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Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Posted by athlete2010 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 28, 10 at 19:07

I am a stepdad with adult stepchildren, and I would like to hear from others regarding stepchildren introducing you in social situations to their friends.

What do you think about being introduced as "my mom's husband" or "my dad's wife"? Do you prefer to be called "my stepmom" or "my stepdad"?

Do you have any examples you can share regarding your experience and what worked best for you?

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I have no preference... But maybe that's because SS is 11 and doesn't understand subtle nuances of language? So wouldn't be trying to make some sort of slight if he said "my dad's wife".

When I introduce my dad and stepmom, I say it one of two ways:
"These are my parents, M__ and C__."
Or
"This is my dad, M__, and my stepmom, C___."

My mom has passed away and DH's parents are divorced; his dad is remarried.
Our wedding program said:
"Parents of the Bride
M__ and C__ LastName

Parents of the Groom
L__ LastName
G__ and B__ LastName"


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I guess I dont understand the nuances either. I dont think that referring to a person as stepmom or stepdad necessarily implies any relationship other than that person is the spouse of their parent but not a parent.

If my DDs wedding invitations refered to Parents as anyone other than me or her dad, I would go ballistic. She has two parents. If Dad remarries and/or his spouse or SO chooses to host DDs wedding, then it will have to have wording other than the brides parents. Becuase my DD only has one mom and two parents.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I have two adult SD's. One appears to have a great dislike for me and most likely refers to me as something along the lines of biatch. The other, whom I get along with very well, refers to me as her dad's wife. We've been doing things together more and more lately, as she often asks if she can join me in my activities. In those situations, where I have acquaintances, I introduce her as my husband's DD. Sometimes people will respond, "Doesn't that make her your SD?" I think I probably say something along the lines that she has a mom and prefers to think of me as dad's wife. I felt it important to let my SD's set the rules on what to label the relationship. SD's BF's mom introduces her dad and me to people as SD's parents and SD says she doesn't mind. It would be easiest to just say Jane is my SD, but if that's not what she wants, then I feel it would be wrong to force the issue - IMO.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I am a SM, and a SD. My DH is a SF. LOL.

These acronyms are pretty funny. I'm giggling as I type.

Ok.

I introduce my SM as my dad's wife, or my SM. In cases where I will never meet the people again I may say "my parents". I don't try to slight her when I say "dad's wife" but really she had no parental relationship with me, so she's more his wife than my SM. But I try to give her that respect. I have my DD call her Grandma, because that's what she is to DD... but dd also knows she's my SM.

I introduce DH as my husband rather than as DD's SF in social situations. She introduces him as her dad or her sdad depending on goodness-knows-what. I honestly don't think that she thinks about it very much. She knows she has two dads. And she knows which one is her natural dad. We're all very clear about who her birth parents are.

If she were to get married and I put names on the invitations I think it would go something like this:

The parents of __________
Mr. and Mrs. Silver and DH
and Mr. and Mrs. X-Silver and _______

But that's only because if she got married DH and I would have been together since she was a small child... if I were to get married when she was a teenager I think I wouldn't put my Dh's name on the invites.

But I think that would be up to DD anyway. It's her wedding :)

I think I know where you're going with this though. It can be disrespectful if someone introduces you as "My Mom's Hus-band..." (eye roll, hand on hip...) I'd watch body language more than verbal language. Often I don't think of how I'm introducing.. the title... it just comes out.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I think when the OPs stepkids introduce him, it should be in agreement as to how the kids wish to do so. I'd not make kids introduce me as something they either did not want to or were uncomfortable with.

I'd imagine since OP is asking he's already been introduced and that however it was he's not sure it was 'correct' for those involved.

The kids get the vote on this one. If they prefer 'mom's husband,_____' I find it perfectly acceptable.

My grown SS introduces me different ways at different times. It all works for me as it depends for him as to who he's introducing me to and it's his call as to how he does it. I think the only thing I'd find offensive or improper in my case would be if SS pointed and said 'oh, yeah, that's JMT' as if I was all but a stranger happening to pass by the group being introduced and not really a part of the group.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I think the tone and eye looks and body language are whats more indicative of civility. A step may say, oh here's JMT, becuase that what she calls you and she assumes everyone knows that JMT is her fathers wife. Its like if my sister showed up, and everyone else knew I had a sister named JMT, and I said oh here's JMT. I dont think the name or title is so important.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

My SK's are teens & preteens, so my situation is a bit different than yours. My SK's dont introduce me. I think to other people they refer to me as stepmom. I think that because we were at my SS bball game. I had brought some toys and fruit snack for the girls. I overheard another mom ask her daughter "where did you get that snack" she replied "_______'s stepmom". I was very suprised and it sounded weird to me because I'm not used to hearing that or being referred to as stepmom.
when my husband intoduces me at kids, activities its as his wife not stepmom. Either is fine with me I supposed. I am not a mom so I am not used to beingcalled anything but Jess.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Justmetoo I know what you mean. It would be in the case that you WERE a stranger to everyone but the Skid but your title/relationship was not acknowledged. That makes it even more awkward because then people want to know... well, who's JMT? As opposed to if everyone knew who you were and you walked by the room and skid said, oh, there's JMT. That would be an acknowledgement of your presence rather than an introduction.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I introduce SF and SM as, SF and SM. I have never really had a parental relationship with either; SM I didn't/don't see that much and SF I acquired as an adult. But, they are both decent people, and both have been married to my bio-parents for years, and it just seems a little bit distant and cold under those circumstances to introduce them as "Mom's husband" or "Dad's wife". I also have both half-siblings and step-siblings so that might have figured into my decision as well.

SS8 introduces me as Mom, Step-Mom, Dad's wife (rarely now, more at first), or Mattie, depending upon his mood and/or the phases of the moon. As they say, just don't call me late for dinner! :)


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I will be facing the same situation soon. I don't care for the 'step parent' terms. I would prefer to be called 'my dad's wife'...I will also tell my birth children to refer to my new husband as 'my mom's husband'. The children in this case are all older and if they were a lot younger I might feel differently. Also I agree with one of the other posters, that there is only one mom and one dad (biological), again in this situation the kids are young adults and late teens.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I guess in my case I would not care very much. My DH has a daughter and I have a daughter. My daughter refers to my husband as that. I would be fine with SD referring to me as My Dad's wife. Hell they have mother's and father's and in my opinion I would not get that bent out of shape if I were on the invitation at all. The most important thing would be whether both of our daughter's have found someone who will treat them well, take care of them, and they will live a life that is the way they wanted it to be. I would be more concerned about that and their well-being then if i am on the invite or if my husband is on the invite. I just would not want anyone taking advantage or abusing them in anyway. Just my opinion about what's important to me.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

The most important thing would be whether both of our daughter's have found someone who will treat them well, take care of them, and they will live a life that is the way they wanted it to be. I would be more concerned about that and their well-being then if i am on the invite or if my husband is on the invite. I just would not want anyone taking advantage or abusing them in anyway.

AMEN!! If you've cultivated a good relationship with your children, that's what's important. Not what other people think about who is on invitation, who is higher status on invitation, who is REAL mom/dad... it's all just for show. You and your children know in your hearts. That's all that matters to me.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Maybe I should explain what I meant by the nuances?

The subtle difference CAN be interpreted like this:

When you say "This is my stepmom" or "this is my stepdaughter" you are implying a relationship between the two of you.
If you introduced someone as "This is my friend, Jake" it would be assumed that the two of you have a relationship.

When you say "This is my dad's wife" or "This is my wife's daughter" you are implying that the relationships lie only with the joint person, and not with each other.
If you introduced someone as "This is my husband's friend, Jake" then it would be assumed that you and Jake do not have much of a relationship.

