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SM Gabrielle Union says she’s a real mom

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https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.mindbodygreen.com/articles/gabrielle-union-on-being-a-stepmom

Basically, she’s battled IF and many miscarriages for years. She’s the star of Being Mary Jane and married to basketball player Dwayne Wade who has three children from previous relationships. She says that being a SM is being a “real mom.”

To the SM only out there- do you agree?
by on Mar. 8, 2018 at 1:35 AM
Replies (121-126):
GloBug62
by Bronze Member on Mar. 19, 2018 at 5:06 PM
1 mom liked this

I use to think it was the same, but after having my own son...it's not the same. Being an SM can be great and wonderful on it's own, but, emotionally, it's not same as carrying and giving birth to your own child, imo.

CStarz
by Bronze Member on Mar. 19, 2018 at 10:55 PM

Good grief!

I'm not saying anyone does it for pats on the back.  When I used the term accolades it was in response to another poster telling me that step parents should be celebrated as step parents, thus I used the term accolades when responding back about what she said about celebrating step-parents and that I felt that rather than celebrating (giving accolades to) stepparents it makes parenthood altogether more hermetic (closed).

If you don't like my opinion, cool, but it is my opinion and it is based on my experience and the experiences of those non-bio parents I know who have stepped in to care for their kids in the absence, and when I absence I mean abandonment/complete lack of engagement of the bio parents. 

There is no one size fits all solution to family; family comes in all shapes and sizes and we all deserve room to describe ourselves. I'm not saying any of this to pat myself on the back and to think that is to have missed everything I have said. 

I am saying this because my children and other like them deserve to acknowledge their parents as they choose, not by some societal lens that makes you comfortable, or for that matter makes their bio mom less uncomfortable. She lost that right when she abused and abandoned them. These children have been through hell.

So yeah, I take umbrage with others telling my kids they have to feel a certain way or behave a certain way toward me because I didn't give birth to them. This isn't about me, it's never been about me, this is about them and what they want and feel comfortable with. 


Quoting Shabby_Chic:


Quoting CStarz:  The reason legal definitions are changing is to accommodate the different shapes of family- types of parenthood because the legal definition along with the cultural view has been quite narrow until now.
I'm 100% on board with the "narrow" view.  Too many cooks and all. My children have not suffered because they only have one mom.  I doubt any child does; often times the adults are the ones that project their feelings on the topic to the chlidren.  The adults are the ones wanting legal rights and to be called a parent because it is easier for the adults.  
By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.
Why do step parents need accolades?  
If you are tackling you roles of parenthood differently, that's cool but you don't get to define the roles of others. At the very least, parents of all stripes should be able to navigate child rearing in a space wide enough to include them.
I defined it for all the stepmother my children had (all of them, even the one they don't remember) and I defined it for my husband.  Well, he agreed with my definition.  The stepmothers were never a parent to my children, even in my "absence" (not a true absence, I was at home during ex's visitation, still present in my kids' lives, just not in their physical presence at those moments in time).  It bothered me when the stepmother who didn't understand that she wasn't my kids' parent claimed to be their mom, their parent, because it was a lie and I had worked hard to instill honesty in my children.  She was a bad example to them, lying about her relationship. 
The kids never referred to my husband as their parent until after the adoption.  There were lots of discussions on the topic before it happened - he's like a dad to us, he's been there for us, he takes care of us, he loves us, he's never left us - but he wasn't called a parent because he wasn't.  He was, and is, a great guy who stepped up when the biological father couldn't be bothered.  There was a true absence there and my husband never assumed a role that wasn't his - unlike the stepmother who thought her husband having court ordered visitation meant that she was the mom for that time period. 
He never needed accolades.  He never wanted them.  He didn't even go telling people he was adopting the kids until after it was over and at that point I did it.  He did it for the kids, not for the pats on the back. 


CStarz
by Bronze Member on Mar. 19, 2018 at 11:03 PM

I am not blaming you- you are clearly not understanding the context in which I said it. I responded to someone else talking about celebrating step parents- accolades is another term for celebrating...I clearly said that I felt what she was saying was not necessarily giving step parents accolades (celebrating them) but rather making parenthood a more hermetic (closed) definition. That is what I said and what I meant. 

I said nothing about patting myself or anyone else on the back for being a step parent over a bio parent. I am also talking very specifically, as I pointed out, about situations where bio-parents are not present, not parenting, and non-bio/non-adoptive partners are stepping in as parents. This could also apply to aunts or uncles. The care-taker is doing the parenting. 

Every family is different. Not every step -parent is in a parenting role with their step children- some folks don't want it or need it. 

Quoting jpickens:

No ma'm.  Blaming me for something you clearly said and is not going to work with me, so save your gas.

"What you don't want to hear is that someone other than the bio parent deserves recognition as a parent for doing a parent's job. That a person can be a 'real' mom or dad without legal or biological ties to a child."

^^^This is childs play compared to what i've heard on this site that didn't bother me.  So don't you worry yourself about that. 

Doesn't matter what name you're called,   "real mom" is still a title that you consider yourself and yes, it is about what you do.  And that applies to all of us, not necessarily you specifically.


