Step-Mom Advice: Why Won't She Call Me Mom?

As a step-mom we sometimes struggle with what our step-kids should be calling us. Should they call me mom? Should I back up and give him time to come around? Should I just be her friend? Navigating the "name game" with stepchildren can sometimes be a tricky situation. It's important to concentrate on the bigger picture and less on the actual name.

Don't Take It Personal

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Each family has their own story. In your story are numerous details that only you and your family know. Some step-kids will grow up and call their step-mom, mom. Other kids may not ever entertain the idea of calling someone else mom. It's okay. It's not personal.

My Own Story About Titles

I have 3 beautiful step-kids: 12, 10, and 6.

My stepdaughter, the youngest calls me mama, all the time.

My middle stepson calls me mom when he and I have been hanging out and he's not being made to feel guilty for calling me mom, by his bio mom.

My 12 year old stepson calls me mama most of the time, but only when we are at home away from anyone that might tell his "real" mom.

For the longest time, it bothered me that the boys didn't call me mom all the time, but I've come to realize there are reasons for this and I am at peace with whatever they choose to call me.

Do Your Step-Kids Call You Mom?

  • Yes, they sure do!
  • Nope and I'm okay with it!
  • No, but I wish they did!
See results without voting

Not Broke? Don't Fix It!

Whatever works for your family is fine. A lot of stepmoms feel pressured to categorize their role and have everything fitted into pretty rows. Do not feel pressured into fitting your family into a particular category or box. Relax! If it's not broke, don't fix it.

Step Mom Advice: Just enjoy your time together, everything else will work itself out.
Step Mom Advice: Just enjoy your time together, everything else will work itself out.

Have Patience

I think it's important to point out that not all step-kids will look at you as their "mom" in the beginning. Older children that have had many years with their biological mothers will more than likely not see you as their "mom" right off the bat. This has nothing to do with you or your parenting skills. Don't take it personally. Have patience.

Stepmom Advice: Let them warm up to you. Be patient. Let them be in control of how fast you build the relationship.
Stepmom Advice: Let them warm up to you. Be patient. Let them be in control of how fast you build the relationship.

Do Not Be Pushy

In these cases, simply let the child steer the course for your relationship. The worst mistake you could make would be to try to pressure or push your stepchild into calling you mom or seeing you as a mother. If you are patient, even if they never call you mom, their feelings for you will change.

My 2 oldest had many years of living with their real mom. They do call me mom or mama, but sometimes they just call me by name. They see me as a mom, but don't want to call me mom. It doesn't matter what the name is, as long as I have their love.

Stepmom Advice: Don't be pushy, especially with older children. They've had many years with their biological mom and will possibly need more time to adjust.
Stepmom Advice: Don't be pushy, especially with older children. They've had many years with their biological mom and will possibly need more time to adjust.

The Title Doesn't Matter, The Love Does!

Don't make the mistake of getting wrapped up in what they call you. That is just a title. You have to remember to look at the bigger picture. What's really important? Having their love or being able to carry the "mom" title without their love?

Whether you are their "mom" or just a close friend doesn't matter. Love them like crazy, protect them, and raise them right. Being a step-mom is tough, but totally worthwhile.

Great Video On Stepparenting!

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2 comments

stephanie mclain profile image

stephanie mclain 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by Your Cousins! Life's too short to sweat the small stuff! :)


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Very heart-warming article. You are so right not to sweat the small stuff!

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