Codename: Mama

Posted by rosanne on May 25, 2009 in Administrivia |

Before I gave birth, one of the things I said I couldn’t quite get my head around was the idea that I would suddenly be a “mother” above all else. Or even a mother at all, really. Identity has always been a challenging thing for me and I don’t like labels much. I’d be quite comfortable if my daughter (four months this week) grows up to call me Rosanne.

Even now, as I’m starting a new blog called “Modern Mama”, I don’t see my “job” or my “identity” as being a mother.

I recently had a call telling me a poem of mine had been accepted as part of an art-in-the-trains project.

“What is your occupation?” they ask.

“Editor,” says I, without hesitation. And then a pause. “Well, I guess… right now I’m on maternity leave… so, maybe… um… mother?”

The woman on the other end said, “We can do both…”

But I couldn’t. Mother is not my occupation. I’m an editor and always will be. Mother is just something I do now as well.

I’m passionate about it. And I’m still the same me who was passionate about the planet and politics and feminism and a whole bunch of other things. Put it all together and you have Modern Mama. I’ll be blogging about my challenges in finding organic soft toys with no polyester, I’ll be complaining about pink mania in girls’ wear, I’ll be debating when is too early for a child of geeks to have their own laptop (although hopefully that’s a few years away yet).

I’m also happy to have other Modern Mamas start their own blogs here. I’d love someone who has a teenager and someone who has a toddler and someone who has an eight-year-old, so we have something for all mamas, regardless of the age of their child.

And I look forward to passionate discussions. Bring it on!

3 Comments

Danny Yee
Jun 14, 2009 at 4:34 am

I’ve always called my parents by their names, and they always used their names when talking to me about each other. It always seems slightly wrong to me when people call out to their mother as “Mom”, and very wrong when parents start referring to each other as “Mother” and “Father”.


 
rosanne
Jun 14, 2009 at 4:50 am

Funnily enough, I’m finding that I’m talking about myself in the third person as Mummy! And it makes it very hard not to refer to Doug as Daddy. I always liked how you and Jenny called your mother Vera. I would have no problem with Harper calling me Rosanne… I agree that calling each other by our role negates our sense of self as separate from parent and is dangerous stuff.


 
Karen
Jun 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm

As a 20yr old, I was determined to maintain my sense of self, and to differentiate between Karen and Mum. I was happy enough for my kids to call me Mum, but I wouldn’t let anyone else refer to me as Mum, and I didn’t refer to myself as Mum. It wasn’t intentional, but my older children call me by my name, the name they heard other people call me.

My youngest child calls me Mum. I tell her to take things to Daddy, my other children tell her to “ask Mum”. And that’s how it works.

I’m more comfortable about being called Mum now. Actually, I like it. It emphasises the special relationship I have with my youngest.

Sorry I haven’t commented sooner, I need to set up an RSS feed on Dreamwidth to keep up to date. Have you enabled RSS?


 

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