And in case you were wondering, her name is Karen, there were no children around and it was a political dinner. Are you nauseated yet? I know I am.
All moms can agree that holding the title "Mom" is one of our most prized accomplishments. We work hard for that role, we are proud, and sometimes it's perfectly acceptable for our partner to address us as such: "Mom is in the shower, I can help you." "Mom is busy now, I can read to you." "Hey Mom, do you think Katie needs to put on her shoes too?"
Yes, that's all fine and dandy and there's definitely a time and a place. But if I'm out to dinner with my husband and some friends sans kids and he says to me, "Mother, could you please pass the butter?" I'm going to ignore him.
I'm not his mother, he isn't my son. And if he wants the damn butter, he's going to have to call me something a little less disturbing. Perhaps my name, "babe" or "hon" would suit me just fine, just not "Mother" or "Mom." That will never sit right with me. It just sounds pompous, arrogant, and wrong. Not to mention how outdated it is.
I talked to quite a few women—and men—on the subject, and while they all said they loved being a mom, and loved hearing their kids (or even their kids' friends) say it, being referred to as "Mom" when their children were not present by their partner was something they thought was creepy, at best.
"Absolutely not!" - Maureen L.
"Ach! No!" - Ang O.
"Nope. Never." - Kristina B.
"As a man, I never call my wife Mommy... creepy!" - John C.
We are not our husband's mother. We are their wife, their partner, their equal.
"Creeps me out. You are his wife, not his mother." - Stephanie K.
"The only appropriate response to a grown man calling his wife "mother" is 'WTF is wrong with you?'"- Molly J.
"Absolutely not. Weird." - Aime A.
"I'm only Mommy when our kids, ages 6 and 10 months, are around. If it's just us, that would be weird." - Jill C.
"Oh hell no, that creeps me out." - Bess E.
"Only when our daughter is around. Never alone. That would be gross." - Charlie B.
"My husband only calls me 'Mommy' when he refers to me when our kids are present. I asked him not to call me that when my kids aren't around, because I want him to keep seeing me for what I am: a woman, his wife, and a mom. Not just one." - Lonnie B.
"That's creepy. I am not your mother and I am not going to treat you like my child." - Angela P.
Referring to us as our children's mother is one thing, we get it. But we are 17 years into the 21st century. We are not our husband's mother. We are their wife, their partner, their equal. And our partners are definitely not our children.
And while we are on the subject, I can think of nothing else that would put out my fire out faster than my partner saying," Mother, Mother, please pass the butter." Just shut the hell up.