Hey Mamamates, it’s Sophie here!
When I first became a parent, I felt left behind by the bigger baby and ‘mummy’ brands. I wasn’t seeing anyone whose life looked like mine - and so I started to feel like maybe I was doing the whole parenting thing ‘wrong.’
But part of me also knew that parenting was changing - the traditional structure with its traditional gender roles was on its way out. In a post-pandemic world, it’s even more clear that there’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, and at Mamamade we’re committed to providing services that support all families to live life to the fullest.
This year, it feels extra important to proudly celebrate all families, and all the shapes and sizes they come in - after all, what matters the most is that we all share the same love! We love getting to know each and every one of you - so please introduce yourself in the comments!
But for now, I wanted to hand over to Katie from Team Mamamade, who opens up to talk about Pride Month, raising her daughter with two mums, representation and so much more...
Hey Mamamates! I’m Katie and I’m Growth Marketing Manager here at Mamamade. Pride Month is always a special month as we get to celebrate love in all its forms. It’s also a chance for the LGBTQ+ community to continue the fight for equality and raise awareness of the spectrum of love, gender, sexuality and beyond. Something I have found hugely underrepresented are families who look like mine - we are two mums and our 3-year-old daughter - particularly amongst the vast amount of family brands, but more on that later.
Here are just some of my thoughts, experiences and observations as a same-sex family…
The Joy of Two Mums 💜
We’ve always been very open with our daughter, Margot’s nursery about her family and we love how many other diverse families there are in her nursery, not just same-sex families like us. We spoke to them about including more reading material that was inclusive and also ensuring their language was always inclusive to the children too - not just talking about ‘mummies and daddies’. One day at pick up we had the run down of our daughter's day, what she’s eaten, what she’s played with, the usual. Then they told us Margot had been talking about her two mums to other children in her class and must have sold it so well as apparently, all the other children decided they wanted to have two mummies as well!
Nature vs Nurture 💗
Before our daughter was born, I often wondered how well we would bond, or how connected I would feel to her given that she isn’t biologically related to me - my wife carried her using her eggs and a donor. Once she was born I realised how insignificant those thoughts were as I instantly felt all the waves of emotion and felt so connected and protective of her. As she’s grown up, we’ve noticed how she picks up different things from the both of us. Margot has begun to stand with her hands firmly on her hips - something she’s very much got from me and one of my more annoying habits my wife would say!
As well, it’s pretty heartwarming when friends and family innocently ask things like ‘what did your hair look like at her age?’, or ‘are your family tall?’ as if my genetics have any bearing on her. It’s a funny realisation on all parts when the penny drops - sometimes embarrassment but I actually love that they just know that Margot is so much a part of me that this doesn’t seem an odd thing to ask.
Starting a family as a same-sex couple 🌈
I’m very much torn between being open about our family and how we got here because there’s very little information out there about it from reliable sources and there are so many different options and legal hoops to jump through that it can be confusing and very daunting, not to mention the cost implications. On the other hand, the same doesn’t apply for heterosexual couples - no one is questioned about who is the biological parent. It’s a really tough line and I’m still not sure where I sit on it.
That said, the more we talk about it, the more we normalise it. And just recently, the NHS finally added crucial information on their website about how LGBTQ+ couples can start a family which is huge step.
Lack of Representation 🏳️🌈
I’m focusing here on the family space as that’s very much the stage of life we’re at and there is very little representation amongst the brands we buy, the books we read to our daughter and TV programmes she watches.
Nappy brands, snacks, wipes, websites for children’s furniture, TV programmes, children’s clothing (I’m looking at you, twin sets with ‘my mummy/daddy loves me’), the list goes on - there simply isn’t any diversity in the families they feature - and I’m talking beyond LGBTQ+ families. Shout out to Tiba and Marl for not just showing Dad in the product images but celebrating all families.
We actually recently bought a set of Peppa Pig toys second hand and the set we got just had two Daddy Pig’s and we joked that it might have come from another two mum family who kept both Mummy Pigs!
Things We Are Regularly Asked…
Finally, for all the ‘do we really need Pride in 2022?’ questions, here’s a few things we’re asked on a regular basis that really show some people still need their eyes opening a little…
- To me and my wife on a regular basis when we’re out with our daughter, and also at the scan when we were pregnant with our daughter from the (male) sonographer - ‘are you sisters?’ or ‘who is the mum?’
- ‘who is the dad?’ - in relation to our family set up - for us, it’s not dad, it’s donor - but all families are different, please don’t assume any gendered parental language
- ‘who is the dad?’ in relation to parental roles - again, please don’t assume any gendered roles
- ‘name of father?’ when registering Margot’s birth, there wasn’t a box for ‘other parent’ let alone ‘other mother’
Thank you so much Katie for opening up and sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences!