The “M” Word

So, this is out to all the MtFs out there that have kids and an SO (or ex-SO) to contend with… How did your struggle with The M Word go? I’m talking about “their” word… Mommy.

As far as I’ve gathered from different forums, books and internet blogs, it’s fairly rare that a trans woman will be “allowed” to take the M word for themselves. My own experience is that my ex-wife utterly refused for me to take that word. I didn’t suffer for 9 months and breastfeed my child, I don’t have the same blood bond, I don’t have a right to be called mommy. At first I told her “fine, I’ll find another word out of respect for you” and used Maddie (mommy+daddy combination). But now, I realize that this has become an issue. From my daughter’s perspective, she’s the only kid who has “a maddie” (mind you it’s not a name, it’s a qualifier. She has her mommy, her daddy and her maddy now that my ex has a boyfriend) and I think that puts confusion in her mind as to what I am exactly.

And from my perspective, it’s hard to deal with the “What’s a Maddie???” question. Or explain why my own 4-year-old says things like “she’s not my mommy she’s my maddy” when everyone else can perfectly see that I’m a woman and there’s no question in THEIR minds that I’m the mother. Who else would I be?

Right now I’m fighting a bit with my ex to try to get her to accept that saying “that’s my word and you can’t take it” is pretty much TERF territory, and I want to know if any of you have had this same issue, this same battle, and how you dealt with it.