“I love being called by my name after being ‘mama’ all the time. I’m not your ‘mama’, it’s not cool, it makes me uncomfortable so stop.” -Nikki, mother of 3
As a doula I work with expectant and new mothers day in and day out. I love supporting them as their families grow. I love watching their faces light up as they hold their new babies in their arms. Seeing the pride they have in themselves after such a tremendous accomplishment is amazing.
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
These women are not just mothers.
They are friends, sisters, daughters, wives, and girlfriends. They are adventurers, readers, knitters, and artists. They are chefs, entrepreneurs, badass businesswomen, nurses, singers, teachers, marathon runners, wine aficionados, and so so much more!
Unfortunately, our culture often forgets this simple fact.
Once a women has a baby she is now and forevermore known as “Mama.” I see it ALL. THE. TIME. Even in my profession our clients are quite often referred to as “mama.” I don’t know about you, but I only have one mama, and she gave birth to me.
I think it is a huge disservice to women when we refer to everyone who has a child as “mama.” Not only are we forgetting about all of those other wonderful things that they are, but we are reinforcing that they are now seen as only a mother. We don’t call all men “dad” or “daddy” do we?
Many women lose their identity once they have children, and by boxing them into a singular group, the “mama” group, we are also stealing their identity from them. We preach self-care at these women, but a huge part of self-care is remembering that they have an identity outside of their children.
If you ask mothers their greatest accomplishment many will probably say having children, and it is a HUGE accomplishment, but it doesn’t negate all of those other accomplishments. It’s high time we remind women of who they are. Strong, powerful, and full of all kinds of good stuff!
So next time you want to talk with a group of women, whether they are all mothers or not, try and think of another creative way to address them.
Ladies, Folks, Beautiful Souls, Strong Señoritas, Warrior Women, Cool Cats, whatever it may be!