Now, obviously it's not always meant like that, but it CAN be meant like that and CAN be interpreted that way.

In my own life...
I know my sister's husband well, so I automatically introduce him as "This is my BIL, J___. He's married to my sister, E___." This feels natural.
Whereas I really am not at all close to my DH's brother, so I do not think of there being a relationship between us and would probably not automatically introduce him as my BIL. It feels natural to say "This is my DH's brother, K__."

I'm not saying everyone has these distinctions, but I am a very linguistic person who places a lot of value on the subtleties behind language.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

So let me get this straight. No should care about whose name goes on wedding invite, but should care about these distinctions in introductions? Is it that stepparents have thin skin, or they are supposed to be exaulted?


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Makes sense Ceph. Would it matter to you to whom you are speaking as well?

Bill is your co-worker. You don't know him very well.
Mary is your old friend.

Would it go:
Bill, this is my DH's brother, K.
Mary, this is my BIL, K.

Or would it still be more formal because you don't know BIL that well?

I don't know if I made that very clear... gulp.

I have noticed I will introduce my SM as SM around people I know well, but as Dad's wife around people I don't.

My SIL who I know very well I introduce as my Dh's sister only if the people to whom I were introducing her were closer to DH than to me. If it were to my best friend, it would be, this is my SIL. If it were to DH's coworker, it would be DH's sister.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Both of my kids refer to my husband as their stepdad in all situations. I've never heard them say "my mother's husband", I would find that really weird. They were young when we married so maybe that makes a difference. I agree with ceph regarding the nuances of language.

This is not really on topic but sort of related. My MIL from my first marriage almost always referred to my FIL (her husband) as "my husband". That felt so weird. It was not only as if I wasn't related but as if I hardly knew them. And on top of that, since I was fairly young when I married, I called them Mom and Dad. It was almost as weird as if my own mother had referred to my dad as "my husband" in conversation with me.

There's a lot of meaning packed into which words you choose to communicate with.

As far as wedding invitiations, I expect both my kids to list all four of us (me and dh, exH & his wife) as parents, although exH has only been married about a year (my kids are now college age). However, what I expect and what they do may be two different things. I vowed I would never ever get into those petty fights over wedding details with my kids that my then-future-MIL engaged me in all those years ago.

As others have said, I'm more interested in them finding happiness and a wonderful life partner than I am in quibbling over details of the wording on a piece of paper that will be long forgotten the day after the event.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I'm usually a lurker here, but Ceph is right on. My dad has a long time girlfriend. If they were ever to marry, I would refer to her as "my dad's wife". I like her okay, and she's a nice person, but she came into his life when I was an adult, and I have no personal relationship with her. I get along with her, but I don't have her phone number, I don't know her birthday, I wouldn't call just to chat with her.

It might be different for a child who has actually had the person "parent" them. I think the age of the children when the "step" entered their life makes a big difference. I think it also depends on how the children view the step parent, and how involved the step parent is in their life.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

DD refers to SM by her first name, if people ask she says "dad's wife", she likes her very much but DD is an adult, and SM is just few years older than DD. On the other hand ex had a common law wife for 10 years and DD was young and spent a lot of time with her, she still referred to her by the first name and as "dad's wife". Not SM.

I don't care either way. If DD ever has a wedding, well unlikely, but maybe, I doubt other people would be listed as parents. Only dad and I are her parents. But it does not mean she does not have great relationship with dad's wife or other people, she actually does have excellent relationship with SM and other family. They just aren't parents, we are.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Silver, I think it would still be "Mary, this is DH's brother, K__."
The only time I would really call him BIL is on a forum, if I was writing directly about him, and it was just for brevity's sake.

And yes, that age and type of relationship totally matter! My dad and SM married when I was 18, but I'd known her for many years as a family friend and my mom had passed away. Sometimes we fought like cats and dogs, but she still felt (mostly) like family.
But I can see how many people would not view someone their father married when they were 18 as "stepmom" and especially not as "parent".


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Flipside!

My dad and SM generally say something along the lines of "We have seven kids. She has three girls and I have two boys and two girls."
I really like that, as it shows that we are a unit, but that we came from separate families of origin too.

As to grandkids, they say "We have 12 grandkids - 8 boys and 4 girls, with two more babies on the way."

But I say "I have 11 nieces and nephews - 7 bio and 4 step, DH's side doesn't have any kids." And then I break down by
age or gender if asked. I feel like this shows that they are all my N&Ns, they are all part of my family, but shows our connection too...
Sort of like if someone said "These are my parents - my dad, Bill and his wife, Hillary." That would indicate that they are both parental figures, but one is bio and the other is step.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I really do not know anyone who refers to their parent and parent's spouse as "parents" unless the parent is nonexistent, passed away in child's early childhood, never took part in parenting etc. I find it strange and never heard anyone introducing people this way even if they knew a stepparent since childhood. They would introduce as a "stepparent", yes, but "these are my parents?" Never heard of it.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

FD, Now that you mention it, my DS always introduced my ex and I as, these are my parents, Dotz and Mr Dotz, always, even when we were married ,never really seemed wierd to me...Nor does it seem odd, when SS refers to me as my dads wife...Could care less...


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

My SD introduces her dad and I as her parents, always. Funny thing is her mother refers to her dad and I as her parents, too! To someone new she introduces me as her mom - very rarely as SM. I just found out she hasn't even told some of her friends she has a BM. . . that saddened me.
If SD is with me I will introduce her as my daughter - it upsets her if I say anything else. If I'm asked how many kids I have I say three, but will clarify by saying my custodial SD and two bio-sons if she isn't with me.

I really don't know what is going to happen come wedding invite time. I'm sure the three of us would be listed as parents (fairly certain whatever husband BM will be on won't make the cut) but honestly I'm worried she might try to leave her mom off all together . . . I worry about what will happen if she designates me as the mother of the bride. I wouldn't feel comfortable filling that position as I know it would crush her mother.
But, since DH won't allow SD to marry until she is 45 I have a while to figure it out. :)


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A Middle Ground

Athlete 2010, there was one option you didn't mention in your original post--the term "stepfather." That is a term that, I think, means "this is my parent's new spouse, who I respect but am not (or am not yet) close to." "My mother's husband" suggests a bit of distance. "Stepdad" means "my mom's husband who I feel close to."

The wedding invitation thing--if a parent's spouse is not mentioned on the invitation, that implies to everyone present that the child getting married very specifically despises the new spouse...or, more likely, that the former spouse has NO LIFE but dreams nightly that their ex would return to them, and the child getting married is guilt tripped into sharing that dream. That's pretty much how people interpret that particular signal.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Ulrike said "The wedding invitation thing--if a parent's spouse is not mentioned on the invitation, that implies to everyone present that the child getting married very specifically despises the new spouse...or, more likely, that the former spouse has NO LIFE but dreams nightly that their ex would return to them, and the child getting married is guilt tripped into sharing that dream. That's pretty much how people interpret that particular signal.

LOL, Ulrike! That was priceless!
If I see a stepparent left off a wedding invitation or out of a wedding program, I wonder what the heck is going on there.
I don't bat an eyelash at an invitation that says
"Bride and Groom, together with their families..." or "Bride and Groom, together with their parents..." if there are stepparents involved. But I sure am curious when I know there is a stepparent left off.

I'm going to tell you more of what we did at our wedding, so that people can see that the inclusion of a stepparent does not preclude the inclusion of a bioparent.
FTR, our invitations said "Ceph and MrCeph, together with their parents, request the joy of your company...
We chose that for space reasons, for complexity reasons, and because we paid for most of it, with a bit of help from the parents.
We listed my dad, my SM, his mom, his dad, his SM each by name in the program. I was careful to put his mom first in the Parents of the Groom section, as it didn't sit right with me to have his SM's name before his mom's.

