Post # 1
So here’s a little background. My DH and I started dating when his daughter was about 6 months old. She lives with her mother 85% of the time, and we might have her 2 days a week at most. Her mother is not the greatest, likes to manipulate the system to get what she wants and uses her daughter for the same, but that’s a whole different story.
Yesterday when her mother dropped her off with me while DH was at work, his daughter says “hi momma (insert my name).” I could tell that her mom was a little peeved but nothing I could do. The last few months being pregnant with my first, his second, the more I hear her say that, the more it absolutely bugs the crap out of me. I brought it up to DH at dinner tonight and told him why it bugged me. I am not her mother, nor do I ever intend to be or to replace her. I might be a step-mom, but I don’t want to be the 1 that is always discliping her as well(seems that way now because DH doesn’t want to be the bad guy. Sorry pal, that’s what being a parent is about.). Well when I brought this up to DH tonight at dinner, right away he got mad and said he didn’t understand why and said I was her step-mother, and I was in her life etc etc. It really took me off guard because he’s always telling me to say what I’m thinking. Lately I’ve been feeling like I do almost everything for her, feed her, bathe her, get her dressed etc etc and he’s the 1 who has the fun with her. I didn’t say anything else and just left it at that(it was a pretty quiet dinner after that).
Needless to say I felt totally shot down and like he didn’t even care what I had to say, but I was upset. What do I do? Suck it up and let her call me whatever she wants to avoid pointless frustration or say something and have DH upset with me the rest of the night? All of this and not to mention I’m so sick of DH referring to this new baby as the little sister because in my eyes she’s my first daughter, not the little sister. I guess I would feel differently if his daughter lived with us all the time but she’s with us maybe 1 night a week. I don’t want my daughter growing up in her shadows. I want her to be her own person.
Ok I’m done, I think. lol Maybe I’m just over reacting because of hormones, but I can’t shake this annoyed feeling. This step-parenting stuff wasn’t so bad before we got married last year.
Post # 3
She sees you as a mother figure because of all you do for her. I think it’s sweet. Please don’t be resentful to her because of your issues with her mom and dad. She’s just a child.
I do understand those hormones though. Hopefullt that’s all it is.
Post # 4
You are over reacting, you are still a parent to her, yes a step parent but still a parent. In that little girls eyes you are also her 2nd mommy. She doesn’t know any better to call you something else. I would just get over it and be the best step mom she has.
Post # 5
I am neither a parent nor a step-parent, but yes, I think you are in the wrong for feeling that way.
First of all, I would be THRILLED that she thinks enough of you to call you “Mama X” instead of just your name. To me, it’s obvious that this little girl, (you don’t say how old she is), loves you. That should warm your heart, not piss you off. You’ve been a part of her life, even if it seems to you to be a small part, since she was a baby. Be glad she isn’t a teenager screaming at you, “I hate you!” and “You’re not my mom!”
Secondly, your daughter will be this girl’s little sister. Yes, it’s YOUR first biological child, but she has a half-sister, who, like it or not, exists and will part of her life forever, (it also means that you do have another child, and though not one of your blood, she can be a daughter of your heart if you will let her be). That does NOT mean she has to “grow up in her shadow,” it just means she will have a big sister. Why is that so terrible?
I don’t know if this helps you at all, but when I was little, my parents did foster care. One of the girls called my mom “Mom” and it made me really mad…that was MY mom. I talked to my mom, and she encouraged the girl to call her by her first name instead, which the girl did. Now that I am grown, I really regret doing that. I bring this up only because I think there may come a time when you will regret your actions and feelings toward this precious child if you continue down the path you seem to be headed.
Post # 6
I don’t want to be judgemental, but I am someone’s bonus Mom, and it sounds as though you didn’t have a good grasp on what you’ve gotten yourself into.
My bonus son lives with us most of the time (so a little differnt than you), and slowly I have become the Motherly figure (I give more baths, kiss boo-boos, etc) and DH has stopped doing that stuff and plays more of a masculine role now. I think that’s normal to slip into certain roles in any relationship. Your relationship is not just with your DH, but there is a 3rd member, his child.
You do have to be comfortable with what she calls you, that I agree with.
However, the part that made me so very upset is where you said “I’m so sick of DH referring to this new baby as the little sister…” I’ve been dancing around this but honestly, you shouldn’t have married a man with chidren. I don’t see how your relationship will last, if he’s a good Dad.
You can say hormones, but to me you just sound heartless.
Post # 7
@tcanne: In reguards to your comment about everything I do for her, I do it because DH doesn’t. He doesn’t do ANYTHING when she’s here. I came home from work today and the place was a WRECK and they weren’t even home for half the day! I know if I say something to him about not picking anything up he’ll once again get mad about that. I’m to the point where I’m sick of feeling like I do everything around here, along with working full time, sometimes over 40 hours a week.
