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dsd called me mum and I handled it wrong.

(33 Posts)
NachoAddict Sat 15-Jun-13 22:33:00

Brief background, dp and I have been together 3 years, we have ds almost 1, dsd 5, my Dd 5 and ds 8.

We get on well with dp ex everything is amicable.

Over the last year I have spent a lot of time caring for dsd along with my children. Often at ex's request but always with her knowledge. We have also spent a lot of time just me, dsd and baby so have become quite close.

Ex has had a baby very recently and for various reasons dsd has spent a lot of time either with us or Mil. I am aware that she may be feeling pushed out so have been making a special effort to make sure she feels loved, happy etc when she is with us.

Today dp was at Mils doing her garden and I was home with all 4 children. The girls were playing upstairs when dsd called down "mummy", I assumed it was part of her game with Dd so ignored it and she shouted again. "mummy, can we have a drink please?"

I just said ok and took them a drink. I know I should have corrected her but I don't want her to feel rejected here if she is already feeling pushed out at home.

How should I handle this...

RandomMess Sat 15-Jun-13 22:36:19

Why make an issue of it?

It's probably just easier/habit to call out mummy etc

She knows who her "mummy" is and I'm sure she won't let it slip out in front of her Mum.

Fairy130389 Sat 15-Jun-13 22:38:57

I think you are going to get a lot of responses to this and tbh I dont think there is a right or wrong answer.

Personally, I think you can be guided by the child. I will probably be flamed for daring to suggest that step mother can be regarded as a 'mother' in own right but she has chosen to call you this, no pursuasion and so I think let it go. It may not even continue.

Perhaps if it makes you uncomfortable or her mum has a real real issue with it, you and DSD could come up with a special name for you together? I.e nachomummy or mummy x etc.

RandomMess Sat 15-Jun-13 22:41:06

I suppose I'm of the opinion that the label mummy actually means - "oi you general slave person""

nurseneedshelp Sat 15-Jun-13 22:41:29

You sound like an amazing step mum!

I wish I had the same connection with my dss :-(

I wouldn't worry about not correcting her, it was probably done in all innocence anyway.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 15-Jun-13 22:44:12

No experience of step children and step parenting so spectacularly unqualified for commenting never stopped me before so I'm going to whisper this

i think that sounds quite sweet

OhBuggerandArse Sat 15-Jun-13 22:44:23

I used to call my (male) history teacher at school 'mummy' at least once a month by accident. Don't make a big deal out of it yet - may just have been a slip of the tongue, she may just have been experimenting.

ThisIsMummyPig Sat 15-Jun-13 22:45:09

My kids call me by my first name when we are out, because that is what everyone else calls me. I suspect you DSD is just fitting in.

(I thought you were going to post that you had a go at her in an I'm not your mummy style - I think you did well)

NachoAddict Sat 15-Jun-13 22:48:10

Haha random you are probably right re random slave person!

Thanks nurse, I do my best and it hasn't always been plain sailing but I think being fair to the point of silly has paid off. Kids pick up on any unfairness so quickly so being fair all of the time and treating them all the same seems to be working.

Fairy, I think that is what I am worried about, that her mum would have a problem with it if she found out. It probably won't continue though.

NachoAddict Sat 15-Jun-13 22:52:00

Sorry cross posted there.

I am glad you all seem to think that it is fairly innocent, I thought I would get a flaming for not correcting her and therefore over stepping the mark etc etc.
Hearts I agree it is sweet. She is lovely, well most of the time, they ALL have their moments.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 23:01:37

She is very little- as a teacher I often get called 'mummy'- it is a lot to remember when you are doing other things.

Ponders Sat 15-Jun-13 23:04:47

IMO her saying it once might have been a slip of the mind, but repeating it must have been deliberate

I also think it's very sweet & a tribute to your relationships smile

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 15-Jun-13 23:08:44

I think you should be pleased.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 15-Jun-13 23:15:28

I spent a while studying this as part of a module on step children and mental health etc.

