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How to respond when people refer to me as children's mother


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Old 18th January 2018, 12:05 AM   #1
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How to respond when people refer to me as children's mother

Hey guys,

I have been with my boyfriend for about 16 months. He has two children from a previous marriage, aged 8 and 6. He is the primary caregiver and his ex is not in the picture much -- she sees the kids a couple of times a year, for a couple weeks at a time. She left when the kids were aged 5 and 3. I don't live with my boyfriend and his kids. But I do spend time with his kids on a pretty consistent basis (once or twice a week, sometimes going away together for weekends etc).

My question is as follows: when I am out with the kids, if engaging with strangers who don't know us, eg. shop assistants, waitresses etc, people will often refer to me as the children's mother. EG just this weekend when in a shop, another customer asked me: "Would your daughter mind trying X on, as I want to see if it would fit my child".

The kids have never responded with "She's not our mother", they are always silent on the issue and kind of look at me to see what my response is. I never know what to say, because I do not want to respond with: "I'm not actually their mother", as I don't want to sound unwilling or offensive.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience on this front, or any thoughts on what the most appropriate response would be, if anything. I did tell the kids once that if people call me their mother, they can tell the person I'm not their mother, if they want, and it won't hurt my feelings.

But when it comes down to what, if anything, I say, I kind of get nervous and draw a blank every time it happens. Sometimes I feel the kids like it when I am called their mother. Most of the time I do. But I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on this.

Thank you so much in advance
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:15 AM   #2
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I don't see any issue with saying any of the following:

They're not my kids/children.

They're my partners kids/children.

Or instead not addressing it at all, since in such instances it doesn't matter.
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:28 AM   #3
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If someone else is saying it, I see no issues with just ignoring it and just answering their question, acting like you are the mother.
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:36 AM   #4
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If someone else is saying it, I see no issues with just ignoring it and just answering their question, acting like you are the mother.
Ok thank you, this is pretty much exactly what I do
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:47 AM   #5
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If they don't know you well enough to to know they aren't your children then you don't know them well enough to owe them an explanation.
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Old 18th January 2018, 4:52 PM   #6
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When somebody said that to me about my EXs son, in front of the teenaged son I responded, "Thank you for thinking this wonderful young man is mine but he has mom & that is part of why he's such a good kid. I'm just the lady who gets to spend time with him." That is too much for the little ones you are dealing with. I'd just ignore the person who asked the nosy question / made assumptions. I needed to stay it because the teenager needed to hear my compliment his mother. It upset him greatly that she I weren't close.
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Old 18th January 2018, 6:36 PM   #7
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If they don't know you well enough to to know they aren't your children then you don't know them well enough to owe them an explanation.
I know I don't owe the stranger any explanation, it is only for the benefit of the kids that I'm wondering whether I should be clarifying that I'm not actually their mother (if the kids would prefer that). But at the same time they don't seem to mind that people refer to me as their mother. Yet, I don't want it to be something that bothers them internally that they are just keeping inside them!
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Old 18th January 2018, 6:38 PM   #8
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When somebody said that to me about my EXs son, in front of the teenaged son I responded, "Thank you for thinking this wonderful young man is mine but he has mom & that is part of why he's such a good kid. I'm just the lady who gets to spend time with him."
What a beautiful thing to say!!
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Old 18th January 2018, 6:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiagirlie View Post
I know I don't owe the stranger any explanation, it is only for the benefit of the kids that I'm wondering whether I should be clarifying that I'm not actually their mother (if the kids would prefer that). But at the same time they don't seem to mind that people refer to me as their mother. Yet, I don't want it to be something that bothers them internally that they are just keeping inside them!
How about asking them? Or having Dad ask them?
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Old 18th January 2018, 6:42 PM   #10
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By the way, my kids are teens and really like their step mom. If she was referred to in public as their mother, I highly doubt they'd care if she didn't correct someone, unless it was a conversation that went on and on....like if she was asked, "Oh, how old were they when you potty trained them?" lol They would probably make a joke of it later and call her Mom or something.

If they disliked her? Things might be different, I don't know.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 4:50 PM   #11
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How about: 'They are my dear sweet friends'. (and only if you think you should respond).

This will let the children know that you embrace them - and while not trying to take the place of their mother.
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Old 4th February 2018, 2:26 AM   #12
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How about, they are like the kids I never I was able to have! They are gems and I love being their stepmom, thanks!

This way the kids see your love for them and also that you're not looking to replace their mom. The more love for them by everybody, the better off they will be.
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