dsd asked to call me 'mummy'

(30 Posts)
kasareem Fri 20-Sep-13 17:38:42

Hi guys,
I just want a few opinions about how I handled this please. Dh and I got married earlier this year, and the next morning dsd sweetly announced 'now I can call you mummy!' So so sweet and I know how lucky I an to have a good relationship with her. But they lost her mum when she was 3, and we try very hard to keep her memory alive for my dsd. I feel as though being called mummy would not only confuse dsd, but would be hurtful for dh and her grandparents to hear. I suggested another name such as 'mum'. But now I'm worried that dsd may have felt pushed away or like I was distancing myself from her.
Sorry for the long post! Any thoughts or advice would be great!

I think a chat with your Dh and her gps might be worth it, you can be her mummy without forgetting and not respecting her mother, but would help if everyone was on board.

Bless her, she sounds as though she knows what she wants anyway smile you.

Smartiepants79 England Fri 20-Sep-13 18:02:14

Yes. You need to talk to your husband.
How old is she? Is she old enough to understand that her 'mummy' will always be her mummy and that it would be nice to choose a different name for you?
Personally I think you need to do what she is happiest with. Everyone else is an adult and may need to find a way to deal with the hurt, distressing as it is.

lovelyredwine Fri 20-Sep-13 18:02:24

I think it's very sweet actually. It's fantastic that she obviously loves you enough to be her mummy. I can also understand that it feels a bit awkward. Our dd calls her step grandad 'Grandad' and my DH is a bit torn as her biological grandad died before she was born. He likes the fact that she as a good relationship with him, but wishes his real dad was around to be grandad.

If your DH and her biological maternal grandparents are ok with it then I would let her carry on calling you mummy. You can still talk lots about her birth mummy and show her photos etc.

MiconiumHappens Fri 20-Sep-13 18:03:52

Such a difficult situation for everyone - would mummy in a foreign language be a compromise?

Agree with other poster about involving other family members in the decision.

Good luck OP smile

Agnesboo Fri 20-Sep-13 18:04:02

Could she call you mummykas or something?

Editededition Fri 20-Sep-13 18:12:32

Firstly, well done OP for forging what is obviously a brilliant relationship with your DSD

I am going to disagree with some, and say I don't think you should talk about it with your DH and the Grands. This is about you handling your first difficult question (and there are going to be a million more grin )
I think you have the right answer in the first place. I am assuming your DSD was fairly satisfied with the answer?
Did she choose a name?

If not, if she is still thinking, then I would just go back to her as a 1-2-1 and tell her that you have been thinking hard about her question, that you think that her mummy was her mummy and wouldn't want people like the Grands to get confused if you also have that name ....but has she thought which alternative she likes best.
I think you will find she is a lot more fine with your first response than you think .....kids deal best of all with honesty ...and you were honest flowers

kasareem Fri 20-Sep-13 19:04:37

Grrr my phone just deleted a long post I wrote!! The great thing about MN is getting so many opinions in one place, thanks for your replies! edited, this sounds stupid but I hadn't thought if simply asking her how she feels about it! She's 7 but very mature and emotionally aware, so we could have a proper conversation about it. I like the idea of using another language miconium. Dh and I are ttc, so it needs to be something dsd and future children could all use!

daisychain01 Italy Sat 21-Sep-13 19:09:21

Could you (and maybe DSD) create a special name that she can use just for you - something unique that she can always call you. This actually 'happened' for me, my DH and my DSS (i.e. it wasn't exactly planned, it just sort of evolved that I gained a special name - I'd better not say what it is, because it would well-and-truly 'out' me grin ). His mum is still very much in his life, so its a different circumstance to your's, but it really does work well for us, because it removes any possibility of divided loyalties etc and it's something he feels very comfortable about.

purpleroses Sun 22-Sep-13 09:20:14

I'd go for mum - as you suggested. It's what a lot of kids switch to anyway around her age and something your new DCs could use too. But it's a proper name for a mother - and sounds like that's what DSD wants you to be smile

BoffinMum Sun 22-Sep-13 09:30:42

Mummy Kasareen as a special version just for you? Separate from her biological mummy?

mumandboys123 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:26

presumably your partner will be happy with any new partner of his ex being called 'daddy' by his daughter in the future?

DizzySometimes Sun 22-Sep-13 17:10:41

mumandboys123 - did you not read the whole thread? The mother died when the little girl was 3, so your post is extremely insensitive.

OP - the idea of using a special name sounds like a lovely thing for you and your DSD.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 22-Sep-13 17:22:55

mumandboys - I can't think of any more evidence needed that you are only on this board because you have an axe to grind.

You neither read, nor care, about the OP's situation and there is certainly no intention to give advice - you merely trot out the same accusations and anti-SM soundbites.

Disgusting.

Editededition Sun 22-Sep-13 17:38:07

mumandboys
That takes the award for insensitivity!
Dreadful.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 22-Sep-13 17:38:31

I would tell her how much you love her and you want to be the mum in her life.
Her mummy is no longer here but loved her very much and it is important to remember her mummy.

