So many think of Mother’s Day as being a holiday about the Mom of the family—taking for granted that there will be yet another holiday to celebrate Dad the next month. However, this isn’t true for many families across the country. What about families with two moms? How do they celebrate the big day? I was fortunate to be able to sit down with a beautiful two-mom family and find out a little more about what the day means for them.
Meet Mandy and Courtney, Momma and Mommy to Scarlett. They met in 2009, got married in January of 2012 and became parents in February of 2013. Mandy has been a Software Sales Specialist at a large technology company for the last ten years, and she is Momma. Courtney is a stay at home mom who co-runs Modern Moms Nashville which is a group for two-mom families and lesbian couples on their journey to becoming parents, and she is Mommy. They had a lot to say on this topic, and I gained some beautiful insight as to how they spend their Mother’s Day.
S- Before you had kids, what did you think Mother’s Day would be like?
C– I always dreamed of being a mother. I just knew it was something I wanted in my life. I was a nanny for years and loved kids but had no idea how differently I’d feel when we had our daughter. We are excited to share that we are now expecting our second child—a boy!
M– I thought it would be a day of mimosas, breakfast in bed, and basically having someone wait on me like a queen. However, as life so often has it, there is one parent (male or female) who tends to take on more of the caregiving role and one that is the earner. I am the latter of the two which really means I get to wipe butts and Courtney (Mommy) gets the mimosas and breakfast in bed. Nobody gets to be a queen though—because we want to just spend time together as a family.
S–What has Mother’s Day looked like since the birth of your daughter?
M- We usually try to celebrate Courtney in the morning since she likes to sleep and I am more of a morning person. Then, the afternoon is more about celebrating me. We have toyed with the idea of doing a separate day for each of us, but then, once they are older, having one day to spend with the two of us together will mean even more. Growing up, our families always did lunch and a gift, whereas we (of course!) like gifts but would rather spend time together and possibly do a homemade gift. With Courtney being at home, she does a great job of making gifts or doing Pinterest projects with Scarlett for me to take to work.
S–What is the best part of sharing the day, and also what is the most difficult aspect?
M– The best part is that we get to spend the entire day as a family not doing just what one person wants, but rather getting input from and doing what the whole family wants to do. We don’t typically send one or the other off for alone time as that can be done any day of the year. Instead we are out hiking or having a picnic as a family.
(Laughing) The hardest part is that since it is a shared day, you can’t always take the ideas you might have and run with them—since the other person has plans in mind, too. For example, I can’t sneak off to pick up breakfast and let her sleep in if she would rather we be up and go hiking. We have to plan ahead to make sure everyone gets what they need from the day.
C– I would say the hardest part is wanting my wife to feel deeply appreciated even though she is sharing the day with me. That’s the reason we have entertained the idea of celebrating one of us each day of the weekend. As the kids get older, we know that Mother’s Day will be a big deal in our house, and time will tell how they prefer to celebrate it. We’ll let them weigh in largely on that decision.
S–What are some traditions or perceived ideas about Mother’s Day that you’d like to see change?
M– Cards! It would be nice to see more cards that include two-mom families. As our children get older, it would be important also for their teachers to be sensitive and allow them to make two gifts so she does not have to choose between us or feel like she is excluding one of us. A quote I love is, “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart but in it.” I’m not sure who originally said that, but it sums up how I feel about Scarlett perfectly.
C– I’d love to see more sensitivity overall to all varieties of families. I agree with Mandy about the sensitivity needed for our daughter on Mother’s Day, but also for children who don’t have a mom. Maybe their mom is absentee, or maybe they have two dads. Maybe their grandmother is raising them. I hope that teachers in schools will become even more aware of these types of alternative families and that they’ll remember these kids might be making gifts for someone who fills that role in their life but doesn’t carry the title of “Mom or Dad”.
S-What are your Mother’s Day plans for this year?
C– This year I plan on sleeping in because I’ll be 34 weeks pregnant at that point with our son. If I still feel up to it, we will go on a day hike and come back to cook a nice dinner for Mandy. But a pedicure would be nice!