Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Non-bio mom chronicles

Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be a non-bio mom. Is it like being a dad? Well, since I'm planning to breastfeed, I guess not really. Is it like being a bio-mom? Not really since I am not pregnant. I'm an aunt, is it like that? No, I only see my nieces every six months. So, what is it like my ladies out there?

Calling all non-bio moms, calling all non-bio moms, please comment on the best thing about being a non-bio mom!

Here is my guess, it is great and un-like most societal defined roles a person can play in the development of a human. I mean, I'm one of child's parents. He will have to listen to me because I'm a mom (and will refuse to listen to me, because I'm a mom). I don't have the wonderful experience of wondering if he will have my eyes or heaven forbid my chins! :) But I can, with all honesty say he might have some of my personality and demeanor. He will likely pick up some of my mannerisms, my love for things, and many of my values.

The term non-bio mom seems so secondary but really, isn't the same as so many other things in my life that I have to "reclaim" and give the meaning I believe it should have regardless of the societal definition or the lack of a better word? So, I from here out declare myself a NON-BIO MOM, and I'm proud to be!

My definition of non-bio mom:
(Noun) a woman dedicated to the life and development of a child born as their child by another woman (my wife). She is the caregiver, dedicated parent, and forever-biggest supporter of said child. She is, a mom (see definition of mom).

Also known as Mutti (German form of Mom derived from Mutter) in our house!

15 comments:

Alissa said...

I am really excited to hear all about this journey. I give you credit for opening my eyes to so many questions I had never considered. Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you've already seen the book CONFESSIONS OF THE OTHER MOTHER ??? And there are great non-bio mom blogs out there .... lesbiandad.net is my fave. Good luck & love reading your blog!

mrsbluemont said...

i'm not a non-bio mom, nor a bio-mom yet. but without trying to be inappropriate, i have to add what i love about non-bio moms: they're hot! i love to see women caring for their child and their partner and fulfilling such an important role for their family. non-bio moms rock my world.

cheers to you!

Keri said...

& to add another...
You are PROOF that biology means nothing when it comes to loving a child.
You're not a dad. You're not a mom. You're not even the other mother. You are your childs mother equally with another mother.

sandra said...

I think you're just plain mom. Although there's nothing plain about you. And you don't have to give birth. :)

Holly said...

To me, biology is irrelevant. I was there every step of the way through the pregnancy and childbirth and never felt less of a mother.

A non-bio mom is a mother. Plain and simple. Just without the pain of childbirth. LOL!

I must admit, no occasion, I had some trouble since my in-laws from time to time seemed to neglect to treat me as a mommy same as Lois is. But that is a battle that might be long-term.

*J* said...

I agree with Holly. Never once have I thought of myself as less than a mother. In fact, I don't even really like the term non-bio mom. The whole idea that G actually gave birth rarely enters my mind nor do we provide that information to anyone we aren't close with.

Having a supportive partner who strives for equal parenting helps as well. G would never point out that she is more qualified as a "mother" than me. We both do things pretty much equally - there aren't really any things that are my territory or hers (well, except for those first few days after the birth when I changed all the diapers because G couldn't get out of the hospital bed) but we both give her a bath, we both feed her, change her, play with her, and are enjoying helping her to learn and grow into a tiny little person.

Anonymous said...

You are mother right from the very beginning and will impact the Tot's core and chromosomes with dynamism right down to his toenails. I do prefer the German "mutti" to the Japanese "haha"! Love you. Dad

ohchicken said...

can i just say i love your dad?

Poltzie said...

Ok I love my husband but sometimes I am jealous of the freedom of a lesbian relationship (I know you want to slap me for saying that). One of my dear friends and her wife have a 9 month old girl and I'm continually in awe at how much freedom they have because they aren't confined to the traditional "mom" or "dad" roles. While they are stuck with having to use a sperm donor they can both get pregnant (and plan to). I love this. They are going to have children close in age (something I really want) but don't have to worry about their body recovering enough to get pregnant again (something I do have to worry about).
Anyways, I'm rambling but I just think it's awesome that instead of having to be the mom or the dad you can choose the best parts of both roles and be that person!
I can see how that would really foster the best emotional growth in a child :)

Susanica said...