Quoting CStarz:

LOL, no, you are missing the point because it's not about what you are called, it's about what you do and how it works for your family. 

Cherry picking statements out of context that seem to make me say something other than what my point was does not make them accurately describe the conversation. 

"What you don't want to hear is that someone other than the bio parent deserves recognition as a parent for doing a parent's job. That a person can be a 'real' mom or dad without legal or biological ties to a child."


Quoting jpickens: “I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad.” “By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.” Yes you did. I’m not missing the point because it’s not what you want to hear.

Quoting CStarz:

LOL, ok, not once did I say anything about freaking out over a title. That is completely missing the point of what I said and the post. The point is that a person can be a mom or dad without being the bio parent. 

Quoting jpickens: None of that really matters. Grown ups can think a parent is an absolute piece of shit but that doesn’t mean the kids feel that way or will always feel that way. Grown ups also do not know if the kids feel a step is a “real parent” or will always feel that way. It’s an action based on choice, not an opinion. Any adult has to be realistic about the long term possible outcomes and if the worst case senerio is worth the risk. I have made SM choices that was worth the risk but freaking out about titles and being real mom instead of simply being a good step mom, isn’t one of them.
Quoting CStarz:

I wasn't implying that anyone is a step parent for accolades so perhaps you misunderstood what I was trying to say or I didn't word it clearly.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

I am a 'real' mom to my step kids, like many step parents are 'real' parents to their step kids or partner's children in the absence of the bio parents. The fact that they have bio parents does not make any care-taker, biologically related, legally bound or otherwise any less a 'real' parent. 


Quoting jpickens: No, I understand fine and I agree with Cody. Very rarely have I seen a child not have an instinctual tie/loyalty to their bio parent, even if they are shitty. It works for some but I have seen the whole “I am mom/Dad” thing eventually turn ugly and it’s not worth taking that risk when the kids can simply consider you a step mom/dad.
Quoting CStarz:

OK....so perhaps you misunderstood what I meant or perhaps I am misunderstanding you. 

Quoting jpickens: My comment was based on the whole exchange.
Quoting CStarz:

Neither am I and my kids call me by my name. That does not make me any less their mom. 

You shoudl re-read the whole exchange- it wasn't about pats on the back. 

Quoting jpickens: I’m personally not a SM for recognition/accolades and I don’t need my steps to call me mom to feel appreciated.
Quoting CStarz: I am not in any way denying the importance of step parents- quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps you've misunderstood me. I wrote 2 quite long responses on the importance of step parents and their roles as mom and dad- one aspect of step-parenting. I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad. Mom and dad are not always biologically related to their children. The reason legal definitions are changing is to accommodate the different shapes of family- types of parenthood because the legal definition along with the cultural view has been quite narrow until now. By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood. If you are tackling you roles of parenthood differently, that's cool but you don't get to define the roles of others. At the very least, parents of all stripes should be able to navigate child rearing in a space wide enough to include them.
Quoting codysara: That is exactly what makes them a mom and a dad. Not all mom's and dad's are good ones. Which is why it is sad to see good step parents, that could change the negative aspect of the name, refuse to accept it. Yes, new definitions are occurring. But why? Why does being a great stepmom need to change? New definitions do not change legal standing. Edit to add... people like you, who deny the importance and impact of what step parents do, are the only reason that they are considered second class. No definition of the word can change that until we (step parents) can say it proudly. Edit again.. to add.. I at one point argued the difference. Mom, good. Mother, bad. Dad, good, father, bad. I held to titles that I was comfortable with giving. Mother and father were the sperm donor and incubator. Mom and dad was the positive names given to those who cared. I was stuck on definition. My sister was not a mom, just a mother. I raised her kids as a "mom" should. It took a long time too accept I am not mom, that word is useless. The kids never new a good mom. But I can be a good aunt. The same that I can be a good stepmom.
Quoting CStarz:

Being a mom doesn't come from a piece of paper nor does the act of giving birth make a woman a mom anymore than providing sperm makes a man a dad. Are they parents- sure- they have generated a biological child but it hardly makes them mom and dad. The biological act of being a parent is different to the very real world of being mom and dad. 

Parenting is the sum total of its parts, not one aspect of a biological process. Parents come in all shapes and sizes and are made in many different circumstances. I am their legal guardian as well as a 'step' parent. That I did not give birth to them or have not adopted them legally does not make me less of a mother to them. The act of mothering is so much more than the biological. 

You don't have to agree, that's cool, but this is how we feel in my family and the opinions of others are not the rubric by which we measure my role in our children's lives. I know who I am to them. 

I do think it is time that society at large sees the non-bio/adoptive parents being mom and dad in the absence of the bios. Not every blended family situation is like this of course, but there are many non-bio/non-adoptive parents acting as mom or dad, just as I am.

New definitions of who is a parent are emerging;  case law suggests a non-bio/adoptive person acting as a parent, taking on the role of parent legally, financially and emotionally is, in fact, a parent. Non-bio/non-adoptive parents are getting custody and visitation when marriages end.

My point is that a narrow view on who is a mother or father is not necessarily helpful to the kids being raised by us non-bio/non-adoptive parents- it makes us second class citizens in the parenting world- all of the responsibility with none of the rights. 




