Hayley Booth’s daughter Rachel calls another woman by the name “Mommy” — and Booth is more than OK with that.
“Often times I have people ask me how my ex, his wife, my husband and I co-parent so flawlessly,” Booth began in a now-viral Facebook post published on August 16. “My answer is always the same — we just love our daughter. Seriously, it’s just that simple.”
The 26-year-old from Oklahoma continued: “No child deserves to be tossed around back and forth, used as a bargaining chip, or to be put in the middle of any adult drama. She didn’t choose to be born, and she certainly never chose for her parents to be divorced. Why we would make her life any harder by making her choose which set of parents to love?”
That’s why Booth doesn’t mind sharing the title of “Mommy” with her 4-year-old’s stepmother, Dakota Pitman. “She IS her mommy,” Booth explained. “She is there for her always, and she takes care of her, she plays with her, she teaches her life lessons and how she should behave, she gives her hugs and kisses goodnight, she does everything any mother would do . . . But most of all, she loves her like she is her very own.”
Rachel isn’t the only one who adores Pitman. “I love her too. She’s become one of my best friends and I rely on her for many things. She is one of the strongest people I know and I am thankful for her every day,” Booth gushed. “Don’t tell me that peaceful coparenting isn’t possible, because it is. I know it is. Because I do it everyday.”
The post, which features a photo of Booth and Pitman walking Rachel to her preschool classroom on the first day of school, has been liked more than 15,000 times and shared more than 19,000 times.
“I was jealous at first . . . It’s really hard to let another woman into your child’s life. It took a little bit over a year to form the relationship we have now,” Booth tells Us Weekly. “There were very rough times between all of us in the beginning. But it was like one morning we woke up and the skies had cleared and we were able to work through all the differences we had in the past.”
Now the blended family is inseparable spending weekends together at their local water park. Booth Jokes: “When Rachel says Mommy or Daddy we all laugh and ask her ‘Which one!?’