When last summer's hit song "Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen) came out, I would break into my own freelance version and start singing "Call Me Mommy" every time we heard it on the radio. I could improv the lines to talk about doing laundry, driving carpool, helping with homework, making dinner, driving more carpool... and always end with, "So, Call Me Mommy!" I even had the vision for the music video where the kids are in the back of my SUV popping up and dancing like the baseball players from Harvard in the van, or the U.S. Olympic swim team on the airplane in their respective music videos! We all got a good laugh out of it and competed to create the best lines!
What isn't as funny is when my husband calls me mommy. This has got to stop! It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. It's not just me. I hear many of my friends' husbands calling them mommy, too. It's not new. I recall my dad referring to my mother as "mom." In fact, if I remember correctly, I think my first husband used to call me "mom" too. What's up with this?
To be clear, I'm not talking about when a dad tells the kids, "Go ask Mom." That's fine. It's not as if he should say, "Go ask my wife." That would sound awkward. But, for example, let's say a husband can't find his car keys, and yells, "Mom, where are my keys?" or when the family is talking about where to go to dinner, and Dad says, "Mom, where do you want to go?" (when his mother lives in a retirement community in Phoenix and there is no way she would be able to make it to dinner in Baltimore that night!). Weird!
I tell my husband, "I'm not your mom! I'm your wife, your lover, your best friend, your confidante, your room-mate, your soul-mate, your partner in crime... but I am not your mom! I may be the mother of your children, but I am not your mother. Even if sometimes I feel as if I am acting like your mom, or sometimes if you feel as if I am acting like your mom, we all know that I am really not your mom!"
When I pointed this out to several husbands recently, they excused their behavior by saying, "It's only a pet name... like sweetheart or honey... it's just a loving nickname." Perhaps, but do you know the feeling that "Mom" elicits? Most moms hear "Mom, Mommy, Mom, Ma, Mama, Momma, Mom...!!!" thousands of times a day. Mom, do this; Mom, do that; Mom, I need this; Mom, drive me here; Mom, what's for dinner; Mom, the dog had an accident on the rug again; Mom, I need to start my science fair project (and it's due tomorrow!); Mom, Mom, Mom! "Mom" means wiping runny noses, making yet another PB&J, giving butterfly kisses to skinned knees, washing smelly football pants, buying more pimple medication and on and on! "Sweetheart" or "Honey" (or whatever other nickname you want to fill in there) means va, va voom and dot dot dot!
When your lover walks into your house, the last thing any woman wants to hear come out of his mouth is "Hi, Mom, how was your day?!" "Mom" does not equal romance and sex! Picture this... candles, wine, canoodling, and sweet nothings being whispered in your ear, and then you hear, "Oh Mom... you are so hot... I love you so much!" ck! OK, this has NEVER happened to me, but you get the picture!
Husbands, trust me, leave "Mom" for the kids to use. Find your own special name for that wonderful woman in your life. After all, you married your wife, not your mother!
By the way, somebody needs to steal my idea and make a spoof on Carly Rae's song and name it "Call Me Mommy!" I bet it would be an instant YouTube sensation!