to be annoyed at DS's teachers

(39 Posts)
missymarmite Thu 04-Oct-12 14:54:24

This comes on the back of an earlier thread where several posters were quite nasty and somehow made out that if you aren't married you are just "shacked-up" and your relationship with your partner's kids is somehow inferior to what it would be if you are married.

BTW, DS's father (who I was married to) buggered off and left us destitute. Marriage wasn't much of a commitment to him, was it? Didn't make him a very good dad.

I walked away from that thread because I felt some of the posts were unnecessary and verging on abusive. But it highlighted an incident that happened shortly afterwards and although I suspect many people will have quite different view from mine, I thought I'd risk the fray once more.

A couple of weeks ago DP and I went to DC 1 + 2's parent's evening at their primary school. I introduced DP as DS's stepdad. DP also introduced me to DSD's teacher as her step-mum.

Now, I know that we aren't married, but we are in a committed relationship. We both gave up a lot to live together, and we both agreed that we are a family.

I have had a few not so good boyfriends. I always knew quite early on that something wasn't quite right, so I was cautious. However, with DP I have no fears about the stability of our relationship. DP is my best friend, and I know he feels the same. We are soul mates. Whatever happens in the future, we will be there for each other, and we will care for our partner's children as our own. I know this because he isn't a vindictive person, and has a civil, if cold relationship with his ex. Our parents live locally and also refer to ALL the children as "grandchildren". DP's kids also refer to their mum's partner as their step-dad too, so she seems happy with that.

I know several families where the parents aren't married, and yet the respective kids/parents etc are referred to as step-whatever. So it just seemed normal for us to be step-mum, step-dad, rather than "my mum's boyfriend" or whatever which is a mouthful at best and doesn't at all reflect the relationship that we have with the kids or each other. I mean, it's fine in a short term relationship, but once you are committed, it's a bit rubbish really, especially in the long run.

So AIBU to be a tad miffed at DS's teacher, for telling my DS that he hasn't got a step family at all because we aren't married, just days after being introduced to DP as step-dad?

And, isn't it a bit old fashioned?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 04-Oct-12 19:26:07

NeDeLaMer, yes I agree that if both the child and the adult involved want it then that's fine. But like I said, it's a minefield. Some children will go along with it because its what their own parent wants and they don't want to upset (like I did), some will feel like they have no choice but to agree, some will be more than happy with it. That's why when it comes to teachers and anyone else not privy to the individual families feelings and circumstances, it's better to either not talk about it at all, or stick with the fact.

phantomnamechanger Thu 04-Oct-12 19:32:30

YABU

Do we know how and in what context the teacher even said this? eg if they were actually discussing families/explaining in class what someone meant by step or half siblings, for eg, and your DC said "oh I have a step dad too" then the teacher was merely stating the truth by clarifying that step parent means MARRIED to bio parent.

And we all know schools have to be so very very careful about who they are allowed to let children go off with etc

your DP is not your childs step-dad, whatever you call him, just like he is NOT your DH, however much you love and are committed to each other.

Diamondsareagirls Thu 04-Oct-12 19:36:21

NeDeLaMer, yes I agree that if that was the only basis of the conversation that it would be an insensitive comment. However, I doubt that it was an isolated comment from a teacher without reference to something else that we are not aware of. Also, we are assuming that the teacher will remember being introduced to the step-dad. As a teacher I simply couldn't remember the individual situations of the 200+ children I teach even though I have met their parents at a parents' evening.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Oct-12 19:48:09

If you really have only been together a matter of months; then insisting everyone refers to your dp as your kids step dad is ridiculous.
Step parent is a legal term; it's technically incorrect as well as way too soon.

larks35 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:57:00

YANBU I don't think teachers should make any comment to a child's family arrangement. If your DS calls your DP his step-dad, then that is what he is. I too wonder how this conversation went between your DS and his teacher.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Thu 04-Oct-12 20:23:52

To be honest, I think you're jumping the gun and getting a bit narked that others aren't seeing your relationship through the same rose tinted glasses you are. You've only been with this man for a year, yet already you've moved him into your child's home, involved him in your child's education, taken decisions over his child that you have no right to make and now you want to insist people acknowledge him in a role legally he doesn't have. Sounds to me like you're more concerned about validation of your special relationship than anything else.

