According to an article floating around the internet, today’s coolest moms are not cool with being called “mom.” They would rather their offspring call them by their first name because implying that one of you is the parent is just so lame. Or something. I thought this was some kind of satire piece for entirely too long before I realized this is apparently A THING now.
What fresh nonsense is this, Cool Moms? You don’t even want to be moms anymore? I mean, you’re good with being a mom as long as your kids don’t dare to CALL you that? I want to be irritated about this, but as per usual, I think we all know who is to blame here.
The Cool Moms of today’s Cool Moms.
I bet you ladies called your mom right away when you found out you were pregnant and said, “You’re going to be a grandma!” Yeah. Grandma wasn’t having that. So she came up with something catchy and hip to be called because obviously there are grandmas in the world, but SHE is not one of them. So what are we to do when it’s our turn to be made to feel matronly and authoritative because someone in this world thinks we’re their mom? We decide we’re too cool for that. Just call me by my first name, Baby. I mean, unless the term “Baby” makes you feel like we aren’t equals and friends, in which case I will just refer to you as “Smaller Version of Adult.”
Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me what you want your kids to call you. I guess I just don’t understand why there’s any negative connotation with being called “Mom.” I sat in far too many infertility clinic appointments and social worker offices and filled out far too much adoption paperwork to be anything other than overwhelmingly grateful that somebody wants to identify me as their mother. Hearing that first “Mama” come from my child’s mouth was a sound I dreamed about and waited for for years. Ten years into this parenting gig and we have now reached the stage where my husband frequently refers to me as “Mom” and I’ve got to admit, I like it. Who’s your mommy? It’s me.
Our kids will have a thousand friends over the course of their lives. You get to be their mother. Mom. Mommy. Mama. Ma. Whatever beautiful form it takes, that’s YOU. Being distinguished from the other people in their life with that sacred title isn’t some insult or a way to always remind your child about the balance of power. It’s a title of intimacy. It is a constant reminder of the influential position you have in your child’s life to nurture them and provide them with much-needed structure. It’s a precious word loaded with meaning, symbolism and beauty. When your kids introduce you to their friends, they say, “This is my mom.” Do you hear that? MY mom. And he is YOUR son. You belong to each other. You aren’t roommates or buddies or Michelle and Aidan, you are mother and son. Call it whatever you want, this relationship is meant to be unique.
And someday, we’ll be gone. If we are blessed to have our kids outlive us, then a time will come when our children will no longer have a mom. And they will grieve that because that word is meaningful beyond our ability to inhabit it. It’s like being president—there’s a power to the office itself beyond whoever occupies the role. Being a mom, having a mom, these are important elements of being connected to family in a way that lets you know you aren’t alone in the world. That title matters even after we’re gone. Friend, advocate, confidant, nurturer—“mother” says it all in just one word.
I’m proud to have my kids call me “Mom” (except when I’m in the bathroom because CAN’T I JUST HAVE A MINUTE WHERE SOMEONE ISN’T SCREAMING FOR ME?) and I wear that title with joy. And maybe when my daughter or daughter-in-law calls to tell me she’s expecting my first grandchild, I’m just going to own being Grandma, too. Let’s start a revolution and stop chasing endless youth. Let’s stop acting like getting old or being in charge is a bad thing. Let’s let kids be the kids and let’s own what we are. We are the brave, the strong, the fruit-snack openers, the fingernail clippers, the band-aid appliars, the sandwich makers, the diaper changers and the homework helpers. Call us whatever you want, but around here, I mostly answer to, “MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!”