A Queer Parents' Dilemma: What Do Your Kids Call You?

By Kirrin Finch
A Queer Parents' Dilemma: What Do Your Kids Call You?

Kirrin Finch founders Kelly and Laura are proud moms to 18 month old twins. One of the most challenging things they encountered at the beginning of their parenting journey was figuring out what their kids would call them.

"We knew one of us was going to be Mommy, but we really struggled to figure out what we wanted the other one to be called because neither of us wanted to be Mama. We ended up choosing Mum Mum because our son started saying that from a young age and we liked the sound of it. So Kelly goes by Mommy and I (Laura) go by Mum Mum."

Queer parents wearing androgynous clothing

Choosing what your kids call you as queer parents is a difficult process that is unique to every family. This Mother's Day, we wanted to hear from other queer moms and parents in our community to learn what the process was like for them!

Vicky, Charisse, Reese and Tory

So....here’s how we came to be. I have always wanted to be a mommy, so when we started talking about starting a family, I called dibs. By default, Vicky is mama!

Queer parents with kids

Also, here’s another fun fact, since our birthdays are so close together (8/4 for me and 8/5 for Vicky), we usually end up doing a joint celebration. So Vicky had the idea of having us celebrate Mother’s Day for me and we renamed Father’s Day to Mama’s Day. That way, we each get a day of pampering! After all, we are Leos.

Bonus fun fact: Vicky and Charisse are the founders of DapperBoi!


The name thing is rough. I’m a “dad” to my almost-7 year-old, and she is just now for the first time really having to account for that to her peers. We both do. It requires both of us to not only have a solid sense of who we are, but also to use that firm ground to be patient with the process other people need to have to understand it. I wanted a name she could shout across a playground that would clearly communicate to everyone around what our relationship is. And that has certainly never been a question. Yay female dads!

Blue button shirt for women
Sheila, Alicia, Bea and Gus

When we found out we were finally becoming parents and to twins no less, we put some time into thinking what we wanted to be called. We have had friends come up with their own names (Mommy & Moppa, which was adorable, but felt unique to their family), researched terms from other countries/languages but settled on Mommy and Mama as terms that would be common for our kids within their community and not need an additional explanation. It wasn’t out of the ordinary and just felt right for our family.

Beth and Tosca

We were married in March this year, and my wife and I have one rule about what our son can call us: he can call me whatever feels right and respectful to him, whether that’s Mom, MomDadBethMom, MommaBeth, Beth Beth, Beth, etc and since Tosca had him from before we even met, she is simply: Momma. Not Momma T, not Momma Tosca, not Tosca. Momma. She birthed him, so she stakes the honorable claim of that sacred name.

Cass and Cassi
My wife and I got married two years ago and it's been a conversation that we've had over the last seven years of our relationship. We recently found out we're having a baby! So, of course that led to what will we be? My wife is a natural mother. She's nurturing and loving and patient, and she simply fits into the role of momma and wife. Myself personally, I've always been more masculine in nature. I take on most of the stereotypical husband roles in our household. It has always been a part of me, even before I got into a relationship, I knew that I was a husband despite the fact that I am a woman. So when our baby boy or girl gets here, I will be introduced to their little faces as Dad.
Kait and Heather

Before our son was born, we decided I would be Mama and my wife would be Mom/Mommy. We called each other these names for about his first 18 months and he definitely took to Mama but he didn’t necessarily call my wife anything specific which of course made her kind of sad! We figured maybe he just couldn’t quiet say “Mommy” yet. Then one day, just before he turned 2, we noticed he started saying something that sounded like “Mock” All day long we would hear “Mock, mock, mock”. He obviously knew exactly what he was talking about so we would point to things and see if that is what he was trying to say. Then I took him over to a wall of pictures while my wife was at work and said “Is Mock on here?” He got a huge smile and pointed to a picture of her! From that day on he has always called her “Moc” which slowly evolved into “Moccy”. I’m still Mama and now sometimes, Mommy.

Allyson and Anne

My wife and I are parents to two girls, a three year old and a five week old baby. My wife, Anne, chose to go by Mama and I go by Mimi. She was immediately drawn to the warmth of the sound of "Mama" and felt like it could feel sweet well into our kids' adulthood. I initially thought I would go by "mom" or "mommy" but neither felt quite right. Due to some difficulty with pronunciation, our firstborn dubbed me "Mimi" and it has stuck. While "Mimi" might call to mind a sassy, East-coast grandma more than a butch lesbian breastfeeding in public, it works for me!

As all of us queer parents know, the name we go by isn't as important as the role we play in our little ones' lives. So whether you're mom, mommy, mama, dad, mum mum, mimi, moccy, or anything else, we wish you a happy Mother's day!

Want to share your story? Tell us about your parenting journey in the comments below!

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