut down, in response to step life and a batshit crazy HCGUBM.  

I'm always in awe of those women who are allowed to have open hearts and have tons of kids think of her as "MOM" .  I can't imagine the amount of love that comes out of those situations.  If this is the message that you want to send your son and skids, that there is enough love for everyone and names are proof of that love, then let that message rule your home OP.  

You are the adult in your home and as such get to set the tone and message of your motherhood.  

Rags's picture

Just explain to him that in the home you are mom.  You are his mom always but you are also their mom when they are in the home.  Since their own mom abandoned them they need you to be their mom too.

Kids are smart. Get him to use his brain rather than his emotions and engage him in discussing and working with you on the topic.

Good luck.