A Mom by Any Other Name

Dyson has recently started experimenting with names. He usually calls me “Papa” since that’s how I refer to myself when I’m around him. But sometimes he uses my first name, since that’s what other people use.

I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about it one way or another. I do think it’s nice that somebody calls me Papa. But it’s also very cute when he says my name, too.

Anyways, one of my neighbors has her kids address her only by her first name and I wondered why that was. It turns out that it’s because she feels that the term “Mom” tends to be an all-encompassing identity, which subsumes any other identity.

Regardless of how you feel about kids referring to their parents by their first name, I think she has a point. When I tell people that I’m a dad, there’s sort of this understanding that it’s just part of who I am.

But I get the impression that telling people that you’re a mom involves so much more expectations. Even working moms are expected to be moms first. If something happens with the kids, they’re still the ones who get blamed for it. There’s been progress on that front, but I think there’s still quite a ways to go.

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