After moving in with her fiancé, who has two children, this woman is trying to navigate the minefield of becoming a stepparent. And now she’s felt the wrath of the children’s mother, she’s not sure how to handle the situation.

The woman, who doesn’t have any children of her own, says she moved in with her 28 year-old fiancé earlier this year. He shares joint custody of his two children ‘S’ a four-year-old girl and ‘D’ and three-year-old boy, with their mum.

“I have met her and the kids before in person, she came off as a decent person and we never had any issues,” the woman explained.

“Not an exact measure of time but 2/3 months ago, S would randomly call me ‘mum’ or most commonly, ‘mumma’ like before going to bed as we tuck them in and say our good nights. It was an odd adjustment, but I know they’re little and I mostly brushed it off with a, ‘okay goodnight hunny’. D would only call me ‘mum’ if S did (he’s three, so imitating).

“Well, about a month ago while S was with his dad and I, she asked me if it was okay for her to call me mum. Up until this point really, both kids called me by my legal name and only knew me as daddy’s ‘special friend’ since we aren’t officially married yet.

“It was quite a surprise for me (a sweet one, I should say). Dad and I both explained to them that if they want to call me ‘mum’, ‘mumma’, etc, it was okay as long as they wanted to.”

“S has on her own made it clear (to us, at least) that she has two mums, and one dad (her bio mum’s boyfriend doesn’t want to be involved with the kids). Both kids understand they came from their mum’s belly, and not mine.

“Dad I went to drop kids off to mum as usual, no issues. I stay in the car, and she leaves with the kids. Nothing crazy.”

But it wasn’t long before the couple received a phone call from the children’s mother.

“As my fiancé and I were driving home, mum calls and I told him to answer but let her know she’s on speaker with both of us. So he answers, lets her know I can hear the convo.

“She starts off aggressively stating “I don’t know who’s telling these kids that [me] is their mum, but you need to know you will never be their mum, etc etc”. I told her that the kids chose to call me mum, and we explained to them that I’m not their real mum, just an extra mum. She still did not like that, and went on about how it hurts her feelings that the kids are saying she isn’t their mum anymore and all this nonsense.

“I got firm quickly and explained that I understand why it would hurt her feelings, but I don’t believe what she’s saying because of what I have heard the kids themselves say. I allow the kids to call me mum because they see me as a maternal figure, and it’s about how they feel, not your (her) insecurities.

“She then went on to not only scream at him and I on the phone, but in her car in front of the kids, “YOU BOTH ARE PIECES OF F-ING SHIT AND THESE KIDS ARE MINE NOT YOURS, I HOPE YOU BOTH F-ING GO TO HELL” and honestly I can’t make out much more of what she said as most of it was unintelligible.

“After the kids weekend with her, they came back and were sad because their bio mum said I’m not allowed to be their mum. I asked them “do you want me to be your other mum?”. They both said yes. So I told them that if THEY want me to be another mum to them, I can be.

“My heart breaks because these kids really seem to love me and I do love them. Am I the a**hole?”

Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

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  • Oh no way! If I was the mum, I would hate my kids calling daddy’s new special friend mum. Kids only have one mum in my mind


  • Sorry but you are waaay out of line. They are too young to understand and their relationship with you has not been long so I would have nipped it in the bud right from the get go and the fact that you didn’t indicates to me that you have no consideration for their mothers feelings. I agree with the other person who commented, unless their biological mother is out of the picture or these kids are being seriously neglected and abused you are not their mother, you have no parental rights morally or legally. Her screaming over the phone to you in front of the kids does not indicate bad parenting but is a reaction to your careless and thoughtless behaviour and in no way vindicates yours.


  • Mums just really hurt. She obviously knows they are young but they are her babies. I think the way she handled it was highly inappropriate and she was probably not in the best state to have the conversation. She would have been better off asking for a phone call that night once the children where in bed and could have gone about it by saying it’s quiet hurtful can we please discourage it.


  • Oh that’s tricky. I’m all about the kids…but as a mummy that’s gotta hurt abit too


  • Maybe there needs to be a bit more time for adjustment and also a calm discussion to be had between the adults.


  • No. Unless the biological mother is no longer in the picture, either passed away or not a fit parent, there’s only 1 person who she be called mum and that’s their mum


  • In the long term the children will call those nearest and dearest to them what they wish to. In your shoes, I would just be the same as always and let the children and your fiancée work things out themselves. In my experience, one cannot force children to call anyone by a name they do not wish. Just keep on being a kind and reasonable partner for your fiancée. Good luck!


  • I think it’s really the bio Mum’s insecurities coming through. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. The children probably feel more comfortable calling you Mum because you treat them with love and understanding. I hope their bio mum calms down and apologises but, if not, don’t let it ruin your relationship with these children.


  • The mess of separated families where children are involved. It’s hard to remove the emotion from such a situation and I can understand the bio Mum’s feelings in this situation. However, her reaction was very OTT. Perhaps there’s a compromise. It’s easier said than done, but the wellbeing of the kids needs to be the priority.


  • How lucky these two little darlings have so much love in their life. I’m sure with some time and adjustment things will settle.


  • Gosh, what a potential minefield. It sounds like step mum and the kids have been more mature than bio mum. Bio mum sounds like her feelings are hurt, but the kids feeling happy and secure needs to be the priority…. bio mum will always be their mum, and it sounds like she is feeling hurt by the outcome of the kids’ decision. step mum , you sound great to me, and def not the a-hole!


  • Bio mum …insecure!! Must be a charmer to deal with.
    So long as the children are calling their ‘bonus mum’ a name with respect, it doesn’t matter what it is.

    Bio mum needs to grow up & realise that when they split there is potential of any extra mother-figure AND an extra father-figure in their lives.


  • wow. The biological mum needs to just chill. She is still their mum, but they are little and if they say they have 2 mums, and it makes the kids happy, then isnt that the most important thing?


  • The bio mum sounds like a real piece of work! It’s not okay to force your way into the mum role, but if the kids see you as a mum, there’s nothing wrong with it. Yes, bio mum will always have that special place as the one who birthed her children, but the stepmother is caring for them and raising them also.


  • I think it would hurt if my kids called someone else mum. But that was poorly handled. I think maybe they can have a special name for you or still love you without being called mum. However bio mum should have explained she didn’t really like it and have a conversation about it. Swearing and yelling was an absolutely poor way to handle it and in no way helps the kids


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