Don’t call me Mummy

I have a name. It begins with M and ends with Y. But, contrary to popular belief, my name is not Mummy.

It’s Molly.

So I was understandably perplexed when the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine appeared to forget this basic fact and started calling me Mummy.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a mum now. I know that once Frog graduates from Mamamama, I will be known by her as Mummy. And I don’t mind that. In fact, I positively look forward to it.

But that doesn’t mean everyone else should know me as Mummy too. I mean, I’m not their mummy, am I?

I’m not talking about those instances where people attempt small talk through your baby, asking things like “And how does your mummy feel about you waking up four times last night?” I know that’s inevitable and part of social convention when you have a child. I accept that.

But when someone’s speaking to me directly, I don’t expect them to refer to me as Mummy, because that’s not my name.

I attempted to explain this to the NLM last night during bath-time, after he asked “Mummy, can you pass me the towel please so I can dry the baby?” I ignored him, stubbornly refusing to answer until he asked me again, using my actual name. Petty? Probably (you know me, ever the mature and responsible adult). But it feels strange answering him when he calls me Mummy.

The thing is, he takes a very different view to this whole name thing. He thinks this is what happens when you become a family. Mum is Mum and Dad is Dad, whoever is doing the talking. Yes, if the baby’s in bed he’ll use my name, but when she’s around I’m always Mummy.

And I think that’s all a bit weird.

My parents never called each other Mum or Dad. If they were talking about each other to me then, yes, it was “Mum says this” or “Dad says that”. But not if they were speaking to each other directly. At those times, their actual names served perfectly well.

I don’t like the idea of calling the NLM Dad. I have a dad, thank you very much. He’s 60, has a slight tum on him and is, well, my dad. I don’t go to bed with him every night. I’m not marrying him this summer. Because, oh yes, HE’S MY DAD!

So I’m sticking to my guns on this one. I’m Molly (unless I’ve given birth to you, in which case Mummy is just fine).

The only person who can call me Mummy



Filed under Baby stuff, Family

29 responses to “Don’t call me Mummy

  1. Brilliantly written and all very much ‘hitting the nail on the head’ in your usual gifted style, Molly!

  2. Very good, and I totally agree…although sometimes I think I should call my OH Daddy when I hear Jack screaming Maaaaaaaaatt Maaaaaaatt MATT!!!.. at the top of his voice!

  3. Is mummy feeling cross today?

  4. You’re so right!!! Nothing less sexy, personal, intimate, irritating, than being called “mummy”. All the time. By your man. You are still you. I REFUSE to respond to that from ANY adult!

  5. mummymummymum

    You know I’ve never really thought about it before! It might start annoying me now though. 🙂

  6. Excellent point. Don’t have any kids yet myself, but I find it weird when friends or friends’ parents call each other ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. Speaking from a woman’s perspective (for obvious reasons), I’d be very nervous about my other half transforming my identity from ‘my significant other’ to just ‘the mother of my children’. Apart from other valid reasons, that definitely can’t be good come male-mid-life-crisis time!

    • Very true, I hadn’t even thought of it that way. And what happens when the children have children? Does your name change again at that point? I don’t mind grandchildren calling me Granny one day, but not the man. To him, I always want to be “Molly” (or “nagging old bag”, whichever is more appropriate).

  7. Oops you would hate our household then.
    Although now thinking about it we tend to use a mixture of mummy and daddy and Weasel (my nickname) and Hubby. Charles has picked up the latter and does sometimes call me Weasel and will shout hubby to my husband. We don’t mind and do laugh about it.

    My mum tried to teach Charles my actual name the other day and I had to tell her not to. I don’t want him to call me Lauren yet (I hear most children have a phase of calling their parents by their first names?)
    My husband never calls me Lauren unless he is talking to someone else about me and I very rarely call him Jonathan.

    When my children are older then we will drop the mummy/daddy/mum/dad thing but for now its what we are comfortable with. 🙂 x

  8. My OH calls me “mother”, he meant it as a joke initially and I’m really paranoid it’s going to become a habit so now tell him to stop it!

  9. Ghislaine Forbes

    Mols – remember S’s question at Gatwick? Shall I call you mum when M & I are married? I said he’s already got a mum. I excused that because I thought he was just tired.

    Mum, but never mummy apart from when you were very little!

  10. Sorry meant to add, I LOVE the photo you’ve attached. Beautiful x

  11. Can’t bear being called mummy by other people. A friend’s husband always introduces her by saying, ‘And this is mummy’, which makes me want to SCREAM!

  12. The thing is we all had identities and names before becoming parents so why should it be different as kids come along!! Definitely with you on this one 🙂

  13. Ooh, this is one we haven’t discussed yet, the husband and I, but I reckon it has a lot to do with what your family “of origin” did. My parents don’t even refer to each other as Mum and Dad when they speak to us anymore but use their first names. Now, if my mum says “Daddy”, I know she means my grandfather. But actually calling each other Mummy and Daddy…I’m pretty sure they never did it.

    Reminds me of the episode of Friends where Phoebe teases Ross about calling Rachel “Mummy” by calling him “Daddy” and making it all sexual.

    • God I’d forgotten about that episode. Very true, even more reason not to call each other “Mummy” and “Daddy” then. Good point about it coming from what your own family did. My mum and dad never did it, so that’s probably why I’m so against the NLM calling me “Mummy”. Interesting to hear other people’s opinions though.

  14. Pingback: Bribery works | Mother's Always Right

  15. This made me giggle. I don’t object to being called Mummy by hubbu but I do object to my two tiny tearaways calling mumumumumym rather than dadadadadad at times of distress. Especially when those times arise at ungodly hours!

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