We also had slightly different flowers (bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres). DH and I had blue ribbons in our flowers, as did our biological parents. Stepparents and bridal party all had ivory ribbons in their flowers.

My parents (dad and stepmom) walked me down the aisle together. If my mom were alive and my parents split up, it would have just been my dad.
It was important to us that all of our parents have an opportunity to speak at our wedding, so:
My parents did a Welcome to the Family speech to DH.
DH's dad and stepmom did a Welcome to the Family speech for me.
DH's mom did a Toast to the Couple.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I would say variations of Dad's wife, stepmom etc. I don't think any term really implies anything significant about the relationship and people really shouldn't read into it. I usually just said whatever was easiest and depending on who I was talking to. I didn't really relish having to explain family ties to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

My SM would demand I refer to her as Mom when I was younger, nope not going to happen bubba. You're a stepmom lol and there's nothing wrong with that. I think she read more into the term but that is the relationship she was to me. And I do get to decide that for myself.

On another note, my grandfather ALWAYS introduces his second wife....as his second wife. I am so not joking. "Hi Tom, this is my second wife, Jane."


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Ceph, that's really nice. There is nothing more tacky at a wedding than having divorced/remarried parental squabbles be apparent! It is a time for everyone to focus on the couple who is getting married, not the various parental configurations.

My friend's SD was married about 10 years ago, and my friend and her husband paid for about 90% the wedding. My friend makes more than her husband or BM, and she graciously made it possible for the bride to have the kind of wedding she wanted. When they were dividing up the tasks, the BM insisted that she go with SD and groom to select the wedding invitations. The save-the-date was just a cute thing from the couple themselves. SD was very quiet about the invitations themselves, and it became apparent why. The BM had insisted that they read "Joe and Sally Smith request your presence at the marriage of their daughter Jane to...." With "Joe" and "Sally" being the divorced parents!!

SD told my friend that BM said "that is how it is done," and SD had showed BM in etiquette books how that is NOT done, but SD knuckled under to BM's tears and that was that. So icky. And BM tried to insist that she and my friend's husband would do the parents' dance as well. LOL! That did not happen.

My friend said to just let it go, but her husband made sure their friends knew who had ordered those invitations, ha!


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Wells my Xs SO doesnt work. Contributes no money to household. Statistically women earn less than men.

If you go to read the wedding collumnns, most comments are along the line of my Dad says unless we give the SM I loath top billing no wedding.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

You misunderstood my post, KKNY--I was not refering to you, but to a friend of mine. I'm thinking they would not base their decisions on the situation of someone else?

That's so interesting that a child would not be allowed to marry unless someone else were given "top billing." A lot of the posters on this board are from the U.S., so we are unfamiliar with that custom. Here in the U.S., assuming a person is of age, they may marry regardless of what their parents say. Where do you live?


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I went to a wedding several years ago, and on the groom's side were his bio-dad, his bio-mother, "Aunt" #1(whom BM had left BD for) and her new partner, and "Aunt" #2 (whom BM had left Aunt #1 for). I don't particularly remember the wording of the invitation or the program, but I do remember thinking what a beautiful wedding and reception it was, and how nice it was that all of the various parental figures could and did put aside any differences that they may have had to enjoy the day. They were all quite lovely people.

Planning a wedding is so stressful as it is without having to worry about who will be insulted if their name is not first in the credits!


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Uke,

Of course people can always get married, I meant no large wedding ceremony.

Just so I understand, its OK for a step to be annoyed at how they are referred to, but not OK for a mom to be annoyed at wedding invites.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KK lives in NY if I'm not mistaken...

It's a "if you don't recognize me, I'm not paying" move.

I didn't have my mom walk me down the aisle with my dad because I didn't want to dishonor my SM. Even though I hate my SM. I still respected their relationship. I explained it to my BM and she understood. So my dad walked me. I have no lasting regrets. I think it's up to the bride and groom. Hopefully they will respect you enough and like you enough to want to do the right thing by you. If not, all the money in the world can't fix it.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

"Hopefully they will respect you enough and like you enough to want to do the right thing by you. If not, all the money in the world can't fix it."
Nail on the head, Silver!


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KKNY--I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean about it being "OK" to feel annoyed; feelings are feelings, you can't judge them. It's what we DO with our feelings that impacts others. Like, to use your examples, if a new spouse is hurt that their stepchild refers to them as "my dad's wife," they can pout and be cold to their stepchild...or, they can talk to their new spouse about the issue and work to understand what the term means to the stepchild, maybe even have a caring discussion with the stepchild if that seems welcome. The child may well be touched and honored that their parent's new spouse would love to be called "Stepmom" or "Stepdad."

Or if a mother wishes that only she and her former husband would appear on the wedding invitations as if they were still a couple, she can throw a fit and guilt trip her child, refuse to attend the wedding, refuse to contribute to costs, etc. Or, she can read up on accepted wedding etiquette, realize that it's considered correct and classy for remarried parents to be listed with their spouses on the invite, and gladly support her child's desire to honor her remarried parent's marriage as the child begins a new marriage of his or her own.

In their head, of course, the person in either case can be having a good old-fashioned tantrum if they like! And hopefully have a good friend to vent to in private. And yet, so often, when we do the right thing, we end up not feeling so bad and our resentments lessen.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

"Or if a mother wishes that only she and her former husband would appear on the wedding invitations as if they were still a couple"

Mother can want only parents (thats the relationship that is important) on invite. By not putting and between their names it is clear they are not married.


"she can throw a fit and guilt trip her child, refuse to attend the wedding, refuse to contribute to costs, etc. "

But its OK if dad says unless SM treated pari parsu with mom, he can do that?

"Or, she can read up on accepted wedding etiquette, realize that it's considered correct and classy for remarried parents to be listed with their spouses on the invite"

Its only ocrrect if the stepparent helps pay. Wont happne in my DDs case.

"and gladly support her child's desire to honor her remarried parent's marriage as the child begins a new marriage of his or her own. "

Or in my case watch the woman who slept with her dad while he was still married remind her of the meaning of maritial fidelity.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Ladies, I can understand why some of you feel that a SM, no matter how cordial the relationship, will never be a parent. That is certainly fair; your kids already have a mom (you) and so whatever sort of pleasant relationship may develop between a SM and your kids it will still be you who will always be Mom.

But can you understand that there are posters here who are, for all practical purposes, the parents of skids now? I'm sure that you don't mean to imply that adoptive moms; foster moms; grandmothers, aunts, and big sisters who are legal guardians; and yes, some SMs, are not parents? I would hope that everyone here agrees that being a parent means a lot more than just providing some DNA to the child.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Mattie GT, you are so right! And I have found that if you get in a discussion with your adult friends about their lives growing up, you will find that many of them who have talked about their mom or dad to you over the years were not talking about their biological parent, but instead the person they came to call "Mom" and/or "Dad." Meaning, they didn't even feel the need to clarify that they had a bioparent out there somewhere, or a parent who had passed away...the supposed "stepparent" became "Mom" or "Dad" in their heart.

And almost as important, we need to be mindful of the wonderful role that many stepparents play in their SKs' lives even when the bioparent is very much in the scene as well. I've said before on this board that having an extra loving, connected adult in one's life can be such a nurturing bonus for a kid. Last night we had my SD's birthday party, and as I surveyed our family of four kids who adore each other and I'm sure think of each other as siblings even though they are two sets of SKs, I thought about the richness of a well-blended stepfamily...what a good thing for our culture!


