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My dh and I have custody of his younger brother who is nine. We took him out of an alcoholic and abusive house with his mother to come live with us. He always calls my dh and bm by their first names but since the first week he was here he has always called me Mom, or 'shima' (mom in Navajo) This has never really bothered me since I know I am the closest thing he's ever really expereienced to a mother but when we are out in public it does make for some awkward conversations since I am very obviously not the mother (he's pure navajo and I'm white as rice, he is nine and almost as tall as me) but recently my MIL, his bm, found out that he does this and is very angry and says its inappropriate for him to do so, Is she right? What should he call me? If you were in this situation what would you ask the little boy to call you by?
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM
Replies (21-30):
by Bronze Member on Apr. 18, 2013 at 9:06 AM

You have custody of him. You are his mother. 

The bio part doesn't really matter, as you are the one that cleans him up, feeds him, kisses the booboos, praises him when he does well. You are his mother. 

She doesn't really have a right to get pissed. She is no longer his mother. A judge would tell you the same thing that I have. My cousin had a child to this woman. She abused him. They were in a battle for a long time through the courts. He was dating this woman and they wanted to get married. When they were awarded custody of the child, she asked the judge what the child is to call her. He looked at her and said. "he's to call you mom"

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by Member on Apr. 18, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Let him call you mom if thats what he wants to call you. Having someone to call mom may be like a security blanket for him. This is about HIM not the bm, MIL or anyone else. You just do what you are doing, obviously its all good with him. Dont feel awkward when he does it in public, its no different than people adopting different race children. Hold your head up girl be proud you are someone he wants to call mom.

by on Apr. 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM

You have custody. It sounds like maybe this is just his way of showing you how he sees you. I think it's very sweet of him. -- does he go to counseling or do you have family talks? I can't imagine being a nine year old and having left my BM due to alcoholism... If so maybe gently bring it up. It's really up to you.. If you feel uncomfortable with maybe create a nickname he can call you... The issue I see is to make sure he isn't confused or not dealing with the situation properly.. But it sounds like he just really loves you. Best of luck! 

by Barb on Apr. 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Let him call you Mom or shima.  There is nothing wrong with this, and it obviously is comfortable and comforting to him. You owe no one an explanation of any kind.  At most I'd say He's my boy, or even he's my son, something like this, since he is a son in your heart.

by on Apr. 18, 2013 at 3:18 PM

It is a privilege to be called MOM... Be honored!! :)

by on Apr. 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Did he choose to call you that? Because if he did, there is no reason to correct him.

by on Apr. 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM

well, i assume you didnt ask him to call you mom. its what HE WANTS to call you... and he can call you whatever he wants (as long as its not disrespectful of course)

by Member on Apr. 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM
It's a tough call...since you have custody, I think it may be ok.
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by AnnaLisa on Apr. 18, 2013 at 11:25 PM

 if hes ok with it, then great! i wouldnt let it bother me what the other people thought! whooo caaaares!!

by Bronze Member on Apr. 18, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Do you expect this to be temporary custody or permanent?  If it is permanent, and you expect to act as this boy's parent for life, then it's fine for him to call you what he wants.  BM needs to deal with the fact that she messed up their relationship.  But if it is only temporary custody, be a little careful with how the boy will feel when he goes might be better for him to think of you in a different way if it won't last.  A mom is for life, IMHO.

How wonderful that you opened your home to this child in need.  

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