I have a friend whose family is always left out.
Her family celebrates Mother’s Day as Mothers’ Day. But her daughter and sons have to pick and choose which parent to give their school-made cards to. Or awkwardly say, “This is for both of you,” and both moms say thank you, but they know their family is Left Out. Just as they are left out on Father’s Day. Their kids don’t have a father. So they make sure the teachers know they are to make cards for a grandparent, but it’s not the same. Their family is, again, Left Out.
In a sea of moms-and-dads, they are the mom-and-mom. It can be isolating. It can be frustrating. Everything is emblazoned with mom-and-dad, and it doesn’t work for their kids. There is no dad. And anything that says “mom”? Well, which one? Because mom, singular, means the other mom, singular, is always Left Out.
Pretty Like Mommy? Well, which one?
Smart Like Mommy? Who’s the smarter one?
Cute Like My Mom? Which mom is the cute one?
And on and on.
I know another family who feels the same way, but in reverse. Because they’re dads, and so their kids are shut out of Mother’s Day completely, but befuddled on Father’s Day over whom to honor. Being dad-and-dad is just as isolating and frustrating as being mom-and-mom. It’s compounded by the fact that their children are twin daughters. So every shirt that says "[something] like Daddy" not only has the same problems as the mommy shirts, they’re also usually hideously gendered, not something they want for their kids. Meaning, you know, tough like daddy. Strong like daddy. Built tough like daddy. Super strong like daddy. And... well, that's basically it.
We saw our friends getting left out. We heard their frustrations. And we decided to do something about it. So when we designed our “Kind Like My Mom” shirt, we also made a “Kind Like My Moms” shirt.
With these words, no one feels like they have to pick. No one has to be left out. Both moms are the kind moms.
It also shifts the focus of the shirt. Now it’s not just about kindness. It’s also about normalizing same-sex parenting. It’s about saying, “This is a real kid, a normal kid, a kid who looks and acts like every other kid, a kid who just happens to have two parents of the same gender.”
We think that’s pretty awesome, because we think all kinds of families are awesome. We think all families are worthy of celebration. So we went back to our Kind Like Daddy shirt and made a Kind Like My Dads version.
Today we have a whole collection of "like my moms" and "like my dads" shirts, because we think there should be a way to fit these ideas together without leaving people out. There’s a special relationship between a kid and their moms, or a kid and their dads. We want to make sure everyone knows about it -- and that no one feels as if they’re somehow hiding it.
We want to help awesome kids brag that they're smart like their moms or dads. Feminist like their moms or dads. Kind like their moms or dads.
No big retailers have done shirts like this, and we wonder why. Aside from it just being the right thing to do, the LGBTQ community is a HUGE market that definitely shows up for products that acknowledge them as full members of our community. We're a small company, so most people haven't heard of us and will never see our shirts. We wish we weren't among such a paltry few little brands offering onesies and tees like this.
Every family deserves to be celebrated, and LGBTQ fams are rad. We think they’re just as important as mom-and-dad families. And we think they deserve to be celebrated, too: with shirts that acknowledge them for who they are.