Friday, June 15, 2012

A Daddy by any other name...

When I was very young, I called my mother "Mommy." As I got a bit older, I called her "Momma." (I've only seen a few people online spell it this way, but it is the way I grew up spelling it.) Eventually, I got old enough to call her "Mom."

Tyler & her PoppaTyler & her Poppa

My ex-husband didn't want to go by "Daddy." He chose for our daughter to learn to call him "Poppa." It was endearing and I rather liked that he had a name different from other kids' dads. She did, eventually, start referring to him as "my dad" to make things simpler in conversation with her friends. I have a friend who's child calls the parents "Mama & Papa."

Sasha & her DaddySasha & her Daddy

Sasha & Spencer's Daddy is fine with "Daddy." It has its own sweetness. It is what I called my own father for a very long time. I'm sure our littles will eventually grow to call him "Dad."

Me & my DaddyMe & my Daddy

I chose to go the same route as my own mother, having my children call me "Mommy." I do not appreciate being called "mother." It just sounds too impersonal. Likewise, I would not like my parenting partner to be called "father," though these terms are fine in conversation with others. "My mother..."

I'm finding that it can get tricky when you have children at different stages. Tyler calls me "Momma" or "Mom," but then has to correct Sasha when she copies her. At least she hasn't started noticing that Tyler calls her [Sasha's] daddy "Elmo!"

What parental terms have you taught your children to use? What is your reasoning behind your choice?


  1. For us, it changes with the age of the child. I refer to myself as Momma when talking to Levi & Adam started out calling me Momma (notice, I spelled it your way!), then Mommy, and now sometimes Mom. What is funny to me is that his puppets call me April. He is so funny!

    1. That IS funny! I've actually also gone by "Momma Jorje" when I was not the only mother in the household. And so it began. :-)

  2. I decided to go with Mama, just to be different, I suppose. I never really liked the term "Mommy," maybe because it sounds too diminutive/dismissive to me? I mean, in the way, for instance, the media use it: The Mommy Wars. But even when I hear other women refer to themselves as "mommies," it sets my teeth on edge. My own particular hangup, I'm sure.

    But I did call my mom Mommy as a small child, and then Mom. I do occasionally call her Mama (pronounced more like Mumma in our/her neck of the woods) or Mum (sort of in between Mom and Mum, actually, and hard to explain — maybe Mahm), because I grew to hear my cousins calling their mom that, and my mom referring to her mother that way, and liked the unfamiliar cadence of it.

    And I called my dad Daddy for longer; it felt childish at some point to call him that out loud, but I would still write it that way on cards. I haven't done that for a long time now — wonder if he'd like it?

    Sam decided he wanted something unusual for our kids to call him, but my dad had claimed Papa as his grandfather name. After some searching — at IKEA — he settled on Apa, the name of one of their toy boxes. People sometimes ask him if it's Hebrew or Portuguese or whatever, and he can say, no, it's Swedish. ;)

    I read some etiquette article (Miss Manners? Emily Post? I forget) where she said Mother was a sign of respect. I thought it just sounds silly and affected, in this culture and time. Clearly I'm opinionated, lol.

    And now my comment is as long as your post!

    1. I find it terribly amusing that he chose some random product name. Personally, I probably would have told Papa that the direct father gets first dibs. Perhaps the kids could have called him Grand Papa. lol

      Thats a pretty heavy hangup to have attached to a word... that you deal with ALL.THE.TIME, I'm sure. Oddly, "mother" makes me think "Mommy Dearest." Aack!

      I love your long comments!

    2. My niece was born 5 years before our first child, so Papa was already well established, unfortunately! Serves us right for not procreating in a more timely fashion. :)

    3. Call me contemporary, but I don't feel like all the grandchildren have to use the same name for their grandparents.

  3. I *really* wanted to be "Mama" and taught that to Burkley. To me, "Mommy" seemed kind of whiny. He called me mama until about a month ago when he randomly started calling me "Mommy," which I can only assume he does because his bestie calls her mom that. Even when I give him sample sentences to repeat, like, "Help me please, Mama." He'll say, "Help, please, Mommmy?" Ugh. Fail. But, of course I'll take it and it really doesn't sound whiny. :)

    1. I bet he'll revert to Mama with time. I'm glad it doesn't sound whiny to you after all. It can be annoying enough to hear a child call for you too much as it is, without adding an extra whiny on top!

      Sasha occasionally calls me "Mom" after hearing my teenager daughter call me that. I probably shouldn't correct her... but man it goes right through me! I need to work on that (the not correcting)...


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