So yes YABU.

clam Thu 04-Oct-12 20:30:39

What sammy said ^^

op previous threads aside - if you introduced your dp as 'step-dad' and the teacher immediately corrected you, then Yanbu to be annoyed.

If it was a passing comment at a different time, about technically 'step' meaning married then yabu.

Just to put my view across - I have one dd. My dp has 2 dc. We have been together a year and a half, but worked together for a year before that. We moved in together 3 months ago and I would never refer to myself as their step-mum, likewise he is not dd's step-dad. He is my boyfriend/partner. We live together. Our children are treated equally and are welcome and wanted in our home, but it is far, far too soon to call ourselves that. I am loving getting to know his dc, and our dcs get on brilliantly. But I'm in no rush to make it all 'official'.

op you come across as extremely insecure in your relationship, you seem to want to jump from one milestone to another to prove just how in love you are, how amazing you are together and how easily your families have merged. Take a breath, relax, if all you say is true then you have all the time in the world to establish yourself as step-mum. No need to force it.

op previous threads aside - if you introduced your dp as 'step-dad' and the teacher immediately corrected you, then Yanbu to be annoyed.

If it was a passing comment at a different time, about technically 'step' meaning married then yabu.

Just to put my view across - I have one dd. My dp has 2 dc. We have been together a year and a half, but worked together for a year before that. We moved in together 3 months ago and I would never refer to myself as their step-mum, likewise he is not dd's step-dad. He is my boyfriend/partner. We live together. Our children are treated equally and are welcome and wanted in our home, but it is far, far too soon to call ourselves that. I am loving getting to know his dc, and our dcs get on brilliantly. But I'm in no rush to make it all 'official'.

op you come across as extremely insecure in your relationship, you seem to want to jump from one milestone to another to prove just how in love you are, how amazing you are together and how easily your families have merged. Take a breath, relax, if all you say is true then you have all the time in the world to establish yourself as step-mum. No need to force it.

My Dad has been married for 18 years....and I get on with his wife really well.

BUT - from the day they got married she has only ever been referred to (and refers to herself as) "my Dad's wife".

I personally don't like the term "step mum" or variations thereof. I have a Mum - I did not, and will never, need another pseudo parent. My Dad chose to marry his wife, and that's great for him. But why should that then automatically confer a parental role on someone, particularly when their being in my life at all was not my choice?

As I said - we get on great. My Dad's wife and me. But she has never and will never be any sort of parent to me.

Posted too soon! Dammit!

Had my Dad met and moved his GF in within a year and told me this was my "Step Mum" - I think that would be unreasonable.

These are MASSIVE terms, to just chuck them about so early in a relationship is too much and unfair to the children IMO.

I also agree with the poster who said the OP seems desperate to validate this relationship. I actually find the galloping into everything quite scary - particularly when there are kids involved.

No the teacher was NBU - she was being truthful.

The OP IS being unreasonable to put someone relatively new in her children's lives into such a serious position. The potential for it all to go tits up and the children to end up hurt and damaged if they lose a "parent" is huge.

Baby steps when there are babies involved - no need to gallop through the stages of a relationship like it's the Grand National!

oldraver Thu 04-Oct-12 22:13:29

Well technically a 'step' parent is the married partner of a DC's parent. So if you arn't married then technically your partner isnt a 'step'.

While its obviously your choice not to be married (I have no qualm with that, I am not married to DS's father) but you cant then 'claim' the things that go with marriage. You turn your nose up at what you consider 'a bit of paper' but want the niceties

Magicmayhem Thu 04-Oct-12 22:29:11

do you have any plans to get married in the future or are you both anti-marriage? my teenage children refer to my boyfriend as their step dad, he doesn't live with us, but we are planning to get married in the future, and its something they did off their own back... do they call him dad?

Sarraburd Thu 04-Oct-12 22:53:02

Read that thread.

It seemed to me the point they were making was more about when one does and does not have parental responsibility.

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