It's no secret that my stepkids call me "Stepmom." Born out of confusion over what they call Mom and Dad versus me, my stepson started calling me Stepmom a couple of years ago.
I love my moniker. Other mothers may hate it, but like my pole dancing bruises, I wear it with pride.
In an interesting turn of events, I've started calling my stepchildren just that -- stepchildren. For some reason, calling them "my kids" almost feels uncomfortable.
For instance, when I needed to email my bosses today to remind them that I was working from home, I mentioned that it was my stepkids' day off school as the reason why.
This name change has me a little startled. Up until a few months ago, I had no problem calling them my kids (i.e, "I have to run to my son's baseball game" or "My daughter has to be at cheerleading.") Neither my husband nor his ex-wife would argue against my right to call my stepkids "my kids"; however, I can't bring myself to do it anymore.
It's as if I'm having the opposite reaction that my stepson did a few years ago -- I recognize that they aren't "my" kids in the sense that I didn't give birth to them. I love them and move heaven and earth whenever and whereever I can, but they aren't "MY" kids.
Right now, this seems like a stepmom crisis of epic proportions. Will they feel slighted when I don't call them "my son" or "my daughter" or do they care? When my stepson corrects anyone and everyone who calls me "Mom"; it feels natural to then call him my stepson.
Like training bras and Thomas the Tank Engine, I don't know if this is a phase I, or we, are going through. Will I bring myself to call them my son or my daughter again? At what point do you drop the step forever and take to calling them your kids?
I'm curious how other people refer to their stepchildren. Are they your kids? Your stepkids? or The little curmudgeons your husband procreated?