It's a tribute to you and your relationship. She repeated it, so it's unlikely to be a mistake. I think you handled it perfectly - she knows what a mummy is and has chosen to acknowledge that you are one of her mummies. It's her choice to make. Enjoy it. It sounds very sweet, and you sound like you deserve it!

NachoAddict Sat 15-Jun-13 23:20:41

Thank you all for being kind about it. I was secretly flattered and proud but I don't want to rock the boat when things are going well with the ex.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 15-Jun-13 23:22:41

I think you handled it (and everything else!!) just fine smile

I'd just keep ignoring it for now and see how it goes, if you don't comment she might just revert to 'oi you' grin

I think it's hard when you have your own kids, his kids, joint kids to both be Mummy & Nacho, Daddy & Chip, Mummy & Daddy... (and kids do have a tendency to call any female Mummy when they aren't concentrating). I work with children and frequently get called Mummy and most of the time they don't even notice they've done it.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 15-Jun-13 23:25:38

...but as others have said, she did repeat it - so maybe she was 'trying it on for size' in which case you are going to have to think about how to handle it because even though it is sweet and lovely that she thinks of you as one of her slaves mummies - if it's going to hurt her Mummy it's not really fair to allow it to continue - which is a shame because it should be child-led but most of us would be upset in her shoes.

Kaluki Sat 15-Jun-13 23:32:32

How do you think DPs ex and your own dc will react? If they will be ok with it then let it go. In my experience though it may ruffle a few feathers.
My dc would be upset if the sdc called me Mummy. They are quite territorial about me and their dad.
The DSC call their mum's bf daddy (they were told to by his ex) and it hurts my DP a lot and confuses them too.
My dad would have been devastated if I'd ever called my stepdad 'dad'. He used to get upset if I ever referred to him as my 'real' dad. In his eyes he was my only dad and that needed no explanation!

exoticfruits Sun 16-Jun-13 06:57:15

It was a one off kaluki, there was no need to make a big deal of it and make DSD feel she did something wrong, that was what I assumed the OP was going to be about in the 'handled badly'. Obviously if she carries on OP needs to have a quiet word and gently explain- but not in that situation.

StrawberryMojito Sun 16-Jun-13 07:06:16

I'm glad you didn't correct her there and then if she is feeling a bit vulnerable. It's a massive compliment to you really.

However, if it continues, maybe get your DH to have the chat with her. It might feel less of a rejection coming from him.

Jaynebxl Sun 16-Jun-13 07:16:57

She may have said it by accident or she may have said it to test your relationship a bit, to see if she actually could call you mum. She may feel a little left out that the others do and may just want to be the same as them. I think it is lovely and I wouldn't make anything of it, to her. I know a couple of blended families where the children call both their stepdad and their bio dad "dad" and seem to be happy with that.

Jaynebxl Sun 16-Jun-13 07:18:32

And personally I think if her bio mum hears and gets upset she needs to get over it and acknowledge that the little girl and her feelings of acceptance and belonging come first.

LtEveDallas Sun 16-Jun-13 07:25:55

At that age DSD used to call me mum if we were out together, and if someone commented in a 'your mum' way wouldn't correct them. I think she just found it easier sometimes.

We used to laugh if strangers commented on looks "Don't you look like your mum" and "No mistaking your mum" - we do look very similar (DH obviously has a 'type' smile)

NachoAddict Sun 16-Jun-13 08:49:54

I will see what happens today. Dp quite likes that she called me mummy, he always gets misty eyed when he sees her sat on my knee etc, I think he is just happy that she does slot in and is happy with us.

If my kids called their step mum mummy I would probably be jealous buy really I just want my kids to be happy where ever they are and surely if they are comfortable enough to call her that, it means they live her so its a good thing? BUT of course not everyone thinks like that so if it carries on I think we will have to come up with a sensetive way to address it. I like the idea of a special name for me.

It may seem Daft to worry but although we are all getting on well now, ex is the type to restrict access when she doesn't like something and so I am wary of setting her off.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Jun-13 09:09:07

If she might restrict access I would be very wary and have the quiet word, if she makes a habit of it.

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