Mom or Step-Mom?

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susan Wilkins-Hubley

moms and kids on park bench

Q:

My husband and I have recently obtained permanent custody of his 6 and 4-year-old. Their mother sees them now and then (averaging about once a month). The kids call me Mom now and then they will remind themselves that I am not really their Mom. Their father and I have taken the attitude not to encourage or discourage. We want them to call me what makes them comfortable.

But now that I am a stay-home “Mom” and interact with the teachers, other parents, PTA, etc., I am constantly introducing myself as their step-Mom and I hate that term. I don’t feel like their step-Mom. I am a full-time mother to them. They call me by my first name most of the time, but I wish there were an alternative to it. I have never felt comfortable being called Mom because they have a Mom, but I’m starting to rethink it. Any ideas? ~ Anne

A:

This is a *very* common dilemma that many people have many different views on. Sometimes this issue proves to be quite controversial. As your husband’s wife and as a parent to the children, you are indeed a “mom”. What kind of mom, is in my opinion, secondary. If the term “stepmom” makes you feel uncomfortable my suggestion is to introduce yourself using something like this: “Hi, I’m one of Katy’s Moms” this short, concise, intro tells the individual that you are a “Mom” and that the children also have another mother figure in their lives. It also shows that you do not wish to replace their biological “mom” and that you perhaps are working together as parents. People do not need to be privy to the details. Keeping this upbeat and “equal opportunity” attitude, allows you the respect that a full time, biological mother usually receives. Giving birth does not always make a mother, but the love, and care that a woman gives a child in a maternal manner does.

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about the author Susan Wilkins-Hubley is a 29 year old Canadian stepmom to two young children and biological mother to two more. Her family is complete with “his”, “her” and “our” children, however all family members find themselves in the “ours” category. Susan has been a stepmom for over four years and has experienced the trials and tribulations that most other stepmoms face day to day. Susan tries to keep her family at peace by mothering all of her children consistently and wearing ear plugs a lot of the time 🙂 Visit Susan’s website The Second Wives Club




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