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The Worst Word In The Parenting Lexicon

By Kara Baskin

This morning, a friend asked me if, as a "mommy," I was excited about the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie. First of all: No, I'm not; any interest I might have had ended after an older relative asked me if I'd read the book. Ew! But I also told her that the word "mommy" grates on me when adults say it to one another. When a child says it, it's adorable. But when adults refer to mothers as "mommies," it feels cloying and cutesy. Maybe that's because there are so many negative "mommy" references out there.

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For example:

Mommy Wars, a lazy, derogatory, blanket term that refers to every possible parenting difference of opinion, from breast-feeding to co-sleeping. Can you imagine a "Daddy Wars"? Sounds like a cheesy cougar dating show.

Mommie Dearest, starring Faye Dunaway as a deranged, abusive Joan Crawford. No wire hangers!

Mommy Juice, booze that panders to hassled, harried moms who are so frazzled that they must just be desperate for a buzz. An ingenious marketing plan! See also: Mommy's Time Out.

Basically, the term "mommy" is used as a condescending catch-all for anything having to do with motherhood.

This isn't to say that the word "mommy" is all bad. There are plenty of awesome parenting sites that use the term, like Scary Mommy, Mommy Bites, and Mommy Poppins. But the difference is that they're actually talking to moms about their kids, not pandering to them.

What's your take on "Mommy"? Cloying or cute?



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