Being a step parent has it’s awkward moments. Like, a lot of them.
Moments like: Do you hug your stepchildren when you say goodnight? Do you say “I love you”, Do I tell the person (teacher or Doctor or etc) who keeps referring to me as “mom” that I’m actually the stepmom? On the Christmas present tag do I write “From: Dad and _____”?
It’s just weird.
One of the most awkward situations for me was figuring out what to call one another. Should they call me mom? They had a mom already, but she passed away. I’m not their “mom”, right? Do they think of me as another mom? Should they just call me Lisa?
How should they refer to me? How should I refer to them? What makes them feel the most comfortable?
When Matt and I combined our families it was clear right away (with certain kids) what titles we would have. My teenage boys called Matt, “Matt”, never to be called “Dad”. And for me, Matt’s oldest has always called me by my first name, Lisa, not “mom”.
In the beginning, my daughter (age 6 at the time) would refer to Matt as “stepdad Matt”. Then, gradually the “step” dropped off and it was “daddy Matt”. After a year or so it became “dad” and now it’s strange when she refers to him as anything other than plain ole “Dad”.
A few months after we were married and blended in our new home in Utah, I was called mom by Matt’s youngest three children. I was shocked it happened.
I was mom.
A lot goes into a name and the title of mom or dad is very special. With that name comes a great responsibility. As the new “mom” or “dad” you are now promising to live up to being that role.
Can I be honest? It was scary.
If you are mom, you don’t turn your back on them. They are your children! You are promising to be their parent and never leave. These children need you to guide them, teach them, and learn from your example. They are part of you.
This can all be a little overwhelming when you are in a new, fresh, stressful marriage and unsure what the future holds. You may even question if this is what you want!
Being called mom by children who are not your biological children makes it harder to back out, change your mind, or leave your new marriage.
And I’m grateful for that!!
Countless second marriages fail and that could be because it’s just easier to walk away. If you don’t have children together then no harm, right?
Oh how thankful I am that my new children accepted me, called me mom, and cemented me in their life in a role I am honored to hold.
I GET to be their mom. I GET to struggle in a new marriage. I GET to push through hard times and continue to be their mom no matter what.
If you are new to step parenting (or even considering) please make sure you are in it for the long haul.
Once you accept that title you are incredibly valuable!!!!
Here’s “Mom” and “Dad” skiing with 7 of our kiddos❤️❤️