I probably have one of the best “other mother” situations I could ever have. I am “other mother” to our #5, who turns 2 soon. I met this little guy before he was born, and was one of the very first people to lay eyes on him as I was at his birth. I didn’t know him very well, but I was the midwife’s assistant. For the first year of his life, I saw him frequently as his mom and I were casual friends and got together with the little ones.
I’ve been blessed to be a big part of his life for almost a year now, which is half his life. I co-stay-at-home with him either with or switching out with his dad while my partner works full time plus a part time job. Shortly after we got together, the little guy started talking (and hasn’t stopped!) and we knew he would be the first to need a special name for his other mom. We’d been tossing around ideas for what all the kids would call me but knew his was important since it was starting at such a young age. The other kiddos would take more time to feel comfortable calling their other mother something special. One morning we came up with something to see if he would repeat. We thought maybe he should call me Mama P. He sure tried it, spit it out as Moppy, and it stuck like glue! You know, one of those nicknames that sticks the second it’s said? And everyone takes to it? Yup. Moppy. That’s me! It’s not necessarily glamorous. But I love it! The good news is, it’s a name that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I probably won’t even have to figure out my “grandma” name. It will be Moppy I’m sure. When #1 heard that the baby was calling me Moppy, he asked why. Then he said, “Oh wait. I know. Your hair. That makes sense.” Geez, thanks kid! (I have a head full of dreads.) Now 3 out of 5 kids are calling me Moppy. I’m good with that. Even nephews, nieces, and occasionally others will call me Moppy as well.
It was a fairly easy transition since he was so little. I clearly love babies and it hadn’t been too long since #4 was a baby, so I didn’t feel like I had to start over with the baby stage. After 3 or 4 kids, adding more isn’t too big of a deal. J I was used to waking up at night occasionally, and was staying home anyway. I loved him and treated him as my own but I feel like it transitioned into it being no different than what I feel for the other kids a few months ago. It just happened. I had been feeling somewhat frustrated that it was taking him longer than I had expected to adjust to 4 older siblings, and was wondering when that would change, if ever. Then, one day, it just clicked for him and for me. In the beginning it was a bit of a challenge to watch 2 little ones again, as I had adjusted to having just #4 around. But now, I feel like my days with him are normal, and the days that I don’t watch him are strangely different and are missing something. Thankfully, I get to see him even on the days his dad is watching him. The best part is that when dad has him, they often hang out with us and the transitions, if any, are smooth or nonexistent. I love that there is no time when he is not part of our family.
He’s been such a joy added to my life. I’d always wanted a big family of 5 kids. He’s a happy boy, smart, funny, silly, and loving. I love being a significant parent figure to him and so lucky that I’ve had the privilege of sharing this role with my partner and my ex-husband-in-law. I love that I can be another mom to him without feeling the competition of a “step” role or that I’m trying to replace anyone. He has another parent that loves him to pieces and that can only be a good thing!