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Step parent naming guidance needed...

(7 Posts)
washingonawednesday Mon 24-Sep-12 10:38:36

We've been together over a year. Thinking about settling down, moving in, being together. We have a child each. My son is only 20 months, not really talking, but starting to refer to other half as 'da da' (he dosent see his real dad much but does call him daddy). Other halfs son is 3- calls me my name to my face, but has started to refer to me as 'my other mummy' when I'm not around- even to his mum!

She thinks this is cute right now, but I would be going spare if my son was doing this to exH girlfriend (probably because she's the ow who split us up whereas I came on the scene months after my boyfriend and his ex split up. I also get on with his ex in the brief occasions that we've met.)

Neither of us encourage mummy or daddy with the other ones child, but we spend the whole time calling each other mummy and daddy to the correct child (if you see what I mean)

Should we be led by the kids or enforce a different name for each others children that is special to them, but not mummy or daddy?

I've spoken to friends with step parents and apparently you can get trouble down the line with 2 'mummy's' and 2 'daddy's'

Any advice?

purpleroses Mon 24-Sep-12 11:09:34

I would teach them to call you by your first name, but to refer to you as "my stepmum" or "my stepdad" if they're talking about you to other people rather than "my other mummy".

I think you're right that letting them call you mummy or daddy can cause a lot of stress regarding the real mummy or daddy - and it's all quite uneccesary as they can still develop a strong relationship with you without needing to confuse the name they use for you with the one that they use for someone else.

I'm not sure I really believe you can be "led by the child" when they're that young - they need you to teach them what to call the people around them in order to understand how they relate to them, and to learn that they have another parent even if they feel closer to the step parent.

UC Mon 24-Sep-12 11:10:11

Personally I would be led by the children.

I have DSs and DSSs. In his school book, DSS2 had to write about his family. He said he had 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 brothers, 2 mums and 1 dad. That's how he sees it. And this is from a child who is very very close to his mum. Like you, I get on well with his mum, which makes things much easier. She knows that I would never tread on her mum toes. It sounds as though, if your DP's ex thinks it is cute, she understands and is secure in her position as his mummy.

This may sound harsh, but I think give some thought in relation to your son potentially calling your exH's girlfriend a mum-like name. Try not to bring your feelings into it. You have an issue with it because she was the OW. Try not to let this colour how you help your son adjust - if she is around to stay he will have a relationship with her, and it is better if they get on. I don't think you can have one rule in your house (i.e. your son can call your DP dada) and enforce something different at your exH's house. Others may strongly disagree, but I think that this is something you just can't control and trying to do so will mean expending energy that will just get you nowhere other than stressed and resentful. Try to let it go is my advice. Just as your DP's ex is letting it go.

I have found that all my DSs and DSSs know exactly who is who, and who is their mum and dad, so I wouldn't be worried about any "trouble down the line" if everyone is secure and comfortable.

upanddown83 Mon 24-Sep-12 11:16:01

I personally don't like the 2 mummies and 2 daddies thing my dsd calls me by my Christian name and nos that's what to call me if we are out and people think I am her mother she will correct them no that's not my mummy that's my (my name) she is 4.5 and very aware of the situation yet it has never been brought up as her has a mummy and it is not me! On the other hand my friends son also 4.5 years calls her partner of 3 years daddy as he has very little contact with his bio dad and this is not a problem at all not even for the bio dads family who see the boy weekly every family is different u just have to go with wot works for u.

MovingonAgain Mon 24-Sep-12 11:17:39

Oh please! Of course you can have more than one mummy or daddy! As a foster carer of babies awaiting adoption it's good they get to know that "mums & dads" are main care givers .... The main point is that these children of OP & her partner feel secure enough to call her / him mummy daddy without worrying they are upsetting others.... As for having positive relations with partners ex... That's unusual and worth hanging on to! IMO for what's it worth ... Having had 15 years plus experience of fostering ... Four BC ... 6 GC and 2 stepchildren .... Is as long as it feels right and relaxed then it is! Good luck x

littlebluechair Mon 24-Sep-12 13:52:09

Say nothing to them about what they 'should' or 'must' call you but whenever you are speaking stick rigidly to 'firstname' and 'stepmum' if that is your choice.

Children try out all sorts of names as they go through the process of working it all out, best advice is to worry not at all as it means nothing. It only means something/causes problems if you yourself refer to yourself as 'other mummy' or whatever.

washingonawednesday Mon 24-Sep-12 16:54:58

Interesting points of view. We're getting in on the ground floor as it were, as both our kids are so young, and yes I plan to keep brig friendly with my boyfriends ex, as neither one of us has done any harm to the other and they split on good terms do I don't see an animosity in the future hopefully.

I suspect it may change whe we move in and are all spending more time together, and I think I'm inclined to folks the boys lead for now. Whe. My son can really talk, we'll see what he calls my boyfriend, and I'll try to steer him away from daddy, perhaps towards 'daddy- name' and then his real daddy can be just daddy. However he is just about to have another baby. Contact is dropping more and more and it may well turn out that his step dad will end up being the only daddy he has- poor little thing!

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