As most of you know, my primary parenting was done by my mother and her "wusband." Damn you, spell check, I did mean W U S B A N D. It's a word my stepmother coined combining woman and husband. She is a woman, but the one who mowed, fixed stuff, and refused to ask for directions. Seeing my step mother in a skirt is more jarring than coming across many men in drag. I'm not being mean, I think she would agree. She's just not that type - never was, never will be.
One of the sadnesses of having lesbian parents was that not only did society not have a recognizable term for gay couples- lover is too sexual and partner is too businesslike - but our family didn't have one either. We just called her by her first name. I think she would have felt much more validated if we had a special name for her. I thought of Alma Mater once - Alma for short - but I was too old to make that stick by the time it came to mind.
One of the giant pain in the asses of having lesbian parents is the freaking Mother's Day/Father's Day dilemma. Here is my advice to families that don't fit into the Hallmark holiday system: pick a freaking' holiday and stick with it. Decide which is going to be your special day and let it go.
I have to get them both a gift on Mother's Day, because they are both women, but then I am expected to send Alma Mater a card on Father's Day. That's what she decided was most appropriate. I think if all Lesbian Parents subscribed to the same theory, Hallmark's stock earnings would go through the roof.
Now, I contributed to this ambiguity. I never knew what was expected or which holiday to choose. I have waffled and gone back and forth between the two, depending on the year. I do have a relationship with my Father and his wife, so that complicates things too. I have to buy a lot of cards this time of year.
The problem is that neither holiday will really make my step mother feel accepted or validated. That's not possible. And the obligation of having to do something for both holidays leaves me always disappointing someone, somewhere, because I'm just not that on top of things.
I take my kids to buy gifts for my ex husband. I call my moms on mother's day and my dad on father's day. I send presents, usually late, but until there is a nationally recognized Day of Significant Other Parents I will always feel like I haven't done enough, which makes me bitchy.
Can I start a movement here? A screw Hallmark, let's send loving text messages to officially recognize random people who have impacted our lives movement? It could be non gender specific, and could include teachers and mentors as well as parental units. We could even give people their very own individualized days! Hmm…we could decide to give them love and appreciation on the day they were born! The day they did nothing but open their mouths to breathe air and the world was a better place. What could be more fitting? Oh, wait, Hallmark already thought of that….