“Bonus Mom” and other name alternatives: what are your favorite terms for additional parents?

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Photo by trharla.
Reader Brigitte recently emailed us about using the term “Bonus Mom” an awesome alternative to step-mom — which reminded us of this comment on Offbeat Mama:

I am a bonus-parent — a term I read in one of the MANY books I devoured when I first became involved with a man that had FIVE kids from a previous marriage. I’m an extra parent. “Step” always makes a person think of Cinderella and her evil stepmother and sisters.


Brigitte loved the term so much that she came up with a couple of ways you can use it: when Dad remarries to a man (Bonus Dad!), Dad wants to be called Mom now, and additional parents in Poly families, to name a few. Clearly bonus [insert parent here] is great since it can be applied to so many relationships, but what other terms are you guys using in your families?

Let’s continue the discussion found at What do you kids call you? and What can we call ourselves besides aunt and uncle?

Comments on “Bonus Mom” and other name alternatives: what are your favorite terms for additional parents?

  1. I know a family who refers to their transgender biological father as “Maddy.” I love this and feel it is the perfect name for a daddy who looks like a mommy.

  2. I’m terribly late to the party, but the kids address any post/cards to me to their “eee-vil step mother”. *eye roll*

    Mostly though, they just call me by my name. Only recently when trying to explain who I am to others has the term “step mother” been bandied around – both the kids and I aren’t fond, as I am just me. I’m not trying to be their mum, because I’m not. I do however, love them as if they are mine. So I refer to them as if they are mine, biologically, and my husbands ex as “the kids mum”, if discussing something that requires an acknowledgement of her. It briefly gets complicated at medical visits, but I think once they suddenly realise I’m not biologically related it starts to make more sense of surnames/addresses etc!

    My parents also just get first names, if ever referred to by a term – when talking to me they call them “your mum/dad”.

    Once, one of the kids, absolutely knackered, when prompted to tell the teacher who was picking him up at 1am from a school trip, referred to me as “my Helen”. And that is the best ever name I’ve ever been given 🙂

  3. I call my ex husband the Assaholic and his wife the Step-monster when referring to them to my friends but never to my children. I just called them Daddy and Marie. My daughter referred to them as her parents a few times because she heard another friend of hers do that… but that didn’t last long because the step mom was a step-monster. My son just referred to having Thanksgiving dinner with her family as spending it with the “Hill-Billies”

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