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I find it somewhat strange that mom and dad cannot walk their children to the altar as to not upset or dishonor SM. I don't think people should be mean or disrespectful, personally in my family everyone gets along, but such move seems strange.

Is it OK to hurt one's own mother (unless of course relationship is already strained or nonexistant which would probably explain such move) as long as dad and his wife are honored? Does not make any sense to me.

Seems that some people here are extremelly concerned about stepparents being treated with most respect (and it is nice) yet don't seem to worry too much about their own parents, especially mothers.


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mattie

Of course stepparents/grandparents/aunts etc who became guardians or replaced a parent or raise children as their own are "parents". Nobody says otherwise. Mom2emall is a parent for example, so is imamommy, and JNM. People who barely know their stepchildren could still be called stepparents as far as a title goes, but I would not call them "parents".


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

FD asked "Is it OK to hurt one's own mother (unless of course relationship is already strained or nonexistant which would probably explain such move) as long as dad and his wife are honored?

It depends on how/why she is hurt. If she is genuinely being excluded, then it is not OK. If she not being excluded, but is mad that SM is being included, then it is her own problem.

Let's say a son gets along well with SM, who is helping out financially and doing work for the wedding, has been with dad for many years and is a beloved member of the family. Son would like to include SM in the "Parents" section of the program. Mom will not be excluded in any way.
If Mom is hurt by this, I think she should act like an adult and get over it graciously.

Now, for some odd reason, this same SM is selected for the parents' dance (instead of Mom).
Then I think Mom would have a legitimate gripe and should calmly speak to her son about this to find out why he's planning it this way.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

A step parent is still not a parent. And how many times does SM think the kids like her, but are just being polite (kids cant win, they are either told to be polite, or their politeness is interpreted as genuine feelings).

Go to the wedding columns. Time after time, there it is. I hate my SM. Dont even want her at wedding. Have been nice to her becuase of dad.

But OK, take my sitution. Lets say SM was the other woman. Slept with dad while he was still married. I doubt she's told her friends, so they just think I am mean. Contributes nothing financially to household with dad. I could give a sh*t if she contributed to wedding, becuase if dad has been supporting her for X years, calling it her helping out is a joke.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Of course there are situations like that. And, the opposite, where a child has formed a bond of affection with a stepparent but the other parent is so consumed with jealousy and bitterness that the child has to pretend around them to not like the stepparent. Some of us are more able than others to share the people we love with others--an inborn trait--and also some situations are more amenable to sharing than others.

And yet still, especially at a public event like a wedding, bitterness usually doesn't make us attractive to others, nor does it create a pleasant atmosphere for the celebration. A bitter ex-spouse is just going to come across as pathetic to the guests. And the marrying couple should not have to worry about the feelings of their parents on that special day. That's why we have etiquette rules in the first place--so we can fall back on "that's how it's done" and not have so much second-guessing.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I am not too much into conventional things like formal events etc I cannot care less. DD is the same way so it is very unlikely such issue would arise.

But I would be very surprised if DD told me not to walk her because dad is married and SM will be dishonored. Like people don't know I am DD's mom? LOL

I would not be upset because it is her wedding, her wish, but it would be very strange to me. According to Jewish tradition both mom and dad walk a child. If she would marry into a different faith where only dads walk, then it would be a different story.

I agree it is not nice to exclude a stepparent who gets along and is reasonably involved. But i think there should be some boundaries and common sense. It does not matter who contributes financially, mom and dad are mom and dad.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KK, if your DD was getting married and she genuinely wanted to include SM in the Parents section of the program (not pressured by Dad and SM, not feeling like she "should", but really truly wanted to), then your role would be to be gracious and keep your mouth shut.
I'm not saying she WOULD want to do this, just IF.

And I'm not so sure about using wedding columns as some sort of evidence that all children hate their SPs.
I spend a lot of time on a board for Canadian women, and a lot of the posts about weddings and stepparents on it are along the lines of "I'd like my dad and my stepdad to walk me down the aisle together. How can I frame this so everyone else feels as good about this decision as I do?" Or "I want my stepmom to come dress shopping with me because she and I are close, but I know my mom will pitch a hissyfit about this. What do I do?"
There are also posts about "I am worried my stepdad will show up drunk like he did at my brother's wedding!" Or "My stepmom and I are not close at all (I don't even like her that much), yet she wants to do a speech at our wedding."
But there are LOTS of positive step relationships on my board.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KKNY, I don't think in your your case your daughter would even begin to be expected by her father to include anyone but you and your ex on her wedding invitations.

Really, what would they say "Mrs. KKNY and Mr. ExKKNY along with SO, Ms TOW, Jane Doe"...

I would see no need to expect anything on your DD's invites other than something along the lines of 'Mrs. KKNY and Mr. Ex KKNY' , but not Mr. and Mrs. KKNY.

In newspaper announcement , I would think something like 'the bride is the daughter of Mrs. KKNY of ______ and Mr. KKNY of ______.

But that's your DD and the case of your family's situation. I can't imagine your ex actually expects a place of honor/acknowledgement to his SO that he is not married to and has had no part in the upbringing of your daughter.

Not all stepfamilies have the make-up of your case. I'm sure there are some brides who hate their stepmom and some who feel very proud to have had their SM a part of their lifes and do wish to acknowledge/honor .

It's very commom in my parts to read announcements in paper with the 'bride is the daughter of John and Jane Doe of _____ and Bill and Sally Smith of ______'; and 'the bride is a daughter of John Doe and Sally Smith'.

I have also seen on some invitations I've received where what is worded on them is slgihtly different than how the newspaper announcement was written.

I personaly do not think a bride/groom should be pressured to list on invites anything other than what they are comfortable with and desire. I think that if there is a big issue from the two sides of the bride/groom parents that the invite should read more along the lines of 'Miss Cindy Jones and Mr. Adam Williams wish to invite you to the event of their wedding....'. I'd rather see a non-typical invitation than have a catfight between parents at a wedding.

As in my own case, the DH and myself have never had to deal with some of the issues and concerns other families have in that DH and myself are the only 'parents' our kids (his, mine and ours) have ever had. It's been interesting on this thread to read how some have dealt with their weddings in their different cases.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

FD, my mother understood. I actually think it was more respectful that I told her I was even considering it, as traditionally mothers don't walk their daughters down the aisle. I told mom I had considered having her and dad walk me but then thought that may make SM feel awkward, so I decided against it, and she was fine with that.

KKNY, I wouldn't think it was ok if dad said he wouldn't pay/participate if WBSM wasn't listed on program. I think that is rude. I think it should be up to the bride, and she needs to do it with as much tact as possible.

Mine personally said: The parents of Silver and the Parents of Mr. X Silver invite you.... We didn't even list names. LOL.

Now, at my second wedding I again had my dad walk me down the aisle. I asked SM to have another *important job. I think that making everyone feel special and needed and important is the bride's job. Except, of course, if you hate your SM. Then she can just be another guest, but should get recognized as Dad's wife out of respect for him and his choices, even if you don't agree with them. It's called manners.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Except, of course, if you hate your SM. Then she can just be another guest, but should get recognized as Dad's wife out of respect for him and his choices, even if you don't agree with them. It's called manners.

Maybe if SM had thought about manners before she slept with a married man.


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And the ball jumps the curb...

I wasn't talking about the EX-Wife respecting the new SM. I was talking about the bride respecting the SM (if she has any respect for her dad). Ex-Wife doesn't need to respect new SM, EXW needs to respect DD, and her choices for what she wants at her wedding. Doesn't mean you have to talk to the man-stealing whore, just means you need to be polite as that is what will honor your DD.

