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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?

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 15:40:01

I've had consultants we worked with intensely for months and who were well older than I (42) call me Mum. I wanted to quip back, 'If your mother is still alive she must be related to the Queen Mum,' but instead I'd give a wry cough and reply, 'I'm certain your mother is proud of you and your accomplishments. I am unworthy of the title coming from you. My name is (Sarcastic Bitch).'

ArbitraryUsername Wed 26-Jun-13 15:25:37

It's not understandable at nursery. The staff should learn the parents' names, or just avoid referring to parents as anything (very often you don't need to use names at all).

I speak to the staff at nursery every single day, and have done for nearly 3 years now. I know all the names of the staff I speak to (and there are quite a few of them); they could do me the courtesy of learning my name. Sure there are more parents than staff, but it's not part of my job role to build partnership with them (which is the big thing in most current legislation). It's hard to believe that someone sees you as a 'partner' when they're calling you 'mum'.

There is absolutely no excuse for: 'He's had a lovely day, mum. He ate all his breakfast, had seconds of lunch and ate all his tea, mum.' Ever.

Wincher Wed 26-Jun-13 15:05:43

I do remember being at the hospital again with days-old DS (PFB) and the nurse saying something to her colleague about mum and dad being here - I think both DH and I looked around to see where our parents were!

The staff in DS's nursery all call me mum which is understandable as there are loads of kids (and I don't know all of their names either) but it is still a bit annoying.

miemohrs Wed 26-Jun-13 14:55:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Wed 26-Jun-13 14:39:45

Fgs yes its hard to remember names but just ask, and as I said when I have been with dp and one of our children he gets called Mr ... Yet I get mum, if they can be bothered to address dp by name they can dam well afford me the same courtesy. I am mum to my children and only my children.

If a hcp said are you xx's mum, I would say yes I am (insert my name) xxx's mum.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 14:29:47

I was in hospital with my child for nearly 8 months. It's annoying.

Especially when one repeatedly called her 'sausage' until DD corrected her, twice.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 14:27:53

What Miaow said. Unprofessional, lazy and patronising. And yes, plenty of us work in service industries with high numbers of customers and clients.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 26-Jun-13 14:26:01

If I'm in hospital with my child the least of my worries would be whether they called me 'mum' or not.

Xiaoxiong Wed 26-Jun-13 14:20:27

It annoys me. I'd be happy with "DS's mum" but there's nothing wrong with "ma'am". That's what they call me at the dentist or if I'm on my own at the doctor's without DS and they don't know my name, why should I suddenly be just "mum" when DS is with me.

(The fact that there is a distinction between ma'am and miss, but no distinction for men is a separate issue. But both ma'am and miss are better than "mum".)

MadBusLady Wed 26-Jun-13 13:51:18

I do sympathise with HCPs with high patient turnover, but presumably you solve this problem differently for wards full of adults. If you can't recall their name, which I can understand, you just address them directly as "you". It is a bit odd that "mums" are different and get addressed as if in the third person.

imnotmymum Wed 26-Jun-13 13:48:28

It does not bother me as to my kids I am Mum

Feminine Wed 26-Jun-13 13:47:30

Wouldn't bother me.

Something that does though...My Step-Mum and Dad referring to their tenants as punters! It actually makes me livid!

Guess we all have our push buttons.

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 13:45:57

Oh and by the way - I was a supply teacher - my 30 kids generally DID change daily or twice daily if I was doing two classes in one day.

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 13:44:52

Refer to them as "the mum" or "your mum" or "Fred's mum" or Mrs X FFS... I'm not your mother, I didn't renounce my name to all and sundry when I had a kid and it's a bloody common source of irritation for many women.

It's lazy and it shows just how little of a shit is given about the women (they don't tend to do the Dad shit as much) when kids and the NHS are concerned.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 26-Jun-13 13:38:34

Your 30 parents stay the same. Our 36 change twice a day. We know the long termers names.

