Have been reading @mediocre_mum's blog on terms of endearment and adults referring to them selves as Auntie and Uncle.
I have commented on her post and while I was doing so it got me thinking about my relationship with my step son. He is 20 now and left home two years go. But from the age of 10 I have raised him alongside my other 3 boys.
I consider myself to have 4 children and a step daughter. The reason I call her my step daughter is because she is profoundly disabled and at 22 I am not old enough to be her mother. I also find it very difficult when asked about her disability and 'was she born like this' 'or did something happen to her'. I can't comment other than to say 'it was from birth' 'no there was no indication prior to her birth' and 'yes it must have been very difficult for her mother and father' I cannot comment on that as I am not her birth mother.
Moving back to the reason for my writing this blog is my step son.
So what does he call me? Well, he's always used my 1st name and nothing else. He refers to me as mum and has 3 brothers and 1 sister and if anyone ever said 'you're mum is here' etc he has never corrected them. My children also call my husband by his first name. Youngest goes through periods of calling him dad or daddy and again the kids never correct anyone. My children have a very good, close and frequent relationship with their dad but consider themselves to have 2 sets of parents each teaching them valuable skills and alongside all that extra love don't forget the extra gifts at christmas and birthdays.
Step son has grown up with me being his friend and not a parent. Everything I've ever done with him has caused him grief. If I told him off he'd contact his mum and she would remind me I'm not his mother, she is. None of this was helped by me not having a name he could use.
Using my first name was too informal for a child to call me but using 'step mum' sounds too harsh. 'Auntie' doesn't sound permanent enough and 'Mrs' .... well just plain stupid.
He's all grown up now and left home. If he gets in trouble or needs anything its me he comes running to.Since he's left home I don't know what his relationship with his mother is like now but that's his decision.
But what should he have called me? Is there an official word to use to describe someone that has become your mum and has raised you, but their biological mother is still around?
I'd be interested to know.