Hi. My name is what? My name is who? My name is… So and So’s mom?! If you are a fan of Eminem, especially in the late 90’s, you probably recognize the lyrics to his hit song, My Name Is. I cannot help but get these lyrics stuck in my head every time I meet someone at my children’s school, games, camp, etc. I am no longer a woman with a first and last name. I am simply So and So’s mom.
It is this strange phenomenon that seems to occur when your child enters school. You are not a person anymore. Thus, you have no real thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc., other than those that coincide with school events and related activities. You will find that many other parents only know you simply as So and So’s mom (or dad, the men can be included in this, too!). You likely also find yourself referring to other parents as the mom of their child’s name. I suppose it is easy. I suppose it is the way it is. But why can we not address each other by first names? As moms, have we grown so accustomed to doing everything for our children that we do not even have the capacity to remember the first names of the other moms we see on a daily basis? Of course, not!
I met a mom of another So and So in my son’s class. A very friendly woman, who would say my name about 3,000 times every single time we spoke. At first, I thought she was just one of those people who do things like that. But soon I realized that what she was doing was brilliant. Instead of having to refer to me (and other moms) as So and So’s mom, she would say our names whenever we talked. It helped her remember, and made the interactions with her that much more pleasant and personal. I loved it. I have since adopted her trait.
I think as moms, we do a great job. There is no reason we should not be proud to be So and So’s mom, but we also need to break out of that habit. Let’s introduce ourselves by our first name, and just use the mom title so the other moms know which kid belongs to us. If we have to ask the name of a fellow mom a few times, so be it. No big deal. Isn’t that better than referring to them through their child’s name?
We can lose ourselves as women (okay, you too, men!) after we have children, and especially once they get into school. Once they are in school that is it. You are just there to shuttle them around, basically. But if we stop and say hi to other parents, and use their first names instead of yelling Hi, So and So’s mom! We may find a few friends and not feel so invisible in this crazy world our children let us hang out in.
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