Divorce, Step-families, and more…

Divorce sucks.

When I got married at twenty-three, I can honestly say I did not envision my fairytale ending in a divorce.

I did not choose this. It chose me.

One night while I was cooking a meal of spanish rice and chicken (odd I would remember exactly what I was cooking, its been over 11 years) my husband, my once high school sweetheart, the man I knew since the sixth grade came home from work and while our children slept in the other room told me, ‘he no longer wanted this!’ 

I am not a quitter. I did not believe the grass would be greener on the other side.

I did not want out just to move on to something bigger and better.

It seems that choice was not mine to make, but a choice that was decided for me, in that moment by the stove, while chicken baked and rice simmered.

Life is not easy. Relationships are difficult. Having illusions of grandeur and expectations from another human being can be a short coming and at twenty-three I had many illusions, too many expectations and a pair of rose-colored glasses.

Since my ex-husband and I have divorced dealing with our children and custody issues has always been difficult. We have tried all sorts of schedules and arrangements. There are many things I wish I would have done differently regarding their care and well-being.

I made many mistakes and for that I know I am still feeling the pain. My therapist reminds me that if my frame of mind were clearer and I was in a healthier space back then that I would have made many decisions differently. I am still working on putting that into perspective.

We both met someone new & oddly enough remarried last summer, he in June and me in August. In September, after picking up my son’s for the weekend, my younger son told me that his dad and new wife were expecting twins. My husband and I too were pregnant, but hadn’t told anyone just yet because we had a miscarriage months before.

I don’t think I am difficult to deal with… clearly I have moved on… it has been over 10 years since we were married.

Perspective has shown me a very clear picture since my divorce.

However, I am not perfect, but I am not a person who likes confrontation so I deflect or avoid many topics when it comes to my sons just so I do not stir the murky water.

My son’s primarily live with their dad and his new wife. Several months before the babies were due, me in March and my ex-husband’s wife in May, we had a ‘friendly gathering’ to discuss some things.

One of the topics that came up for discussion was what the boys would now call their new step-parents since there would be new babies coming. My husband and I looked at each other and said we felt certain that the boys should continue to call their step-dad by his first name and if they felt comfortable enough to call him something other than that, it would be up to them.

My ex-husband and his new wife did not agree with us and proceeded to explain that the boys would now call their new step-mom, mom. It would not be something the boys would choose, however it would be a requirement. They would be told to do so and not asked how they felt about it or what they wanted. The reason… was that she felt since the boys called her by her first name that her new babies would hear this and call her by her first name too.

I didn’t have many words at this meeting. Only feelings of sadness and confusion. I am their mother…I don’t discount that they have a step-mom, who takes care of them and loves them but….

she is not their mother I am.

So I have my opinion about this topic, but would love to hear some opinions and thoughts about how you would feel. Should they call their step-mom, mom? How would you feel if this was happening to you? Would you want your children to call another woman mom? Should children make this decision on their own? or be made to do so  because younger siblings will be added to the family?

About mommymetamorphosis

Redeemed. Lucky wife. Crunchy. Organic Mama of 2 boys, 2 step sons, one Little Flower and are newest Little Gem. In my previous life I was a yogi, runner, artist, dreamer, believer of all things purple! Now I'm a cloth diapering fanatic, early homeschooling mama, who tends to leave the house with spit-up somewhere on my person. I have been keeping a journal since I was a kid, but I never let anyone read it... so this should be interesting!
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5 Responses to Divorce, Step-families, and more…

  1. WOW! Your ex is koo koo pants.

    I have to say, I was in a similar situation. Myself and my daughters dad both remarried and had babies within a couple months of each other. And those babies are now 3 and never once called their parents anything other than “mama and dada” even though my daughter continued to call her step mom “Laura” and her step dad “Jared”. I mean………..it happens all the time. Geez.

    I think it’s flat out wrong to make a child call a step parent “mom” or “dad”. If they WANT TO, I would never make them feel badly for it. I would be hurt if my daughter chose to call her step mom “mom” but………I would try to hide that. But forcing you kid to call a step parent “mom”??? Ugh.


    • Thanks for the comments… helps to hear similar stories. Do you believe that their step-mom would ignore them until they ‘got it right’ and called her mom and not by her first name. It just breaks my heart… and I try my best to hide my feelings, but it can be very difficult to do so when I see my sons hurting or when they feel badly because they don’t really want to call her mom, but are forced to. Ugh!
      and I agree my ex is def koo koo pants! LMAO

  2. I don’t think they should be forced to call her anything. I can understand a desire to not have them call her by her first name (I live in the south and everyone is Ms. Emily or Mr. Eric or whatever, so I “get” that). But I find it objectionable and presumptive that they would think that it is okay to force your children to call someone, who isn’t their mom, “mom.” She and he can find another nickname.

    Or maybe they could realize that their new babies will OFTEN hear other people call someone by something other than “mom” or “mama.” And that’s okay. I mean, their dad will probably call her by her first name. If they follow his example, then that would be bad, right? It’s not that hard to explain. Little little kids don’t understand but won’t follow the older kids’ lead anyway. When they’re old enough to understand, it’s not *that* hard to explain that the older kids don’t call her mom or mama because they have a mom who is a different person.

    Like I said, I can see maybe asking that they call her Ms. so and so, or some other nickname (maybe that they come up with and would be comfortable with, a sort of way to help them bond, if you will). I would object, loudly, to children being forced to call someone mom who isn’t their mom.

    • Love this… wish I could print it out and give it to my ex-husband and his wife. My boys are older and already address my husband as ‘daddy’ to our daughter (she is 5 months old) they aren’t stupid children and dealing with them as if they have no feelings and lack intelligence will only cause trouble in the future, in my opinion. Thanks for the comments. My husband and I thought it would have been nice if they asked my sons their opinion and if they would like to call their new step-mom something other than her first name, however undermining the face that they have a mom is hurtful and inappropriate. I emailed them my reasoning on this topic and they declined to change their minds.

  3. I come from a divorced family. My mom remarried and divorced again with no children from the second marriage. My father remarried as well but also no additional children. I have never called step-parents mom or dad. I don’t think my parents would have ever forced me to do so. My nephew also comes from a divorced family. He does call his step-father “dad” but it was his own decision as he got older as his step-dad has been in his life since he was 3. He feels he his is as close to a dad as he can be. We do speak a different language at home also. He calls my brother “uncle” in our language not “father”. This is how we address everyone… uncles and aunts. I call my step-mother aunt as well. I think it is unfair for the ex to force the boys into calling their step-mom “mom”. I think it’s always unhealthy to force them to do so. And I believe it’s hurtful and inconsiderate to you especially since you are their mother. My thought is I think you should express this feeling to your ex because he probably doesn’t understand how hurtful it is for you. I also suggest the possibility of your children calling her “auntie” as a compromise. It’s still respectful but respectful for you both. Hope all goes well and congrats on your new baby.

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