Not Sure What To Do!

(41 Posts)
GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 18:40:13


Have namechanged for this post, although haven't posted on this thread for a while!

Backstory: Extremely hostile ex-wife - horribly controlling to the point of trying to control what DSD (8) eats / wears / sleeps etc when she's with us. (I wouldn't necessarily mind except she's saying things like she needs biscuits throughout the day and before bed) A lot she says I feel verges on parents alienation towards him and you can tell it gets to DSD because she cries and gets upset when she says things her mum has told her to my DP.

Anyway... I've known her since she was 3 and I have a child with my partner now also.

This week she's with us for a week which is the longest BM has ever "allowed" her to stay... (not for the want of asking)

So dilemma: this morning DSD asks me if she can call me "Mum" when she's hear. I literally didn't know what to say. I ended up saying that she can call me whatever she feels comfortable calling me and if she wants to stick to GreenAndSilverBoxes she can do that... so all day now she's been calling me mum. Now don't get me wrong I've known this kid for years and I would say I do love her and having her here... but I know this is going to cause absolute hell with BM.

Her and DP are due at court soon and I think this is all going to explode!

Any idea how I should have played it? Should I have said no? I didn't want to say no in case it made her feel bad 😞 help!

OP’s posts: |
AWomanIsAnAdultHumanFemale Wed 01-Aug-18 18:45:15

You should have told her “no, I’m not your mum, you have a Mum, call me greenandsilverboxes” obviously!

And you should stop referring to her Mum as BM.

Fluffypinkpyjamas Wed 01-Aug-18 18:48:16

You should have said along the lines of “no because you already have a mummy sweetheart”. If the ex wife is hostile already then prepare for it to get a hell of a lot worse. You’re not her mum and it’s very unfair to all involved .

Aprilshowersinjuly Wed 01-Aug-18 18:52:10

Could you create a nickname that only she gets to call you instead?
Unless ww3 is your goal.

GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 18:55:08

No this is what I mean I was totally put on the spot... I didn't know what to say, I froze.

OP’s posts: |
upsideup Wed 01-Aug-18 18:58:35

I think you did the right thing, she should call you whatever she feels comfortable saying as long as she knows you are her step mum not her mum.
Does she not have a good relationship with her mum or is that just with you and your DP?

GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 19:04:18

I honestly could cry I am so stressed out. I came out of nowhere and to be honest it's not something I've ever gave thought to before... I've known her so long and it's never came up before. Part of me wondered if it's because she's here and misses saying the word "mum"? Or maybe copying her half sibling calling me mum?

When she asked me and my first response was silence she followed up with "only when I'm here I mean"

She's got a brilliant relationship with her mum...and with her dad separately and they keep the ongoing hostility away from her. So I don't even think she's aware of any bad feeling between them.

OP’s posts: |


PrettyLovely Wed 01-Aug-18 19:09:13

You didnt do anything wrong, You are going with what the child wants, BUT I have to admit I wouldnt like it, Its a really tricky situation.
Do you think she wants to call you Mum whilst shes with you to maybe "fit in to the new family dynamic" since you have had a baby together and you now have the name Mummy to your new child?

Moussemoose Wed 01-Aug-18 19:09:51

Sometimes when put on the spot you say what you think will make someone happy and that's ok.

However, I do think the idea of a special nickname is the best way to go. You could have a chat with sd saying it's lovely she wants to call you mum, but she has a mum so could you try out some different special names.

Make it a game today you can call me 'Greyandsilver bunny' or whatever.

Perhaps you could give her a special name too - I don't know, but I think mum is best avoided.

Don't beat yourself up, you are doing your best which is all any of us can do.

user1493413286 Wed 01-Aug-18 19:13:35

I completely understand why you said yes but I think you and her dad need to sit down and explain that as lovely as it is that she wants to call you mum, that she only has one mum and she would probably be upset if she was calling someone else mum so it might be best to keep to your name.
I think it’s quite fair for a parent to be upset if their child is calling someone else mum.

GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 19:25:26

I get why her mum would be upset (I'd find that tough if it was my child) but like I say I just didn't know what to do, and if I'm being honest I thought she might get over it after trying it on for size a couple times...

I think tomorrow I'll maybe say to her that I think although we tried it yesterday I think we can maybe come up with some special nicknames for each other as she's already got a mum that loves her and I'm always here as GreenAndSilverBoxes as and when she needs me...

I totally fucked up 😭 I feel terrible.

OP’s posts: |
PrettyLovely Wed 01-Aug-18 19:31:32

"I totally fucked up 😭 I feel terrible."

You didnt you were put on the spot, Its such a difficult situation, I would point out to her how lucky she is to have both Mum and a Stepmum that love her, She obviously wants to feel included in being a part of your family its a lovely thing.