Quoting codysara: That does make you a fantastic family and stepmom. But those loving actions do not make you mom, those actions should make you a proud stepmom.

Quoting CStarz:

I have no idea what Gabrielle Union's situation is but as a CSM who has been raising her step-kids for a majority of their lives (they have lived with me longer than they were with BM), I have provided for them emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially.

I go to all school activities, know their friends, teachers, favorite colors, wipe their tears, hold them when they are sick, encourage them when they are scared, kiss their boo boos- I do all the mom stuff and by golly, I am real. I am their mom. 

I raise the kids along with their father, BM does nothing. She comes and goes as she pleases, pays for nothing and couldn't tell you the name of their school or how many teeth they've lost if her life depended on it. The kids are accessories to her- something she can show off to her friends from NA and use to extort money out of her family. 

Not every step parent is in the same boat but there are many of us out here- I know many SM/F who are primary care-givers and act as primary parents to 'step' kids. To me, they are my kids, period. Biology does not necessarily make family; love and commitment make a family. 








jpickens
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2018 at 12:27 AM
1 mom liked this
I’ve understood you fine.


Quoting CStarz:

I am not blaming you- you are clearly not understanding the context in which I said it. I responded to someone else talking about celebrating step parents- accolades is another term for celebrating...I clearly said that I felt what she was saying was not necessarily giving step parents accolades (celebrating them) but rather making parenthood a more hermetic (closed) definition. That is what I said and what I meant. 

I said nothing about patting myself or anyone else on the back for being a step parent over a bio parent. I am also talking very specifically, as I pointed out, about situations where bio-parents are not present, not parenting, and non-bio/non-adoptive partners are stepping in as parents. This could also apply to aunts or uncles. The care-taker is doing the parenting. 

Every family is different. Not every step -parent is in a parenting role with their step children- some folks don't want it or need it. 

Quoting jpickens:

No ma'm.  Blaming me for something you clearly said and is not going to work with me, so save your gas.

"What you don't want to hear is that someone other than the bio parent

deserves recognition as a parent for doing a parent's job. That a person

can be a 'real' mom or dad without legal or biological ties to a child."

^^^This is childs play compared to what i've heard on this site that didn't bother me.  So don't you worry yourself about that. 

Doesn't matter what name you're called,   "real mom" is still a title that you consider yourself and yes, it is about what you do.  And that applies to all of us, not necessarily you specifically.

Quoting CStarz:

LOL, no, you are missing the point because it's not about what you are called, it's about what you do and how it works for your family. 

Cherry picking statements out of context that seem to make me say something other than what my point was does not make them accurately describe the conversation. 

"What you don't want to hear is that someone other than the bio parent

deserves recognition as a parent for doing a parent's job. That a person

can be a 'real' mom or dad without legal or biological ties to a child."

Quoting jpickens: �I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad.�





�By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.�



Yes you did. I�m not missing the point because it�s not what you want to hear.

Quoting CStarz:

LOL, ok, not once did I say anything about freaking out over a title. That is completely missing the point of what I said and the post. The point is that a person can be a mom or dad without being the bio parent. 

Quoting jpickens: None of that really matters. Grown ups can think a parent is an absolute piece of shit but that doesn�t mean the kids feel that way or will always feel that way. Grown ups also do not know if the kids feel a step is a �real parent� or will always feel that way.



It�s an action based on choice, not an opinion. Any adult has to be realistic about the long term possible outcomes and if the worst case senerio is worth the risk.



I have made SM choices that was worth the risk but freaking out about titles and being real mom instead of simply being a good step mom, isn�t one of them.









Quoting CStarz:

I wasn't implying that anyone is a step parent for accolades so perhaps you misunderstood what I was trying to say or I didn't word it clearly.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

I am a 'real' mom to my step kids, like many step parents are 'real' parents to their step kids or partner's children in the absence of the bio parents. The fact that they have bio parents does not make any care-taker, biologically related, legally bound or otherwise any less a 'real' parent. 

Quoting jpickens: No, I understand fine and I agree with Cody.



Very rarely have I seen a child not have an instinctual tie/loyalty to their bio parent, even if they are shitty.



It works for some but I have seen the whole �I am mom/Dad� thing eventually turn ugly and it�s not worth taking that risk when the kids can simply consider you a step mom/dad.











Quoting CStarz:

OK....so perhaps you misunderstood what I meant or perhaps I am misunderstanding you. 

Quoting jpickens: My comment was based on the whole exchange.



Quoting CStarz:

Neither am I and my kids call me by my name. That does not make me any less their mom. 

You shoudl re-read the whole exchange- it wasn't about pats on the back. 

Quoting jpickens: I�m personally not a SM for recognition/accolades and I don�t need my steps to call me mom to feel appreciated.









Quoting CStarz: I am not in any way denying the importance of step parents- quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps you've misunderstood me.

I wrote 2 quite long responses on the importance of step parents and their roles as mom and dad- one aspect of step-parenting.

I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad.

Mom and dad are not always biologically related to their children.

The reason legal definitions are changing is to accommodate the different shapes of family- types of parenthood because the legal definition along with the cultural view has been quite narrow until now.

