Many mothers would agree that no feeling quite compares to when your baby called you ‘Mom’ or ‘Mum’ or ‘Mama’ for the first time. But there are some that would disagree.
Take Irene Baird for example, or former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. These are women who have taught their children to refer to them by their first names. In fact, Shulman claims that from an early age she told her son, Sam, to call her Alex.
One of the reasons for this change in thinking is that many women are desperate to be looked at than more than just the role they are to one person, whether it be as a wife or as a mother.
Others have explained that they would prefer their children to look at them as their friends primarily before looking at them as their parent.
For those individuals, the use of word “mom” becomes increasingly frustrating with every utterance. In fact, some have even admitted to shuddering when being called “mom.” The word carries strong connotations and makes some mothers feel old. Baird has refused to beat around the bush when discussing this topic.
She honestly feels like her own vanity is what compelled her to prevent her three children to call her “mom.” From as long as they can remember, Brigette, 45, Claudia, 42 and Tobias, 40, have always referred to Baird, 70, by her first name – Irene.
“It made me feel so old. I was in my late 30s – in my prime really – when I first asked them to stop,” she said. “I didn’t look like a stereotypical, boring mum. And I was incredibly bohemian with long, red hair and flowing skirts.
She explained that it was people’s perception of her that influenced her decision. “People who didn’t know me were surprised I was a mother,” she said. “Everyone assumes you’re rather straight-laced when they hear that word. And I didn’t want that.”
Eventually, this is what inspired Irene to make such the extreme decision. At first, she told Brigette, her eldest daughter, when she was 13 that she no longer wanted to be called “Mom.” Then, she told her other kids to do the same when they also reached 13.
“We agreed they would call me Rene, short for Irene, instead. I explained I didn’t like “Mum,” that it made me feel old. I didn’t want them to use a term with such negative connotations.”