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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.

TalkativeJim Sun 28-Jul-13 18:13:06

If she's absent from the child's life and someone else has effectively been the child's mother, then the term birth mother makes sense.

If not, then all it does is make the person using the term look nasty, and if it's the step-mother/father's partner, it makes them look screamingly insecure about their place in the family set-up.

A very loaded term.

Tuckshop Sun 28-Jul-13 16:55:23

The other thread has gone a bit weird.

I said on that, and another thread, that BM is absolutely fine in the right context. In the context of a mum who is involved then there is no need to use it at all and therefore no need to use the acronym. And while it doesn't particularly press any buttons for me, I can see why it could if it were used in an inflammatory way.

I've been a SM for many years and on here for nearly as long and not once have felt the need, when I've talked about things on threads to use anything other than dsd's mum or dh's ex or found that an acronym was helpful to avoid any confusion.

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Sun 28-Jul-13 15:03:35

Unless it is deliberately done to offend then I can't see how it matters really.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 28-Jul-13 14:30:08

Regina - exactly. It has been mentioned on both threads, several times! People refusing to see that it can be both offensive and accurate given different situations are not helping.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 28-Jul-13 14:28:34

There again my DC will never have a step mum or step dad, as this is something me and DH has discussed before having children

McNewPants - I admire your belief in this statement, but really, don't you think 99% of now divorced/separated parents thought or said this too? It's not exactly something you set out to have.

zatyaballerina Sun 28-Jul-13 14:22:48

yanbu, unless the child has been put up for adoption, it's mother.

KirjavaTheCat Sun 28-Jul-13 13:17:24

I would feel pretty shit if I was referred to as my children's birth mother. I am their mother, no pre-fix necessary. It's not the end of the world, but it would feel as though his new girlfriend/wife was belittling my role in my own children's lives whilst reaffirming her own. Pretty nasty imo.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 28-Jul-13 13:13:08

My eldest stepson lives with us. I would refer to his Mum as his Mum generally, but many people assume I am his Mum and I need to set that straight, by saying I am his step Mum. I can't stand his Mum (nor she me) but I couldn't imagine calling her his birth mother.

My 15 year old, however, has me in his phone as "Birth Giver" hmm

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 13:07:11

I don't get the offence, either.
I know it wouldn't bother me if DC had a step-mum.

McNewPants2013 Sun 28-Jul-13 13:02:35

I would be hurt if I was ever referred as a birth mum, I am a mother. But it depends on where the mother is. If she is absent than the title fits perfect.

I used to hate it when his bio dad was called his real dad, until I pointed out his adoptive dad was his real dad even if you don't share DNA.

There again my DC will never have a step mum or step dad, as this is something me and DH has discussed before having children.

ReginaPhilangie Sun 28-Jul-13 12:54:26

Every situation should be looked at differently, it depends doesn't it. At my DSD's 18 birthday meal, she introduced me and her dad as "this is my stepmum and dad" and her mother as "and this is my birth mother". Says it all really doesn't it.

OliviaIsOffTheGinMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 28-Jul-13 12:50:16

Talk guidelines for anyone who may need a quick reminder

Fenton Sun 28-Jul-13 12:34:30

Plus they might not want to be accused of being nosy by going over to the SP site as I was by you.

pardon me, but you said in your first post you were 'having a nosy on the step parents board'

which is why when I mentioned it in my post i put it in speech marks - your words, not mine.

So don't come over all the injured party here. I am merely sick of a whole area of this board being picked on, mocked and berated.


pennypence Sun 28-Jul-13 10:56:13

Anyway I'll bow out of this post now.

pennypence Sun 28-Jul-13 10:55:13

Fenton - thank you for your suggestion. However I'll decide whether there's a real need to bring it over to AIBU as I'm sure many people won't have seen the post on SP especially as the title doesn't give any indication of what the post is about. Plus they might not want to be accused of being nosy by going over to the SP site as I was by you.

As you say you're not the thread police so why did you feel the need to be so offensive towards me? Apparently I'm nosy and a stirrer according to you.

You could have simply posted to say that they is already a thread on SP about this subject.

As I'm not a lone parent presumably you'll also call me nosy if I go on that forum and read some of the posts?

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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".

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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