By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.

If you are tackling you roles of parenthood differently, that's cool but you don't get to define the roles of others.

At the very least, parents of all stripes should be able to navigate child rearing in a space wide enough to include them.







Quoting codysara: That is exactly what makes them a mom and a dad. Not all mom's and dad's are good ones. Which is why it is sad to see good step parents, that could change the negative aspect of the name, refuse to accept it.

Yes, new definitions are occurring. But why? Why does being a great stepmom need to change? New definitions do not change legal standing.

Edit to add... people like you, who deny the importance and impact of what step parents do, are the only reason that they are considered second class. No definition of the word can change that until we (step parents) can say it proudly.





Edit again.. to add..

I at one point argued the difference. Mom, good. Mother, bad. Dad, good, father, bad. I held to titles that I was comfortable with giving. Mother and father were the sperm donor and incubator. Mom and dad was the positive names given to those who cared.

I was stuck on definition. My sister was not a mom, just a mother. I raised her kids as a "mom" should. It took a long time too accept I am not mom, that word is useless. The kids never new a good mom. But I can be a good aunt. The same that I can be a good stepmom.



Quoting CStarz:

Being a mom doesn't come from a piece of paper nor does the act of giving birth make a woman a mom anymore than providing sperm makes a man a dad. Are they parents- sure- they have generated a biological child but it hardly makes them mom and dad. The biological act of being a parent is different to the very real world of being mom and dad. 

Parenting is the sum total of its parts, not one aspect of a biological process. Parents come in all shapes and sizes and are made in many different circumstances. I am their legal guardian as well as a 'step' parent. That I did not give birth to them or have not adopted them legally does not make me less of a mother to them. The act of mothering is so much more than the biological. 

You don't have to agree, that's cool, but this is how we feel in my family and the opinions of others are not the rubric by which we measure my role in our children's lives. I know who I am to them. 

I do think it is time that society at large sees the non-bio/adoptive parents being mom and dad in the absence of the bios. Not every blended family situation is like this of course, but there are many non-bio/non-adoptive parents acting as mom or dad, just as I am.

New definitions of who is a parent are emerging;  case law suggests a non-bio/adoptive person acting as a parent, taking on the role of parent legally, financially and emotionally is, in fact, a parent. Non-bio/non-adoptive parents are getting custody and visitation when marriages end.

My point is that a narrow view on who is a mother or father is not necessarily helpful to the kids being raised by us non-bio/non-adoptive parents- it makes us second class citizens in the parenting world- all of the responsibility with none of the rights. 

Quoting codysara: That does make you a fantastic family and stepmom. But those loving actions do not make you mom, those actions should make you a proud stepmom.

Quoting CStarz:

I have no idea what Gabrielle Union's situation is but as a CSM who has been raising her step-kids for a majority of their lives (they have lived with me longer than they were with BM), I have provided for them emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially.

I go to all school activities, know their friends, teachers, favorite colors, wipe their tears, hold them when they are sick, encourage them when they are scared, kiss their boo boos- I do all the mom stuff and by golly, I am real. I am their mom. 

I raise the kids along with their father, BM does nothing. She comes and goes as she pleases, pays for nothing and couldn't tell you the name of their school or how many teeth they've lost if her life depended on it. The kids are accessories to her- something she can show off to her friends from NA and use to extort money out of her family. 

Not every step parent is in the same boat but there are many of us out here- I know many SM/F who are primary care-givers and act as primary parents to 'step' kids. To me, they are my kids, period. Biology does not necessarily make family; love and commitment make a family. 

minimoo
by Platinum Member on Mar. 20, 2018 at 9:43 AM
I think that we would need to hear from the kids and the moms and need more info on the custody situation to really have an opinion. Miss Union can say she's a real mom, but if the kids reject it or it causes friction and drama with the moms, it can have disastrous consequences by publicly making that claim.

