Monday, 1 January 2001

Call me Mommy?

by Sabrina, the BFF

As a first time mother of a 2-month old, I’ve been thinking a lot about labels lately. Particularly the term “Mommy”. I am incredibly happy and proud to be my son’s Mommy, just as I am happy and proud to be my husband’s Wife. We’re still working out what being his Mommy means, and chances are that will evolve for the rest of our lives.

I’ve found that people outside of my family feel comfortable referring to me as Mommy, and that’s an issue for me. I’ve never been good at conforming to expectations that come with a label. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I was often told what the bride-to-be wanted. I sat through 20 minutes of an elderly florist explaining to me why I really wanted red roses and lots of them. (I didn’t hire him, but I didn’t have the heart to storm out on a 90-year old man who wasn’t going to listen to me). I was told about how I’d dreamt of this special day since I was a little girl. Which was patently false. I did picture being married and having a life with the man of my dreams, but I never dreamed of being “the bride”. Wedding planning was hard for me, because as a seriously Type-A over-achiever, I struggled with not meeting people’s expectations.

Now I’m a mom. And yes, I love this little boy more than I ever dreamed possible. But as a mom-to-be, I had no interest in getting a plaster cast of my pregnant belly, or wearing shirts that said “Baby on Board”. I already dread the idea of getting a Mother’s Day card with a 3 page sappy poem on it (I much prefer lame greeting card humor). As a new mom, I like to think I’ll be able to hold onto my own sensibilities and values while raising my son. Most of all, I hope I impart the knowledge that people are individuals. He is no less a boy if he doesn’t want to play sports or get a certain car. I hope he grows up knowing that labels can be a useful starting tool, but people are much more than labels. To my mind, gender equality starts when everyone is seen as the individuals they are.


Anonymous said...

I have step kids and when they came to live with us i felt uncomfortable with them calling me mummy as they have thier other mum. but now all 4 of our kids call me mum, mummy or janelle and i don't mind. as long as they don't call me fatty, which my 3 yr old did the other day.

Melaina25 said...

I couldn't agree more. I love being a Mommy, but it doesn't mean than I'm not still me.

I think as my BFF you'll agree that I'm not into being told what to do or how to act. I hate labels and certainly don't want Blondie Boy to grow up feeling he has to conform to them.

Anonymous said...

I always hated being called 'Mummy' or 'Mommy' instead of being addressed directly. It still happens when I pick the boys up from school, and someone will inevitably say, "be sure and tell Mummy (which OOGH I HATE it reminds me of Scooby Doo!!!) what we did today." The boys look at them like they are nuts.

Don't ever consider not being you: you is what your son needs, and seeing strong, healthy, intact people who have lots of names/labels to choose from is great.

Allyson said...

When Parker was 3 days old, my sister said something about Mom....I thought she was referring to our mother but she was addressing me. And I agree, labels are not a positive but in the same sense, I wear my single-mom label proudly.

Jewels said...

I love this post! I love the strength of your voice in this post. And, I think your son has a great role model! Thanks for sharing.