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Step mum or 2nd mum(120 Posts)
What do you go by?
Personally I hate the name step mother, I prefer 2nd mum.
What do your step children prefer to call you? What do you call them?
Neither unless the Mum is dead or given up contact and responsibility with the kids
DSS both refer to me and DH collectively as their parents, as they also do for their mum and stepdad. I expect they refer to me on my own as their stepmum but I don't remember ever hearing it - but things like cards for Mothers Day.or Christmas are Mum cards.
It's things like this that I pray my ex indeed wants nothing to do with our son, I'd cry myself to sleep each night if my son referred to another woman as Mum/mummy....sounds pathetic however, I am not carrying him for 9 months, worrying over him, giving up everything for him, for him to go & call another woman Mum.
If I met a guy with kids, I'd actively encourage them to call me by my name & not refer to me as their mother given that their own mother would be upset by it.
They have a mother and it is not you. I'm surprised you think this is appropriate.
My oh child calls me by my name. I haven't got any children of my own but i love her so so much, however I imagine it's difficult enough knowing your child is spending time with another woman let alone then calling her mum!
2nd mum is inappropriate if their birth mum is still in the picture.
You can prefer it all you like. Doesn't mean they'll call you that.
Use my name & refer to me as Dad's wife. Clear boundaries on both sides....
My OH's child is not talking yet but it'll be my first name only when he does.
He already has a mum, he doesn't need another one. I'm there to play, cuddle, guide, etc but I'm not and never will be his mum.
I'm assuming you mean how to refer to yourself rather than how to get the children to refer to you?? I hope you are, anyway. The children should call you by your name unless they choose to do something different. I can see how, for clarity or whatever you might call yourself a step mother but it's rare you would need to-'my husband's children' can usually be worked into a convo as opposed to it being about your role. As others have said, if these children have their mother still, you are not her.
They call me by my first name, refer to me as their parent, or step mum. I can't think of any other suitable terminology. Referring to me as 'Dad's wife' would not be reflective of our relationship, or my contribution to their childhood, but I can see that for some it might be.
I have never asked their mum what she thinks I should be called, her other child calls me AuntyCern, and my child calls her AuntyX, it's all focused on what is ultimately best for the collective children, but wasn't actively planned ISWIM.
My kids call my DH by his name and their dad's DP by her name.
I have heard them refer to step-mum/dad when explaining their family relationships to others.
We have occasionally had "your dad" about DH from total outsiders when we are out in a family situation, I feel uncomfortable about it but just let it go as there is nothing to be gained in explaining the situation. The kids don't appear to be bothered.
Without sounding contentious - there is the issue of the feelings of any bio children of the 'step mum' and father. If I were the 'ours' child (sorry if anyone finds that phrase offensive but it is commonly used) I would feel inadequate that my mum was referring to another woman's child as 'equal' to me.
I'll probably get shot down on here for saying that but it is another angle. Children of divorce generally have two sets of 'carers' including second wives and husbands to give love and care, and extended numbers of grandparents etc. 'Ours' child/ren don't and I think the differences are important.
Why wouldn't it be appropriate to call yourself stepmum even if the mum is still in the picture?
Think I've read it all now. user are you actually suggesting that children on non-separated parents are somehow disadvantaged because they only have one set of parents?
It depends on age, circumstances, involvement in the child's life. When the kids are small, I think in most circumstances it would be innappropriate because 1/it is confusing to the child and 2/ it is undermining the mother.
However, if mum is fine with it, and/or when the kids are older, the relationship with step-mum is a positive one and there is a lot of affection/love going both way, then I think it can become a very appropriate way to refer to the step-mum, assuming this is prompted by the kids.
My dd calls my dh papa and her dad daddy. Everyone is happy with this (her choice of name). It reflects the parental role he has since we have her most of the time.
I'd be happy for her to call her stepmum a version of mum but she uses her name by choice (at least at the moment) - I assume because she sees her less often.
To me she has 2 dads and 2 mums. I don't feel valued less / protective over a mum title. She can love us all.
needsahalo - no I'm not saying that at all. But I read a lot on here about 'treating all kids equally no matter what' which I do disagree with (waiting for the MN onslaught now) particularly in a materialistic sense. For instance, Xmas and birthdays generally see children of divorce receiving more presents simply by virtue of the fact they have two families. Same with two sets of holidays, a bedroom at each house etc etc.
My point is that I would always differentiate 'identities' between biological and stepchildren (in my circumstance). They have a mother - I don't need to fulfil that role nor would they want me to.
My eldest gets the benefit of more material things. My youngest gets both parents everyday. I know which I'd choose. (Although divorcing first dh was still a good idea)
My dh and I still don't differentiate between them as much as possible.
DisneyMillie - sounds like you have the balance just right which is great. Back to the original point though- as the 'biological child' I would be pretty put out to hear my mum referring to her stepchildren as 'her children' with no differentiation - as there are usually (and not in every case) many many practical differences between bio and steps - how much time they spend at a particular home being the main (or indeed having 'two homes' in the first place!) I acknowledge that COD don't choose this situation for themselves but it is unrealistic (for many, not all) to keep the illusion that all is the same and equal. It's not - on both sides.
By my name when talking to me or someone who knows us, stepmum if explaining who I am.
You need to offer more info about your relationship with the step kids.
My kids' step mum has never performed "mum duty" and done stuff like cooked them a meal, offered advice or looked after them when ill.
There are ladies on here who do childcare without the father present for free. The mum may not be in picture and I'd understand that if you're on that end of the spectrum then you might want a word that was more (step)mum than step mum.
What do your step kids call you?