I’m a mum to a two-year-old boy called Billy. But I didn’t give birth to him, my partner was lucky enough to go through all of that, I just jumped in at the end and cut the cord after 23 hours of labour. You see, Billy has two mums. It’s all very simple to us, but to the rest of the world it sometimes gets complicated. And even though he’s only a toddler, we’ve already had to navigate our fair share of hilarious and awkward situations.
Here are a few of the everyday struggles we’ve encountered…
When you’re both called Mama and Mama
If Billy’s in another room and yells out "Mama" you basically have to treat it as a PSA, think of it as a “clean up on aisle 6”. We have no idea which mum he wants - it’s whoever gets there first. We tried with the titles Mama and Mummy but even we kept forgetting who was who, how could we expect poor Billy to remember? Then we jokingly started calling each other Mama J and Mama A. Unfortunately Billy pronounces them “Mama Day” and “Mama Eight” so it appears Billy has a day-mum and I’m one of at least eight night mums (which would come in handy, come to think of it).
Now, every rainbow family is different. Some use Father’s Day as a way to celebrate the non-biological mother, some ignore it like it’s Christopher Columbus day. Billy’s daycare are very progressive and always ask if I’m happy to receive the Father’s Day egg cup – which - if my parents have taught me anything, it’s that you never look a porcelain hand painted breakfast apparatus gift horse in the mouth.
The nonsensical questions
Look, people are going to have questions and that’s fine. Some even pre-empt with, “this might be a silly question”. But then there are the others. We were once asked if Billy was an accident. Let me think… after tens of thousands of dollars of IVF, months of donor research, my partner's daily injections of follicle stimulating hormones, countless scans, blood tests, internal examinations and Medicare forms I don’t think that we accidentally conceived him after a wild night of Southern Comfort.
“Are you sure they didn’t get your eggs mixed up? He looks more like you,” is another. Again, that would be no… we didn’t just throw our eggs into a soft serve machine, swirl them together and wait to see what came out. Who knows, maybe that will happen one day. But right now it’s a very intimate moment between my partner, her eggs, and several people in white coats.
Those awkward moments in public
You know, when you’re in a shopping centre and your son is having a meltdown and you pick him up as he screams “I want Mama”? Well, when I say, “Mama’s here, it’s okay” people look at me like I’m Tara Brown. You get a lot of these moments in public. Sometimes I just pretend I'm the nanny.
When people ask, which one is his ‘real mum’?
Sure, the intention isn’t bad, but after a while it does start to feel like I’m in a small-time cover band and his biological mum is Mick Jagger. We’re both his mum. I know, I know, it’s confusing. Especially for Billy who thinks he has eight of them.