To find HCPs and random people referring to me as 'mum' bloody patronising?

(77 Posts)
philbee Wed 26-Jun-13 07:49:58

At a playgroup I used to go to with DD1 the helpers called us all 'mum', as in 'hello mum, sign in here'. I found it annoying because why bother addressing me as anything, just say 'hello'. But hey ho, they saw lots of parents, it wasn't worth making a thing about.

But in the last few weeks my GP has called me 'mum', as I was crying over a bfing issue at an appointment booked UNDER MY NAME, 'Don't worry mum, you're doing a great job.' Well thanks for the encouragement but I'm not your fucking mum, am I, and you know my name, it's on that screen in front of you! Plus, again, why call me anything - you're hardly talking to the six week old! This week a woman in DD's school playground called me 'mum', as in 'mum looks tired as well' (rude anyway) said to me, not to someone else about me, as in 'can't be bothered to ask your name but here's some unasked for judgment and advice about the care of your child.'. Does anyone else find this really patronising? And if so what's a good response?

I had this once, and I was even referred to as Mum even after I'd given them my name. I did pull this person up on it. Politely.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Wed 26-Jun-13 10:05:27

I don't mind it in a child related setting but I would be annoyed if I was addressed as "mum" for my own appointment. I think YANBU to expect to be called by your name at your own appointment!

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 10:11:11

Well some people get all arsey when someone professional calls them by their first name...considering it to be over familiar.

Then there's the hysteria that can often be triggered by calling someone 'Mrs', 'Miss' or 'Ms'.

So I'd say 'Mum' is a pretty safe thing to call someone you're not overly familiar with and will probably forget in an hour's time.

MoodyDidIt Wed 26-Jun-13 10:13:54

yanbu i HATE it too

sooooo patronising

BrianButterfield Wed 26-Jun-13 10:14:47

I don't think it's that bad - and it certainly would be quite acceptable to say "what do you think, doctor" or "thank you, nurse", surely? As a teacher, other adults (colleagues or parents) often call me "Miss" - it's not an insult, and I don't take it as such.

ziggyf Wed 26-Jun-13 10:16:27

It has never occurred to me to be bothered about this, I'm baffled about why people think it's patronising confused

5madthings Wed 26-Jun-13 10:19:56

The only people that call me mum or should do are my children, as the op says it happens in appointments for yourself if you have a child with you. So they have your name. And when in an app with my child and partner for said child if they can be bothered to address my partner correctly then they should do the same for me.

parno Wed 26-Jun-13 10:23:07

I work in health care and it makes me cringe every time one of my colleagues uses this term. I don't know why but it's a little petty thing I can't stand. They also use dad and baby. Though due to the high pitched screech I let out every time they have learnt not to say it within my ear shot.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 26-Jun-13 10:24:28

I think with regards to the GP appointment the GP had no reason to call you mum as it was your appointment. So for that YANBU.

However, I have worked on a children's ward and we were all guilty of calling the parents Mum and Dad. I tended to say it more as in "Hello are you XXX's Mum?" etc. The reason is very simple, in any one day I would care for so many children it would be impossible for me to learn not only the child's name (which I always endeavoured to do) but also the parents names.

Witt Wed 26-Jun-13 10:25:54

I had a meeting with my mum and a couple of district nurses recently about my dad's declining health. One of the nurses kept saying to me "Mum is feeling like this" and "Mum is experiencing that". It would have been fine if she'd said "Your mum" but I found it really patronising. Especially as I know what my mum is going through and feeling as we talk about it all the time!

Doedeer Wed 26-Jun-13 10:32:56

I experienced this for the 1st time when 3mo DD was rushed to hospital. It felt weird, being a woman in my early 20's addressed as mum by HCP's 40+ and beyond.

Didn't offend me, it was just weird.

This drives me mad. Professionals (at least in the early years sector) do it to both parents. It's just lazy, frankly. Learn people's names.

