Monday, September 30, 2013

What's In A Name?

I never called my step parents Mom or Dad. The people who gave me life and brought me into this world held those titles. My steps were ALWAYS called by their given name or referred to as my step mom or step dad. So when I started dating my husband and our relationship progressed it never dawned on me to wonder what I would be called.She had a mom after all.

"I already have two daddies and now I will have two mommies." She tells me in a rush of excitement. I smile, not quite sure what to say. This is my third visit with this child. Granted, her father and I are engaged and I know that will make me her step mom. But still, I'm not sure how to respond to this. So I smile and move on with the conversation by asking her a question about the paper doll she is playing with.

"Wait, let me ask my Mom," my step daughter says to the other child she is playing with. I pause in surprise that she is referring to me as Mom. What happened to all the stories about the children who, at every opportunity, make sure to let the world know that this person is NOT their mom. That they have a Mom, thank you very much. And her? She's not it.

We are getting ready to watch a movie and have freshly popped popcorn waiting to be divided into brown paper bags. "Instead of your name, I'll just write 'Mommy'. Is that okay? I like that better," she says anxiously looking at me for approval. "Whatever you like," I reply trying to sound nonchalant. 

She is outside swimming with a friend when I overhear her talking about her mom. "You know, my other Mom, the one that gave birth to me." 

Every time this beautiful child has called me or referred to me as Mom, I must admit its the most amazing feeling. Her choosing to be so accepting of my role in her life is the biggest blessing I could have asked for. On a day to day basis I'm not Mom and that's okay. I've never asked or expected to be more to her than my given name. Her step dad she calls "Daddy". Her mom said prior to them having more children she called him by his first name but when she had their son that changed. And she started calling him "Daddy". I must admit it makes me wonder if when I have my own biological children will her name for me change as well? And if she decides she wants to call me 'Mom', will her mother support that decision?

For the step parents out there- what does your step child call you? For the biological parents- are you okay with your child using the title of Mom or Dad in reference to their step parent?


  1. I've been called several things, it didn't go over well when my then 6 yo SD told her mother she sometimes calls me mom (mostly mistakenly anyway) I even got a letter from her (still have it to this day) that I made her mom cry "because I am not a mom." Nothing we've ever pushed at all, 5 years later I am still "first name" They don't correct assumptions when we're out, and every now and again they toss me a cute nickname, this weekend it was "my little gummy bear" sometimes it mumsie. Whatever works for them, they know they are loved like heck! and lucky to be surrounded by all 3 parents :)

    1. The title of "Mom" is a sacred one. I know that in my situation it would not be welcomed. :) Just makes it hard when its Mom and Dad at one house and at our house its my Dad and "first name". :) Makes me feel like an outsider for sure. But its not about me! And I get it. Still feels weird though!