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DSS has started calling me Mummy, what do we do?

(26 Posts)
gizzajob Tue 15-Jul-08 10:54:39

I posted a while back about DSS (4) pleading to live with us. Thankfully he seems a lot more settled now and his Mum seems to be putting more effort into their quality time when he is staying with her, which is great, he seems so much happier, so DP and I are thrilled.

Anyway we have hit another glitch. DSS has started calling me Mummy when he stays. No idea why he has started now, and it is very sweet and flattering, but DP and I are at a loss as to whether to allow this or not? I have 2 DCs who live with DP and I FT, who are around the same age as DSS, so obviously they call me Mummy.

We don't want to upset DSS or make him feel uncomfortable, or not part of our family, but equally DSS Mum would be horrified I am sure, and we don't want to upset or anger her. I really don't want her to think that I am trying to usurp her.

What the heck do we do?

BibiThree Tue 15-Jul-08 10:58:11

Let him do it but also let his Mum know that
a. it was out of the blue and his choice
b. you are going to let him carry on with what he's comfortable with and
c. you hope she doesn't mind and would like her to do the same (let him carry on that is, not call you Mummy!) grin

I think it's wonderful he can call you Mummy and that he wants to. Shows how comfortable he is.

wildfish Tue 15-Jul-08 11:00:30

I just say as the person on the opposite end. I would find it upsetting, but if the child is the one doing it freely, I wouldn't do anything to stop it. However it would be nice at that point of maybe making a distinctly different mummy name or variation or something like that.

BUT I would object if it was being forced when the child doesn't want to.

witchandchips Tue 15-Jul-08 11:01:20

Does it bother your other children? If not i would leave it.

ranting Tue 15-Jul-08 11:04:02

Ok, as a mother on the other side, I wouldn't have a problem with it, simply because he's obviously calling you mum because it makes him feel that he's a full part of your family.

Chances are that when he's with his mum, he probably refers to you by name anyway, I understand that it's difficult and awkward (for you aswell as her). Sometimes we have to shove our territorial feelings about our offspring aside for the good of our childrens feelings iyswim.

I think ds used to call his step mum, mum when he was little but, we never discussed it.

LittleBoSheep Tue 15-Jul-08 11:04:19

Looking at it from his mums point of view it is upsetting

Very nice for you but I agree with wildfish...try to find a variation (cant think of one off of the top of my head sorry)

You need to try not to upset his mum whilst also not upsetting him.

pigleto Tue 15-Jul-08 11:04:23

I think that he probably wants to be a member of your family and it would be incredibly hurtful of you to ask him to stop calling you mummy or to use a different word to your own dcs. I think that his feelings are more important in this matter than his mums but that you should have a word with her and let her know what is happening.

I think you should be pleased that you have such a good relationship with dss.

edam Tue 15-Jul-08 11:04:58

It's a compliment from dss - it shows how secure he feels with you. But yes, I can imagine it might hack his mother off (I know my own mother would have hit the roof if we'd called my step-mother 'mummy'.)

How about suggesting [firstname]mummy? I used to call a friend's father Peterdaddy when I was little. They were trendy parents who insisted on first names but small children in a Yorkshire village just could not cope with that at all!

OR you could just let it go if that would upset him and make him feel different, I suppose. Maybe say it's fine to call you Mummy when he's at your house, but not when he's at home with Mummy because it might hurt her feelings?

LittleBoSheep Tue 15-Jul-08 11:08:04

tbh he probably does it because the other children call you "mummy" so its just your name to him

gizzajob Tue 15-Jul-08 11:44:24

Thank you for your replies, there seem to be a few differing opinions smile

DSS always used to call me by my first name, until this visit, it has never been discussed.

DP thinks we should just let it carry on and not say anything to his exW, but then he is having 'issues' with her at the moment and is probably being a bit stroppy and not totally impartial.