My dd has been reflecting on what makes a mom and a dad lately. Her father and I split when she was less than a year old, but even during that time, he wss very absent and when he was around, he was drunk. I met dh when she was 2, and when I did introduce her, they hit it off right away. Her bf was MIA at that point, making the bare minimum requirements in our state to not be classified as abandoning her (contact to see her once a year to give her the Christmas/ birthday present he purchased jointly from the dollar store with his mother). Dh and I married and added more children to our family. When she was 4, he had gotten sm preggo, and sm and her mother blackmailed him into marriage as she was underage (although over the age of consent, so the threats wouldn't have held out) with the caveat that he take me to court. At the time, I thought she was just young and naive and bought into his lies that I was keeping her from him, but a decade later and after she has seen that everything I warned her about is true and that she has done literally everything, including all of the court papers for the multiple times they have tried to manipulate the system, and won't even bother to pick her up, I've learned it's more about her obsession with my dd. He has no problem leaving her for 6 months at a time (which sm is fine with too- she's funny because she's "mom" to anyone who would hear her roar, but has no issue leaving her indefinitely, and apparently when dd is over there, she becomes sm's personal slave, nanny and housekeeper- she has to clean up after everyone eowe). Anywho- shit hit the fan this past year and dd has unfortunately seen the true horrors of her dad's side of the family. She has also broken the demands of "don't tell" and opened up about the bullshit that goes on over there. We went out for Starbucks last week to chat. She was telling me how her father and sm constantly tell her and everyone who will listen that I'm not her mom and neither is dh, and while before, she would just try and pretend it wasn't happening, it is now starting too really piss her off. She even said that even though it was their family who rapes children, dh and I are the ones who have been there for her as she processes, and it made her think more about who's there and who's not. She said I've always been there, dh has always been there, sm only pretends to be there when someone is watching, and bf isn't even there when someone is, that the only time she sees him is when he's drunk and then the only time he talks to her is to drill her about me or try and tell her how horrible I am. She has now started advocating for herself with help from therapy, and started telling him to knock it off, which results in the silent treatment (which she says she prefers because "non silent dad is a complete jerk and all he does is talk about you and lies about you"). She said she does consider dh her daddy, and asked me about sp adoption when she turns 18 "unless we can do it before". I told her I do not know how that works as her dad is still in the picture. She responded "he's around, but I wouldn't call him 'in the picture'. It's all sm, and she is only around because she doesn't want me home with you because she wants to hurt you." I guess my point is, both bf and sm have shouted it from the roof tops that she is dd's "real mom". But in reality, she's not. Dd rejects that claim. Even society would. Real moms don't leave their kids for months at a time. Real moms don't try and steal resources from their kids. Real moms don't constantly produce negativity and use their kids as a weapon. Real moms don't try and cover up child sex abuse and continue bringing their children around abusers out of spite. Real moms make sure that their children are provided for financially. All of that goes for dads too. As several of his family members have said, she needs to stop trying to demand "momness" to my dd and start actually being a mom to her own kids. It's sad.

In my sitch, there's a multitude of factors involved that I know aren't the norm, fortunately. Ultimately, the kids determine who people are to them. Dd considers dh her dad and even said "I think it's amazing because he didn't have to love me and take care of me the way he does, but he chose to". She also said she doesn't consider sm a parent because she doesn't treat her well. And that when she's over there, she feels she has to be the parent because nobody is taking care of their kids- he's drinking and ignoring everyone, she's eating and yelling at everyone, and their small children are running around amuck.


Quoting pusheen-kitty: In the actress case, she got shade for playing a mom in a role when she doesn’t have kids. One, she can’t , but the controversy is her saying she is a real mom, because she is married to a man who has kids. Publicly. Not what Dwayne Wade kids and nephew call her. I’m sure they have moms ..



Quoting MindReader:

I completely agree that freaking out over labels is not a great idea. But I don't think that is what this thread is about.

Lots and lots of families call the steps mom and dad with no consequence, no freaking out, no insistence, no conflict. Should sm/sd or their spouse insist on them being called mom/dad when either bm or the child are uncomfortable with it? I would say absolutely not.

But it is actually very common for families to do this and *gasp* neither the other parent nor the kids having a problem with it. 

And no outsiders have a right to say that they are wrong if everyone within the family is okay with it.

My sd calls me by my name and refers to me as her sm. I'm totally fine with that. She tried calling me mom at different times in her childhood, but I knew her mom would freak, so I gently corrected her and gave her options of things she could call me. 

But I know a lot of families where bm has no problem with sm being called mom. 

I odn't have the right to judge their situation as wrong based on my own; nor do they have the right to call me out (and they have!) because sd doesn't call me mom.

And I know people- kids and adults- who flat out refuse to call their bioparents mom or dad. Again, not my business. 

This thread isn't about freaking out and insisting on a title that is being denied, it is about not freaking out by what someone else (in this case Gabrielle Union) calls themselves. That's between her dh, her skids, and the bms. 

Quoting jpickens: None of that really matters. Grown ups can think a parent is an absolute piece of shit but that doesn’t mean the kids feel that way or will always feel that way. Grown ups also do not know if the kids feel a step is a “real parent” or will always feel that way.

It’s an action based on choice, not an opinion. Any adult has to be realistic about the long term possible outcomes and if the worst case senerio is worth the risk.

I have made SM choices that was worth the risk but freaking out about titles and being real mom instead of simply being a good step mom, isn’t one of them.




Quoting CStarz:

I wasn't implying that anyone is a step parent for accolades so perhaps you misunderstood what I was trying to say or I didn't word it clearly.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

I am a 'real' mom to my step kids, like many step parents are 'real' parents to their step kids or partner's children in the absence of the bio parents. The fact that they have bio parents does not make any care-taker, biologically related, legally bound or otherwise any less a 'real' parent. 

Quoting jpickens: No, I understand fine and I agree with Cody.

Very rarely have I seen a child not have an instinctual tie/loyalty to their bio parent, even if they are shitty.

It works for some but I have seen the whole “I am mom/Dad” thing eventually turn ugly and it’s not worth taking that risk when the kids can simply consider you a step mom/dad.





Quoting CStarz:

OK....so perhaps you misunderstood what I meant or perhaps I am misunderstanding you. 

Quoting jpickens: My comment was based on the whole exchange.

Quoting CStarz:

Neither am I and my kids call me by my name. That does not make me any less their mom. 

