Kids Calling Dads Girlfriend Mama :( Not sure how to handle this

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Kids Calling Dads Girlfriend Mama :( Not sure how to handle this
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 11:12pm
I'm new to the board and already very emotional and I haven't gotten a complete sentence out. I feel just absolutely heartbroken.
I believe some history is in order so you get a clear picture. In October of 2011 my estranged husband won temporary residential custody of our sons, they are 7 and 9. I did not have an attorney at the time and pretty much feel like I got ran over by a mack truck by the time I left that courtroom. This is the hardest thing I ever think I've been through. I cant imagine how my boys feel. Divorce is never easy and ours has gotten beyond ugly. My estranged husband now resides with his girlfriend, her teenage daughter and his teenage daughter. The relationship between my ex, his gf and myself is beyond strained, its almost to a breaking point. She has called me names in front of my youngest son and the other parents at baseball practice. She has flicked a lit cigarette through my car window. It's all so ridiculous.
The problem I'm facing now is my mother overheard my youngest son call her mama last night at baseball practice. I understand that, right now, she is with them more than I am. I have them every other weekend and on Wednesday from 2-7. I just feel like I'm losing them all over again and she's taking my place. I'm trying to be mature about this, but I'm not going to lie, it cuts me to my very core.
Do I say something to my son? How do you approach a 9 and 7 year old about this? Do I say something to their dad? I'm hesitant about that because from past experience when they know they get to me, they so it all the time. Or am I just being childish? Maybe I should feel lucky that she seems to love them and they seem to love her, but I AM THEIR MAMA! I just don't know what to do.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009

I'm a SM, so I don't know how much help I can be.  Your Ex and his GF are stepping way over the line.  Personally, I would have filed a police report over the cigarette flicking, and then attained a restraining order, then at least you won't have to deal with her.  Unfortunately, I really don't know how much control over them calling her "mama' you have.  You can tell them it hurts your feelings, however if they're being forced to call her mama, it puts them between a rock and a hard place.  If you don't feel involved start trying to volunteer in the school, send them cards or care packages during the week you don't have them and on holidays, call nightly, and make sure you go to all of their after school events.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2004

Every situation is different and I have seen many step-children call their step-parent Mom or Dad, but I have also seen many who do not.  Obviously you want your children to be happy, every mother does, but if this makes you uncomfortale you need to say it.  IMO you need to speak with your ex first.  It might be hard, but approaching your children who are still very young and suggesting that they don't call your ex's GF Mom might upset them too.  If all else fails and your ex is of no help and only makes matters worse, perhaps speaking to a professional about an appropriate way to bring this issue up to your children may be in order.

IME my SD calls her Mom's BF Dad.  This has caused all kinds of issues with my DH, but his ex insists that she chose to do it, yet she calls me by my first name.  I tend to agree with those who say they are the step-parent and not the parent, so a nick name or first name is appropriate - but not everyone agrees and unfortunately we have no grounds to force anyone to call or not call anyone by any specific name.

How long has this GF been around?  Have your kids been living with your ex and his GF since 2011?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2010


First off, I am a SM and I do not agree or support the behavior of BD or her GF.  No human should treat another human that way, period.

If you want real answers to your questions, I suggest you go and get a free consultation by an attorney or go and talk to the free help people at your local court house.

Regardless of what the “law” says, you ARE their biological mother 24-7/365 days per year. 

Obviously you cannot control them and their immature actions but you can control what you do, say and how you react.  You need to start keep records of everything.  You need to call the police when you are harassed.  You need to document when you call, if you talk to your sons or how long it takes for them to call you back. Document the fights, name calling, EVERYTHING.  Buy a flip camera or use your cell phone and just have it on the entire time they are around you to record their behavior.

Right now in this short season of your life, you are having a tough time.  Remember, if you don’t fight back in a negative way, be smart, don’t respond to their negativity and just focus on being the best Mom you can be to your boys when you have them, you will win in the end.  Kids are smart and when they grow up, they will look back and see YOU were the bigger person by not responding, and respect you for that.

Stay strong and really focus on what you CAN CONTROL when everything seems so out of your control.