I might be a step-parent to her but I in NO way want to or will every try to replace the ones she already has.
Post # 8
Agree with the PPs. I understand where your frustration is coming from; she is not YOUR first child, but your DH sees her as the oldest/his first and your daughter as the younger sibling. Just two different perspectives coming together in one family. I do hope everything works out to your liking. Try to be understanding, though it can be hard sometimes, no doubt.
Post # 9
If you didn’t want to parent a child that wasn’t yours, you shouldn’t have started seeing a man with a child. She sees you as ‘mommy’ because you take care of her. I called my friends mothers by “momma mindy, momma sandra’ because I grew up with them and they took care of all of us girls and they were just as special to me as my own loving mother. It’s a compliment, not a curse
Just thinking out loud here….her name wouldn’t happen to be Cinderella? Just saying…
Post # 10
I’m all for step-parents and children deciding what they’re comfortable being called, although I usually think it should be child-led. She’s calling you ‘mama your name’ because you are mothering her when she’s in your household. She obviously feels a connection with you. What about being called that specifically upsets you? (this is a totally not snarky question, just a clarification about your feelings). How old is she?
I don’t think it’s okay that the parenting at your home is unevenly split between you and your DH. I wouldn’t think it was okay if you were both her bio parents, either. It’s not a good situation to have one parent doing all the work, especially all of the discipline, while the other gets to reap the benefits. I think *this* is a reasonable thing to be upset about and something that should be discussed more with your DH. It’s also likely going to shape the co-parenting you’ll be doing for your new baby.
And just because your DH calls your new baby ‘little sister’ doesn’t mean your daughter will grow up in her shadow – she will be your step-daughter’s little sister, even if they only share one night a week in the same household.
Hope you get some rest and relaxation and can figure out how to approach your DH about these issues. Pregnancy hormones are no fun!
Post # 11
Agreed with PPs I mean… come on now. You’re going to need to step it up (attitude wise) a little if you want to be a family with this man, and yes that 100% includes your step daughter who sounds lovely.
Post # 12
@seg31085: “I might be a step-parent to her but I in NO way want to or will every try to replace the ones she already has.”
You realize you’ve been around since she was 6 months right? Which means, she doesn’t ever remember a time when you weren’t in her life. Therefore, to her, you are no replacement, but a part of all that she knows. For her it’s not 2 people, it’s 3 people that are her parents.
My bonus son recently found pictures from when he was born at the hospital and asked where I was. When I started to explain it, he got upset with me that I missed it. They’re just kids who only understand love. How old is she now?
Post # 13
I think you need to pick your battles with these issues. I would let the Momma thing go, and be flattered she thinks so highly of you. The care of your Step daughter is another issue. I would try talkting to your DH again about him stepping up. I had to have this convo with my DH, and I did it a few days befor a visit from my step sons. I reminded him that even though I am an important part of their lives, I am not a parent. Being a step parent can be really hard, but it sounds like you are a great one who has the love ofher step daughter to show for it. All the stuff about wanting your new LO to be her own person will work out. It’ll be different because she will be there all the time. She’ll be the oldest when SD isn’t there, and Little sister when she is. She’ll probably like being a little sister once in a while!
Post # 14
Well this has turned into a CRAPPY night all because I decided to voice my concernes and DH hasn’t spoken to me since. Guess I’ll learn to keep my mouth shut from now on.
BTW, she has never called me “momma …” on her own. DH told her to call me that without even asking what I thought about it, before we even got married and didn’t even ask the ex if that was ok if she was calling someone else mom. Guess I learned my lesson the hard way. I in NO way am regretting dating him, or marrying him. What I am regretting is the fact that as soon as we said I Do, he stopped doing everything else for her. I think that’s where a majority of my frustration comes from. Like I said, guess I’m learing the hard way.
Post # 15
@mwitter80: You realize you’ve been around since she was 6 months right? Which means, she doesn’t ever remember a time when you weren’t in her life. Therefore, to her, you are no replacement, but a part of all that she knows. For her it’s not 2 people, it’s 3 people that are her parents.
My bonus son recently found pictures from when he was born at the hospital and asked where I was. When I started to explain it, he got upset with me that I missed it. How old is she now?
This made me tear up!
Post # 16
For the record I would not call you heartless…but…of course, no one could replace your step daughter’s biological mom, but what’s so bad about being a motherly figure to her and opening your heart to her AS IF she were one of your biological own? She is your step child now…surely you won’t show favoritism among any of your kids? Best of luck. Transitions in life are tough!!