You shoudl re-read the whole exchange- it wasn't about pats on the back. 

Quoting jpickens: I’m personally not a SM for recognition/accolades and I don’t need my steps to call me mom to feel appreciated.




Quoting CStarz: I am not in any way denying the importance of step parents- quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps you've misunderstood me.
I wrote 2 quite long responses on the importance of step parents and their roles as mom and dad- one aspect of step-parenting.
I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad.
Mom and dad are not always biologically related to their children.
The reason legal definitions are changing is to accommodate the different shapes of family- types of parenthood because the legal definition along with the cultural view has been quite narrow until now.
By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.
If you are tackling you roles of parenthood differently, that's cool but you don't get to define the roles of others.
At the very least, parents of all stripes should be able to navigate child rearing in a space wide enough to include them.



Quoting codysara: That is exactly what makes them a mom and a dad. Not all mom's and dad's are good ones. Which is why it is sad to see good step parents, that could change the negative aspect of the name, refuse to accept it.
Yes, new definitions are occurring. But why? Why does being a great stepmom need to change? New definitions do not change legal standing.
Edit to add... people like you, who deny the importance and impact of what step parents do, are the only reason that they are considered second class. No definition of the word can change that until we (step parents) can say it proudly.


Edit again.. to add..
I at one point argued the difference. Mom, good. Mother, bad. Dad, good, father, bad. I held to titles that I was comfortable with giving. Mother and father were the sperm donor and incubator. Mom and dad was the positive names given to those who cared.
I was stuck on definition. My sister was not a mom, just a mother. I raised her kids as a "mom" should. It took a long time too accept I am not mom, that word is useless. The kids never new a good mom. But I can be a good aunt. The same that I can be a good stepmom.

Quoting CStarz:

Being a mom doesn't come from a piece of paper nor does the act of giving birth make a woman a mom anymore than providing sperm makes a man a dad. Are they parents- sure- they have generated a biological child but it hardly makes them mom and dad. The biological act of being a parent is different to the very real world of being mom and dad. 

Parenting is the sum total of its parts, not one aspect of a biological process. Parents come in all shapes and sizes and are made in many different circumstances. I am their legal guardian as well as a 'step' parent. That I did not give birth to them or have not adopted them legally does not make me less of a mother to them. The act of mothering is so much more than the biological. 

You don't have to agree, that's cool, but this is how we feel in my family and the opinions of others are not the rubric by which we measure my role in our children's lives. I know who I am to them. 

I do think it is time that society at large sees the non-bio/adoptive parents being mom and dad in the absence of the bios. Not every blended family situation is like this of course, but there are many non-bio/non-adoptive parents acting as mom or dad, just as I am.

New definitions of who is a parent are emerging;  case law suggests a non-bio/adoptive person acting as a parent, taking on the role of parent legally, financially and emotionally is, in fact, a parent. Non-bio/non-adoptive parents are getting custody and visitation when marriages end.

My point is that a narrow view on who is a mother or father is not necessarily helpful to the kids being raised by us non-bio/non-adoptive parents- it makes us second class citizens in the parenting world- all of the responsibility with none of the rights. 

Quoting codysara: That does make you a fantastic family and stepmom. But those loving actions do not make you mom, those actions should make you a proud stepmom.

Quoting CStarz:

I have no idea what Gabrielle Union's situation is but as a CSM who has been raising her step-kids for a majority of their lives (they have lived with me longer than they were with BM), I have provided for them emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially.

I go to all school activities, know their friends, teachers, favorite colors, wipe their tears, hold them when they are sick, encourage them when they are scared, kiss their boo boos- I do all the mom stuff and by golly, I am real. I am their mom. 

I raise the kids along with their father, BM does nothing. She comes and goes as she pleases, pays for nothing and couldn't tell you the name of their school or how many teeth they've lost if her life depended on it. The kids are accessories to her- something she can show off to her friends from NA and use to extort money out of her family. 

Not every step parent is in the same boat but there are many of us out here- I know many SM/F who are primary care-givers and act as primary parents to 'step' kids. To me, they are my kids, period. Biology does not necessarily make family; love and commitment make a family. 

jpickens
by Gold Member on Mar. 22, 2018 at 3:24 PM
Girl, you wouldn’t have to look further than google. The extreme drama between Union, Wade and her SKs moms was all over the place.

Kids of course hasn’t said anything but I just don’t see blended in harmony only 4-5 years after all that massive chaos.

It was a mess.




Quoting minimoo: I think that we would need to hear from the kids and the moms and need more info on the custody situation to really have an opinion. Miss Union can say she's a real mom, but if the kids reject it or it causes friction and drama with the moms, it can have disastrous consequences by publicly making that claim.



