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  1. #1

    What would you call two moms?

    Hi! My wife and I are in the process of adoption and we were wondering what would the child call us. I know that the standard is usually mommy and mama, however, for us, culture plays a very big role.

    See, my wife, who comes from Pakistan, has always seen kids call their mothers Mama [mum-ah], which transforms into Amma [um-mah] or Ammi [um-mee] as they gradually grow older (into their late teens). However, I come from a Hispanic background and my family will be highly disappointed if my child doesn't call me Mami [mah-mee].

    The problem here is that we are worried that Mama and Mami are too similar and that the child will get confused, and so will we. Another problem is that mami is the informal word for your mom's brother's wife in Urdu and that causes some trouble from her side of the family because her brother does have a wife.

    Are Mama and Mami too similar? Should I just go by Mommy (and later mom) and risk my family's disapproval? Or should I go by Mami only?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    United States
    I don't mean any disrespect to your cultures or families, because those two constructs are immensely important to who one is as a person, but perhaps you two shouldn't place too much worry on what they will think. Times change, situations change, and even family structure has changed. Without placing too many assumptions here, my guess is that this is a new sort of situation for both families (ie: when it's a mom and a dad, it's just a given, and people don't usually care what the child calls its parents). With that being said, maybe this can lead to a positive conversation between you, your wife, and both sets of in-laws about how you guys may be doing things a bit differently than they would prefer (in regards to the mom titles), but how that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Slight deviation from culture doesn't have to be a bad thing. Maybe you could be sure to share certain ways you plan to raise your child, that pertain to culture from both sides?

    For what it is worth, I don't think that Mama and Mami are too similar, especially since your child would know which is which, and especially since it seems like your child would eventually make that switch from calling your wife Mama to Amma or Ammi. Mama and Mami, Mama and Mommy, or whatever, I don't think it matters much the love will still be there, regardless of what title your little one calls you. Congratulations to you and your wife on your impending adoption!

    Oh, and since the question was posed, I've really only heard of the Mom/Mommy or Mama/Mommy titles being used in two-mom families. Granted, I'm not sure how big of a role culture and family expectations play in these families, but no one seems to have a problem with it, especially the children.

    Elim Nathaniel James due Feb 2020 <3

    "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself"~ Coco Chanel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Hmm. I think you will have to wait to see. My partner really wants to be "Papa" or "Pops," but our kiddo (eleven months old) came up with "Dada" without any direction from us. Father and child go back and forth like "Say 'Papa,'" "Dada!" "'Papa,'" "Dada!" and there doesn't seem to be confusion on the little one's end. Similarly, my mom really wants to go by Gigi (prn Jeejee), but so far she's "Yaya."

    I think it will only be a little confusing, for a little while, to go by the traditional Urdu and Spanish words for mother. Mama and Mami are very similar, but "Uh-mah" and "Mah-mee" are not, so if you do have a hard time understanding which mom your kiddo wants at the time (which I imagine will be clear in context!), it will get easier as your kiddo outgrows baby talk and uses your preferred words.

    Do you and your partner have different initials, or simple nicknames? Maybe you could incorporate those sounds at first. My kid can't say "Auntie" or his aunt's full name, but he can say "Bee," which is her initial and nickname.

    If the kiddo winds up calling you both Mama or Mami, using sounds from your names might be a simple way to differentiate between you too. "Mama Ra" and "Mama Fi" or something like that.

    Hope this helps, and congratulations on your adoption!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    While I think it might be hard for you to understand who she is talking about for a little while, it will eventually get easier. My nearly two year old still doesn't verbalize Daddy/Dada very well, but knows what it means. I think if you stick to the names you want to be called, your child will learn them and it won't be confusing for her, even if it's hard for you to understand her for a little while! I hope this makes sense! Congratulations on your growing family!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Babies are surprisingly intelligent, they will be able to tell the difference and vocalise the difference between Mama and Mami. They're different enough. I personally would start with Amma and Mami for a more noticeable difference,
    Now @scholastica xx

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I don't think they are too close at all. I call myself mamma and my daughter usually says that, but lately she's picked up that in (UK) English it's usually mummy (I blame Peppa Pig) and sometimes calls me that as well. I think these are similar sounds to what you're working with and it's really easy to tell the difference!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Casa Grande
    Mommy and mama.

    Nothing else sounds right to me.

    Ammy sounds like amy sooo i dont know about that haha.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    I'm Spanish, I used to call my mom Mami and my grandma Mama. Don't worry about it, it works perfectly!
    ♥Valentina Mae Stella ♥
    /'vælənˈtiːnə/:"strength, health"
    /'meɪ/:"bitter or pearl"
    /ˈstɛlə/:''tail of a comet''

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    /ˈsɑːʃə/:''defending men"

    ♠Leandro Tristan Yves ♠
    /'ɪv/:"yew wood"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I don't think Mama and Mami are too close, I think it's adorable. The suggestion of Amma and Mami is good, too.
    I was in a relationship for a while with a woman, and both our daughters were about the same age (2). They naturally fell into calling me Mama and her Mommy, no issues. We loved it. Now I'm just Mom.
    I have a family at my preschool with 2 moms. Birthmother is Mom, and 4yo calls stepmom RaRa, because her name is Sarah. They are expecting a baby girl in February, not sure how they will address mom names!
    In conclusion.... Mama and Mami, all the way. Congratulations!!!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Perth, Aus.
    As with a lot of the other posters have said, babies and children are quite intelligent and will be able to distinguish from Mama and Mami. Amma is nice if you really want to use it. I would just use the ones from your cultures, don't worry about them being to close!
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