Interesting that you're still ok with respecting Dad at the imaginary wedding, and he's the one who actually broke his vows to you, that he presumably said before God and all of your family members. And he's the one modeling poor relationship choices to your DD... So it's cool to respect him, but not to be polite to his wife. Interesting.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Because he is still her dad.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Silver, you don't understand!
ExH's SOs are always vapid, home-wrecking wh0res. ExHs are always virtuous men led astray by wretched Jezabels.
Duh. ;)

(And, KK, I do agree with you that TOW should have thought about manners before she slept with a married man. Being TOW or TOM is extremely impolite, to say the very least... But your exH is not without blame here.)


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Blame

I agree that he is not without blame, but he is and always will be DDs dad. Dads SO (not actually SM, but SO, so I dont draw much distinction) is less than nothing.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KK, I totally agree with you that you don't have to respect TOW. But your daughter, in order to show respect for her dad, may wish to honor her dad and by proxy, be polite, courteous and respectful of his choices. And by choices, I mean stepping out on her mother and bonking some other woman and then having the nerve to expect everyone to be ok with it.

I'm not on dad's side. But DD has a different relationship with these people than you do, and to expect her to have the same reactions/priorities as you, I think, is projecting.

My point is: If dad and SO actually make it and get married and stay married DD/BD may think it would be disrespecting her dad not to acknowledge his wife. Chances are slim IMO since I think statistically TOW's marriage to CB's (that's Cheating Bastards) don't last that long, but they may have a long and happy marriage.

In that case, I think it would be classless for you to make a fuss and insist on top billing. A wedding is not the place to air personal grievances. IMO, dad/CB should have enough class not to ask to put TOW on anything. But if he does, that's between him and the bride. If they work something out that works for them, I don't think it's your place to say anything to the bride.

Which doesn't mean in any way that I'm condoning TOW and CB's horrible, out-of-integrity behavior.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Well time will tell. No a wedding is not the time to air greivances. It is the time to celebration a marriage where hopefully both parties will keep their vows. There is a big difference acknowledging dads wife as such and giving her top billing. My DD has no love of Dads SO. She calls her the golddigger.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Well, then not an issue for your DD. But were she to choose to give TOW "top billing" I think that would be her business and you shouldn't punish her by withholding your support, both emotional and monetary.

Actually, the "top billing" thing has me curious. How do you think someone could "top" the "billing" of the mother? Does it matter who is listed first?

DD, the daughter of X-KKNY and TOW and KKNY would just look funny, IMO. I can't imagine someone putting that on their invite.

I have no respect or love for my SM. But my dad is still my dad, and out of respect for him I made sure (at my wedding and on a regular basis) that she was not/is not slighted in the least.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I think, as suggested by the start of this thread, that "slighting" is in the eye of the beholder. Can TOW, if she were married to X, be identified as wife of FOB, sure. But she is never a parent.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

To a point, I agree. But there is a decorum point. If a person has graciously introduced a person with the status afforded to them, warranted or not, the other person may choose to be offended but a judicious person would see that the proper respect has been paid and any perceived slight is merely opinion rather than fact.

"This is my father, ______ and his wife ________" is not insulting unless it is said in a rude tone or with body language that is inappropriate.

One may expect a child to not know the difference but adults should know better. It has taken me over ten years to realize that I am only making myself look bad by disrespecting SM (overtly or not). Amazingly enough everyone in my family thought SM was just WONDERFUL when I was so vocally hating her, but now that I've realized it's "dad's life, dad's decision" and have shifted to neutral, everyone in the family wants to tell me how much they hate her. Ironic.

Everyone in my family and friends know whose sperm and egg conjoined to create me. Acknowledging my SM doesn't take away from that fact.

"Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Everyone in my family and friends know whose sperm and egg conjoined to create me. Acknowledging my SM doesn't take away from that fact.

I think by referring to parents as providors of sperm and egg you are technically correct but insulting all biological parents who have done more.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KKNY: "A step parent is still not a parent." "I think by referring to parents as providors of sperm and egg you are technically correct but insulting all biological parents who have done more."

How is that insulting? If all the bandaging skinned knees, staying up with sick kids, helping with homework, drying tears, reading bedtime stories, volunteering with Cub Scouts, teaching manners, listening to knock-knock jokes, and going to soccer games in the world is not enough to make one a "parent", then it seems pretty clear to me that the criteria for being a parent is providing eggs or sperm.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Because many parents do more, and by lumping all as egg or sperm donors, it is insulting. My mother might do all that and more for my DD, but she knows she is not the mother. But I appreciate your comment as it makes me more determined to make certain my Xs SO is forced in her place.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

athlete2010 - it's really all about what is more comfortable. If the SC are already adults, it may feel weird for them to refer to you as "stepfather" or "stepdad". And you shouldn't be offended if they introduce you as "my mother's husband", unless you have a contentious relationship with them. Any of those terms would be correct.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Just because some people have terrible relationship with their parents does not mean everyone else should.

Silvers, there is a lot of contradiction in your posts. You referred to your mother as evil, conniving, selfish person who literally ruined your life and you have no relationship with her. In comparison even terrible evil SM of yours sounds better. Under these circumstances it is understandable that your mother would not walk you and it might be OK to push her aside.

But that's nothing to do with manners! For many people their mother is still one of the closest people in the world, who does not need to be pushed aside to make someone else happy.

I know for sure that DD does not think I am that awful, I doubt kkny's DD is hateful of her either, that's why it would be weird if they decided to push us aside and make sure someone else is honored! It would be very strange!


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Thanks to all who have shared their insight and experiences on this topic. In my original post, I didn't pass any judgement on the introduction. I was hoping to get a variety of opinions.

I have been a stepdad for over ten years and I known SS and SD since they were in grade school. After their mom and I married, they lived full time with us until their adult years. My wife and I also have a child together. Because of that, I am now used to being called Dad around the house. So it felt weird being referred to as, "That's my mom's husband," in our home during a recent family party when my adult SS clarified who I was to his date. I know that he was technically correct.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

KK, many parents do-more, and many just do-nate. Same goes for S-parents. Some DO and some DON'T. And adopted parents. My mother was remarried at one big event in my life, she had been married for 15 years to that person. I had my mother, my Sparent, my father stand with me. My soon-to-be SM wasn't invited. She was dad's GF for 6 months at the time. I had four seats and my other seat went to an uncle. The school fought me because they thought my Sparent shouldn't be up there too. But that person had been with me for 15 years and was a big part of me becoming who I was.

I personally think a wedding (insert other big event here) is for the bride and groom (insert title of honored person here), and anyone trying to force their wishes on the bride and groom (honored person) in any way is bad manners and in poor taste.

Doesn't mean TOW and CB shouldn't be in the doghouse forever. Does mean DD's wedding is not the hill to die on.

When I got married one of my girlfriends from high school EXPECTED to be the maid of honor. I think it was for that very reason that she wasn't. I had a dozen bridesmaids, and I decided my maid of honor on the day of the wedding. She was my most humble friend who worked so hard to make sure my day was special FOR ME. Not because she wanted to be "the special one" (literally, that's how she put it... I want to be the special one!! LOL, honey, I'm the bride, I get to be the special one). I will never forget that girl and how she said it. And nearly 10 years later we aren't friends again. She proved time and again that she expected to be center of attention, and it was all about her. And I was right. My friend who was maid of honor I ended up standing up for a year later. And then she stood up for me at my second wedding. And then I stood up for her at her second wedding. LOL.

I think a person can learn a lot about another person and their priorities and selflessness in these sorts of occasions.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Athlete2010, that your SS refered to you that way might have more to do with the dynamic between him and his date than to do with you guys. He might have felt a little more grown up calling you "my mom's husband." It might also be that this girl is from a nuclear family and he thought she wouldn't understand who you were without the clarification?

