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COOKIES & PRIVACY POLICY

The Other Mother

Just what are both parents called, exactly?

Steph Mann

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 14:49:42 GMT | Updated 1 years today

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 "mummy". 

 

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.

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  • Pagan Hare - Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:25:44 GMT -

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    It is very true that same sex parenting is very poorly represented and it's something that desperately needs addressing especially in education. I worked in schools for a while with nursery children and it was always mummy and daddy. As for your little boy....priceless, utterly priceless! I laughed my socks off!!!

  • Pagan Hare - Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:25:50 GMT -

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    It is very true that same sex parenting is very poorly represented and it's something that desperately needs addressing especially in education. I worked in schools for a while with nursery children and it was always mummy and daddy. As for your little boy....priceless, utterly priceless! I laughed my socks off!!!

  • Pagan Hare - Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:25:52 GMT -

    Report Abuse

    It is very true that same sex parenting is very poorly represented and it's something that desperately needs addressing especially in education. I worked in schools for a while with nursery children and it was always mummy and daddy. As for your little boy....priceless, utterly priceless! I laughed my socks off!!!

  • Pagan Hare - Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:25:53 GMT -

    Report Abuse

    It is very true that same sex parenting is very poorly represented and it's something that desperately needs addressing especially in education. I worked in schools for a while with nursery children and it was always mummy and daddy. As for your little boy....priceless, utterly priceless! I laughed my socks off!!!