When a stranger refers to me as
"Mommy" in public, I usually smile and brush it off, but I'm also internally screaming.
true; I'm a mother. My
has called me "Mama" from
the moment she started using language. When
she says it, it's an
can call me "Mama" all
day. It certainly feels like she does.
it's just different when
salesperson, barista or
you "Mommy," when you're out in
like any other adult.
"Mommy" will have you not speak to her in such a creepily infantilizing
person I don't even know. Do people
use "Daddy" when speaking to men
don't think so.
what is it about our collective consciousness that makes it more
acceptable to refer to women in
of the answer may be that it's just too hard for
shed the mom identity.
It's like we're walking around with a scarlet 'M' emblazoned on us.
get it—you see me walk into a coffee shop with a stroller, a diaper
bag and an adorable baby, and there's no fighting my charms. Everything
in my radius gets sucked into a veritable black hole of motherhood.
Does seeing me make you think of your mom? Is
that why you call me "Mommy"? Where's Freud when you
you just think you're being cute without realizing it's creeping me
not just strangers who do this. Your
friends and family
do it, too.
I don't mind when my husband calls me "Mama" when he's talking to our
daughter. When he says, "Let's go find Mama." That's
being a family.
I wish strangers realized that while some
people become mothers, they're still people.
care about politics, ethical quandaries, and humanity's collective
striving and seeking. I earn money and
taxes. Yes, I also wipe a toddler's butt from time to time. I'm
love being a mom. I love relating to other moms. I think and write
about motherhood almost
every day. But even someone so thoroughly into mom life has her own
identity, one apart from motherhood.
you feel like calling someone "Mama," call your own mama. Or call your
grandmother or a
motherly mentor you might have.
see someone who appears to be a mom, avoid weirdness and opt for
politeness. If necessary, don't call her anything at all.