Total Eclipse of the Mummy….
It’s a strange thing being a mum. We willingly give up so much for our kids, wanting them to be healthy and happy. But is that sometimes to our own detriment?? Once that baby has been delivered, we are no longer the precious vessel but the empty car, left out in the driveway, lights on, battery drained of power, looking a little bit worse for wear than when we started out.
I never had a stonking career climbing the corporate ladder in tight power suits, or boasted a remarkable brain in the field of something-or-other, but I was Jenny. I was a woman in my own right, with a name. Jenny.
But somehow, somewhere, some time ago, and unnoticed by me, I became ‘Mum’.
There is nothing that gets on my cherries more than someone addressing me as ‘Mum’ when I’m with my kids. It is so patronizing and lazy. “And hows Mum today then?” “Why, I don’t know how your mother is, why don’t you call and ask her!!!” Take the 5 seconds to ask me my name, then use it. I don’t meet people and address them as ‘old school teacher’ or ‘casual shag of friend’ (however the case may be). Yes that’s what I am, but it’s not who I am. There is a difference! This name is reserved for my children, and my children alone. And the odd time for my husband….
Why do we disappear as women when we become mothers?
What is admired about me now is much further below the neckline than two kids ago, if you know what I mean….In younger years, you could tut and say with great disgust “Ugh! Hello? I have a face you know! Try looking up!”. But ya kinda can’t say that when what’s being ogled is your beautiful kids. When people approach me these days they are talking to me, but looking adoringly at my children. And what can I say? I look adoringly at my girls as well, obviously, but a part of me still wants to jump up and down like a two year old shouting “Me! Me! Me! Look at me!”. Actually, don’t, ‘cos I’m up since 5 am and I’ve not washed my hair in a couple of days…..
And I’ve noticed that when you start to move in circles with other parents, nobody remembers the adult’s names! They become ‘Sophie’s Mum’ or ‘Cian’s Dad’ (I am very guilty of this myself!) But why can we only remember the children’s names? Are we thus tuned as a species to only focus on our young? Or are we all just too damn exhausted to really care?!
Please don’t read me wrong here. Being a mother is a gift, a true gift. But it doesn’t mean that our identity/brain power/opinions/sexuality as women is diminished. The very opposite. It has added to my life C.V. It has taught me empathy, patience (still learning!), forgiveness and the ability to hold a pee for a very long time.
So I am Mother. I am Mum. I am Mummy. But please call me Jenny. Lovely to meet you…..