Getting to know me

I typed that title and now I have the tune from Julie Andrews’ ‘getting to know you’ in my head. Seeing as we’ve never met, I thought I’d introduce myself and my role as a second mum. So me and my future wife are getting married in 3 months! 🤗 It’ll be our 3 year anniversary and we actually got engaged on our 1 year anniversary. She has a daughter from a past relationship who turned 3 earlier in the year, so she’s grown up with 2 parents, me and her mum. For some reason, her name for me is cookie. No one can remember how it started, but it sounds real cute coming from her. It is a little awkward when adults start to call me cookie thinking that it’s just a nickname I’ve given myself, though. I’ve been in littl’uns life since she was born and we’ve been living under the same roof for as long as she can remember, so she definitely looks at me as her parent. The thing is, a lot of people around us or just people that we meet hesitantly call me ‘mum’ as well. I guess that’s just a gender based assumption, of course it doesn’t offend either of us, but sometimes we have to pick our battles when correcting them. If I’m introducing myself though, I’ll generally say I’m her parent. Mum isn’t a title I feel that I could wear, and not because the making of littl’un had nothing to do with me, physically or decision wise. But because I personally feel that she only has 1 mum. I’d feel like a fraud if I claimed that title. This is something that my fiancé is understandably really happy about because she agrees and wants to be looked at as her only mum. So far so good, we’re all on the same page in our family! There’s so many questions that we get hit with when someone gets curious about our family dynamic, but the one that always makes me roll my eyes and sigh is, ‘so are you the dad?’. Depending on my mood, I’ll either keep it light and funny or just say it straight. I’m not a man, not when I’m on my own, at work, with my fiancé, (get your mind out of the gutter!), and definitely not as a parent. This question always tells me that they’re trying to fit us into their traditional idea of a family in their head and once that’s happened they’ll feel more comfortable with the whole deal. If, for whatever reason a child is raised by their grandparents, they wouldn’t be assumed as ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ just because of their genders and their leading role in the child’s upbringing. It’s definitely frustrating and hopefully one day we won’t get asked these questions, but for now, we just let it roll right off our backs. Another question we get is, ‘when you have another kid, will you be the mum?’. Again, no. Luckily, again we both agree on this. My fiancé can’t wait to carry another child, and I would never want to carry a child, just a personal choice. But that means again, I wouldn’t want to take the ‘mum’ title. This is difficult for some to understand, but hey, why do they need to? Besides, how weird would it be to make one kid call me by one name and the other another? It’ll take a while for those around us to fully get our family, but for us it’s simple. We’re a family. That’s it. So for now, when they’re referring to me, I have to tolerate this: ‘this is her…. second mum.’ Thankfully littl’un is old enough to correct them herself when she hears their mistake!

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