Hi there. I thought I’d write from the “non-bio” mom perspective although I must admit I don’t really think of myself as "non" anything. My partner Susanne gave birth to our son Danny last spring. She was able to stay home with him for the first 7 months while I worked (and continue to work) full-time. She’s now back to work part time. I don’t feel like a dad--I feel like Su and I both have different and wonderful relationships with our son. When he sees me he lights up. When he sees her he lights up. It’s not really a competition for who is more maternal or anything like that. She breastfeeds him (I do not) and I think that creates a very special bond between them. And I love to witness that connection. And I know she loves to see me and Danny together too. Different gifts. We also have friends who are lesbian moms and we all joke about our imaginary “matrix”. The different roles that each of us play in our family systems. I think it is true that we have more freedom to play the roles that makes best sense and not be trapped into traditional male/female roles especially around tasks and child--raising. I guess that’s my 2 cents for now. Best of luck. You’re going to LOVE being moms! -Monica

Corinne said...

You write very well.

Anonymous said...

Rather than use the negative "non-bio mom" I think it's helpful to use a positive labels, eg. "adoptive mom" and "birth mom." These words seem fitting as a description of how we begin our relationships with our children; but words are not determinative of how we are going to build our relationship with them.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

I have to say, I feel bad when I hear the term "non-bio mom" because I just want to be a mom. But it's hard because there are particular challenges that come with this role and just saying "mom" doesn't really cover it. I guess I do like the term "adoptive mom" but also, that doesn't completely differentiate it because I get to be the mom of a baby made by my wife...which seems somehow different than if I had adopted this precious gift from another woman altogether. I planned this baby, agonized over decisions, bought ovulation tests, watched her dip the test strips into little containers of pee kept by the toilet mornings. We first used anonymous frozen donor sperm and I had to insert it into her uterus through a catheter called "tom cat," then got an offer from known donor who is tall, kind and looks like a calvin klein underwear model,and then I felt solace in the idea that my children will get to know their biological father (I didn't get to know mine growing up). Yet I also feel scared that he will have a personality change and try to be a parent...and not a donor...and I know our contract would lie helpless at the mercy of whatever judge is interpreting it...But anyway, I proceeded to drive for hours late on work nights to the donor's house for many months to achieve this amazing and wonderful miracle. I hold my wife's hair when she gets sick (she is now 7 weeks pregnant), and while I feel bad that she's nauseous, I am elated because it means that little embryo is still in there. I dutifully take out the trash, clean the cat litter and wait on her when she looks tired and miserable...But I will not legally get to adopt this baby, so how can I be an "adoptive mother"? I will get a "parenting agreement" in my state that is not portable to other states and only guarantees visitation and financial obligation (not joint custody). So am I an "agreed parent"? I am not a butch "Baba" or "Papa" and I do not rejoice in lawn care or outside BBQ's...I am not a rough and tumble fatherly woman...I will nurse the baby through induced lactation...I will be her/his/their shoulder to cry on...I will got to PTA meetings and soccer games...What will people really think? Does that matter? I know I will sense it if they don't really think I am a mother...I guess that the most important thing is what my child thinks...and kids are so free from all the bullshit that floats around in the world. Will people diminish my relationship and hurt both me and my child? I know my wife will be sensitive to my feelings of being disenfranchised because she has had the experience of being the "other mother" in a past relationship. Her ex (birth mom) never considered her as an equal parent, and when they broke up, her ex cut her out of her son's life. So while he will always be her son, she will not get to BE his mother...So my question is, what am I? Who am I? My identity is changing as fast as my baby is growing inside my beautiful wife's belly. It reminds me of the saying, "having children is like allowing your heart to walk around outside of your body." Boy do I know it!