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He doesn't want to call BM mommy anymore...

Posted by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM
  • 123 Replies

Little background, my stepsons birth mother lost custody when he was 18 months, after that she was allowed supervised visits but hardly came, up until recently she visited about three times a year for about an hour tops each time, their only other contact was through letters and phone calls, now hes four and she terminated her maternal rights to him a couple months ago and I am in the process of adopting him. Even though her parental rights are terminated, we want to keep her in his life as much as she is willing, to maintain a normal life for him, so the termination wont effect him. She agreed that once her rights were gone, she would continue to visit and write and call. We talk to him about her, he considers me his mommy and is very insistant on that, but we explained to him that while I am his mommy who takes care of him, she is his mommy who he grew inside of, and that is very important and she loves him very much even though she doesn't see him very often. We have always had him call her mommy and he chooses to call me either mama or Lucy. Now that hes four he's starting to question things a little more, asking about the world and realizing why things are the way they are. The word mom has always just been a word to him, but now hes come to realize more of what it means. He is old enough to understand that she doesn't quite fit the definition of mom, but hes not old enough to understand why she is still his mom, he doesn't understand things like sexual relationships and birth and things of that sort. We keep a photo of her on his bedside table and ask him to say goodnight to her after prayers before bed, a few nights ago when I said "now say goodnight to mommy", he said "shes not mommy", ever since then hes been refusing to call her mom, hes been calling her by her name. We have tried to explain to him once again how shes his mommy, why she isn't here but that she loves him very much, that it would hurt her feelings not to be called mom anymore, that its okay to call her mommy and its not hurting my feelings, that he can have two mommies, but he gets very upset and insistant that she is not mommy, that I am. He just thinks of the meaning of mom, sees that I do all of those things, and doesn't understand why we are asking him to call this lady who he doesn't really know mom. We are really hoping to fix this before he talks to her next, we really dont want to start something or to hurt her with him not calling her mommy and we want him to understand his bond with her. He is usually a very easygoing agreeable child so I dont quite know why hes being so insistant about this. Or are we completely wrong and we should just let him call her what he wants to call her and just keep on talking about her to him and hope that eventually he will understand better when hes older. 

by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM
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E_is_4_Ethan
by Platinum Member on Mar. 10, 2012 at 9:22 PM
3 moms liked this

This is a hard one. I would be asking a therapist.... lol

The 1st time I went into the office of the therapist for my ss, it went like this.

Therapist: So you are mom.

Me: no, I'm SM.

Therapist: According to ss, you are mom and she is "BM's name here". 

Me: I just don't want to take anything away from BM.

Therapist: Well he is my client. I will go by what his wishes are. 

As we where leaving the office. She touched my shoulder, and said... you know you should take alot more credit. You have raised a wonderful boy that loves you dearly. 

From that moment forward, I haven't given a crap what BM or anyone else thinks. He says, I'm his mom. He says, she is "BM's name".  Then that's the way it's going to be. If he ever wishes to change it.. that's fine as well, and I let him know that. 

anabama
by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM
1 mom liked this

The rule at our house is you can call us whatever you want as long as it's not a bad word. :) My SD calls me mommy and her mom by her name. On the rare occasion that she sees her bm she calls her mommy and me Ashley. My 2 DDs call me Mom and their sm by her name. Their dad is Daddy and my husband is Dad.

It's important to let the kids be comfortable in their relationships. Forcing him to call her mommy may make him feel like you don't want to be his mommy. And the more you try to force it the more he will fight it.

Just relax and let him work through it or if you are really concerned check with a therapist.

sandeeyo
by Le Bonjour Chat on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM
1 mom liked this

I think you all need to see a counselor about his questions.

Lucy, you got completely blasted the last time you were here asking mommy questions...haven't you learned your lesson??? LOL

Anyway, I think it's fine if he wants to call you mommy and not his BM mommy.  She terminated her rights so legally she has no hold over him.  AND you're adopting him so you'll rightfully be his mom.  So long as he knows she gave him life and cares enough to visit, I think that should be enough.  If it hurts her feelings, too bad.  She should visit more often and make an attempt if she wants to be "mommy".  You know?

LucyHarper
by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Im not going to let a few annoying people keep me from asking questions, they didn't teach me anything but that they were jerks so there was no lesson to learn. I'm more concerned about the personal feelings of everyone involved, why exactly he doesn't want to call her mommy, then the legality of it.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I think you all need to see a counselor about his questions.

Lucy, you got completely blasted the last time you were here asking mommy questions...haven't you learned your lesson??? LOL

Anyway, I think it's fine if he wants to call you mommy and not his BM mommy.  She terminated her rights so legally she has no hold over him.  AND you're adopting him so you'll rightfully be his mom.  So long as he knows she gave him life and cares enough to visit, I think that should be enough.  If it hurts her feelings, too bad.  She should visit more often and make an attempt if she wants to be "mommy".  You know?


sandeeyo
by Le Bonjour Chat on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I get that.  I guess I need to ask then,

Is it going to hurt BM's feeling if he calls her by her first name?

Is it going to hurt HIS feelings if you continue to insist he call her mommy too?

and then,

Who's feelings should be considered here?  The adult who's made her bed and should lie in it now, or your impressionable 4-year old that doesn't know any better and follows his heart?

And you can't say you don't want to hurt either's feelings, if you had to choose one, which would you choose?

