Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sending Mixed Signals as Moms

This blog post might hit a few nerves so I apologize in advance if you get offended by this. It is not my intention to offend, its just my intention to say what I feel.

I get annoyed when I come across twitter handles and blog names and emails that are soandsos'smom. It drives me insanely crazy. I don't really know why this is bothers me but it does. I guess I've always thought of it like, Yes, my daughter IS my biggest accomplishment but she is NOT the only thing in my life that I've accomplished. I'm a mother but I have an identity outside of a mom. I wear more than one hat, don't you?

Growing up I hated being called "Alex's little sister". Along with correcting them that I'm the "younger" sister NOT the little sister I'd be sure to throw my name in there. I'm "Jenny, Alex's younger sister," or if you prefer  "Alex's younger sister, Jenny."  Now that I'm older I still get ticked off by those types of labels. I dropped Demi off at daycare the other day and a parent goes to me, "Are you Demi's mom" "Yes, I'm Jenny, Demi's mom." 

Now my post isn't about the lack of using my name and only referring to me as a mom but its about the message we send to our children, mainly our daughters. From the moment we give birth nowadays we are freaked out by trying to remain gender neutral and not push a sex on a kid. We try not to give dolls to girls and trucks to boys. We try not to use terms like "sweet girl" and  "strong boy". We don't stress boy toys or girl toys and boy colors and girl colors. We teach both our sons and daughters that they can be anything they want to be. We love and support them in anything they do. We teach them about doing what they want and finding themselves. We allow our children to form their own identities and we support them in that. When we notice that our children are out of line we discipline them, when we notice they are too shy we try to coax them out of their shell. But we always support their identity. The kid is girlie, a tomboy, tough, a bit weak, in touch with this/her feelings, emotional...we work with our kids and figure out how to approach them. How to talk to them, how to discipline them depending on their personalities. 

Then a funny thing happens, our daughter's grow up and become moms and even we stop calling them by their names. We'll ask our grandchildren "Where is your mommy? What did your mommy say? Did mommy make you breakfast today?" We stop talking to our children about how their day was an instead ask how THEIR child's day was. We spent all this time teaching our children to become their own person and then we let them lose it and just focus on their being a mom. We tell our daughters to never fall into a man's shadow. To stand on their own and be their own person. Don't rely on a man for money, emotional support, or anything. Be equals. Be partners. Then somehow we end up allowing our children to go from "Jenny" to "" We say nothing of this we think this is completely normal. It's NOT.

It gets under my skin. Maybe my mom raised me different, maybe I'm too hard headed? I don't want to just be known as a mom. There is so much more to me than what I popped out of my vagina. Now I don't mind being a mom, in fact I love it but its not everything that encompasses me. If that makes me a bad mom then I guess I'm a horrible mom. I guess I'm just urging more moms to step out of their children's shadows and be your own person. Don't be just a mom.

Does this get under your skin or are you one of the offenders!?


  1. I don't like the labels. My students call me "Teacher" sometimes, and while I love that I'm their teacher, I encourage them to call me Miss Ashley.

  2. It doesn't get under my skin nor would I say I'm an "offender". I *am* Mason's Mom, yes I'm other things too but that is one of the things I am. I want my mother and other adults to say to my child "Where's Mommy because I don't want my child to think it's okay to call me by my first name.

    As far as parents saying "Are you Mason's Mom" that doesn't bother me, yes I am Mason's Mom and it's just a conversation starter. Sure they could say I'm BlahBlah what's your name but I don't think it's a big deal to associate me with my child and I don't get offended by it.

    Just because someones twitter handle or blog is BlahBlahsMom doesn't mean they aren't people outside of their child or that they're "just a mom" and I think it's a little ridiculous for someone to assume that just because of the name of a blog/twitter handle.

  3. AMEN!! It also drives me nuts when people's facebook profile pic is of their kid. I am friends with you - not your kid. UGH.

  4. Popped out of your vagina lol I love your candor. I agree one hundred percent. It is really hard not to fall into that trap but you have to remember a lot of women never had an identity and once they have kids they become their everything I guess.

  5. WOOHOO! I hate that people do that...I am, after all, a person. I have also lived 34 years before having children, and I'm sure I'll live for quite a few after my kids leave the nest!

  6. I've never understood that, either. I have 2 kids but I've always tried to be my own person. I learned from watching my mom that not having a life outside of family is not always the way to go. Don't get me wrong, she was amazing but I think that's why we drove her nuts so much, she ceased having her own identity once she became a mother. To each their own. If it makes them happy, then go for it. It's just not my thing.

  7. My hubs hates when someone's profile pic is only of their child (not them plus their child, only them). I'm not as upset but I understand what you mean about losing your identity. When I got married, I chose to take my husband's last name. That said, I refused to be Mrs. D _____. I am my own person and have my own name, even if it is a new last name.

  8. I won't define myself as an offender, but yes, I blog using my daughter's name and "mom" afterwards. Not once have I thought about it negatively and obviously I don't mind those that do it themselves. It does not define me, but she is the most important part of my life. Maybe it's my way of displaying my life after child and she is the focal point of my blog.

    I guess the biggest thing is that I just don't care and it never crossed my mind that anyone would care. It's good to know your perspective and will help with respect of others that my feel the same way.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion, Jenny!

  9. Ooops! Currently my facebook picture is of D. :) It's usually me but I just fell in love with this pic of her so that is who it is now.

    I just want to clarify that I don't think its bad or wrong to use your child's name + mom/dad as your blog name/twitter name.

    I think my point of view is just different because my blog isn't what you'd call a mommy blog. It's a personal blog. It's about me and what I think/feel. Not what I did with my kid, what my kid did...unless I feel like blogging about it. D isn't my focal point of the blog.

    But for those of you who do use your kids name + mom/dad what will you do when you have another kid? Didn't you take a lot of time/effort to build your blog's reputation and changing that name can risk a lot of it!

  10. I agree in part with this. I am more than just a mom, but, it is the biggest part of who I am. (I am a SAHM/homeschooler).My twitter handle says so, but only because I have no nicknames, and very little creativity, and it had to be something. Although I may make a post every other day or so about something about the kids, it is more than balanced by more stuff about me as a person, and what I think.

    I do disagree with the whole gender neutral part though. I have boys. They are treated as boys. They have boy toys, and boy clothes. They do NOT play with dolls, or wear pink, or get their toenails painted. I want them to grow to be men. Why try to neutralize that?

  11. I completely agree, it's SO HARD to not lose yourself when you become a mom. It becomes your life, firs of all, then it becomes your identity. It's what you do all day, every day. It's what you talk about, it's what people ask about. You have to stop and remember who you are, what you love to do, and remember to be that person. I've struggled with that in the past 1.5 years since Ryan was born.

    That said, I don't think I've ever particularly noticed a blog/twitter name as so-and-so's mom... I totally get your point though. And to defend myself ("Baby Dickey") lol - I created my blog the day I found out Iwas preggo to keep friends and family in the loop because I was living out of state at the time. I had ZERO intentions of it growing and honestly still don't really know how it did, haha. I'd LOVE to change the name, but it's what people know.. so I'm stuck. Oh should I say that actually, before I bought my own domain, I was! LOL.

  12. I'm with Emily I started my blog to update friends and family about my pregnancy. Eventuality ill have to change it but to what I have no idea. Maybe "It's Christa Bitch". I want to.change it now just because I had no idea how annoying it would be to say t out loud until I went to BlogHer. It doesn't really roll off the tounge lol


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