How To Celebrate Mother’s Day as a Two-Mom Family

moms and kids on a couch

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Queer folks approach parenting with a great deal of inventiveness. We write the rules as we go, and the wonderful result is the creativity we display in constructing our families. There’s so much variety, including in the names our kids call us.

There are many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day when both parents identify as some variation of "mom." Approaches to the day, however, tend to fall into one of two categories: giving mom a break or celebrating together as a family.

Ways to Celebrate By Giving Mom a Break

Sometimes, all mom wants for Mother's Day is a break. You can opt for breakfast in bed, followed by a massage or some other relaxing kid-free activity. If this describes the Mother’s Day of your dreams, here are a few ways to make it work in a two-mom family. 

A.M. and P.M. Shifts

Some families opt to split the day in two: one partner gets breakfast made for them, and the other gets to kick back and relax during dinner. Each mom could also pick a solo activity to pursue for a couple of hours or you could mix up the day with some low-key family time

You Take One Day, I’ll Take the Other

One mom can have Mother’s Day and the other can have Father’s Day. This option can work well in families that have one parent who goes by a nontraditional title.

“My wife goes by Mama, so she gets that day. I go by Bibai and take Father's Day, which we call Bibai's Day," Mirabai Knight, of New York City, says, Bibai is the name Knight used to refer to herself when she was a toddler. “It just felt right,” she says. 

All Weekend Long

Since Mother’s Day in the U.S. is always on a Sunday, you can extend the festivities by having them start on Saturday. One partner can make breakfast one morning, and the other the next. You can also trade off childcare duties for pedicures, yoga, time to read, or whatever version of self-care appeals to you. 

International Version

Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries, so you could use one of those so both partners can have their own day. In Mexico and much of Latin America, Mother's Day takes place on May 10th. In the U.K., Ireland, and Nigeria, the date is tied to Easter.

The Kids Run the Show

I have yet to meet a family that has managed to do this, but, theoretically, it’s possible to put your children in charge of Mother’s Day festivities. Hannah Baker-Siroty, a Massachusetts mom to kids ages 9 and 6, says, “I have this fantasy that every year my kids will be old enough to bring me breakfast in bed and say, ‘Don't worry moms, it's your day, we will celebrate you!’ But I think we are a long way from breakfast in bed!” 

Ways to Celebrate as a Family

In another interpretation, Mother’s Day is a chance to celebrate together with the kids who made you mothers. Logistically, this keeps things simple. If you choose this tactic, you may also need to adjust your expectations. A family outing is a great opportunity for making memories, but it won’t feel like pampering. Here are a few suggestions.

A Family Hike, Camping Trip, or Other Excursion

An excursion doesn’t have to be elaborate to be meaningful. Deana Ward, who parents a 4-year-old and a 9-month-old in Long Island, NY, says she and her wife just spend the day together. "If my wife isn't working, she is a police officer, we hang out at home and then grab dinner," she says.  

Baker-Siroty's family loves this option as well. “Last year we went to a pond in our town and just hung out and watched the water together and talked," she says. "Since the weekend is always so busy, I think the times I remember the most are the ones when we slow down and just enjoy being together, the four of us.” 

Celebrate Other Matriarchs

If you live near your own mothers or aunts, you can easily fill a day with visiting family. If you don't want to spend the day with your biological family, you can also join forces with another couple.

One year, my wife and I spent the day with another couple and their children. The kids entertained each other, which allowed us to socialize. One of the other parents had just transitioned to male, and he enjoyed leaning into his new role as Dad and pampering the three of us.

Honor Another Member of the Pod

What other people in your life mother your children? Could this be a day to appreciate them? If there is an auntie or another special person in your life who doesn’t have children of their own, Mother’s Day could be a chance to celebrate them. 

Just Skip the Day

There's no rule that requires celebrating or acknowledging Mother's Day. “We don't really celebrate Mother's Day," Christine Hanolsy, who parents two kids in Portland, Oregon, says. "Mother's Day is touted as a day to give Mom a break, but when there are two Moms and a couple of little kids, who gets the break? The reality is that neither of us does.” 

A Word From Verywell

There's no right–or wrong–way to celebrate Mother's Day. You can switch it up from year to year, depending on your kids’ ages, schedules, and tastes.

And if you want to wish a queer couple a happy Mother's Day, know that little gestures go a long way. “My mother-in-law sends us a card every year where she crosses out the apostrophe in ‘Mother's,’ and moves it to the end: ‘Mothers',’ Hanolsy says. "It's a tiny punctuation mark but a huge gesture and it warms my heart every time.”

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