My dd has been reflecting on what makes a mom and a dad lately. Her father and I split when she was less than a year old, but even during that time, he wss very absent and when he was around, he was drunk. I met dh when she was 2, and when I did introduce her, they hit it off right away. Her bf was MIA at that point, making the bare minimum requirements in our state to not be classified as abandoning her (contact to see her once a year to give her the Christmas/ birthday present he purchased jointly from the dollar store with his mother). Dh and I married and added more children to our family. When she was 4, he had gotten sm preggo, and sm and her mother blackmailed him into marriage as she was underage (although over the age of consent, so the threats wouldn't have held out) with the caveat that he take me to court. At the time, I thought she was just young and naive and bought into his lies that I was keeping her from him, but a decade later and after she has seen that everything I warned her about is true and that she has done literally everything, including all of the court papers for the multiple times they have tried to manipulate the system, and won't even bother to pick her up, I've learned it's more about her obsession with my dd. He has no problem leaving her for 6 months at a time (which sm is fine with too- she's funny because she's "mom" to anyone who would hear her roar, but has no issue leaving her indefinitely, and apparently when dd is over there, she becomes sm's personal slave, nanny and housekeeper- she has to clean up after everyone eowe). Anywho- shit hit the fan this past year and dd has unfortunately seen the true horrors of her dad's side of the family. She has also broken the demands of "don't tell" and opened up about the bullshit that goes on over there. We went out for Starbucks last week to chat. She was telling me how her father and sm constantly tell her and everyone who will listen that I'm not her mom and neither is dh, and while before, she would just try and pretend it wasn't happening, it is now starting too really piss her off. She even said that even though it was their family who rapes children, dh and I are the ones who have been there for her as she processes, and it made her think more about who's there and who's not. She said I've always been there, dh has always been there, sm only pretends to be there when someone is watching, and bf isn't even there when someone is, that the only time she sees him is when he's drunk and then the only time he talks to her is to drill her about me or try and tell her how horrible I am. She has now started advocating for herself with help from therapy, and started telling him to knock it off, which results in the silent treatment (which she says she prefers because "non silent dad is a complete jerk and all he does is talk about you and lies about you"). She said she does consider dh her daddy, and asked me about sp adoption when she turns 18 "unless we can do it before". I told her I do not know how that works as her dad is still in the picture. She responded "he's around, but I wouldn't call him 'in the picture'. It's all sm, and she is only around because she doesn't want me home with you because she wants to hurt you." I guess my point is, both bf and sm have shouted it from the roof tops that she is dd's "real mom". But in reality, she's not. Dd rejects that claim. Even society would. Real moms don't leave their kids for months at a time. Real moms don't try and steal resources from their kids. Real moms don't constantly produce negativity and use their kids as a weapon. Real moms don't try and cover up child sex abuse and continue bringing their children around abusers out of spite. Real moms make sure that their children are provided for financially. All of that goes for dads too. As several of his family members have said, she needs to stop trying to demand "momness" to my dd and start actually being a mom to her own kids. It's sad.



In my sitch, there's a multitude of factors involved that I know aren't the norm, fortunately. Ultimately, the kids determine who people are to them. Dd considers dh her dad and even said "I think it's amazing because he didn't have to love me and take care of me the way he does, but he chose to". She also said she doesn't consider sm a parent because she doesn't treat her well. And that when she's over there, she feels she has to be the parent because nobody is taking care of their kids- he's drinking and ignoring everyone, she's eating and yelling at everyone, and their small children are running around amuck.

Quoting pusheen-kitty: In the actress case, she got shade for playing a mom in a role when she doesn�t have kids. One, she can�t , but the controversy is her saying she is a real mom, because she is married to a man who has kids. Publicly. Not what Dwayne Wade kids and nephew call her. I�m sure they have moms ..



Quoting MindReader:

I completely agree that freaking out over labels is not a great idea. But I don't think that is what this thread is about.

Lots and lots of families call the steps mom and dad with no consequence, no freaking out, no insistence, no conflict. Should sm/sd or their spouse insist on them being called mom/dad when either bm or the child are uncomfortable with it? I would say absolutely not.

But it is actually very common for families to do this and *gasp* neither the other parent nor the kids having a problem with it. 

And no outsiders have a right to say that they are wrong if everyone within the family is okay with it.

My sd calls me by my name and refers to me as her sm. I'm totally fine with that. She tried calling me mom at different times in her childhood, but I knew her mom would freak, so I gently corrected her and gave her options of things she could call me. 

But I know a lot of families where bm has no problem with sm being called mom. 

I odn't have the right to judge their situation as wrong based on my own; nor do they have the right to call me out (and they have!) because sd doesn't call me mom.

And I know people- kids and adults- who flat out refuse to call their bioparents mom or dad. Again, not my business. 

This thread isn't about freaking out and insisting on a title that is being denied, it is about not freaking out by what someone else (in this case Gabrielle Union) calls themselves. That's between her dh, her skids, and the bms. 

Quoting jpickens: None of that really matters. Grown ups can think a parent is an absolute piece of shit but that doesn�t mean the kids feel that way or will always feel that way. Grown ups also do not know if the kids feel a step is a �real parent� or will always feel that way.



It�s an action based on choice, not an opinion. Any adult has to be realistic about the long term possible outcomes and if the worst case senerio is worth the risk.



I have made SM choices that was worth the risk but freaking out about titles and being real mom instead of simply being a good step mom, isn�t one of them.