He probably wouldn't guess that this felt strange to you--would you feel comfortable bringing it up? He might be touched that you missed hearing the "dad" syllable.

Now that I think about it--I like my SDs to refer to me as their "stepmom," and not "stepmother"--"stepmom" feels so warm and affectionate. Maybe because the fairy tales don't include a "wicked stepmom," ha! The first few years DH and I were married, BM would always say "your STEPmother" to them about me...clearly a cold tone to it.


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Relationships Change

Yes, people can put their bitternesses aside. My first two years of marriage to DH were marked by comments from my SDs that the people at BM's church were "praying for our daddy to believe in god again and to come back to Mommy." Pretty grim stuff.

And yet, now I would describe BM as quite supportive of my relationship with them. Time, and BM's basic sensible nature, AND the fact that she and I both love the girls, have made us feel like family to each other. Except for the never-ending religion thing, we are similar in our parenting styles and interests, so there is very little friction. She oversteps with her expression of her intimate connection (no, not THAT kind of intimate, ha) with my DH from time to time, but it is weirdly inclusive of me also...like she wants to be in our marriage or something. But that has become less common.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I think it depends on the situation. DH and I introduce our children without the Step part. However, in school situations or legal situations we would define the relationship as Step. We have heard our (blended) children do the same. However, we did raise them for many years, so to be called, "Dad's wife" would seem not quite right. If we had married when our children were adults I could see the wife/husband introductions.

We call our exes birth mother/birth father. Gave birth, but did not raise the kids. Kids never asked why we used the terms, so we never explained and would have phrased it differently than that! We think they just thought we used it to distinguish people from each other. In the last few years some of the kids have starting calling us mom and dad. Nice.

Wedding - one so far. As far as I know an invitation is from someone who is hosting the event. Since my ex would not pay for any part of the wedding the invitation stated the bride's parents and my DH and me. I guess if it was an announcement of the marriage all parenting parties would/could be listed.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

was the mother not listed because she is nonexistant, deadbeat, never saw her kids after divorce (understandable reason), or simply because she did not pay for the wedding?


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Well, consider it this way. Your best friend is having a baby. You are throwing the baby shower and are in charge of the invitations. Would you put "Robertalee invites you to the baby shower of _________" or would you put "_________'s baby shower"?

I think the "host" would be the guest of honor.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

My wedding invitations read:

Mr. & Mrs Daddy
and
Ms. Mommy

request the honour of your presence....

and if Mommy were remarried, I would have included him on my Mommy's line. and if my mommy got bent out of shape because I included daddy's wife on his line... that would have been HER problem! It's my wedding.

and I read the first few posts and would have to agree that each person should get to decide how to refer to the other and while some titles may indicate a relationship... if someone asks and the child want's to say "that's mom/dads spouse" but the spouse thinks of the child as a "stepdaughter", then both should be allowed to feel free to use the term THEY are comfortable with. The child may get to decide how they want to refer to the adults, the adults also get to decide how to refer to the child.. it isn't up to the child to be called "dad's daughter" if you really want to say "stepdaughter".


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Sure; as long as YOU paid for it. An invitation connotes who is the host, not relationships. A wedding announcement connotes just that, an announcement, and all parents/guardians could be listed. THAT would be up to the bride/groom. If is is my money that is being spent, then I have the discretion to make decisions as to how it is spent, or, not give it.

A host is someone who is throwing the party and does tons of work to make it run smoothly and spends their money on the entertainment, food, and beverages. The guest of honor is feted and does not need to do anything other than gush at how everyone really is here for me, lavishly thank the people who attended and/or gave gifts, and hopefully write thank you notes.

Birth Father of the groom was not listed for whatever reason; the bride and groom made that decision. Father of the groom was getting married soon after (3rd time, fiancee's 2nd - seems she did not have a "real" wedding the first time) Did not ask son. However, he had to rent a tux and his sisters buy a bridesmaid dress for that affair. Ticked us off because one had lost her job due to the downturn in economy and was living with us (She did find two jobs to compensate and has since been reemployed in her field.) and the other is the one going to grad school and working. When the kids were all undergrads ex told me he could not afford to give them any money for college so he could save for his retirement. So, DH has made up for that and has not funded his retirement (self-employed) for several years to make up for their birth father's selfishness.

In all honesty, I have tried to put this all behind me and enjoy life. Writing all of this brings it all back and there is nothing to do about it.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Well you ex is a moron, so that's why you are divorced. Seems that both you and your Dh are very resentful of exes and there is a lot of competition who pays for what. Most exes are exes for a reason, they are no good, but you are not married to them and what they do or don't do, should not be an issue anymore. Every time I let myself think what and how my ex does or did XYZ I feel my blood boiling and he is not even that bad. I try not to think much of him. And then really we chose those people to be our spouses and parents of our children, so we stuck with them for life. haha


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Ulrike1 - Perhaps SS was trying to sound grown-up by referring to me as "my mom's husband". That's an interesting observation. I did learn later that SS's date has a stepdad as well, so it could be that she refers to him in the same way.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Roberta, that's true. The person paying has the option of saying they want to put:

Her Royal Highness Queen Mother and Idiotic Loser Father invite you to the wedding of their daughter

...if she wants to. And the bride/groom can say "we'd rather you not, so we'll pay" if they don't like it.

I'm just of the opinion that a gift is not a gift if it has strings and thinking the wording should be up to the person who is being feted. JMHO


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

"My wedding invitations read:
Mr. & Mrs Daddy
and
Ms. Mommy" or Mrs. Mommy and Mr Mommy

This is how I've seen it done on all such wedding invitations. I think it shows class and maturity. Everybody gets it. And as a guest, I definitely don't want to know who is paying for what by the tacky means of an inappropriate and exclusionary invitation. These are all of the parental figures.

I am a SM and I am usually introduced as "my Dad's wife, LAmom. I'm OK with that as it is accurate. And with my skids, I don't need or want any more than that, ya know? My Dad's wife, LAmom and I'm good. I have been known to throw that kind of introduction back at them too. Like, this is DH's Other Son. Childish I know but effective.

And another thing, if SD36 remarries or SS30 marries, and DH pays 1 cent of it, my name better be on that invite if they want the check to clear. Fantasies about Mom and Dad put aside, I better be seated in the first pew next to my husband, the father. I don't mind if it's at the far end, but yes, the first pew.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I agree wholeheartedly LAmom. When my grandpa died, his girlfriend of 10 years sat in the front row. No, they weren't married. No, she was not on the program, my grandmother (predeceased) had that honor. But she sat in the front row, out of respect for my grandpa and their relationship. I happily gave up my seat in the front "family" pew so that she could sit there with her daughter even though I didn't know her and she wasn't married to him. Evidently they had a good relationship and were very close. What would Grandpa, the "guest of honor" have wanted? That's what matters.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Thank you Silver. Some people are so wedded to the past that they can't see what's real or important now. How they put their own biological children through so much angst and drama to "spare" their feelings about events long past and in the grave.

You are doggone right, if there is a wedding, funeral, graduation ceremony or whatever, I will be in front, no more back of the bus for me. I did that and it's a rough ride and for what? For whom?

Athlete, decide for yourself what feels right and don't be intimidated in to accepting anything less. Anything less than what YOU think represents You is disrespect so don't be confused. Yeah, it's the bride and groom's day if we are talking about a wedding but it's a family day as well just like the holidays no matter who hosts and pays. Good luck.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Lamom - I appreciate your comments. It's in my nature to be fair and give someone the benefit of the doubt. I'm not intimidated if I think someone is being rude - especially in my home. If I was sure that SS meant to be rude, I would have addressed it with him right then and there.

