So you have decided to become parents and
it's all great. One will give birth, the other won't, pretty simple
so far. Then comes the question of "what will we be called?" Will
there be a mum, a mama, a mummy <insert first name here>?
When I first got pregnant, we were certain we would both be
"mummy", but then my partner at the time did a bunk when I was
eight months pregnant, so my dilemma was no more. Obviously I'd be
the only mummy.
But then I met my (now) wife when my son was
seven months old. We fell in love, he became ours and that was
that. She was known to him by her first name, and when we had our
daughter 18 months later, she too called my wife by her first name.
Over time we have both been called by our first names, mummy and
occasionally "oi". We mostly answer anytime any child shouts
We have met some resistance however. A lot
of people assume one of us must be the "daddy".
I politely tell them that's a whole other game. But in reality some
people do find it difficult to wrap their heads round an
alternative family set up. My partner works outside the house (I
work from home), so she must be the male/man/daddy figure. Even the
kids have asked her if she is the dad, which just goes to show how
ingrained a mummy/daddy set up is in society. In truth there are
many single parents, same sex parents, adoptive parents and blended
families out there. We need better representation.
For us, finding other families like ours, in
books and on TV has been important. There are scant books or TV
shows representing us and our family. Recently we were waiting in a
queue to give blood when a lady started speaking to our 5 year old
son. She asked who his sister was, and who I was. "My mummy," he
replied. The lady then pointed to my wife, as if to ask "who's
that?" "Oh that's my other parent," he said. The woman looked a
little flabbergasted and tried to utter some words when my son
said, "and that man over there is my seed donor". Despite the
fact that the random man was not in fact our donor, the
woman couldn't get away fast enough.
The crux of it all is we are both parents.
We guide them, we teach them, we get toys thrown at us, they puke
over us in the middle of the night, and like most parents we get no
thanks for the clean-up. But that's part of what makes us parents.
All the challenges are soon overshadowed by the joy they bring to
our lives. However at 3am when they are screaming again and
shouting for "mummy" it's very convenient to say, "she means you,
you know" to your wife.