To hate the term birth mother when referring to step children's mother

(65 Posts)
pennypence Sat 27-Jul-13 21:20:56

Just been for a nosy on the step parents board and seen this in a few posts. I haven't seen anyone refer to the dads as birth dad. I would be incensed if someone referred to me as my children's birth mother.

deepfriedsage Sun 28-Jul-13 00:09:00

What a nasty bitchy way to speak about a Mother. A birth Mother would be someone who gave a baby up foradoadoption. Are these Step Mothers on the thread you mentioned former OW who want to take over a family or just odd bods?

notanyanymore Sun 28-Jul-13 00:09:42

Yes bythesea in those circs she is as it is akin to the child/ren being adopted.
Generally speaking tho that is not the case. It is no more ok for the new partner to refer to the children's mum as 'bm' then it would be for the mum to refer to her as 'ls' (latest shag).

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 28-Jul-13 00:14:02

Well - what would you prefer?

Birth? Biological?

I am someones step child. My step dad has as much right to call me his daughter as my dad does. He helped make me the adult I am today, wouldn't be the same person without him, I love him dearly.

TheFallenNinja Sun 28-Jul-13 00:14:30

It's just two words to differentiate between step and real mother.

This was raging on earlier, honestly cannot see what the problem is.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 28-Jul-13 00:15:55

I wasn't a very young child when he became a part of my life either.

My dad has always been a part of my life.

I have three parents and consider myself lucky.

deepfriedsage Sun 28-Jul-13 00:18:02

It would take a nasty hard nosed individual to downgrade a divorced Mother to birth Mother.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 28-Jul-13 00:18:10

I think if a sp has practically brought the child up from an early age, the mother has had little contact and the sp is raising the child then referring to their mum as bm seems quite fair to me. It is very similar to adoption, especially from the child pov.
If the mother is the main/primary carer it is out of order to refer to her as bm, she is the child's mother.

Caoilainn Sun 28-Jul-13 00:23:38

Applies in adoption. Mother, mum etc would apply for circumstances where you are living with step-son-daughter etc

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 28-Jul-13 00:25:03

I would be furious if i found out that anyone ever referred to me as my dcs birth mother, least of all their dad's gf (i don't see her as their sm, as she's been around less than a year) IMO there is no need for the 'birth' part, I am their Mum, pure and simple. In the future, his gf may well become their step mum, but I will still be their mum, with no need for the 'birth' definition.

I also differentiate between my parents by adding 'step' to my sm and sd, my parents are just mum and dad.

In the case of absent parents I agree this is different, and also appreciate that my opinions are just that, opinions. I'm in no what saying that my way is the right way.

Caoilainn Sun 28-Jul-13 00:30:49

I'm in a situation where ex partner has no contact with DS however he is not a sperm donor, he is DS's father.
I am DS's birth mother, but who calls it that?!
I'm his mum, if and when his birth father turns up he will be his dad!

My step parent would like to think she brought us up, perspective is an amazing thing!

My own situation is one where my DS1s birth father has had no contact with him since he was 4 days old. I would never refer to him as a sperm donor. He is still my DS's birth father, even though my DH has been there since DS was 1 yo, adopted him when we got married and is "Dad" in every important meaning of the word.
Birth mother, birth father should only be used in the context of totally absent parents, imo. And terms such as "sperm donor" only in cases of genuine, deliberate sperm donation. It's actually quite insulting to those men who go out of their way to make a donation to help an otherwise childless couple.

BramshawHill Sun 28-Jul-13 08:26:41

I've only ever heard birth mother be used to reference the woman who gave birth to the child before someone else stepping in and raising it.
Never in the situation of the 'birth mother' is still their actual parent and is raising them. I don't see much of a problem with it in that circumstance as it differentiates between the woman who gave birth and the woman who mothered them.

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 08:35:25

There is a thread in SP discussing the use of this very acronym, It's HUGE, it's at the top of the list, you can't miss it.

Why did you feel the need to bring it over here as well OP?

Next time you're 'having a nosy' how about opening your eyes at putting your big old wooden spoon away?