SS is an adult and does not live with us anymore. It is possible that we won't be in the same situation again for some time. However, I think that I will talk to him privately about this and let him know what I would like to be called.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I don't think you can tell an adult what to call you. You could tell him that it hurt your feelings, but that's probably it. Even then, I think it's a bad idea. He's an adult. You got to decide when he was a child what he had to refer to you as, it's clear he chose not to do it any longer.

IME and from just this thread, I see where alot of parents and stepparents kinda mold their version of what they'd like their blended family to be. I read a lot where stepparents come up with nicknames for themselves or want to be called something a certain way when the stepkid is a child. The problem is that the stepkid doesn't always feel that way and may have resented referring to a stepparent as a parental figure.

I don't think it has anything to do with how long you've been in the stepkids life. Feelings are much more complex than that. I also don't think it's the kind of relationship you can demand to be called a certain way.


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sorry to hijack.

Ulrike... you wrote... Now that I think about it--I like my SDs to refer to me as their "stepmom," and not "stepmother"--"stepmom" feels so warm and affectionate.

It brought tears to my eyes because it defines my whole relationship with my 4 SC...

Oldest SD 21 and the 2 boys call/refer to me as Stepmom to others all 3 call me the same nickname. A nickname I have had since I was a kid.

SD11 refers/calls me Stepmother to others never refers to me by name only as "her".

I think your statement defines my relationship with each of them in a nutshell. Makes me sad and very happy at the same time :)

thanks


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

This was the first instance where I have experienced being called "my mom's husband." I was almost always the first one to introduce myself to his friends when he was younger.

I would never demand to be called one thing or another. However, in my home I can ask to be referred to in a way that I believe is just being polite.

I agree that a person shouldn't get a title just based on length of time in a relationship. I think that effort is much more important. So, in my case it wouldn't be fair if SS minimized my role in his life by saying, "That's my mom's husband," if that was his intent.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

How is referring to you as mom's husband not polite? Its funny there are people on this board who go on and on about how the maritial relationship is the most important, so how is the relationship to your wife not more important?

I think if you demand he introduce you as SF, and he doesnt want to, he'll just stop introducing you.


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nivea and others

Excellent post as usual nivea:)

athlete, unless people refer to you in a rude manner such as "hey you" or ugly nicknames I don't think you should ask adults to introduce you certain way. If SS wanted to offend you then I would wonder why? Do you have good relationship?

You can tell him how you feel being called "mom's husband" but I would not ask him to do anything about it. If he knows how you feel, he might introduce you as "stepdad". But i would not make people to call you certain ways. It doesn't work this way.

On the other hand my brother introduced me at a large party, with many people who do not know me, as "finedreams" without saying "my sister". We don't look alike unless you observe us for a long time and people had no clue who i was. There were some funny things happening at that party. I actually had someone asking me "how long do you guys know each other?" LOL Oh...over 40 years? LOL My brother did not do it intentionally, just did not think, as usual. LOL maybe your SS just did not think.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

"This was the first instance where I have experienced being called "my mom's husband." I was almost always the first one to introduce myself to his friends when he was younger.
I would never demand to be called one thing or another. However, in my home I can ask to be referred to in a way that I believe is just being polite.

I agree that a person shouldn't get a title just based on length of time in a relationship. I think that effort is much more important. So, in my case it wouldn't be fair if SS minimized my role in his life by saying, "That's my mom's husband," if that was his intent."

Well that's part of the problem. You've gone years introducing yourself to his friends without checking in with him as a child what he'd like to refer to you as.

It is not in any way impolite to refer to you as his mothers husband. That is what you are and the primary role in your blended family. Technical titles are not an insult, they are what they are. Some people don't like to use the pre fix "Step" but that doesn't mean people have to introduce them as "parent."

It doesn't matter what you consider fair. There are many things not fair to stepchildren. I think taking it upon yourself for years to introduce you to his friends without discussing with him is extremely unfair and stomping on boundaries that children do have but often times cannot express freely. Again, you got to chose for a long time how you wanted your family to be defined, as stepchildren become adults they can change it. There are many things they can chose as adults to discontinue, not participate in etc when it comes to blended families. And they have more power as adults to redefine their boundaries and enforce them which they didn't have the option of as kids and often times weren't even consulted with in basic things that affect them.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I agree with KKNY, I don't think "Mom's husband" is disrespectful on it's own. Unless body language/tone were harsh.

To be honest, when my SM introduces DD as "MY Granddaughter" it irks me a little. She doesn't act like Grandma should, IMO. Not up to my grandma standards ;) ie she only wants DD around when she can parade her around and flaunt her like a handbag. But I stay out of it.

The weird thing is that DD calls her by her first name. And, I didn't put her up to it either, I call her G-ma Silver to DD. And I call grandpa G-pa Silver (which is what DD calls him too).

She chose to address them as she was comfortable all on her own.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I have been introduced, especially to relatives of BM at family gatherings as "LAmom." Not DH's wife, not our SM but LAmom as though I am just some mere acquaintance. Once I was introduced as DS7's mother, like I was some bimbo who happened to have one of DH's kids. We were 10 years married at that point. One of BM's relatives was rude enough to say to my face, "Oh yes, I've heard the name." Why wouldn't they...the skids set the tone by the introduction.

I think you do have the right to at least ask for some kind of decent introduction. You are not a college roommate, an old boyfriend or a friend of a friend. You are a significant family member. To me, that is what should be looked at, that you are a significant family member and should be treated as such.

It's a matter of respect, accord and courtesy. That there are so many posts about this thread shows how important it is on how you are publicly defined and acknowledged says it all. The BMs and stepchildren here who feel that your acknowledgement on introductions is something to be left to your SS, catch as catch can, reflect that callousness as to who you really are in the family mix.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

So, since it is up to children to choose what to call us (which I agree with), then why is it OK for BM to go ballistic when SS8 refers to me (sometimes) as Mom? (She is Mommy, I am sometimes Mom, sometimes Mattie.)

Actually I can, of course, understand why she gets upset. Unfortunately she does not seem to grasp that (in my opinion) it is not accidental nor a slip of the tongue, and that he is fully aware that it is going to upset her. It seems to happen most frequently when she cancels visitations, reneges on promises to do something (like a birthday party, again) or when she ignores him all weekend and the only thing he does is be "allowed" to sit and watch TV with her. I really, really wish that rather than screaming at him and trying to make him feel guilty that it would be the wake-up call that I think he, in his eight year old way, is trying to send. It is just really sad.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I appreciate the additional posts. My SS has referred to me as his stepdad before, so I'm not sure why I would be so way out of line to refer myself in the same way.

During his teenage years, SS would often forget to make an introduction when his friends would come over. So, I was just trying to be polite.

My wife and I also have a child together who is still in grade school. So, I am more than a husband. I am also a dad. I think that I can put the referral in context based on body language and history.

Since SS doesn't live here anymore, it would be rare that this situation would even come up again. If it did, I would certainly be open to talking to him about it.

I would like to clarify that I never used the word "demand". That is what someone else wrote.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

LAmom, I think you're right. Manners, courtesy and respect... all very important. If they have issues with you it is in bad taste to air those in public.

I think it shows a lot about the character of a person.

Mattie, it's not ok for BM to go ballistic. Totally different, IMO.


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Athlete, it could be that he didn't wish to introduce you to his friends as you would've liked him too. I did that as a teenager because I felt uncomfortable, just skip right over it because I knew SM wanted to be called something else other than what I was comfortable with. But that's me, and you don't really know why your SS did that. But you do know how he introduced you now. I don't think it's out of line to be called stepdad, if thats what BOTH parties would like. I do think it's inappropriate for one party to request/demand a change in introductions from another adult that is in all respects polite to begin with. In other words, your request is bottom line, an ego driven action and serves no purpose to further or nurture a relationship with SS.

