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Posts Tagged ‘names’

Before I actually had kids I had a lot of ideas about what kind of mother I was going to be.

Obviously actually having kids changed most of the things on that list.  Thinking about some of those “future predictions” now makes me laugh, mostly at how far off the mark I ended up being.

One thing I thought I wouldn’t have to rethink though was what my name would be as a mother.  I was going to be “Mom” and that would be that.  That’s what I call my mom and have for all of my life so why would I be any different?

However, as with so many other things about becoming a mother, I was apparently wrong about this too.

My kids call me “Mama.”

Not “Mom”, not “Mum” not even “Mommy.” Just “Mama.”

I don’t know why.  I really wish I knew why and then maybe I could convince them to change their minds on it but I don’t, so I can’t.  It wasn’t always that way.  Between the ages of three and five, my daughter called me “Mom” and I didn’t really think anything of it.  Then around the age of five and a half she started calling me “Mama.”

It started innocently enough.  I would ask her to do something and she would gaze at me lovingly and say “yes, Mama” and then go off and do whatever it Was she wanted and not at all what I asked her to do. After a few times I realized that the “Mama” actually seemed to be laced with a hint of sarcasm.  Other mothers would perhaps be angry with this show of “lip” from a five year old, but not me.

My daughter doesn’t look anything like me, sometimes I joke that if I hadn’t been in the room when she was born I would doubt that she even came from me, so the very fact that she apparently inherited the use of sarcasm and a touch of biting wit from her dear-old mom actually made me happy.  And proud.  Strange perhaps but that’s the way I roll.

But I digress.

She used the “Mama” more and more frequently and in my mind it quickly began to grow old. However, it was around that time that her two year-old brother began to pick it up as well.  So now I had two kids in the house calling me “Mama” versus no kids calling me “Mom.”  They had me outnumbered.

Now, it’s almost four years later and “Mama” appears to be here to stay, whether I like it or not.  My son is currently in the middle of a phase where he likes to spell everything so on top of being “Mama” I’m also “M-A-M-A.”

In other words, I’m basically light years away from the “Mom” I expected I was going to be.

It’s not that the name bothers me that much, per se.  It has a nice ring to it at times and when I’m in a room crowded with dozens of other kids and their mothers it’s definitely easier to pick out when my kids are yelling for me but I guess the issue is that it’s just not what I pictured for myself.

I don’t think I’m a “Mama,” whatever the definition of that might be. When I hear the word “Mama” I picture a woman in a long dress with an apron tied over it and her hair in some type of bun.

Basically I picture this.

I realize that the mother in Little House on the Prairie was actually called “Ma” but I just can’t help it.  This is what I think of when I hear the word “Mama” and although I wouldn’t say I’m Victoria Beckham, I consider myself light years away from bonnets and churning my own butter.

I’m slowly trying to to change my ideas though.  If being a mother has taught me anything it’s the need to adapt, to change what I thought it was going to be and just accept and learn to appreciate things as they are.  To not fight the little things.

So now when I walk in the door from a long day at work I listen for my son to yell out “Mama” from wherever he is in the house and I smile.  I’m slowly learning to let go of expectations and focus on appreciation.

I think that’s what Mama would do.

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