In our house, we are “mummy” and “mama” so when Mother’s Day comes around it’s a double celebration. I always wanted to be called “mummy” and “mama” just evolved for my partner Jo, which was nice. Though our children have different ideas – we once asked the eldest what he’d like to call us and he thought for a minute before responding “parents of doom”, not quite sure where that came from but it made us laugh!
If you are interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ parenting Professor Susan Golombok from the University of Cambridge has written books based on her research on LGBTQ+ parents along with people who decide to co-parent and parents who are single by choice. In “We are Family” she provides evidence that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children’s development than the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception.
One of the things we learned very quickly when we became parents was that we are very visible – it is like “coming out” every day. People make assumptions, and we are often asked personal questions about how we created our family, but we have been lucky in that we have very rarely encountered direct homophobia or discrimination.
Mother’s Day often presents a challenge. Last year the school sent home a letter stating that only one mum could attend the Mother’s Day craft event and special lunch with their children. They were trying to prevent mums turning up with additional family and friends and we are sure they did not intend to exclude us but inadvertently they did. We raised it, they changed the wording, we both attended – but we were left feeling that we were very visible and that people must have questioned why we were allowed to attend together. Potentially their approach was difficult for all the children at school, who had two mums, such as those with step-mums.
It’s important to listen to how children feel therefore I did a little interview with my oldest son who is 14, and my youngest son, age 9, did the drawing for this blog.
Our Son’s take on having two mums:
What are the good things about living in your family?
I can play on my PlayStation, we travel a lot (when it’s not lockdown), we get nice food including chocolate, and I have a lot of freedom.
What have been the good things about having two mums?
Well I wouldn’t really know as I haven’t experienced otherwise.
I imagine it’s just the same. As long as you get raised right that’s the importance thing.
What challenges have you faced?
Whenever I have to refer to my mums as being my parents when others are saying mum and dad, then people ask questions, but it doesn’t really bother me. Or when I am gaming my friends say they never hear a dad talking to me. Also when I was in primary school people would ask if I was gay because my parents were gay. But I’ve never had any major hassle over it, I’ve actually been pretty fine.
How have you overcome these challenges?
By not caring what people think. There is nothing I can do to change it, I can’t whip up a dad from somewhere so I just get on with it.
We have done a lot of things with other gay parents so I know I am not the only one with gay parents and that has helped a lot.
What do your friends think of you having two mums?
They don’t mind – if they are my friends they won’t be bothered about me having gay parents. When I tell new friends they ask a
lot of questions, like how I was conceived.
What are you planning to make us for breakfast on Mother’s Day?
I’ve never made coffee which I know you would like but I will make pancakes with lemon and sugar!
Yum! Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!!