Quoting CStarz:

I wasn't implying that anyone is a step parent for accolades so perhaps you misunderstood what I was trying to say or I didn't word it clearly.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

I am a 'real' mom to my step kids, like many step parents are 'real' parents to their step kids or partner's children in the absence of the bio parents. The fact that they have bio parents does not make any care-taker, biologically related, legally bound or otherwise any less a 'real' parent. 

Quoting jpickens: No, I understand fine and I agree with Cody.



Very rarely have I seen a child not have an instinctual tie/loyalty to their bio parent, even if they are shitty.



It works for some but I have seen the whole �I am mom/Dad� thing eventually turn ugly and it�s not worth taking that risk when the kids can simply consider you a step mom/dad.











Quoting CStarz:

OK....so perhaps you misunderstood what I meant or perhaps I am misunderstanding you. 

Quoting jpickens: My comment was based on the whole exchange.



Quoting CStarz:

Neither am I and my kids call me by my name. That does not make me any less their mom. 

You shoudl re-read the whole exchange- it wasn't about pats on the back. 

Quoting jpickens: I�m personally not a SM for recognition/accolades and I don�t need my steps to call me mom to feel appreciated.









Quoting CStarz: I am not in any way denying the importance of step parents- quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps you've misunderstood me.

I wrote 2 quite long responses on the importance of step parents and their roles as mom and dad- one aspect of step-parenting.

I'm not hung up on labels either- my point is, again, that step parents raising kids deserve recognition as mom and dad.

Mom and dad are not always biologically related to their children.

The reason legal definitions are changing is to accommodate the different shapes of family- types of parenthood because the legal definition along with the cultural view has been quite narrow until now.

By telling me I am not my children's mom, you are not creating accolades for step parents but rather creating an even more hermetic space for parenthood.

If you are tackling you roles of parenthood differently, that's cool but you don't get to define the roles of others.

At the very least, parents of all stripes should be able to navigate child rearing in a space wide enough to include them.







Quoting codysara: That is exactly what makes them a mom and a dad. Not all mom's and dad's are good ones. Which is why it is sad to see good step parents, that could change the negative aspect of the name, refuse to accept it.

Yes, new definitions are occurring. But why? Why does being a great stepmom need to change? New definitions do not change legal standing.

Edit to add... people like you, who deny the importance and impact of what step parents do, are the only reason that they are considered second class. No definition of the word can change that until we (step parents) can say it proudly.





Edit again.. to add..

I at one point argued the difference. Mom, good. Mother, bad. Dad, good, father, bad. I held to titles that I was comfortable with giving. Mother and father were the sperm donor and incubator. Mom and dad was the positive names given to those who cared.

I was stuck on definition. My sister was not a mom, just a mother. I raised her kids as a "mom" should. It took a long time too accept I am not mom, that word is useless. The kids never new a good mom. But I can be a good aunt. The same that I can be a good stepmom.



Quoting CStarz:

Being a mom doesn't come from a piece of paper nor does the act of giving birth make a woman a mom anymore than providing sperm makes a man a dad. Are they parents- sure- they have generated a biological child but it hardly makes them mom and dad. The biological act of being a parent is different to the very real world of being mom and dad. 

Parenting is the sum total of its parts, not one aspect of a biological process. Parents come in all shapes and sizes and are made in many different circumstances. I am their legal guardian as well as a 'step' parent. That I did not give birth to them or have not adopted them legally does not make me less of a mother to them. The act of mothering is so much more than the biological. 

You don't have to agree, that's cool, but this is how we feel in my family and the opinions of others are not the rubric by which we measure my role in our children's lives. I know who I am to them. 

I do think it is time that society at large sees the non-bio/adoptive parents being mom and dad in the absence of the bios. Not every blended family situation is like this of course, but there are many non-bio/non-adoptive parents acting as mom or dad, just as I am.

New definitions of who is a parent are emerging;  case law suggests a non-bio/adoptive person acting as a parent, taking on the role of parent legally, financially and emotionally is, in fact, a parent. Non-bio/non-adoptive parents are getting custody and visitation when marriages end.

My point is that a narrow view on who is a mother or father is not necessarily helpful to the kids being raised by us non-bio/non-adoptive parents- it makes us second class citizens in the parenting world- all of the responsibility with none of the rights. 

Quoting codysara: That does make you a fantastic family and stepmom. But those loving actions do not make you mom, those actions should make you a proud stepmom.

Quoting CStarz:

I have no idea what Gabrielle Union's situation is but as a CSM who has been raising her step-kids for a majority of their lives (they have lived with me longer than they were with BM), I have provided for them emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially.

I go to all school activities, know their friends, teachers, favorite colors, wipe their tears, hold them when they are sick, encourage them when they are scared, kiss their boo boos- I do all the mom stuff and by golly, I am real. I am their mom. 

I raise the kids along with their father, BM does nothing. She comes and goes as she pleases, pays for nothing and couldn't tell you the name of their school or how many teeth they've lost if her life depended on it. The kids are accessories to her- something she can show off to her friends from NA and use to extort money out of her family. 

Not every step parent is in the same boat but there are many of us out here- I know many SM/F who are primary care-givers and act as primary parents to 'step' kids. To me, they are my kids, period. Biology does not necessarily make family; love and commitment make a family. 

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