Mom is not my name

I hate it too. My daughter was in the NICU for 3 months after she was born and I heard it multiple times I day. I also restated their question of “Are you Mom?” to “Yes, I’m HER mother” or “Yes, hello, I’m XXX” but they never got it. Those who worked with her every day began to call me by my name but every new blood draw person, every OT or PT or doctor or social worker…I really hated it.

Everyone in the world calls my mother Nana. My brother has about 800 players a year in his lax program and they all call my mother Nana, their parents do, their friends. My kids do, of course, and all their boyfriends and friends call her that. That doesn’t bother me, but of course it isn’t me.

Agree. I would never want DH to call me Mom or Grandma.

I still say, “Yes, ma’am” when talking to patients from teenagers to the elderly; it is how I was raised. I do understand why some dislike it, much like I hated being referred to by my coworker as, Miss first name. She is maybe 10 years younger than me and an equal at work; I think of my kids calling their preschool teachers Miss Linda. She also refers to all adult woman with Miss in front of their first name. While I have asked that she just call me by my first name, she will not, or can not, do so.

We were vacationing in Denver, when my husband accidentally bumped into a woman at a restaurant; she was maybe in her later 30. He said, “excuse me ma’am,” and she went ballistic on him! How dare he call her ma’am, and a few other words. He explained that he was raised in the south, and that was how he was taught to speak to an adult. She would have nothing to do with his explanation and my husband was truly a bit shaken.

So yes, we all have a pet peeves.

In Hawaii, it is common or youth to call adults auntie or uncle as a sign of respect in social situations (even if their is no blood or legal relationship). Sometimes they also do it in business settings and it’s a bit jarring.

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I should mention that the second thing I mentioned bothers me even more than the first: When an adult who is not my sibling tells me something about “Mom” as in “ Mom is coming to visit”. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. She is not my mom. Say “My mom”.

Oh, I’m afraid I would unintentionally annoy you to no end! LOL!


I had gone to undergrad with our son’s pediatrician, and my husband attended the same high school as he. So we knew each other from way back. At appointments as ds was growing up, he would call me by my first name and refer to my husband by his first name (in front of ds) when we were chatting about things unrelated to ds, but would call me, “Mom,” if the issue involved or was about ds. I am just right now appreciating those distinctions he made, which must have been intentional. I have no way of knowing if he did that with all his families/patients - I’m sure it’s much easier on medical folks to just use “Mom” and “Dad” when dealing with kids they treat.


Reading this thread makes me incredibly glad I don’t give a hoot what people call me even if I do have my preferences. Life is too short to get so hung up on the small stuff. If I saw something like this happening I would really lose respect for that lady.


@Hoggirl it likely was intentional, especially since you were also personal friends. That was a way of keeping the focus of the visit on your child and your role as parent. Not “easier” but intentional. Though also easier in the sense that do we really expect a doc who sees dozens of patients in a day to remember in the course of a visit not only the child’s name but the parent(s) who accompany the child?!


But ‘Mom’ used in this content is the noun, no different than saying “Mary is coming to visit” and it isn’t YOUR Mary, or the Mary you first think of when you hear the name. I don’t have a problem with other people referring to their mothers as Mom, just when they call me that and I’m not their mother.


Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff. Unless one is certain the person means to be insulting, do not take offense. It is quite possible that your actions, too, are unwittingly offensive to others for some reason. Live and let live.


I agree. I was a team mom for 12 years and a GS Leader for 7 years. Most of the kids (and their parents!) just called me “Momma Smith”. I didn’t really care because my first name always got botched by my teachers, professors and everyone else, and it’s not that hard to say.
I do, however, respect everyone’s choice of not being labeled as “mom” or “ma’am” if it doesn’t suit you.

I do think about all the people that couldn’t or didn’t have children who would love to be called Mom.
My brother-in-law desperately wanted to have children. He married his wife about 10 years after we had our children. She never wanted to be called “Mom” when we went to dinners, shows or events. I get it; her choice.

My BIL would watch my husband play with our children, and would occasionally mention how much he looked forward to having children and playing with them. By the time his wife got around to thinking about having children, she couldn’t.

He’s mentioned how much he wishes he had had children, as he’s seen our children develop into adults. He’s watched the relationship that my husband has with our children, and how they joke around and are not just family, but good friends.

Regret can be really sad.

On the ‘ma’am’ topic…I’ve been called ma’am a few times. I’m trying to reaffirm to self that if I become offended in any way by that (presumably because ‘ma’am’ is a greeting reserved for older women (in most cases)) that is likely ageist and should be avoided! lol

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I grew up in the South and called my parents Mama and Daddy, but as an adult I only referred to them that way with my siblings. With everyone else I would say “my mother/father” or “my mom/dad.” I called my MIL (a New Yorker, BTW, so not Southern) by her first name, which she always seemed satisfied with…my H also called my parents by their first names and his parents mom/dad. He referred to my parents (to me) as your mom/dad. We weren’t kids when we married (I was 42) so, while I was happy to expand the sense of family and get close to parents-in-law, I really couldn’t imagine having another set of actual parents.

One day, after H and I had been married a few years, MIL got suddenly (quite) angry with me when I happened to refer to my mom as “my mom” while in conversation with her. “We’re all the same family,now, so there shouldn’t be any of this ‘my mom’ business.” Obviously, she felt hurt or insulted, but it still didn’t make sense to me. My mind was reeling in such shock, though, that it didn’t occur to me to ask her, exactly, how she thought I should refer to the woman who had raised me. By my mother’s first name? I had never done that in my life and It would feel unnatural to me…and my H certainly never referred to the woman who gave birth and raised him as anything other than “mom”, “my mom” or “my mother” when talking with my parents (or anyone else). She did seem to have a blind eye to the double standards she carried for H and I. I’ve always wished I had had the presence of mind to simply asked her why she was angry, and what words she expected me to use. She had become generally more critical over the years and I let myself become intimidated about addressing irrational or insensitive things she said that unsettled me. She became ill and died within a year or two of that incident so now I’ll never know.


My sil calls one of her friends aunt (her name) to her kids. It always irks me a bit because I’m their aunt and it feels like my position in their family isn’t respected.

But that may have a lot more to do with my relationship with my sil than it does with what she has her kids call someone (who is definitely not their aunt).

I find that my mil becomes more critical and irrational as she has aged also.

For instance she called me last night and told me she hardly knows me since she hasn’t seen me in a year. Well there has been this little thing called a pandemic and I last saw her in October. My husband has visited her two other times since then.

It’s been longer since I’ve seen my mom and my kids BTW.

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LOL @deb922 and she’s known you for HOW many years?!!!

I was called “ma’am” the first time as a 21 year old newlywed by a guy old enough to be my dad. Would not recommend the experience.

H is always sad when he’s called grandpa, as he feels it’s more aging than being called uncle. We aren’t sure if we will even be grandparents, tho many of our peers are. Our kids are single and no idea if/when that may change. D hasn’t even ever had a serious romantic relationship. :frowning:

When the kids were in elementary school I was pretty sure my name was either S’s mom, D1’s mom or D2’s mom. No first names and definitely no title plus last name. As in: telephone rings, I answer, friend says “Hi D1’s mom! This is Friend. Is D1 home?”