Should I let my step-daughter call me mummy?

(127 Posts)
BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 20:52:52

My stepdaughter is 5 y/o, she has known me for over a year now, my partner has 50/50 custody and we all live together- she has her own bedroom in my house etc. I have a 2 y/o daughter myself and we're an extremely happy family. The girls love each other and call each other sisters, genuinely I feel very lucky to have made such a bond with her and I love the absolute bones of her she is wonderful. The other day she asked out of the blue if she could call me mummy. I said no (because her mummy wouldn't like it.) and she dropped it for a bit but often comes back to it, calling me mummy whenever she fancies etc. I have said at least wait until I marry your father, but I don't think it's going away in her head. I personally think it's wonderful she feels that close to me. I certainly consider her my daughter, I'm a stay at home mum and take care of her by myself often, but as a birth mother myself I'm extremely wary of how her mum will feel. She's not exactly the kind of person who would be ok with whatever makes her daughter happy. She is in fact the opposite of that, and would certainly kick up an almighty storm. The other day she was in my house and there was a funny picture of me and stepdaughter on the wall and she lost it and started swearing at my partner in front of the kids that it ought to be her in the picture... any suggestions as to what alternative she could call me? I feel like she really doesn't want to call me by my name any more so I need to give her some sort of title idea to side step the issue!

OP’s posts: |
SwimForBrighterDays Wed 25-Mar-20 20:56:00

I'd leave her to it. Don't encourage her but if she calls you mummy respond the same way you would if she said your name.

Goawayquickly Wed 25-Mar-20 20:58:58

She should never call you mum, I had a little of this with mine and just said she already had a lovely mummy and I was a grown up friend who loved her very much. It passed and we have a good relationship 20 years later. Shes trying to make sense of this new set up. You are 'Julie' or whatever

chuggabo Wed 25-Mar-20 20:59:14

Let her say her own words.. she could choose to call you something like hagface
... my stepson chooses to call me mum, but after knowing him for over 5 years before I married his dad I knew it was based on affection. My own son calls me Mo rather than mummy after the monkeys Tee and Mo on Cbeebies. Cant persuade him to call me mum right now for anything. It's based on how they feel, not how it feels to you...

BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:08:21

@Goawayquickly I can't be her 'friend' I have to parent her. She's obviously not satisfied with just calling me my name (my daughter calls her stepdad 'Roo' because that's what she called him when she couldn't say his name) I was just wondering if anyone had an alternative. Somewhere in between my name (which doesn't really feel appropriate to me anymore either) and mummy. Which would upset her mum (which I don't want to do)

OP’s posts: |
BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:08:59

@chuggabo like how you jumped to 'hagface' grinconfused

OP’s posts: |
MarieQueenofScots Wed 25-Mar-20 21:10:09

If that’s what she chooses to call you then go with it.


givemeacall Wed 25-Mar-20 21:10:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Princessfaffalot Wed 25-Mar-20 21:12:00

You’re not her mum, why would you let her call you mummy?

coffeeandcreamer Wed 25-Mar-20 21:13:22

Maybe Mama Jen? (If Jen is your name lol)
Something to differentiate it from her real mum

BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:13:27

@Princessfaffalot I haven't. That's the point

OP’s posts: |
Goawayquickly Wed 25-Mar-20 21:16:43

In real life I was very gentle with my lovely girl, but I’m not her mum. Let it evolve, you could be moo moo, anything!

I just said that as I was daddies girlfriend, like you are and she had a mummy, I was her friend in an auntie type way. I knew she was making sense of the new lifestyle when she called me mummy, I gently reminded her she already had a fantastic mum.

In later years she’d sometimes describe me as her 2nd mum, the most beautiful thing I can think of, what an honour!

CantKeepSecrets Wed 25-Mar-20 21:16:42

Explain to her that you are not her mother and that mum/mummy is a special name for mummy only. She calls you by your name not some made up alternative that will clearly mean mum to you.

Solasum Wed 25-Mar-20 21:16:45

Could you ask her to come up with a special name for you? Spin it as she has a mummy already, and you want a name of your own?

NChangeForNoReason Wed 25-Mar-20 21:18:26

How about "mama Jen"

GertiMJN Wed 25-Mar-20 21:18:58

If that’s what she chooses to call you then go with it

Does that rule still apply if dsd chooses to call OP something insensitive or rude?
Of course not - you'd explain why names and people's feelings matter.

I think you have exactly the right idea OP. Finding a special name that signifies the special relationship you have.

You could make it a family challenge or game to come up with a good name.
Good luck. You sound like a lovely mum and step mum

SandyY2K Wed 25-Mar-20 21:19:40

It's not appropriate for her to call you mum. She has one and it will only cause problems.

Howabout one of these:

HollowTalk Wed 25-Mar-20 21:21:37

Would you like your child calling someone else mum?

Flower1309 Wed 25-Mar-20 21:22:49


BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:24:14

@Flower1309 read the post. 👍🏻

OP’s posts: |
Somerville Wed 25-Mar-20 21:25:56

What are you on about? Of course she can’t. Not if her mummy is living and active in her life - but assuming this isn’t an adoption scenario then no. Even if it is an adoption scenario and her mother isn’t in her life anymore then if she ever called or referred to her mother as mummy then you should have a different name, that she helps choose.

Kids make loads of mistakes all the time as they try to work things out - that doesn’t mean adults allowing them to. And if you did allow this, she’ll think you’re batshit when she’s old enough to realise that she calls two women Mummy - one fo whom is no direct relation and not even married to her father confused
You’ll look unhinged to people who know her (actual) mummy too.

BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:27:10

@HollowTalk I have had a long think about it, my ex has a fiancé that doesn't have much of a relationship with my daughter yet but they are trying to build a good one and she seems nice. I would be sad on the inside I'm not going to lie, but I would let my daughter call her daddy's wife mummy yes. If it meant to her that it's a woman who she loves who parents her. I'm not so small as to think that only I can be a mother figure in my child's life. She will have 2 (hopefully very happy) families and if it makes her life easier especially when she was with them I would be ok with it.

OP’s posts: |
offlikeabanger Wed 25-Mar-20 21:27:51

* (because her mummy wouldn't like it.)*

Is this the actual reason you gave her? If so, that's quite awful.

(*which doesn't really feel appropriate to me anymore either)*

Why ever not? confused

BeanJen Wed 25-Mar-20 21:31:16

@Somerville I've always said no when she asked, always. She's been a lot more persistent lately and I'm trying to come up with an alternative.
But I think you're taking the whole birth thing a bit far. The people on this post saying unless you gave birth to them you can't be their mother really obviously haven't experienced blended family dynamics.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Wed 25-Mar-20 21:33:55

That’s great that you would be happy with it but with all due respect it isn’t about you. It’s about how your DP’s daughter’s mum feels. Your DP should ask her how she feels and if she says no then your DSD should be told, gently, to pick a new name for you.

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