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to not like the term step-mum/dad when the person has not brought up the child/ren

(245 Posts)
springydaffs Mon 11-Jul-11 10:04:34

I don't like ex's wife being called my children's step-mother. She isn't their 'mother', step or otherwise, she is their dad's wife. If she had brought them up, either because their father got custody or I was dead, then she should be called their step-mother, but not if all she did was marry their dad. Similarly, I don't expect my future husband to be called their step-father - 'mum's husband' is sufficient, hardly a mouthful.

FetchezLaVache Mon 11-Jul-11 10:05:31

YABU. She's step-mother on the strength of being married to the kids' dad, not on the strength of her relationship with them.

cloudydays Mon 11-Jul-11 10:11:26

I can see where you're coming from. As Fetchez says, and as I know you realise, common usage of the term refers just to the fact that she is the father's husband, not to the strength of the relationship, but YANBU for not liking it.

I'd feel the same as you in your position, I'm sure.

blubell Mon 11-Jul-11 10:12:17

YABU. It's complicated enough for children in separation situations without having to grade the amount of involvement of new partners/husbands/wifes. I have never lived with my fathers wife but she is still my step mum.

houseelfheave Mon 11-Jul-11 10:12:40

I find this a really strange thread, sorry. I've been a step mum for 9 years and neither my DSD or her Mum have a problem with calling me that, in the same way that my DH isn't at all bothered that she refers to her Mum's new DH as a stepdad. It doesn't come up, really as DSD calls me and her step dad by our first names. Its mum and 'name' and Dad and houseelfheave.

Having a step mother or a step father doesn't diminish the mum or dad in any way.

Reality Mon 11-Jul-11 10:13:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reality Mon 11-Jul-11 10:14:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TyMinisterForMagic Mon 11-Jul-11 10:15:06

I have a new 'step mother' I am 25! [hhmm]

swallowedAfly Mon 11-Jul-11 10:15:40

Message withdrawn

mumblebum Mon 11-Jul-11 10:15:48

I always say "Dad's Wife" rather than "Step Mum" I was practically an adult when they got together and definitely was when they got married so it just didn't seem right somehow. She was quite happy about this because she felt she was too young to be my Mum anyway LOL.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Jul-11 10:16:31

YABU... The only qualification needed to be a step parent is that you've married the biological parent.

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 11-Jul-11 10:16:51

I suppose in the extreme cases like Reality's it's perhaps appropriate just to refer to them as 'my dad's wife' or similar. But generally speaking, they're a step-parent by virtue of marriage and even when they're not resident with the child, they usually have some kind of regular contact via their spouse. My stepmother is just that, despite only being around her one weekend in three as a child. OTOH I often refer to my stepdad (resident) as 'my dad' when talking to others and he and my mother as 'my parents' because that's the role they primarily fill. So more the other way really!

itisnearlysummer Mon 11-Jul-11 10:16:56

How old are the children?

My dad's been married to his second wife for a long time.

However, she is not my step-mother because my brother and I were in our late teens when they got together.

My dad is still my dad but she is his wife. Not my step mother.

Disasterpiece Mon 11-Jul-11 10:17:55

How old were the children when their father and his wife got together?

Just wondering as acquaintances call my mums partner my step dad even though they are not married and got together after I had moved out of my mums house...

He is not my step dad in any way shape or form.

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Mon 11-Jul-11 10:18:33

I could never refer to my dad's wife as my step-mother, she's 5 years younger than me sad

rebecca71 Mon 11-Jul-11 10:19:15

If you are talking about a situation when the step-parent comes into your kids' life after they are grown-up, then I can kind of see where you are coming from but YABU if you generally object to the term otherwise.

The "step" bit already indicates that it's a 'lesser' relationship than actual parent, but most step-mums and step-dads spend quality time with their step-children, have good relationships with them and work hard to do their best for their stepchildren, regardless of the fact that they don't have custody or that there's a birth-mum still alive. It is insulting to assume otherwise and presumably you would WANT your child's step-parent to have a positive relationship with them, and not just be some random adult knocking around that happens to be married to their other parent??

blubell Mon 11-Jul-11 10:19:59

Exactly Reality, he is their daddy, the person who loves you and looks out for you, brings you up is mum or dad, and calling someone step mum or dad does not take anything away from that which I feel is what the OP maybe feels...

swallowedAfly Mon 11-Jul-11 10:22:26

Message withdrawn

I do see where you're coming from, but I think it does depend on their relationship. My Mum got together with my SDad when I was 18. I don't call him 'Dad', but I'm happy to describe him as my SDad and he calls me his daughter, but we have an ongoing relationship as I see him as often as I see my Mum. On the other hand, I don't have a real relationship with my 'real' Dad so when he remarried I would never have described his wife as my SMum, or her children my Step siblings (and I would have got very shirty if she'd presumed any kind of relationship with me - I don't know her!)

If your DCs still have a relationship with their Dad, then they will have a relationship with his wife and SMum is appropriate whether you like it or not, and your DP will be their SDad unless you are going to actively prevent them having that sort of relationship (which is a bit sad don't you think?)

Obviously I'm presuming your DCs are young and at home. If they're older then all this is moot. They'll decide how to describe their relationships, just as I did.

PotterWatch Mon 11-Jul-11 10:24:21

YANBU, dad/mums wife/husband should be just fine. I am 29 and I don't refer to my dads long time partner as my step mum, she is dads partner and thats it.

I fme and DH ever split, I don't want some other woman being my childrens step mother, she will be (ex) DH's wife, same if I met someone else, they wouldn't be step dad, they would be mums husband.

An ex friend of mine married her cousins (ex) DH (they had been having an affair), the new step dad was originally 'Uncle xxx' as he was around a lot and was godfather (not surprising since he was shagging their mum) then when they moved in together, the mum insisted that he be called 'Daddy xxx' and they started referring to their real dad as 'Daddy xxx' also, now their step dad and real dad are both just dad. Its wrong I think, the DD found it especially confusing.

HelloKlitty Mon 11-Jul-11 10:24:36

YANBU. I don't like the term Mother in law for the same reason....or Father in law. They're not MY Mother and Father!

yearningforthesun Mon 11-Jul-11 10:28:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dolldaggabuzzbuzz Mon 11-Jul-11 10:29:12

YANBU. A step mother is involved in their step child's upbringing. My DDs call their dad's wife by her first name. They see her as their friend and their dad's wife. She has had no involvement in their upbringing. Neither has their dad since they were age 2 and 3! My youngest DD (18) now calls her dad by his name.

blubell Mon 11-Jul-11 10:29:18

Swallowedafly, does your son not call your parents Grandma and Grandad then? Aren't they the same kind of titles?

swallowedAfly Mon 11-Jul-11 10:35:37

Message withdrawn

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