My DCs call DP Daddy (after VERY tactful conversations with their Dad and DSS a few months back) so I suppose it is only a natural progression. However I fully appreciate that I would be horrified if my DCs were calling another woman Mummy.

Maybe the best course is to let him carry on and for DP to have a careful word with DSS Mum?

LittleBoSheep Tue 15-Jul-08 11:51:17

Well I dont think it matters how reasonable you are I think anyone would feel a pang if their child called someone else Mummy - even if you were glad that your child got on with the SM, if you already have a difficult relationship with the ex then this could kick off big time smile Just stress its something you did not instigate but that ultimately you dont want him to feel second best to your children by ruling it out completely.

ranting Tue 15-Jul-08 11:52:50

Yes it is difficult, this is why I preferred not to know.

gizzajob Tue 15-Jul-08 11:54:15

Great advice, thanks littlebo!

jammi Tue 15-Jul-08 12:28:30

Message withdrawn

gizzajob Tue 15-Jul-08 17:51:37

Ranting and jammi, I really am so concerned about this, I think DP and I will try and sort it out after the DCs have all gone to bed tonight.

We did try another name for DP when my DCs asked to call him Daddy, we tried Papa and "Daddy first name" etc, but it just didn't work for anyone.

This isn't an easy one to sort out sad

ElenorRigby Tue 15-Jul-08 20:41:44

DP's DD calls me Ellie, I wouldnt have it any other way because I am not her mother and so would have gently discouraged her if she had ever tried to call me mummy.

youcannotbeserious Tue 15-Jul-08 23:01:24

I agree with Jammi - when my DSDs have called me mum, I've always corrected them. THey have a mum. I may not like her or see eye to eye with her, but I feel my duty as their step mum is to maintain that relationship.

it is possible to have a 'special' name - my DSD2 named me and it's stuck, so that works for us.

So much so, that I use it to refer to myself to DS - I forget to call myself Mummy to him!!! grin

ScummyMummy Tue 15-Jul-08 23:06:08

agree 100% with Jammi.

soph28 Tue 15-Jul-08 23:07:04

But small children do tend to slip into calling a person they are close to 'mummy' when they are in their care.

For example, when I have looked after my neice (aged 2) along with my own dcs (aged 1 and 3) she started calling me 'mummy' cos the others were doing it and both of mine have called my sister 'mummy' too.

jammi Tue 15-Jul-08 23:28:52

Message withdrawn

MeMySonAndI Tue 15-Jul-08 23:39:00

Ahem.. my boyfriend's youngest son calls me Mummy... when he gets distracted and is in a hurry. I don't think he even realises he is doing it, it seems more like verbal inertia. mummy.

Just another point to consider before getting all serious about it.

Now, if he really wants to cal you mummy... I wouldn't stop him but would add something to the name to make it different from his

MeMySonAndI Tue 15-Jul-08 23:39:44

Andf obviously that rogue mummy in the fisrt paragraph should have been at the end of the last one...

gizzajob Wed 16-Jul-08 09:23:25

Well DP and I discussed this last night and have decided in light of the ongoing issues with DSS Mummy he is having it is something that neither one of us feels like tackling quite yet. We have decided to assume he is doing it in the same context as Soph and MeMySon suggested, and wait and see what happens the next time DSS comes to stay. If it continues then we will deal with it then, and perhaps suggest that although it is lovely that he wants to call me that, maybe we can find another name for me.

Thanks for all your replies, it has been really helpful to see others points of view.

soph28 Wed 16-Jul-08 13:53:15

jammi- i understand it's a totally different situation for the parents and awful for the boy's mother but I just wanted to point out the innocent way in which many children do this.

sheepgomeep Thu 17-Jul-08 18:47:46

dp children call thier mums boyfriend daddy which upsets my dp greatly especially as he has a good relationship with his daughters.
They were encouraged to do by thier mum.

All we get is my mummy and daddy all the time and it gets very confusing.

dsd have called me mum a few times but I've discouraged it they already have a mum and it isn't me!

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