This thing started happening after my daughter was born – a thing I wasn’t expecting. People – people I barely knew – started calling me Mom. “Hi, Mom!” “How is it going, Mom?” and the like became normal. And it bugged me.
Why? Because I’m not your Momma.
I’m Momma to one and only one, my daughter. While I love, love, love being a Mommy, my identity isn’t completely tied up in being a mother. I existed long before becoming a mother. I am so many other things than a mom. I’m a Catholic, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a coworker, just to name a few. I am still all of those things, even if I’ve now added the title of Mom.
My role as mother is very important to my daughter, but to others I am something different entirely. So when other people – especially people I hardly know – call me Mom, it throws me off my game. Are they expecting me to feed them? To change their diapers? To rock them to sleep? I sure hope not.
What a person calls us reflects, in a very real way, what they expect of us. The role I play for people at work is co-worker or Director of Faith Formation. When I’m in that role, the expectations are pretty clear, there is an established relationship. When I’m Mom to my daughter, there are also clear expectations. Mixing the two is…odd. Calling me Mom when I am not, in fact, your mother, blends roles that aren’t blended. Am I motherly in my ministry? Sure, but I am not YOUR mother. There is a distinction, and not just in the semantics.
So, no, I’m not your Momma. I am Momma to my daughter, and no one else. If I’m not your Momma, take the time to call me by my name because that’s who I am to you. Let me mother my daughter and relate to you however I relate to you, blog reader, co-worker, parishioner, etc. The things I do for my daughter are different than the things I do for and with other people in my daily interactions, and I prefer to keep it that way, not only in deed but in name.