Don’t Call Me Mommy

[Just a little side noteLittle Lunalu posted an interview with me here.  So don’t call me mommy.  But Super Mama?  Absolutely.  Thanks LL!]

[And another one: Momversation picked up my piece, “Dating Disasters in Marriage“.  Check it out  – and they just picked up this piece too!  Ummm.  Awesome.  Click here to check it.]

Don’t Call Me Mommy

Is “Mommy Blogger” a derisive term?  Yes.  Do I use it to make fun of myself?  Yup.  I do write an awful lot about my son, Roan.  But I also write an awful lot about my husband Anson – are people using the term, “Wife Blogger”?  No, no they are not.  They are not because that would be saying my writing is defined by my wifehood, which no one I know would actually say to my face unless they wanted a knuckle sandwich. (Full disclosure: I’ve actually never punched anyone outside of a boxing ring.  But I love the term “knuckle sandwich” and you can’t take that away from me.) Being a mother does give my life more depth and happiness than I ever had before my son existed, but still – I did actually exist before him, and though some things have changed, I still consider myself to be myself, first.  Then a mother.  Then a wife.  Then an astronaut (in progress).

Last week, the New York Times published an article called  “Honey Don’t Bother Mommy.  I’m Too Busy Building My Brand.”  It is a dumb title, in the extreme.  But more than that, it is wildly condescending, and that, my friends, has caused a Mommy Blogger Riot.  I tried to ignore it, but after being forwarded the article over six times (really – six different people sent it to me.) I feel compelled to stand up and say, “Hey!  New York Times!  That was a really crap title for a really boring and patronizing article!”  (And P.S. I do have some free time available to write for you, so you know – call me!)  But beyond thinking the article was slipshod and lazy, I’ve remained on the fence.  You tell me – should I be taking a side?

Let’s face it.  Nobody likes being labeled.  When I was a party promoter, I hated the term “Rave”.  But that’s what I was throwing.  When I was in High School, I hated the label “Punk” and insisted I was actually “New Wave”, thankyouverymuch, oi. I’ve not yet taken to saying I’m a “Stay at Home Mom” because I’m rarely at home, and identifying as a “Mommy Blogger” feels very much like a quick kick in the pants.  It’s a true enough term, but it’s become so widely used and mocked that for reals, the only way I use it now is in cruel cruel irony, and not a point of honor.

There are a lot of Mothers out there.  Many of them have a few minutes put aside to write for whomever will read.  I’m one of those guys.  I guess I’d just rather not be called a “Mommy Blogger” or a “Blogger” at all.  When my son came home from school a few days ago, he told me about art class, where they spoke about what they want to be when they grow up.  His answer was that he wanted to be what I was. I asked him what that was?  Imagine how wonky I would have felt if the next words he said were, “I want to be a Mommy Blogger!”  But he didn’t; nope, Roan my son (and forgive me for Mommy Blogging right this very minute) said, “I want to be a writer”.

So the side I’ve landed on?  I’m asking the world for no more broad-stroke, dumb, niche titles, please.  I have a son to raise in my footsteps, and he thinks I’m a writer.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Mommy

  1. I tried to read that article, but only made it 1/2 way through. It is funny how people talk down to and try to marginalize certain demographics. You are a writer, not a Mommy Blogger. Roan’s way more clever then the NY Times.

  2. Liza – I’ve been saying that since the day Roan was born – he’s a clever kid. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Margaret – AWESOME. I love the pictures from that shoot – he looks like a baby there compared to the giant he is today. Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. Love the title of “writer”. Much better than all the others. Honestly, I don’t like being called Mom at all. Why would I? There are so many other women out there with the same name! I want to be unique, one of a kind. YK? I would much rather have a cool nickname given to me by my kids to identify ME as their female parental. I know a wonderful woman and her boys call her Cookie cuz she makes the best cookies in all the land. I think it’s wonderful, special and completely and uniquely her. Sure, there may be other “cookies” out there but hers is special.

  4. Kat – love the cookie idea. I went fishing for a new nickname with Roan after I read it. Asked him what his name would be for me: what food reminds him of me? His reply was Macaroni and Cheese.

    For now, I’m sticking with mom…..

  5. Let’s make no mistake, you ARE a writer. As a lifelong wannabe, I know the Real Thing when I see it.

    If you ask me, there’s not an ass in this world big enough for the New York Times to kiss.

  6. Uni-Tom – Shux man. Thank you. I feel like such a poser when I say I’m a writer but really and truly I just can’t twist my mouth around the word “blogger” without feeling a little twinge of shame.

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