Please don't steal my name
Published by Sara Jacobson
Jul 28, 2008 08:05 PM under Angst
My kids just got back from their summer visit with their Dad. We stopped at the store to pick up some groceries and one asked for some peanuts. Another chimed in, saying “Yeah, Mom has peanuts but won’t let us have them.” He was referring to Whatever’s new wife, their stepmom.
My world crumbled a little bit and I’m not sure what expression I had on my face. I hope I recovered quickly enough-they didn’t act as if they’d noticed anything. And yes, I bought the peanuts though they had to eat them outside (shells are very messy).
This morning I was dropping them at the sitter and ‘Mom’ was mentioned. As carefully as I could I asked, “You mean K——?” He replied, “Yeah, we’re supposed to call her Mom and you Sara when we’re there [Whatever’s house].” Somehow I managed to remain calm and replied that while they should follow Daddy’s rules at his house, I didn’t think they should ever call me Sara, but maybe they could say ‘my mom’ instead. I kept myself calm and ‘fine’ as I got them settled inside. They raced off and I let my face fall a bit. The sitter gave me a questioning look and I just said ‘They called K—— Mom’ and left as quickly as I could.
I was half an hour late for work because I broke down a couple blocks away and bawled my eyes out.
Despite the one son’s statement that they are ‘supposed to’ I’m not sure if Whatever or K—— asked/told them to do this or if they were just choosing to do it. I certainly can’t ask them more about it as just about any phrasing would let them know it hurt me and drilling your kids about their time with the other parent is one of the big Thou Shalt Nots of divorced parenting. What I know about what happens there comes pieced together from casual conversation.
Intellectually, I knew this could happen-I’d even had a conversation related to it with a friend only days before. But emotionally….I feel like part of my identity has been stolen and there’s nothing I can do. If they choose to call K—— Mom then I have to accept that, and never let on how much it hurts. But the thought that Whatever and K—— are telling the kids to do so, and especially that they say not to call me Mom makes me furious.
Today I certainly feel like I’m in some angst-ridden soap opera… the role of ‘Mom’ will now be played by….
Should I write Whatever and ask that they call her something else or at least that they not be asked to call me anything other than Mommy, Mom etc.-certainly not my first name. I was raised in the age of Mrs/Mr and having my children refer to me by my first name in this way just seems wrong, as if I’m some adult friend of the family and not their mother. I’m not sure it’ll do any good, and may only encourage more of this if I do.
K—— if you read this: I can understand your not wanted to be called by your first name as well, and I can understand your wanting to build a bond with the kids, but please, please, don’t steal my name.