Or were you not satisfied that SPs were receiving enough of a bashing already?

superbagpuss Sun 28-Jul-13 08:40:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 08:52:41

I've been here a few years now and none of the seasoned stepmothers here I know use the acronym 'BM' (unless it is actually appriopriate in their case) because it has always and still does cause an absolute shit storm every time.

Every now and then someone new to the site or new to being a SP will come along and will unwittingly use it (as it is a widely used distinction between mother and stepmother elsewhere) and all this blows up again and it simply becomes yet another stick with which to beat stepmothers.

And that is why there is an enormous thread about it right now, calling for a talk guideline thingy at the top of the SP forum to warn of the extreme offence the term causes and only use it if you want to start a shit storm AGAIN.

But I guess you didn't read that OP, no?

ForgetfulNameChanger Sun 28-Jul-13 08:55:06

YANBU. You see it all over the place over there and not just to describe mums who aren't involved in the care of their child. A lot of them use it to describe the resident parent too. Its a shitty way to distinguish between stepmum and "real mother" because there is no need for that extra "bio" or "birth" in that context. There's stepmum and mum. Simple.

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Jul-13 08:56:54

I am a bit confused.
I have seen this debate rage on over the last couple of days.
I am not sure if: mothers who are still involved and share care of their children are referred to as Birth Mothers.
or
the term is only used for absent mothers.

If it is the 1st it is totally unacceptable and unnecessary
if it is the 2nd I cannot see the problem.

No one likes being referred to as a birth mother, doesn't matter how rubbish they are.
My son's birth mother doesn't like it.
In her eyes she is DS's real mummy.

She can think what she likes if it helps her. It doesn't affect me.

superbagpuss Sun 28-Jul-13 08:58:05

forgetful namechanger
please see my comments below

children should be allowed to call their mothers what they see fit

real mother is a silly term IMHO
no one is plastic

ForgetfulNameChanger Sun 28-Jul-13 09:02:59

Superbagpuss, I wasn't referring to a child choosing to call their own mother their birth mother. I was clearly referring to the adult stepmums over on that board who choose to refer to their stepchildrens mum as "birth mum" or "bio mum".

pennypence Sun 28-Jul-13 09:59:41

I'm back.

First of all no I didn't see any other thread about this subject so haven't intentionally started it on another thread to start a bun fight. So no wasn't doing it to stir Fenton!

I'm not a new poster just a name changer which I do regularly to preserve my anonymity.

I looked on the step parents forum not because I'm nosy or wish to stir but because of a situation that has come up in my life regarding my step daughter.

The posts I looked at (3) which used the term birth mother to describe the OP step child's mother only one was where the stepchild was living full time with their father and stepmother. The other 2 were where the child was living with their mother so no excuse to use such a term.

My understanding of the term is that the correct usage is to describe a parent who once conceived/give birth to the child they no longer acts as a parent to that child, whether it be because someone else is bringing the child up as in adoption or because the parent does not act like a parent, ie abusive.

Surely where the child has a mother bringing them up then the term should be 'mother'. The term birth mother or bio mother is not needed in these circumstances as I'm sure people can distinguish between stepmother and mother. Clue: the word 'step' smile

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 10:11:01

Ok if you are genuinely interested in it's use or non-use then the top thread in SP "I've asked MNHQ" discusses it at great length. It happens often that posters who have found it commonplace and accepted in other sites have made the blunder of using it here, and of course instead of getting support and advice, have created an almighty shitstorm about the use of the acronym.

The thread was started suggesting it's clear marking of just how offensive it is to use it. It's all there, no real need to bring it to AIBU, it's had plenty of traffic where it is.

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 10:12:04

Not wanting to be the thread police though, just a suggestion.

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 10:14:01

Oh and one last thing, if you go over to Lone Parents, you will see the term Bio Dad used to refer to the non-resident father.

DuttyWine Sun 28-Jul-13 10:21:36

I saw it said bm on a thread and thought it meant "baby mother"
When I realised it meant birth mother I was confused as I thought that just referred to mothers of children who had been adopted.

ForgetfulNameChanger Sun 28-Jul-13 10:27:34

Do people really use bio dad over in lone parents? I don't think I've ever seen that used there since I started posting in that section hmm

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