Quoting LucyHarper:

Im not going to let a few annoying people keep me from asking questions, they didn't teach me anything but that they were jerks so there was no lesson to learn. I'm more concerned about the personal feelings of everyone involved, why exactly he doesn't want to call her mommy, then the legality of it.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I think you all need to see a counselor about his questions.

Lucy, you got completely blasted the last time you were here asking mommy questions...haven't you learned your lesson??? LOL

Anyway, I think it's fine if he wants to call you mommy and not his BM mommy.  She terminated her rights so legally she has no hold over him.  AND you're adopting him so you'll rightfully be his mom.  So long as he knows she gave him life and cares enough to visit, I think that should be enough.  If it hurts her feelings, too bad.  She should visit more often and make an attempt if she wants to be "mommy".  You know?

 


LucyHarper
by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM

My stepson, thats whom Im mainly concerned for in this situation, we are trying our best to keep hhim comfortable with his relationship with everyone, to understand that even though she isn't with him she is his mom and she loves him and he should never feel unloved by her, and this is sort of one of many hints that hes pushing away from her and is angry with her, which we dont want for him. He shouldn't have to feel that anger.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I get that.  I guess I need to ask then,

Is it going to hurt BM's feeling if he calls her by her first name?

Is it going to hurt HIS feelings if you continue to insist he call her mommy too?

and then,

Who's feelings should be considered here?  The adult who's made her bed and should lie in it now, or your impressionable 4-year old that doesn't know any better and follows his heart?

And you can't say you don't want to hurt either's feelings, if you had to choose one, which would you choose?

Quoting LucyHarper:

Im not going to let a few annoying people keep me from asking questions, they didn't teach me anything but that they were jerks so there was no lesson to learn. I'm more concerned about the personal feelings of everyone involved, why exactly he doesn't want to call her mommy, then the legality of it.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I think you all need to see a counselor about his questions.

Lucy, you got completely blasted the last time you were here asking mommy questions...haven't you learned your lesson??? LOL

Anyway, I think it's fine if he wants to call you mommy and not his BM mommy.  She terminated her rights so legally she has no hold over him.  AND you're adopting him so you'll rightfully be his mom.  So long as he knows she gave him life and cares enough to visit, I think that should be enough.  If it hurts her feelings, too bad.  She should visit more often and make an attempt if she wants to be "mommy".  You know?




prenatalRN
by on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM

My first thought was it sounds like to me he could really benefit from a child therapist. I think there is more going on here than just calling BM mommy, maybe some deep down anger/sadness that she is not around and confusion. I think everything you are doing is great btw (photo by the bed, talks, being kind etc) but he might make great improvements if he talks to someone, a professional. And who knows, maybe you will all find out that calling her mommy is okay, or maybe its not..... something you all have to discover. Good luck! He sounds really lucky to have a mom like you :)

sandeeyo
by Le Bonjour Chat on Mar. 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Then my advice is to let him call her by her first name.  It's not like he's calling her a bad name, he just doesn't want to call her mommy.  I think that would make him angry as well if you kept bugging him to call her mommy.  But I'd still take him to counseling if she continues to be in and out of his life.  It may curb a lot of issues that may arise as he gets older.

Quoting LucyHarper:

My stepson, thats whom Im mainly concerned for in this situation, we are trying our best to keep hhim comfortable with his relationship with everyone, to understand that even though she isn't with him she is his mom and she loves him and he should never feel unloved by her, and this is sort of one of many hints that hes pushing away from her and is angry with her, which we dont want for him. He shouldn't have to feel that anger.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I get that.  I guess I need to ask then,

Is it going to hurt BM's feeling if he calls her by her first name?

Is it going to hurt HIS feelings if you continue to insist he call her mommy too?

and then,

Who's feelings should be considered here?  The adult who's made her bed and should lie in it now, or your impressionable 4-year old that doesn't know any better and follows his heart?

And you can't say you don't want to hurt either's feelings, if you had to choose one, which would you choose?

Quoting LucyHarper:

Im not going to let a few annoying people keep me from asking questions, they didn't teach me anything but that they were jerks so there was no lesson to learn. I'm more concerned about the personal feelings of everyone involved, why exactly he doesn't want to call her mommy, then the legality of it.

Quoting sandeeyo:

I think you all need to see a counselor about his questions.

Lucy, you got completely blasted the last time you were here asking mommy questions...haven't you learned your lesson??? LOL

Anyway, I think it's fine if he wants to call you mommy and not his BM mommy.  She terminated her rights so legally she has no hold over him.  AND you're adopting him so you'll rightfully be his mom.  So long as he knows she gave him life and cares enough to visit, I think that should be enough.  If it hurts her feelings, too bad.  She should visit more often and make an attempt if she wants to be "mommy".  You know?

 

 

 


pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

My gut reaction here is you are probably hurting him by insisting, every night, that his birthmother loves him and that she is mommy.  Sort of along the lines of sometimes taking the high road doesn't give a child the tools he/she needs to deal with a situation.  Age appropriate truth is probably what this kid needs.

Nothing in his birthmom's action says she loves him.  She gave him up.  You are with him.  You are adopting him or have adopted him.  Actions speak louder than words and your are forcing this child to use words that actions don't back-up.

I am not an expert on adoption but I would definitely get some books or see someone yourself to ask advice.

chasinrainbows
by Gold Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM
She barely sees him, has abandoned him at one point, and then gave up her rights. That's far from being a "mommy" IMO. How do you think he is going to feel about her once he realizes how little she has cared about him? I wouldn't make him say anything to her at night. She deserves to be called by her NAME.
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