Post # 1
Not married yet but already feel I am somewhat of a “step mom” to my FI’s 2 kids and have experienced a few challenges along the way.
I find the label of “step” pretty awkward to be honest. I have found it can be complicated to just be a family and not occasionally feel like an outsider. It has been a wonderful learning process but at times uncomfortable and, occasionally, even disheartening. Perhaps because I do not have any children of my own yet.
I never would expect (or want) to be called “mom” because they have an active mom in their life and my first name is fine by me. With mother’s day coming up I recall how honored I was last year to receive cards from them but also how awkward I felt because they addressed me as “mom” inside the card. I know it would upset their mom but I also was not going to make a fuss over something in a card. I think my cheeks turned crimson red when I read the card, however.
Future stepson made his ringtone on his phone a silly “mom is calling!” ring when I call… and once again I felt honored but embarrassed. I don’t want to step on toes or cause an issue with bio mom (she was high conflict initially but things are calmer now, and I would like them to stay calm and peaceful).
My future step daughter sort of resembles me and people constantly assume she is mine. When I pick her up from Sunday school the teacher will say “mom is here!” … and there are other instances. She corrected the teacher once and said “she is my stepmom.” Sometimes she/we let it slide.
When I introduce them sometimes I feel funny saying “his kids” or “step kids” because I do think of them as mine in a sense, but to call them “ours” is a bit much.
Basically, I overthink the situation a lot. They are wonderful kids and I do care for them very much, not necessarily in a mom way but in a cool aunt way (best way I can think to describe it). I want them to always feel comfortable, loved and fully accepted… while respecting those boundaries that stepparents have.
Any other step moms/ future step moms want to weigh in? It would be nice to ‘meet’ some people in the same situation.
Post # 2
lavenderbee3 : I was a stepmom to 4 kids for several years and I think the “comfort level” of the terminology and all is something you kind of grow into. How old are the kids?
Ours actually moved in with us after a year. The youngest was only 3 and I’m SURE was trying to make sense of all that was going on. We were sitting at dinner one night early on and she said she was going to call me mommy. Looking back I probably should have thought about it more, but in the moment, I said something about her real mommy maybe not liking that. Maybe I could’ve let her call me mommy and her bio mom – mom, or something that would make sense to a 3 year old. Oh well.
I think there are definitely awkward moments. Luckily my stepkids were considerate and never made me feel like less of a mom, if that makes sense. I’m sure they missed their bio-mom, she moved away, but they were kind to me.
Step parenting is haaaaard so I feel ya!
Post # 3
Hi!! Eventual step mom here. It deffinetly can be a tricky subject. I will be a stepmom to 3 (someday). As far as what they should call you – Honestly, I think it is in the best interest of the kids – to let them call you what they want. It should not be up to you or their mom. It should be what they feel comfortable with.
My kids (and yes, I call them my kids-when they are at our house they are my kids) typically call me by a shortened/nickname version of my first name. Sometimes they call me mom and grandma… lol….But it should be up to them. I feel bad because I know their mother tells them to call their step dad “dad”. The middle child has told me this. The middle child does not care for the step dad too much. I don’t think it is right to force a child to call them something, or demand that they do not call you something… ya know?
Post # 4
I’m a stepmom of three and bio mom of one. I’ve also been a stepdaughter, so I’ve seen this relationship from all sides. It took me a long time to accept my stepmother (who actually was a very nice person) but I’ve ended up learning a lot from her in my relationship with my stepchildren. I think stepparenting is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs there is. I agree, it’s hard to describe the role exactly, not quite a parent, more responsibility than a friend, cool aunt (or maybe godmother?) get closer. I wouldn’t worry too much about what they call you, as long as it’s respectful. It sounds like you have a great relationship with them. Blessings to you all.
Post # 5
I told.my future step.kids to call me Ms. (Insert my first name here). I have 2 kids of my own and they call my boyfriend ‘Mr. ___. They are 9 though so hardly any awkward moments regarding mom vs step mom. I would never allow them to call me mom even if they do say it because I think it disrespectful to their mother.
Post # 6
I’m not a stepparent but I am a stepchild and so is my Husband. I used to feel awkward referring to my stepdad as such, since he has been such a huge part of my life since very early on. I started calling him Pops into my adult life, because calling him by his first name felt so weird, but my Bio father is “Dad.” so perhaps you could hint that your future step children that they could come up with a different name to call you if they want to have a special name for you. That way you still have a more affectionate name, but no stepping on bio moms toes. Darling Husband uses the wonderful term “Bonus” instead of step, which I have adopted as well. BMIL refers to us both as her bonus children, and he refers to her as his bonus mom and addresses her by her name, but only because she entered into his life when he was already an adult. I just love the term bonus because it gives it a way better and more inclusive feel than “Step.”
Post # 7
I have two stepchildren, who I often refer to as my bonus kids too. They call me by my first name, but they also say “we’re your kids”. I treat them no differently than my own daughter, and love them equally as well.
Darling Husband and I met when his children were 5 & 8, and my daughter was 7. They are now 13 & 16, and Dear Daughter is 14. They are 100% siblings in every sense of the word. We live 5 min from DH’s ex-wife, so we see his children often & SS stays with us every other week for the entire week. Our kids fight like siblings, and also protect each other like siblings.
We are a modern day Brady Bunch family, and we’re proud of the way our family has blended. People compliment us on the dynamic all of the time, and we graciously accept it, because it took a good bit of work to get here.
Post # 8
Hi there, I am a custodial stepmom of a 4 year old boy. His Mom is not in his life so my situation is a little different but I think that you will feel more comfortable about them calling you “mom” after you get married and are officially their stepmom. It sounds like they like you a lot and the fact that they refer to you as Mom shows that you are important to them. Let them call you whatever they feel comfortable with, but make it clear that you didn’t tell them they HAVE to call you mom or anything like that. You will play an parental role in their lives, along with your husband. Enjoy being a stepmom!