Moussemoose Wed 01-Aug-18 19:32:57

You didn't fuck up. You wanted her to be happy and made a mistake. It would be a fuck up if you left it at that.

Now make a plan for tomorrow you still have time to sort it out. Make a list of silly nicknames and try a different one every hour. Make it fun, make it silly, laugh about it.

Some other poster will come along with a better idea, try that out.

It's only a fuck up if you leave it.

rainingcatsanddog Wed 01-Aug-18 19:47:25

You didn't fuck up.
It's fine to say you thought about it and would rather have a different special name.

GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 20:05:09

Okay so she just came up and said "blah blah blah mum" and I was like "how has mum been calling me today? I think it would be fun trying something else out tomorrow? Will we try some cool funny names and see if they go well?" And she came up with a few and has moved on to calling me another.

She knows she has a mum, she knows I'm not her mum... but I didn't want to tell her no you can't call me that in case she felt pushed out. She's here EOW and half holidays (although usually only 4/5 days at a time consecutively) and she's got a sibling here calling me mum so I guess I just panicked about her feeling outside. Even though she's not? sad

OP’s posts: |
GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 21:09:05

She went back to it at bedtime sad

I explained again and she seemed to get it.

I suppose we'll have to explain this to her mum before DSD does?

How do I even start! I'm actually scared of her reaction.

OP’s posts: |
Minesalargeginplease Wed 01-Aug-18 21:40:51

I had similar, SS is 9 (know him since 3.5) said I was the best mum in the world. To save any potential backlash I explained he had a mum and I'd be upset if DD said that about another woman and left it there. They are people and entitled to their own opinions, it should be the child's choice and what makes them comfortable without disrespecting bio mum x

PrettyLovely Wed 01-Aug-18 21:48:09

Its such a difficult situation, have you thought of any other names she could call you?

GreenAndSilverBoxes Wed 01-Aug-18 21:54:58

There's been a few like "princess XXXXX" and her friend lord Xxxx" and "CHARACTER ON TV" with "CHARACTER ON TV FRIEND"

I cried about it to DP too. He says he'll chat to her but I feel like that will be too official and I should say again casually about it.

We have a great DSD relationship, but trust me it's been tough. I faced the MN fury back in the day and worked through it emotionally to feel the way I do about her now (didn't come natural for either to start)

OP’s posts: |
PrettyLovely Wed 01-Aug-18 22:07:22

"I cried about it to DP too. He says he'll chat to her but I feel like that will be too official and I should say again casually about it."

I totally agree with you here! Yes be really casual about it, You dont want her to think she is wrong and pushed out.

You sound like a great StepMum, you really think about her feelings.
You will figuire it out, Try not to worry smile

babysleeper Wed 01-Aug-18 22:12:46

I agree, keep it casual. You could both think of one nickname together?
It is very hard, I have a DSS who's 4 and has two half sisters (one from his mum and one from me). There's no right or wrong, every family is different and we learn as we go.
You sound very caring and I can see why she associates you as a Mum figure!
Keep going OP, you're doing a great job!

RandomMess Wed 01-Aug-18 22:20:16

I love how the Ex's feelings matter more than the child's...

TooSassy Wed 01-Aug-18 22:33:01

Oh Op. You haven’t messed up.
We’ve all been put on the spot and with hindsight thought I should have handled that better. IMO, what you did was far better than an outright ‘no’. The thought of anyone saying that to a child is clearly putting adult lenses on the situation and not taking at all into account what may be going through that child’s mind to make them say that.

The reality is that she is looking for reassurance. Normality and a sense of belonging. You have a baby with her dad who does get to call you mummy. I sense that there is a part of her who wants to know she belongs and is just as important. Thank goodness you did not say ‘no, you already have a mum’. (Worst advice ever IMO, utterly heartless and self serving).

I think the advice of playing with a nickname is great fun. Pay the ‘mum’ comment minimal attention, the bigger you make it the more you reinforce it. This simply could be a passing phase and you turn the focus onto a game around names.

Personally I think if it makes the child happy, what’s the problem? Far too many insecure people in this world. Children know who their mothers are. This isn’t about that.

greenlanes Wed 01-Aug-18 22:34:12

Sorry I don't think you fucked up at all. I think you manipulated a young child. Any adult with any decency would know that to agree to that statement, if it was ever made, would know how inappropriate it was. You disdain for this child's real mother shines through in your opening post. And the subsequent pity me posts are disgusting. No matter what subsequent children you have produced with this child's father you are not her mother. Deal with it so this child knows that. You can be a special person in her life, a bonus parent, but not her mother.

TooSassy Wed 01-Aug-18 22:40:56

I Was wrong. The last post was the worst advice ever. Ignore it OP. You didn’t manipulate the poor child.

<<peers outside for full moon>>

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