My son's wife died a couple of years ago leaving him alone with a 1-yo baby. He has since remarried and he and his wife have a baby boy. The step mom is really the only mother the 3 year old daughter has known and she loves her.
When my son talks to the child he addresses the step mother by her first name. The child goes back and forth sometimes calling the step mom mommy and other times calling her by her first name. I think my son is trying to make sure her mother is never forgotten. It feels to me that this child is sent mixed messages and it just doesn't seem fair that this little girl can't have a normal family like everyone else one Mom and one Dad.
I understand that there will come a time that she will make her own decision as to how to address her step mother but for now isn't my son setting his family up for failure or at least dividing his daughter and her step mother? By the time this little girl hits her teens she will need to know who she is and what her relationships are.
Her stepmother treats her just like her own and loves her very much. She is patient and has fun with her. To some degree while my son is trying to keep the memory of his dead wife alive for his own sake, I feel he is hurting this beautiful yet confused little girl.
What would be the best way to help this little girl to grown up with good family relationships without feeling like the outsider?