Courtesy of Kelly Green

I Call My Husband "Daddy," & Yes, I Know It's Gross

Ad failed to load

Last weekend, my husband Nic and I rearranged our bedroom. Nic hauled things to and from the garage while I held my son Oliver by the window to watch. The whole time, Oliver squawked like a wild bird, repeatedly yelling his first and very favorite word in this world: “Daddy!” All of a sudden, I heard myself saying it right along with him: "Daddy!" "Daddy!"

I remember the first time I called my husband "Daddy." It was shortly after Oliver began talking. Because it was his first word, "daddy" became the most common term in our household. I needed Nic to bring me something from upstairs, so I opened my mouth to call him, and instead of calling him by his name, I ended up calling him "Daddy." It was like the first time I said a cuss word in front of my parents: it just slipped out.

Before Nic and I had kids, we constantly criticized the way others parented. We picked up pointers for our own future parenting methods, as well as took notes on what we didn’t want to do in terms of raising a child. Calling each other anything but our first names? That was on the top of our list.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Kelly Green

When I got pregnant, we talked a bit more about the behaviors that we wanted to avoid. "No matter what," we said, "we will not, under any circumstances, call each other 'Mommy' or 'Daddy.'" I had heard people call their partners "mommy" or "daddy," and it totally grossed me out. It was as if the person they'd married had been reduced solely to their domestic role. Instead of being their spouse, they morphed into a fellow soldier for Operation: Parenthood. "Just call each other by your real names," I wanted to yell. "Do you even still exist to each other?"

Yet since the birth of my son Oliver, somehow, in our household, “Daddy” has taken root. I use the term day in and day out. I can’t seem to stop calling my husband “Daddy.”

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Kelly Green

I think I'd probably be less disturbed by my tendency to call my husband "daddy" if the term wasn't so highly sexualized. Last year, the word "daddy" became a meme, a shorthand way to fetishize attractive older men, despite (or perhaps because of) the word's incestuous connotations. But what disturbs me the most about calling my husband "daddy" is that he's just straight-up not my daddy. He is my partner and my best friend. So calling him that is fundamentally inaccurate, which makes me feel like a loon.

Here's the thing about being a parent: You start out assuming a million things about yourself and how you plan to raise your child, and then you watch, helplessly, while your assumptions go up in smoke.
Ad failed to load

So far, I've only called Nic "daddy" in the privacy of our own home. If I ever let the term slip while we were in public, I would be mortified. After all, if you saw a woman in her 30s call her partner "daddy" while they were out grocery shopping, what would you think of her? You'd probably assume she was no longer in a romantic relationship with that person, or that she was some sort of self-infantilizing, baby-talking moron.

But even though hearing another woman call her spouse "daddy" is still anathema to me, here's the thing about being a parent: You start out assuming a million things about yourself and how you plan to raise your child, and then you watch, helplessly, while your assumptions go up in smoke. I planned an unmedicated birth, and I had a C-section with an epidural. I thought I would breastfeed for a minimum of one year, but I made it just a few months. I thought I would be a sharp-ass dresser as a new mom, but I waddled around in maternity clothes for roughly a year after I gave birth.

Courtesy of Kelly Green
Ad failed to load

I have made good on so few of my promises to myself about what kind of parent I would be, and not calling my husband "daddy" was right on top of that list. Yet here I am, referring to him as "daddy," day in and day out — even though I know that if my husband called me "mommy," even once, I would probably punch him in the face.

In my defense, however, I think the reason why I call my husband "daddy" so often probably has to do with the fact that my son does. The term has endeared itself to me, the same way that Oliver's other terms have. When he calls Nic "daddy," it breaks my heart wide open. This little thing I grew is calling out his love for the man who helped make it happen, I think. It is magnificent.

Nonetheless, I realize this has to end now. From here on out, there will only be one person in our house calling anyone "daddy" — and it will be our baby, referring to his very own daddy.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik