We have always wanted to be moms. By ‘we’ I am referring to myself and my wife, Deb. We laid that subject on the table on our first date and whoa!…we were on the same page. Flash forward a few years together and I am pregnant! Now the question for us becomes: What comes with being a parent? Well, obviously a LOT of things. But what about just simply being called ‘mom’? Most new moms know they will be called mom. Whether that strikes the utmost fear into them is altogether another story and I am not a psychologist where I can intelligently analyze those feelings. For me, being a mom AND being called ‘mom’ was going to be a part of this new and exciting package. But how do 2 moms do this?? Will we both referred to as ‘mom’? For us, yes. Absolutely. It was important. Perhaps I can equate it to a doctor receiving their M.D. and then being called Dr. Smith….not only did they work hard to EARN that title, it feels good to use it! Well, becoming a ‘mom’ is a hard-earned designation. It doesn’t matter if you carried that baby and went through the most torturous of deliveries or went through an adoption agency or simply are the ‘other mother’. No matter how you become a ‘mom’, it is worthy of the biggest trophy in the world and dammit…I personally want that title. Same with my wife. She earned the title right along side me, and may even be just a tinsy-bit more entitled because she was more level-headed during my pregnancy. She gallantly put up with crazy mood swings and cravings and my bemoaning being pregnant. She was a trooper worthy of 1st place in the sensible and calm category. And we both wanted to be called ‘mom’. Of course, during my pregnancy people would often ask, “well, who will be mom?” Really? Really, people? Did you just ask that question? But calmly I would reply, “Both of us, of course!” We decided before the baby was born we would start with a clean slate and each of us would be called ‘mommy’ until probably the child would morph our designations into whatever works for her. When our now 8 year old daughter was about 15 months old she was experimenting with word endings and adding ‘ia’ to everthing and would laugh hysterically at the sounds. One day in the kitchen as she was playing around with words and sounds she looked at me and blurted, “mommia!” She was clearly proud of herself for creating this new twist to mommy. After her laughter settled down, she turned serious and looked at Deb. She clearly was deep in thought for a moment but suddenly exclaimed in the proudest little voice, “mommio!” We knew we never wanted to put into a box what our children would call us, but secretly held out hope for mommy, mom or a similar variation. We were (and are) equally worthy to be called mom, and these new titles, sprouted from the language experiments of a toddler, have stood the test of time. When our son was born just a few months later, our designations were proudly being used on a daily basis and he incorporated them into his endearing terms for us. Even better are how the terms have been picked up by their young cousins and friends. Being called ‘mom’ or now ‘mommia’ and referring to myself as ‘mom’ has been the most glorious title I have ever had. It makes my heart melt every single time I hear it; even when it’s MOM MOMMMMMMMOOMMMMMM MOMMMMMMMMMMMIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAA from the top of the stairs in a high pitched screech worthy of shattering fine china.
What I love is when we travel and the children clarify our family structure to a new acquaintance, “Oh that is my MOMMIA and that is my MOMMIO”. Like duh…don’t you get it? Often times I see a flash of confusion quickly replaced by the OOOHHHHH….I get it look. You have 2 MOMMIES! Yes, they do! 🙂