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.