To all professionals: you are supposed to be working 'in partnership with' parents. Start by addressing them as an actually person rather than a role.

WildlingPrincess Wed 26-Jun-13 10:37:35

I love it blush Mum is the best thing I've ever been called.

Kundry Wed 26-Jun-13 10:43:43

I'd love it if my patients referred to me as doctor as they all seem to think woman = nurse. (OK if you are over 80 and times were different but there is no excuse for the 30 yr olds, especially as I TELL THEM WHO I AM!)

OK Rant over.

It is hard to remember the name of the millionth person you have spoken to that day. GP clearly did know your name but I wonder if she said mum as she wanted to make a point that you are a good one?

I think we have the same issue though - people decide who you are, mum, nurse, whatever and then nothing you say can convince them they are wrong. Tis v aggravating.

I don't actually expect my doctors to have remembered who I actually am (that would be ludicrously self-involved), but I do expect them to have checked my name on my medical records before calling me in to see them. With a child, you could either put their parents names in a prominent place on their medical records, refer to the parents as Mr/Mrs Child's Surname (this is never correct in my case, but I have no problem with it) or, and this is radical, ask them how they'd like to be addressed at the start of the consultation.

Nursery staff should learn the parents names though. They speak to us every single day. I am crap with names and feel obliged to come up with systems so that I remember my students' names (they are adults, so I don't need to speak to their parents other than polite chit chat at graduation events) because they are actually people not just students.

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:51:12

I HATE this.

Sidge Wed 26-Jun-13 10:55:48

Heck I have 50 million things to remember in one shift at work (HCP) and am guilty of referring to a parent as Mum or Dad, especially in baby immunisation clinics. You're lucky if I've got the child's name right, let alone yours! (slightly tongue in cheek)

I always try to establish what a patient of mine prefers to be called as it's a potential minefield - some think it's rude to be called by their first name, some dislike the formality of Mr/Mrs/Miss.

It's a difficult balance to strike and we don't always get it right, but IME we aren't deliberately trying to be patronising or offensive.

Crowler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:51

^^Fair point.

But mostly you don't have to refer to people as 'mum' or 'dad'. The nurse who did DS2's immunisation really didn't need to refer to me as anything at all. 'How is he this morning?' is much better than 'How is he this morning, mum?'

vladthedisorganised Wed 26-Jun-13 11:01:51

YANBU. I know it's petty, but it's the missing out the definite article that gets on my wick.
If people address DD and say "YOUR mum" I don't mind at all - "your mum will need to give you some eyedrops", for instance. Our GP does this and it's kind of sweet as it keeps DD involved.

The lobotomy thing is a different kettle of fish though - along the same lines of irritation as the assumption that I ought to go to some supermarket or sponsor a washing powder purely by virtue of procreation. I got really annoyed at people (OK, my HV) who referred to DD as 'Baby' rather than 'your baby' or even 'the baby' and insisted that we come to Clinic rather than the clinic. "Now Mum needs to bring Baby to Clinic and Mum mustn't forget our little red book!"

Come to think of it, playgroups round here all seem to have Snack (not 'a snack'). Where have all the definite articles gone? <shuffles off to Pedants' Corner>

DespicableYou Wed 26-Jun-13 11:02:19

I don't like being called 'Mum' full stop.

It's 'Mummy', actually

<glares at my own mother who tells my 2 year old to 'go and see Mum'>

miemohrs Wed 26-Jun-13 11:07:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miemohrs Wed 26-Jun-13 11:10:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justmyview Wed 26-Jun-13 11:11:21

When I'm discussing a case with a fellow professional, then I'll refer to Mum / Dad, because the names really don't matter. The issues we're discussing are important & I'm focusing on that, rather than the names of the individuals. I wouldn't call someone Mum to their face though

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Jun-13 11:13:38

This genuinely doesn't bother me at all.

I find it really bizarre what people get their knickers in a knot about.

The one exception on this thread is miemohrs, because in a written communication they should be getting your name right.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now