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To call my kids my babies?

(68 Posts)
Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 10:30:40

OK, we need the MN jury.

My DDs are 3 and 7, and I often refer to them as "the babies" and call them "baby" when we are cuddling or whatever (so not when I am calling for them across a playground)

DP (doesn't live with us, not the kid's dad or in a parental role to them, but he has his own, much older, kids) says that I should stop it (he'll be here to put his side across in a minute) but I think it is nice.

They will always be my babies, even when they are grown up. My mum still calls me and my sisters her babies, and now she calls my daughters her babies too. It was embarrassing as a teenager, but I always secretly liked it.

It's like in that book "Love You Forever" (sob), except I don't plan to climb through their windows when they are adults. They can still have a big cuddle if they want though.

I think it's important for them to be reminded that I will always be here for them, no matter what.


honeythewitch Sun 23-Feb-14 10:34:15

No. You are not being unreasonable. They are your children and you can call them what you like.

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 10:35:11

It's not that he is telling me to stop it, he just doesn't think it's a good idea.

pantsjustpants Sun 23-Feb-14 10:35:28

My eldest is 24, he's still my baby even though he's a father himself ��

pianodoodle Sun 23-Feb-14 10:36:05


GotYourBackKid Sun 23-Feb-14 10:37:12

My take on it is this - and my three - two DS and one DD (local jargon feels weird!) know this of me. "Kid, I've got your back come hell or high water. I will always be your dad, doesn't matter how deep the shit you're in. Might expect you to stand still for a bollocking afterwards, but right in the moment, I have your back."

I think that the point is you're supposed to grow them up and grow them up right. And holding on to not doing that, even symbolically, isn't good. If the DDs - who are two charming little girls, by the way, a credit to their mum - are always mum's babies, that makes them lesser. If OP is always their mum, that's a resource the DDs have, which makes them greater.

Yes, it's mostly symbolic, but symbols matter.

TheWanderingUterus Sun 23-Feb-14 10:48:06

My mum did this, in fact she still does when she feels particularly proud or I am particularly upset. It

It feels safe, it's a reminder that my mother loves me unconditionally and it's just nice. It gave me a lot of reassurance when my parents marriage was dissolving.

It never stopped me from growing up independently, it just gave me a safe, solid and secure base to do it from.

I do it to my kids too. They are pretty stubborn and opinionated and there is no way I could get away with it if they didn't like it.

fancyanotherfez Sun 23-Feb-14 10:49:06

Hmmm... yes, they are your kids and you can do what you want. But a 7 year old isn't a baby, she is a child at school, and an adult woman isn't a baby either. She is a grown woman. Our children will always be our children, just not really our 'babies'. My DM does this to my youngest son. She spoon feeds him when he is perfectly capable of feeding himself and feeds him milk out of a sippy cup. He's 3. It irritates me no end!

DurhamDurham Sun 23-Feb-14 10:50:57

I have a 20 year old and a 16 year old, they are still my babies, they always will be. 20 year old not so keen these days but 16 year old still seems to enjoy being referred to as my baby.

They will understand when they become mums too smile

chesterberry Sun 23-Feb-14 10:51:45

I don't think calling your children 'baby' is any different to calling them darling, love or sweetheart. It is a term of love and affection and as long as they haven't expressed that they dislike being referred to as your babies I don't see any reason to stop doing it.

I certainly disagree that calling your children your 'babies' makes them lesser, they will always be your children and by extension your babies and I doubt that they are going to grow up feeling you have been holding them back from progressing from babies just because you use a term of affection towards them. I think your partner is being unreasonable in trying to stop you using a term of affection that feels right for you and your girls just because he doesn't like it - the only people who have the right to ask you to stop calling them your babies are your girls, so as long as they like the term of affection of course YANBU.

RufusTheReindeer Sun 23-Feb-14 10:53:15

Nope still have three babies here

And I call them baby as well as in "hello baby are you getting yourself some breakfast"

Saves me having to remember all three names grin

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 10:57:41

Me and my friend will talk about letting "the babies" play together while we have a brew - her kids are roughly the same age as mine. Does that make it worse or the same?

PikaAchooo Sun 23-Feb-14 10:59:33

I call my DD baby too. YANBU.

Casmama Sun 23-Feb-14 11:00:24

That is worse. Talking to your kids and calling them baby is ok I think but using the term babies to refer to them to other people is unbearably twee IMO. Keep it as a private term of endearment.

RaspberryRuffle Sun 23-Feb-14 11:07:12

I'm with your DP, more so after your update. Why can't you and your friend say you'll let the kids/children play together? They will always be your children, even aged 50, but I wouldn't call them babies beyond 2 or so.

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 11:08:04

I think it is because we've known each other since the first pregnancy, so we have known the kids (they are a close little gang) as actual babies first, if that makes sense.

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 11:08:40

How about my mum calling them her babies?

Whatdoiknowanyway Sun 23-Feb-14 11:10:10

My children pointed out to me that when they were tiny I referred to them as 'my big girl', as they grew they became 'my little girl' and when they left for university they became 'my baby'. This was only as a term of endearment to them by the way, not to other people. I hadn't realised I was doing it blush.
They are beautiful, independent, competent and caring young women. They have survived a few vocabulary lapses from their mother.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 23-Feb-14 11:14:37

It's a bit weird referring to them as if they are still actual babies (like the example with your friend) but not referring to them as your babies or baby.

Selendra Sun 23-Feb-14 11:15:48

Just don't treat them like babies. The word on its own doesn't really matter. My mother does it and it annoys me, but it's part of an overall pattern of her not accepting that we grew up and are separate people to her.

anothernumberone Sun 23-Feb-14 11:15:53

Oh I like it a real life argument in Mumsnet. I still call my 2 younger kids baby because I feel they need it at 5 and 2. I do it because the 'middle' child feels very insecure since her role as baby was usurped by her sibling. It is symbolic and it will definitely stop as they get older but I think it is reassuring at this age.

I do however agree with an end goal of them knowing we are there to fall back on but at the same time constantly promoting independence. My eldest at 8 is no longer referred to as baby and she would not approve if she were. My lovely SIL is in her mid thirties and has made little it no attempt to move past the security if her parents home and that is wrong.

Fairenuff Sun 23-Feb-14 11:20:03

Lots of people refer to their adult children collectively as 'the children'. Especially if there are a few of them. Instead of saying 'Bob, Joe and Margaret are coming for lunch', they say 'the children are coming for lunch', even if said children are 52, 54 and 58!

Babies is just a term of endearment. Dh even calls our cat baby.

goldenlula Sun 23-Feb-14 11:21:15

I tell my children they will always be my babies, even when they are all grown up. They are 8, 5 and 2 at the moment. I don't see a problem, just a term of endearment.

RaspberryRuffle Sun 23-Feb-14 11:22:09

Well if you had the children at the same kind of time it sounds like a habit you've got one point they were babies but they're not now. What if a third friend joins you, one you've met through school etc with their children?
It's just my preference not to overly baby children, I prefer praise along the lines of how brave/clever/kind you are and what a great son/daughter or 'I'm so proud to be your mum/dad/grandma' than 'you're my baby, well done'.

ToAvoidConversation Sun 23-Feb-14 11:27:04

I agree with Selendra. I find it incredibly irritating when my mum does this too. It feels like that is the only important stage in your life so being a child, teenager, adult doesn't matter as such.

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