PARENTS

Who Are You Calling A Dummy Mummy?

08/04/2011 19:22 | Updated 22 May 2015

dummy mummyAccording to the Daily Mail, a study of modern day parenting jargon has unearthed some choice new monikers for mums and dads

There's the plainly insulting 'Dummy Mummy' - to describe mums who lose the capacity to talk about anything other than their babies - to 'Dadmin', in reference to those tasks 'like emptying the nappy bin or putting up a shelf in the nursery' which, the paper reports, 'are particularly suited to dads - perhaps because Dummy Mummies would not be able to do them properly'.

The poll was apparently commissioned to coincide with the launch of the DVD release of the comedy Life As We Know It. I haven't seen the film but suffice it to say I'm not laughing.

On reading this I had to run to the nearest calendar to check which year we're living in. So mums are dummies and dads are only good for putting up shelves, eh? It can mean only one thing: this must be the Dark Ages.

I'm not a fan of labels at the best of times but this poor excuse for a poll got right up my nose. (In case you hadn't noticed.) Yes, lots of new mums are absorbed by their baby - now get over it.

Giving birth is about the most bonkers experience life has to offer, and the realisation that the continued existence on the planet of the human who has exited from your own body is entirely down to you for the next 18 years is fairly mind-altering too.

If we want to talk about it we will. If you don't want to listen, don't. But spare us the labels, please. Can you imagine the uproar if we came up with our bitchy names for non-parents? We're no more obsessed with our offspring than other women are by their love lives, iPads or waist size, but I don't see anyone dishing out the disses for those ladies.

I haven't been 'rendered brain dead' by my child as the reporter writes - and while I'm not easily offended I find that a pretty tasteless turn of phrase. If I appeared forgetful or - God forbid - a tad distracted in the early months of new motherhood it might have something to do with the fact that I slept in desperate snatches of no more than 90 minutes at a time for about three months. Some cultures call that a highly effective form of torture.

It doesn't make me a Dummy Mummy. What's dumb is that someone wasted minutes of their time on God's green earth compiling what is essentially a list of ways to call other people names. I thought we all stopped doing that circa 1990 when most of us started growing up. Dumb, in my book, is paying someone to conduct this kind of 'research' when they could have spent their time on worthier pursuits, like solving world hunger or watching paint dry.

It's not just the 'Dummy' part of this ridiculous nickname that I resent. I'm tired of being lumped together in a virtual collective of women as if the fact that we are parents is what defines and unites us.

Mothers aren't all the same, and I'm not the one lording my maternal credentials over anyone - if anything, it's society that keeps slapping the mummy moniker on me in various guises, and I've had enough.

I'm not a Yummy Mummy, a MILF or a Slummy Mummy. I'm me, and Mum is a tiny, albeit precious part of that all-important bigger picture.

So call me a Dummy Mummy at your peril. The only thing more insulting than being called a Dummy Mummy is the implication that a father's only uses are for dealing with nursery shelves and nappy waste. Dadmin? I can't even bring myself to dignify that with a reaction.

Please world, give it a rest, and give us mums and dads a break. Parenting is an altruistic, thankless task and frankly we've already had enough of being crapped on.

We're neither dumb nor useless, and if you don't start showing a tad more respect for parents we might just put you on the naughty step.

More:

Mums
Suggest a correction