Stepmom Won’t Allow Her Husband’s Kids To Refer To Their Actual Mother As Mom

It seems like she's focusing on the wrong things to make a lasting connection.

mom and daughter cooking together August de Richelieu / Pexels

Divorce and remarriage come with their own sets of emotional challenges, especially when kids are involved.

Blending families isn’t easy, yet approaching that relational shift with an open heart and open mind works in favor of everyone involved.

A mom named Danielle Marie Pauline shared how she helps her daughters navigate their relationship with their stepmom, who has some very particular rules in place for when the kids are in her home.


The stepmom won’t let her husband’s kids call their mother ‘mom’ when they’re around her.

In a now-deleted TikTok post, Danielle gently vented about specific behavior she struggled with in relation to her ex-husband’s new wife.

“Something my daughter’s stepmom does that makes me roll my eyes, number, like, 5,000, is that she won’t let them… They’re not allowed to refer to me as ‘mom,’ like when they’re referring to me around her,” Danielle said. “She doesn’t wanna hear it.”

mom consoling upset daughter dimaberlinphotos / Canva Pro


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The mom explained that her daughters’ stepmom insists that they call her by her first name, Danielle, when referencing her.

“She wants them to call me by my first name because it’s ‘confusing’ for her,” she said, framing the stepmom’s confusion with the hypothetical question, “Which mom are you talking about?”

family sitting on stairs together Andre Henrique / Pexels


Danielle revealed an element of the stepmom's parenting style that upset her even more, describing a scenario in which her oldest daughter was talking about her grandfather, Danielle’s dad, who “passed away four years ago unexpectedly.”

“My daughter and my dad were very close,” she said. “Anytime my daughter will refer to him, like, recently, my daughter referred to him, and the stepmom was like, ‘I don’t wanna hear about that. I don’t wanna hear about him. I don’t care.’”

Danielle’s eyes widened as she repeated the interaction, like she couldn’t understand why an adult would dismiss a young girl’s feelings about someone she loved and lost.

People are entitled to feel the full range of their emotions, even the more difficult ones, which means that the girls are allowed to talk about things their stepmom doesn’t like. It also means that the stepmom is allowed to feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make her behavior right.


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The stepmom’s rigid boundaries around what her stepdaughters are allowed to discuss limit their emotional expression.

Family dynamics are constantly shifting as family structures have changed over the past decades.

In 2023, the U.S. Census reported that two-thirds of households are composed of families, a number which has held strong since 2010.

girl and mom hugging in a field Olia Danilevich / Pexels


In 2020, the Census found that there were about 127 million households in the U.S., and almost half of those households were kept by a married couple.

Around 3 million households with a cohabiting couple had kids under the age of 18 living in their home.

Additional data from the organization ACT for Youth reported that 70% of children under the age of 18 live with 2 parents.

They noted that the percentage of children living with stepfamilies rose over 10 years, from 9% in 2010 to 11% in 2021.

Having a strong family connection is important for all forms of families, whether they’re blended or biological.


Allowing kids to express who they are and what matters to them, even when those topics are hard for adults to handle, is a crucial part of providing care to kids’ growing hearts and minds.

A parental figure’s ability to hold space and process the tough stuff is what makes relationships last, not what name you go by or the random rules you impart that keep kids at an emotional distance.

RELATED: Mom Finds Out That Her Daughter’s Stepmom Has Been Telling Everyone She’s The Biological Mom — ‘She Even Stole My Birth Story’

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.