I think a special name is lovely, but I think it is hard for you as you will be her mother. Perhaps mum and she could always refer to her departed as mummy or Mother.
As long as she remembers and she has a different name for you both, there shouldn't be a problem.
Good luck, and congrats on your wedding flowers

BoffinMum Sun 22-Sep-13 17:52:17

She's dead, mumnboys. So you put your foot right in it there. Apology to the OP in order, I think.

Bonsoir Sun 22-Sep-13 17:55:03

I beg to differ with most posters and think that the OP's DSD really should be encouraged to feel that the OP is her mother - and part of that is calling her Mummy.

By complete coincidence, I was thinking in bed this morning of a school friend of mine whose mother died when he was 5 - he was an only child. His father remarried and had four more DC with his second wife. My school friend was always slightly the left one out in his family and it made me sad for him every day.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 22-Sep-13 17:59:24

As hard as it might be for your DH & the grandparents to hear, what your DSD needs has to come first. She wants to have a Mummy/Mum that is present in her life like her friends. That doesn't mean she will forget her 'Mummy' it just means she loves you enough to want you to do the 'job', 'hold the position of' a Mummy.

She asked you earlier in the year and you are just asking about it now, what has she been calling you in the meantime??

Nyborg Sun 22-Sep-13 18:01:00

OP, what about "Mammy"? Very common in Ireland and bits of NW England.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 22-Sep-13 18:01:59

I don't think you should go for a 'foreign' version of Mummy/Mum either as it would be nice for all of your children to call you the same thing and for that word to be understood by the general public. Also, they will refer to you as their Mum/Mummy even if they call you 'insert foreign name'.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 22-Sep-13 18:04:41

I agree with Bonsoir and Chipping. She obviously wants and needs for you to be her mother. Her needs should come first.

What does she call you now?

basgetti Sun 22-Sep-13 19:50:04

I also agree with Bonsoir and Chipping.

I was a child in this situation, my mother died when I was a baby and my Dad remarried when I was 3. My stepmum did everything a mother would do and it felt natural that she became my 'mum' and that is what I have always called her.

My parents always made sure that my mother's memory was respected and we would talk about her, have photos and visit our maternal family regularly.

Over 30 years later I am still closer to my mum than anyone else in the world and she is an amazing and supportive nanna to my DS aswell. It would have been very sad for me to have been denied a 'mum' when I needed one the most just to protect the feelings of adults.

mumandboys123 Sun 22-Sep-13 20:37:58

oh god! I'm sorry - I just missed that. I didn't mean at all to be so insensitive. My sincere apologies.

FrauMoose Sun 22-Sep-13 20:45:09

Maybe what the child needs will vary at different times. My daughter used to call me by my first name - because that's what my stepchildren did. Then she switched to calling me 'Mummy' when she went to school, because that's what other children did there. And now the shorter 'Mum' is used.

I think some of it's social - if people at school say, 'I'll ask Mum' or 'Mum will go mad if I do that' - it must be hard not to be able to say that. And it would feel good to be able to refer to that person as 'Mum'. On the other hand there might be other occasions - maybe later on - when that doesn't feel like the right name.

I do think talking about it is a good idea. And it seems important to reassure the child that she's very special, and that what's important is for you to find the right words to express the close relationship. Even though somebody else mothered her first.

hermioneweasley Sun 22-Sep-13 20:45:24

Agree with others, you need to think about what's best for her. If you're planning to have more kids, I'd suggest a name that you are happy for them all to call you, and not have a different name that DSD calls you. If that's "mummy" and that's hard for her bio GPs then so be it. Talk to them and prepare them, but DSDs needs come first.

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 22-Sep-13 20:47:44

OP, it should be about what your DSD wants.

Maybe she is yearning for that her friends at school have a 'mummy'. It might be that other girls/boys in her class are talking about their DM's and she feels left out.

It sounds like the two of you ave a great relationship so that's wonderful. It must be lovely for her to have someone she feels like she can call 'mummy' after the pain of losing her own.

If you were to speak to your DH and her GP's I think it's important to exlain that you want to keep the memory of her mother alive and don't want to 'replace' her or erase her memory.

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 22-Sep-13 20:49:41

Oops, x-posted with Frau on other kids at school

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 22-Sep-13 21:00:01

IMHO you sound like an amazing stepmum and your dsd obviously loves you and has bonded well with you . I can understand how you are feeling awkward but if you are ttc and go on to have dcs , and your dsd feels she wants to call you mummy , I actually think its important that she should so as not to single her out . Your relationship has obviously been developing well and this is another part of that development . Congratulations and good luck ttc smilesmile

AmberLeaf Sun 22-Sep-13 22:22:42

I think your DSD is telling/showing you what she wants/needs.

What is right for her is the main thing and I think it would be ideal if her grandparents accepted that she wants to call you Mummy. Hopefully they will be ok with it.

You sound like you are a lovely Mummy.

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