• Iain and James McDonald with their children, Poppy and Oscar. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Same-sex parents Iain and James McDonald have their own way of celebrating Mother's Day with their twins.
By
James McDonald

5 May 2016 - 11:40 AM  UPDATED 5 May 2016 - 11:40 AM

Amongst the barrage of Mother’s Day advertising and promotion the past few weeks, I heard a breakfast radio host reference this Sunday’s big event by saying, “Well, everyone can relate to that”.

But can they? My family is different. Oscar and Poppy have a Papa and a Daddy. This made the worrywart in me wonder whether they will ever really relate to Mother’s Day?

Of course they can. The kids see how we interact with our own amazing mums. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll call my mum or give her a big hug. My husband Iain is the same - he calls on his mum all the time for support, advice and love.

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Oscar and Poppy are no different - they have that person to turn to. In our house, that it is the role Iain plays. He’s the stay at home dad who the kids will instinctively call for if they hurt themselves.

The only complication that really arises is at daycare, where craft activities at this time of year tend to result in the creation of a gift for mum. So we decided to be pragmatic and we share the two special days between us.

My birthday is shortly before Father’s Day, and as I didn’t want to suddenly have to share the limelight with Iain, I get that day. Iain is equally happy to have Mother’s Day.

The only complication that really arises is at daycare, where craft activities at this time of year tend to result in the creation of a gift for mum. So we decided to be pragmatic and we share the two special days between us.

This decision led to a funny situation at daycare. When we explained how we celebrated the event, there was a bit of a misinterpretation and every time Iain walked in, the carers would say “Oh look, Mum is here!”. Kudos to them for completely supporting the mad idea from two dads.

But again, Oscar and Poppy are not the only kids to have to navigate this kind of scenario. There are children of single parents, those who have lost a parent, and plenty of other kids with two dads.

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I asked some other gay fathers how they mark the occasion. Everyone had various approaches: Some recognise biological mums, while others will make a card for their nan, godparent, aunty and any other amazing people in their life.

Mothers are some of the most important people in the world - they give life, they look after us and deserve more than just one day a year.

So, as we approach this Sunday, I also pay tribute to our amazing donor and surrogate, as well as anybody who has tousled Oscar or Poppy’s hair affectionately, put a bandaid on their grazed knee, allowed me to write a blog about them or liked a photo or tweet we’ve posted about them.