There's no use in comparing a nuclear family relationship to a blended family one. You're not SS's father. You are stepfather, husband of mother. There is no shame in that and you're causing it for yourself.

Mattie, I think that's a whole different ball game. SS is being passive agressive rather than using healthy tools to voice his displeasure/anger/sad feelings towards his mother. I don't think it's a very effective tool and outcomes usually aren't favorable -- especially with difficult people. And as the outcome is important, I think it's doubly important to redirect his efforts towards that than instead of a knee jerk retailation.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Early in our marriage, my wife introduced me to SSs teachers as M, my husband Js stepdad. SS also had referred to me as his stepdad, so I was just going with the flow.

I have always respected the relationship that SS has with his dad. His dad and I have a cordial relationship, and I have welcomed him into our house a few times for graduation parties. My stepkids have always called me directly by my first name, and thats great.

I am proud to be his stepdad and his moms husband. I am also proud of the effort I have put into the relationship. The word "shame" was used by someone else on this board, and Ive never felt that way.

When I mention that I have a child together with my wife, I am not comparing a nuclear family to ours. I am just providing additional information that I am also a dad in our household. I know that I am not SSs dad, and I've never referred to myself in that way.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Well everyone is going to know you're a Dad in the household, you don't need the introduction to clarify that. Anyone who SS introduces you to knows who you are as well.

So what is the point in telling SS you would like a different introduction? It sounds like you have a fairly good relationship with him and being proud of him is wonderful. And isn't that the most important part anyway? The actual relationship. And for all you know, he could've just misspoke without thinking. It happens sometimes.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I must admit that I find this post rather amusing as I struggle with this issue from the opposite side.

My mother was one of the proverbial "donors" some on here have experienced. She hasn't been in my life in any real way in over 25 years (that is a whole other post). Meanwhile, my SM has been with us since I was 8 (No she was not TOW).

I am always reluctant to refer to her as "just" my stepmom/mother as it completely sells her short in how I know other people may perceive her (KWIM?). And I personally don't want to refer to her as my "mom" as in my world that is basically an insult given how my BM has behaved.

So I struggle along and use "parents" whenever I can . . .

She absolutely is a parent in every sense of the word and I find comments that steps are not "parents" to be completely off base and actually offensive. Just as you can't refer to all BMs as donors, you can't say that no steps are parents. Every case is different.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

mattie I agree with nivea that if your SS refers to you as his mom as to hurt his own mother in revenge, it is very wrong on every level, it teaches him how to be passive-aggressive and is unhealthy. He is too young to know how to address issues in a healthy manner i think he might need therapy. It is very wrong of his Bm to behave the way she does. i think good counseling could help.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Here's a little more detail: It was late in the party and I left to take my daughter over to a friend's house. When I returned SS's date had arrived, was seated, and had met everyone else. I went over to say hello and waited for a break in the conversation. When SS didn't say anything, I introduced myself by first name only. He then felt a need to clarify who I was - "That's my mom's husband" - since his date didn't know. By the way she then turned her head and looked at him, she seemed surprised.

So, I am supposed to assume that everyone he brings over knows that I am his stepdad, and there is no need for clarification by SS?


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

I think this is actually pretty polite for a teen, and yes mom's husband is same as stepdad. Maybe SS's date calls her stepparents as parent's spouse.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Yep, sounds pretty casual to me. I wouldn't get worked up about it :) Sounds like you handled it well. In the future, you could say, Hi, I'm Athlete, SS's step-dad... just to clear up any possible confusion in the beginning.


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It's tough to meet the parents, maybe it was just nervousness? But it doesn't sound too bad and you can do what Silver said next time.


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Someone explain to me how Mom's husband is not stepfather? What confusion could there be?


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

Nivea and finedreams, SS is in counseling. When we started taking him he was saying almost nothing about his visits at all, but rather was waking up with nightmares and making himself sick before visitation weekends.

When SS went to BM's two weeks ago, according to both him and BM he told her that it upset him when she called DH a liar (to SS), and that it made him sad when she broke promises to him. So we were really proud of him for speaking up for himself. Unfortunately that conversation quickly deteriorated to BM saying "Well,how do you think it makes me feel when you...[fill in the blank]", telling him he was a spoiled brat (he's quite far from it) and then excusing her behavior by telling DH "Well, he started it!" I kid you not. SS just turned eight!

Honestly, I have no idea how the counselor is really supposed to help him deal with this. I think the counselor is helping in that he seems to feel more confident in his sense of what is bad behavior, and is speaking up at least some of the time, but to what end? He's such a sweet kid and it stinks to have to watch him go through this and just feel so helpless.

Sorry, I'm completely off-topic.


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mattie

poor SS he sounds like such a sweet little boy :(


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

personally, I would be slightly offended if my skids referred to me as just dad's wife... it would imply to me that we have no relationship and well it would hurt.

Ofcourse, I also kind of hate the word stepmother or step whatever. It has such a negative connotation to so many people (Darn Cinderella). But, I havent been able to come up with anything better to describe our relationship. The skids have asked on and off if they could call me mom but I told them that while I was honored that they would want to, I didnt think that BM would be okay with that and they should respect her feelings too.

I did have a problem when BM insisted that the kids refer to me as Ms. L__ , like I was a babysitter or something. That one I did put a stop to.


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Momof4, is BM from the South? That is standard for that area.


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I think if you dont like Stepmom, Mrs. L is a good compromise. A lot of people dont like to be called by their first name by children. I can imagine if a SM told my kid not to call her SM, and I wouldnt want them to feel they have to call her mom, I would be looking for something else.

Maybe they should just call you heah you, because you seem to get annoyed at everyname.


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RE: Introducing a Stepmom or Stepdad

ummm let us back up here. First, I did say that I hate the word stepmom or step whatever... but I DID NOT say that I told the kids that they couldnt call me step mom. FYI They call me L_. And, if you reread my post I am the one that told the kids not to call me mom and to respect BM's feelings.

My point, obviously completely missed by you, was that I dislike the word because of how people view steps in general.... I thought the reference to Cinderella made that quite clear.

BM and myself are from the same area... south but not THE south. The whole Ms. thing was just a way for her to create a seperation between myself and the kids... like when the kids were asking how my aunts and uncles became my aunts and uncles. I told them that they were brothers and sisters of my dad. They were confused because BM and DH had a family friend that the kids called Aunt and Uncle. I told them that they werent really their Aunt and Unlce that they were a really close family friend and so they called them Aunt and Uncle. Bm chose to tell the kids that I have no idea what I was talking about and knew nothing about her family. Not her family, infact friends with DH before he even met BM...but whatever... those were rocky years.
She would get angry with the kids and demand that they say Ms._ It got to be ridiculous after a while... especially when she was making this demand the one or two times a month she was seeing the kids at the time. The kids would get confused and not know what to say. So, it was time to squash it. The Ms. before addressing an adult was always DH's rule for the kids when talking to someone outside of family, it was a way of her digging in a thorn.


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" The Ms. before addressing an adult was always DH's rule for the kids when talking to someone outside of family, it was a way of her digging in a thorn."

Gotcha. That's my rule too. Mr. First Name and Miss/Ms. First Name are how I address my friends to DD, unless they are such old friends they are Aunt/Uncle.

I tried to call myself Ms. Silver to my SD and my DH was in shock. You're SM!!! Not Ms. Silver!!! LOL. I just told SD she can call me whatever she's comfortable with.

I can see how that would be an obvious poke in the eye.


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