The other mother(18 Posts)
My fiancée and I are soon becoming mothers , she is 3 months pregnant.
I would like to start a chat or meet up with other females who are experiencing the 'daddy' role
We can start chatting ??!
congratulations! I'm not sure that I view my role in this way at all - too much like normative parenting roles for my taste. It seems daunting at first, but in the end, there's not an awful lot that's different after the first few months - less if not breastfeeding.
Really glad there are other people here who want to talk about being "the other mother". My wife gave birth to our daughter 17 months ago and although it has been the most fantastic journey I have done an awful lot of thinking and soul searching in relation to my role as non bio mum and what this means for me, my daughter and my wife.
I don't identify as a "daddy" but it's difficult a times to work out what (if anything) is the difference between each mummy. My wife has been exceptionally supportive and always clear that we are both our daughter's mummy and we both love her equally.
Before she was born I used to worry that I wouldn't bond with the baby because we didn't have a biological link but this hasn't been a problem at all. The most difficult aspect I have found by far is other people's response. When first meeting us often people assume I am her grand mother and my wife is my daughter (she's only 10 years younger), I've had to learn to accept they probably don't really think that it is just that they can't work out the relationship, possibly as neither of us look stereotypically lesbian.
Anyway I'm happy to chat more as I feel a minority within a minority.
kandle is spot on I think; other people can be tricky, but I am always very straightforward (although I couldn't be bothered to argue with the demo lady in Tesco who assumed that I was the child-minder...), unless it just seems more trouble than it's worth. It is occasionally a bit strange - we used a known donor who has some contact (and our daughters see his family too) - and sometimes I look around and even though I am very very close to my children (my eldest in particular) it's odd to think that I am the only person in the room who doesn't have a biological link to them. I'm not sure that with the toddler our roles are differentiated as such, although our parenting styles are different (and we hope, complementary), but I don't think (and again I hope) that these don't map onto conventional gender roles. We both do everything as and when. A lot of straight women are wel jel...
I do think that the biological mum's attitude is very important - like kandle my DP always makes it clear that we are both their parents which means that all our family and friends are under no illusions about this.
It is an interesting topic - I'm sorry if I was a bit sharp about the 'daddy' thing, but sometimes straight people assume that one of us must be in the 'daddy' role and it irritates me. Mind you, my dd is going through a phase of making me be 'dad' in her various games
Ha ha, funnily enough our daughter has started calling me "da da". Obviously it has only stuck because we thought it endearing and encouraged it. It is also the way she gets my attention at the moment so obviously I respond. However, some people that I have relayed this to seem to take this as an indication that she is wanting a mummy and daddy figure so I think it will need to stop which I resent as it fits our family at the moment.
I completely understand what you mean when saying how you feel aware of your lack of biological connection when with your child(ren)'s donor. I love my daughter desperately but, when with my extended family, it occasionally pops in to my head that I am biologically linked to my nephews and can see elements of me in them but don't have this with my own child.
Good to talk.
Interesting to read this thread. I'm non bio mum to ds who is just over 2 and I think the time I found the strongest difference was in the first year, particularly when dp was bf and also on mat leave.
For the first time in our 10 yr relationship, we had clearly different roles in some areas and I didn't necessarily fall into that easily.
I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with dc2 so there will be another change in roles with me becoming sahm for a year.
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hey rhetorician! im so flippin plased to hear of someone in the same situation as us! my partner is pregnant with our first baby and we have a known donor too who will also have involvement in our daughters life. I've not heard of anyone playing it like this before and i have to admit i am really quite nervous about the fact that my daughter will be having a relationship with both her biological parents, and basically i really dont wanna get shelved later on in her life as im the only one with no blood ties to her.
i just wanna ask how you guys handle it and what sort of system you have in place? if its not too personal a question.
Hi Em-sorry I am not in your situation so hope you don't mind me jumping in. Just wondered if you had read any of Charlie Condeu's articles in the Guardian? (Marcus in Coronation St-i don't actually watch it but i like him!)
He and his husband have 2 children with his best friend and all 3 are involved in raising the kids. He has written some really interesting articles, and has also been a speaker at some conferences about non-traditional parenting. The one which stuck in my head was when he wrote about just after the birth where 1parent could sleep, 1look after the baby and 1 do the housework-sounded like just the right number of parents to me!
Anyway good luck to you all and congratulations.
ah thats awesome thank you! il check that out now, ur a gem
n yeah we have that plan too.... i get the top bedroom in the week coz il be the one at work bringin home the pennies so i can get some good kip. hehe. seems the way forward to me!
thanks so much for your help its all very exciting. lol
hi Em - I'll come back at greater length once children are in bed; just to say that Charlie Condou and his partner are co-parenting; we aren't, so it's somewhere between the two. I'll post more fully later
Ha! Kandle, I am 34 and my partner 47 and she is often mistaken for my mother, but this was before we had our son too. I think people see a close relationship that is more than friends, and then don't think outside the box. Either that, or I look exceptionally young, as people mistake my partner for being 38! Although maybe that was before the sleepless nights...
hey,CONGRATS TO U BOTH!!!! seein as my wife an I just had our baby girl 3 weeks ago. My wife carried first cus shes 6 yrs older than me and we felt at 31 she should go first. Well i never took on the daddy role, i actually hate that, hate when ppl say that to, its like im not a man im not the dad im dkp mummy to But everyone is different. but the pregnacy is great bonding experience, we didnt get any grief from no one, we was lucky, no one family or close friends wise has ever said im not dkp mummy an they all refer to us both as mummies so its really good. But being parents to be is really exciting and once the baby is born all ur worries seem to wash away and you just love your baby an nothin seems to matter.
I never was worried about not bonding with my baby just bc im non bio, i never felt like i wasnt gonna be a mum or nuffin like that but again everyone is different. Enjoy the pregnancy it goes really quick!
Never had any issues bonding with my babies, and I love the fact they are miniatures of DW. Both are happy to come to me for comfort, or if feeling poorly. DW is a SAHM so obviously sees them more but a weekends we are both hands on and share Childcare and chores equally.
Congratulations to you both !
My ex and I had our first 17 years ago, long before civil partnerships and the ability for the non-bio mum to have a legal status in the child's life - we had to go down a very expensive legal route and were extremely lucky to have an enlightened high court judge (but that's another story.
I felt I bonded instantly with both our children and we were open but discreet (given the media hysteria then about "pretend families") with healthcare professionals, teachers, etc. Everyone has been brilliant, and I got to cut the cord with our second - which was really cool.
Both kids have looked liked their bio mum from the get go and one of the funniest experiences we had was taking our oldest on a plane when she was about 3 months old. I had her in a sling and as we boarded a stewardess was admiring our baby. "She's so sweet, and doesn't she look so much like her... Auntie !"
We just called each other mummy in front of our daughter and when she was around two she spontaneously started calling bio mum Yellow mummy while I was Red mummy. When we asked her why those names she said they were her favourite colours. Both kids called us that until quite recently, although they will still use the names when we are in the same room and they are clarifying which mum they mean.
Hope you have as much fun, joy and love as I've had over the past 17 years !
I'm pregnant with our first child and before we started the process, I bought my wife a book called Confessions of the Other Mother. She found it really interesting & helpful & would definitely recommend it for non-bio mums. N
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