I have children, but I’m not sure what I would like for them to call me. When I thought of myself as the man of the house and as the male parent, I instructed them to think of me as their father and simply call me Daddy. However, the more I pursue degendered relationships, the more I desire for them to use a term of endearment that helps them re-envision and relate to me as a degendered parent who plays the day-to-day roles of neither “dad” nor “mom,” but both “dad” and “mom.”
Perhaps a transitional term like “dadimom” will suffice for now. I don’t know, but I like this choice because it easily captures and conveys the idea of a parent dedicated to fulfilling all parental responsibilities. The dadimom is a parent whose love has been liberated from unnecessarily fixed and fettered modes of expression. Acknowledging their own imperfection, a dadimom also encourages shared parenting when this is possible and profitable to their child or children. For the purpose of degendered parenting isn’t to exclude parents, but to empower all parents to make a maximum deposit of good into the lives of their children.
Since language is perception, and perception is reality, I want to change how my children see me by changing how they speak of me. Of course, inclusive language is not all it will take to continue positively transforming our relationships, but I think it can help.
I already have wonderfully life-changing relationships with my children. However, I never experienced the joy of parenting in its fullness until I transcended traditional gender roles. Now, I want to remove language barriers, too.
What are your thoughts on this? What do you think of the idea of degendered parenting? What inclusive terms of endearment would you recommend, not only for me as a parent, but for everyone in the family?