Mom is not my name

Pet peeve here.

  1. People who refer to me as “Mom” when I am not their mother (this thankfully ended with my kids childhoods. Pediatricians and other medical professionals, teachers, I’m looking at you. ) Just overheard this today at a pharmacy.

  2. People who refer to their own mother as “Mom” when not talking to their sibling or other parent. (As in “Mom is coming into town so I’m stopping work early.”) This drives me bonkers. A co-worker did it today. I’ve told my kids to NEVER do this. Ever. My name is not mom. Say “MY Mom”.


My FIL referred to his wife as Mum, rather than saying her name. It drove me nuts. As a result, I have always made it a point to call my H “your dad” when speaking to my kids.

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I hate that too! I had a rafting guide call me “mom” during a rafting trip and I was ready to sock him.


Gotta admit, I had no idea people would be upset by that. I don’t mind at all when kids call me mom, mine or those at school I’m totally unrelated to.

I can’t think of a time an adult called me mom (like a rafting guide). If so, I overlooked it. Maybe it happened in Dr offices with the kids. I don’t recall.

At school I tend to refer to parents by Mr or Mrs/Ms (whatever they put on the paperwork as their names).


I was startled when a office staff of the pediatric gastroenterologist referred to me as mom. I said, I am NOT your mom. Undaunted, she continued to call me that until we fired the MD, who was incompetent. :frowning:

It is not a problem I have encountered much.


Everyone has their pet peeves, so I respect that. It’s not right or wrong, it just is. Personally, I have no issue with it. But I think saying “Dad” when speaking to the kids vs. “your Dad”, is sweet. Why not just say “my husband” instead of “your Dad”? Saying “dad” or “mom”, I feel makes it inclusive and cohesive of that person’s rank per se, in the family unit. Just another perspective of how other’s view that.

But thinking about it, I do say “Your Dad” when I have something more serious or important that he wants me to relay to them and he’s not around, or when I have more serious discussions and reference him. “dad” is more lighthearted when I use it.


I agree with you within the family. “Go ask Dad” is a common phrase here. I feel like “go ask YOUR dad” could imply that there is a step parent situation.

Strangers outside the family calling us Mom and Dad…big no go for me.

(FWIW, one of my D’s friends call us Mom/Dad. He had a rough family life and I take that as a complement. Will also gladly have my child’s spouse call us M/D when/if the time comes.)


At school it definitely tends to come from the students without a decent family life. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t bug me at all. I don’t mind filling in.

I’m also ok with my DIL’s calling us mom/dad and did the same for my in-laws (though they were southern, so H’s terms for them were Mama and Dada).

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it is weird to be called “mom” by strangers, but i guess it’s easy for them to say when you are with your kids. What i don’t like is being called “ma’am” . I think i’d rather be called Mom than Ma’am. that makes me feel so old!


I don’t like ma’am either!


My parents always referred to themselves as mama and daddy. When my dad called for my mom, he would use mama as much as he would her name. I always thought it was cute.

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oh - my parents always called each other King and Queen. Always. They still do at 80. It’s cute.


I like @conmama 's post above. I too respect your feelings about this as we all have our irks.

I can think of worse things to be called. Like “hun” - I hate when store people call me “hun”. What does that even mean?!!

As a health care person and educator working with young children in a pediatric context I will often use “mom” or “dad” - I do it to keep the context of the visit on the child and INCLUDING the child in the conversation. So the child knows the discussion is focused on them and their needs and recognizing the family unit. Of course these are children likely 5 years and younger and not 16 year olds!


I recently read a memoir written by Blanche Barrow. She was married to Clyde Barrow’s brother Buck. She called him “Daddy” and he called her “Baby.”



I’ve never given it much thought, but now that I have, I don’t mind even strangers calling me “mom” if it’s in context - meaning I’m with my (now adult) D. Like when we went ziplining in Mexico, the guides all called me “mom.” Many of her friends used to call me “mom” when they were younger, I found it to be a term of endearment. That they felt close enough to me to call me “mom” - otoh, ma’m - um, no. Unless it’s the darling kids that help me load my car when I buy big, heavy, bulky items. Then I realize they’re being polite, and I love them all for helping, so they can call me whatever they like!


Being called “Dad” or “Hun” by strangers never bothered me. I grit my teeth if someone calls me “Bro” or “Dude”.

When my kids were really young, the pediatrician would sometimes ask me, “What do you think, Dr.Mom?” Not that I am a doctor … but it was his way of acknowledging that the parent might have a gut feeling to share. That never bothered me. I also didn’t mind it when kids at school called me Mom (I volunteered a lot, plus I did a lot of subbing). I would not mind if one of my kids’ significant others called me Mom (they don’t). What I don’t want is for my H to start calling me that! Or worse, if he were to start calling me Grandma!!! That would make me so sad. I don’t ever want to lose the husband-wife relationship.


It’s a newer thing. I get it a lot, but to me, “ma’am” is worse. I keep thinking of Absolutely Fabulous:

Stewardess: “Madame.”
Patsy: “Madame-MOISELLE!”

Depending on the situation, I have several preferences. But “Empress,” “Boss Lady,” “Babe,” and “Salty goodness” all need to be spoken by the proper person. So most strangers err on the side of caution and “mom” it is.


The ma’am thing is strongly regional. Here in Texas many parents insist their children use it for all adults (including them). It’s a curtesy title for all ages that staff used in front of the students as a model of polite behavior. “Mrs Dragon, do you need help with that?” “Yes ma’am, Ms. Jones, I’d love some”.
What grates on my last nerve is being referred to as “young lady”. It’s a thing with some male salesmen, either my age or younger. I’m 65. I’m not senile enough to think I’m young, so it’s patronizing not flattering.


Ma’am is definitely regional, as I learned when I married a southern boy whose parents expected it (and sir) from everyone!

Being from the north where it is more of an insult we didn’t teach our kids to say it, except at grandma/granddad’s. Then we taught them why to say it there (respect).

At the school where I work we had one young lad move in from a southern state. He quickly learned to drop it to fit in, but I know among the teachers in my friend group none of us thought he was awful since we knew he was raised that way. Still, it was much better once he didn’t stand out. I imagine the kids might have razzed him about it more than the adults - could be wrong. He never mentioned it, just changed within a couple of days.

My kids can still go back and forth as the setting changes, and it goes beyond ma’am/sir to culture differences in countries or families or whatever. I like that aspect about them. If more people were willing to adjust as the setting changes the world would be a bit better I think.