I am a sole parent to an 11-year-old child – so most of the time at home, it’s just the two of us. So why he feels he needs to preface every sentence with “Mum” is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong – this child is my world – but the use of the word mum to get my attention at the start of every single sentence when there is literally no one else in the room/car/at the table irritates me for some unknown reason.
Maybe it’s because it signals he wants my full attention, which I give him 90 percent of the time, but seriously, I’ve gotta save some brain space for myself occasionally. Sometimes, I get so sick of hearing the word “Mum” 759 million times a day, I actually invite my kid to call me Nama. Which, for some inexplicable reason, is less grating.
If you are thinking I am heartless, and an ungrateful mother, I don’t blame you. I find it bemusing, too. I went through three cycles of IVF to get this kid. He’s the best thing I’ve ever done, my greatest achievement, my whole purpose in life, and the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
But, as I sometimes have to explain to him, “Honey, call me ‘mum’ one last time, and I will go insane.”
So he calls me Mother, or Mummy, or even my Mother Dearest (yes, like “Mommy Dearest”), which doesn’t annoy me at all – which leads me to conclude it might be about the repetition. And obviously, that’s what it is – because why else would I have a physical reaction to hearing my actual title used when speaking to me by the only person allowed to use it?
That’s why when my kid calls me Nama, I love it. He sounds like one of my mates when he does it – which is pretty much what he is. He’s my little best mate.
Interested to know if I’m the only mum out there who thinks like this – suspecting that surely, I should have nothing to complain about, considering it is only one child and not 29 like some of my friends – I put it to Mamamia‘s Facebook parenting group The Motherish, to see what they had to say.
I opened up the topic a bit, to see what the status quo was about Aunt/Uncle and Mr/Mrs as titles of adult friends, too, as the popularity of that seems to be diminishing.