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 13:26:23

It does my fucking head in. I don't mind being "Fred's Mum" or "your mummy" - it's the whole "let's see how Mum is doing today" crap that annoys me immensely and I don't give a shit if you've got a lot of parents - it's bloody lazy and I'd be hung out to dry if I decided I couldn't be arsed to learn the names of 30 kids in a class.

Our vets does the pets with surname thing as well - it actually amuses me because it makes our dog sound all intelligent and distinguished when he's absolutely nothing of the sort!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 26-Jun-13 13:11:09

Oh FFS, bloody phone.

I can see how it can be annoying but I work on an 18 bedded ward, I can't remember 36 parent's names.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 26-Jun-13 13:10:00

I can see how it can be annoy

meddie Wed 26-Jun-13 12:51:31

My vets insist on calling out the cats names and tagging on my Surname.
'Can I have Spotty Taylor please'
pisses me off. I,m not his mum and he doesn't have a Surname, he's just Spotty.

MamaChubbyLegs Wed 26-Jun-13 11:59:47

YANBU! When my DS had his first jabs:

"Don't worry, Mummy, you can do this!! Everything is going to be OKAY!!"

It's just a needle, ffs.

Bue Wed 26-Jun-13 11:32:39

vlad oh yes I have the same hatred of "baby" but it seems to be endemic in maternity and it is horrifying to find yourself slipping into it! I try hard to always say "the baby", or I use his/her name. Even if "mum" grin is in labour, and they already know the sex and have a name for the baby, I will say for instance, "When Max is born do you want him straight on your chest"? It is such an easy thing to do and I think it is much more respectful to the baby. Now if people would just try to remember my name...

ArbitraryUsername Wed 26-Jun-13 11:31:16

See I don't have a problem with being XXX's mum. That is fine. It's a statement of fact. I object to being just 'mum' to anyone that isn't my child.

I also hate reading stuff that refers to parents as 'mum' or 'dad'. I'm always correcting it to 'X's mum'. Sure you want it to be anonymous, but you can anonymise without being patronising.

I can absolutely understand that many HCPs are very busy and see loads of people every day. In which case, 'you' or 'XXX's mum' will do. I will happily answer 'yes' if the staff in A&E ask me are you XXX's mum. And I will answer things like 'have you noticed...'. I just object to tagging 'mum' on the end or the utterly unforgivable 'mum will bring baby to...'. If you want the wording to be generic, try 'parents should bring their babies to...'

childcarehell Wed 26-Jun-13 11:24:31

I understand what both sides are saying.

I've had 'mum' in a patronising and non-patronising way. It makes my teeth itch when I get that sing-song 'mum' that's often phrased '..and how is mum today' or 'is mum feeling good about breast feeding?' when 'you' would be more appropriate/ personal in the sentence. It's a world away from the practical A&E doctor who asks 'are you xxxx's mum?' and refers to you as 'xxx's mum' in a conversation.

Bue Wed 26-Jun-13 11:22:51

God I hate this. And I'm not even a mum so I have no vested interest! I'm a student midwife and I would never in a million years call a woman 'mum', nor have I ever heard a MW do it. I forget people's names all the time but I just call them nothing until I can look in the notes and remind myself. But I did have one community mentor who would call all the fathers 'partner' when talking about them (but not to them luckily). 'How is partner coping with the changes?' hmm So weird.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 26-Jun-13 11:17:57

As a nurse, adult thought but have worked in a&e so know how hard it is to remember names when you see so many patients on one shift.

We only have patients details in front of us so please forgive us for not knowing your name mums. We know its impersonal but we just don't have the info sad. Same when you accompany your older children to adult appointments and to day surgery etc. You can't just say 'mrs child's surname' as a lot of kids don't have the same surname as their mums anymore.

I have worked in paeds a&e and its the same there too. Until you ask names you just don't have the info.

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