A significant amount of mental effort is required of many new parents in order for them to choose a name for their child. When it comes to nonbinary parents, we also need to consider rethinking how parenting is regarded in general. In order to do so, we will need to determine what we would like our children to call us.
In the majority of cases, nonbinary parents are not portrayed in a parenting capacity in the media. Some illustrations of what it’s like to navigate parenthood as a nonbinary or gender-nonconforming parent can be found in the children’s books “My Maddy” by Gayle E. Pitman, “The Natural Mother of the Child” by Krys Malcolm Belc, and “Like a Boy But Not a Boy” by Andrea Bennett, to name a few.
These books are all available on Amazon.com.
In general, however, nonbinary parents face the challenge of sorting through a large number of resources that are rife with gendered language while attempting to determine where we fit into that framework. This affords us the opportunity to chart our own courses and create our own set of guidelines for the myriad ways in which we may eventually become parents.
I didn’t know where to begin when I started thinking about what my child was going to name me when they were older. Elana, a mom who does not identify as male or female and lives in California, went through something very similar. “Choosing a name for my child was quite challenging for me, “They stated that.
“I looked up what other people had done online, but I couldn’t find anything that seemed like it would work. For years, I’ve been known as Zizi, which is a combination of aunt and uncle, but I just couldn’t come up with a title that seemed right for me.
If you find yourself in a scenario that is similar to this one, here are some resources that you can use to find the name of your parent.
Let Your Child Choose
Some parents make the decision to let their child choose their name when they are born. When my child was approximately 6 months old, they started reaching for me and saying “mama.” I promptly made the decision to not do this. This leads many people to give their children names that are almost a combination of two different names, such as Mapa or Dama.
You might also go with a name that is more in line with confused baby babble but yet manages to work, such as Zaza or Baba.
If you are a new parent to an older child, this may be an even simpler process, and one in which you will have a bit more say. It is possible to enhance and improve the mutual respect in your relationship with your child by giving your child the agency to pick what to call you and enabling your child to decide what they want to be called in return.
Draw From Your Heritage
There is room for gender-neutral parenting titles in a lot of different languages. For instance, in Yoruba, the word “obi” can mean either “father” or “heart.” Perhaps the use of a gendered term in another language will help you feel more comfortable with it. Pare is the name that I’ve settled on for myself to go by.
Simply put, it is a shortened version of the term “parent,” but the fact that it can also be used as the French word for father — pere — is something that I really enjoy. The fact that there was a smidgen of masculinization in there, which some people might not even notice, felt to me like the ideal way to pay tribute to both my French ancestry and the masculinity that I identify with more strongly within my gender experience.
Elana explains, “I wanted something that was about our relationship with each other.” “I wanted something that was about our connection.” “I was searching for the word omi for a long time. This is a Japanese name, but I believe that in several languages of Northern Europe, it also has the meaning ‘grandmother.’ However, I didn’t find it to be very masculine or feminine, it didn’t cause me to wince, and I enjoyed the way it sounded akin to a word for a first parent, such as Mama or Papa. It worked out perfectly.
My little one has taken to calling me Omi as if it were the most normal thing in the world, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Make It Up
If you don’t identify with either of the two genders, you already have the freedom to live a life in which you create your own path. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to invent a phrase that resonates positively with you? Some parents have opted to use mashups, while others have shortened terms that their children may already be using for themselves.
For instance, you may shorten the word “nonbinary” to something like “nobi” or “nopa,” respectively. If you use gender-neutral pronouns like ze/zir, maybe Zaza or Zizi fits. Don’t be scared to try new things, even if some of the terms sound ridiculous when you first hear them.
There is always place in the vast expanse of language for you to feel validated as a parent. There is no such thing as a silly word; they are all just new words.
Reimagine Mom or Dad
The fact that our culture assigns such strong connotations of femininity and masculinity to the terms “mom” and “dad” does not mean that those words must also fall within the predetermined parameters. Because they wanted to push the boundaries of what it means to be a father, my partner, who is also nonbinary, has chosen to be referred to as Dad. It’s not uncommon to see parents in gowns.
And our child is aware that they are also capable of it!
Choosing what they wish to be called is a matter of safety for a great number of people in a variety of circumstances. Sim, a nonbinary parent who resides in Texas, has chosen to be referred to as Mom. I was aware that the local daycares and primary schools are known for their strict adherence to tradition, “They stated that.
“And I didn’t want to put my child in the position of having to defend me in a culture war, or I didn’t want to open the door for her to face the brunt of strangers’ transphobia before she even understood what gender is.