The language used to identify stepfamily members often is charged.
Throughout history, the most common modifier for the word "stepmother" has been "evil," so it's no wonder some stepmoms are looking for another term. "Bonus moms" and "bonus kids" have been around for a while. Abbreviations are common on stepfamily blogsites. (For example, NCSM is used for noncustodial stepmothers.) And some stepmommy bloggers are creating their own vernacular, one calling herself "Quasi-momma."
The terms become all the more complex when parents repartner but do not remarry.
The website Urban Dictionary carries a list of new terms for the blended family. "Stepish sister" is the daughter of a parent's significant other, while a "step-girlfriend" is a father's romantic interest. "Step-other" is a mother's lesbian partner. And a "step-twin" is a stepsibling of the same age.
Author Wednesday Martin has found terminology that carries less baggage for her family. "I say I am married to a man with children," she explained. "Putting 'mother' in the word just feeds the unrealistic expectations."