12 May 2015

Don't Call Me Mum


It’s one of my parenting bugbears: I go to the doctors, play groups, ballet or the like as the Mum of Becky or Alex, and I get addressed as, well, “Mum” and not my actual name.

I don’t know why, but it really riles me.

Here’s a recent example at the doctors. “So, this is Alex, and you are … Mum,” says the GP, smiling, clearly quite pleased with himself for making this pertinent observation. I politely say: “Yes, this is Alex, and I’m Isabella.”

He ignores the remark and proceeds with examining Alex, and again: “Mum, if you just hold Alex this way ….”, and “Mum, I’m just going to listen to his chest…” or “Mum, if you can just lift his vest…”.

Hello? I’m not your Mum. I’m Alex’s and Becky’s Mum. It's kind of an exclusive. For everyone else I’m Isabella.

Is it really this difficult to look at the piece of paper in front of him or the computer screen and read my actual name and address me accordingly? I know I’m a Mum, but I’m also still an individual with my own identity.

I don’t mind it quite so much when the girls at nursery call me “Mum” or “Becky’s / Alex’s Mum”. Probably because I like and respect them too much, and they have so many parents and carers to deal with, that I can – just about – forgive them.

But everywhere else? Stop it. Just stop it, and either read my name or ask me. But just don’t call me Mum. That’s reserved for Becky and Alex. And only them.

*Rant over. Normal service will resume shortly.  

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20 comments

  1. Love this - people need to know that although we are mums, we are much more than just that and deserve to be addressed accordingly #sharewithme

    http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/

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    1. Thanks Talya! I know it's only a small thing, but lately it's really started to bug me. Maybe I'm getting old, or rebellious in motherhood, haha! ;-) x

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  2. I think I'm just immune to this one, but I know the doctor does it. They are probably doing it for the benefit of your kids though, especially when they are little. Almost like they are trying to get on their level :) xxx

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    1. That might be the case, Charlotte, I haven't thought about it this way. Still, I can't help it bugging me. Must be the sleep deprivation, ha! xx

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  3. Haha, love this! I am so guilty of it with other mum's at school though just because I don't actually know their names. I only realised this when I had to call after someone who had forgot something and I thought, ooh what do I call her? #sharewithme

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    1. Ha, yes, I've been in that position, too. It's so tricky, isn't it? Funny how once we have kids we really lose a piece of our identity and are just "Mum" to more than just our kids. I have to learn to let it bother me less - or wear a name badge! ;-) x

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  4. Oh this irritates me as well although I tend to mostly ignore it. It is frustrating how we seem to lose our own identities as parents and just get referred to as "Mum".

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    1. Totally, Louise! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has got low tolerance levels to this. However, so far I've actually been too polite to ever pick anyone up on this, I just fume about it inside, ha! x

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  5. I know where you are coming from but it took me so long to get round to having kids (in my 40's), to be honest I'm just bloody chuffed to be referred to as mum! #BrilliantBlogPosts

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    1. Ah, totally understand and it's totally justified. Thanks for commenting! x

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  6. you are so not alone. Lots of women I interviewed for my book talked about the loss of identity as a mother. A few commented too that all questions after having a baby were aimed at baby rather than themselves as if they weren't in the equation. Personally this didn't make me irate but funnily enough I have found quite a few doctors comments really annoying. You made me giggle. Thanks for that.

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    1. Thank you, good to know I'm not alone! :-) x

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  7. So very true! Ever since I had my lo, I realized that somehow people stop treating you as a person with your own name, but rather now you are x's mum, or plain just mum...
    #brillblogposts

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    1. Indeed! I just find it so lazy. I'm not perfect, but I do try to address people with their names, and if I don't know someone's name, I ask. I find it's basic courtesy.x

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  8. I've stopped flinching every time a health/education professioanl does this to me now, but it has taken years. My own children don't even call me Mum! I try to ignore it and grind teeth quietly. When I think of all the forms I have to fill in for my children, surely my first name is on all of them. Not keen on all letters being addressed as parent/carer. (I do understand why they use the word carer) What happened to mail merge. #brilliantblogposts

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  9. Exactly! It's not like it's difficult for them to look up my name, it will be there, clearly in front of them on any forms to do with my children. Glad to know I'm not alone! :-) x

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  10. I don't mind too much, but can understand where you're coming from! :) xx

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    1. Thanks Jenny! You must be more tolerant than me. :-) xx

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  11. This tickled me because I thought it was so weird that people call me mom instead of my name haven't really experienced that back home yet only in the uk but it is annoying. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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  12. Same here. In Germany things are very formal and people will always address you with Mrs xx, so it's even more odd to be called Mum by strangers! Probably a cultural, lost in translation thing! x

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