My parents gave me a name when I was born, as parents do. Sure, my name has resulted in some pretty epic Starbucks fails and always left me wondering if the teacher was calling for me or if there actually was a kid named Alicia in class with me, but I like my name.
Now, this may come as a shock, but, my parents did not name me mom or any variation of it; mum, mummy, mother, the dreaded mommy. You see, it may be surprising to those who see me as a generic mother figure who accompanies her children to their doctor’s appointments.
Today at Ella’s appointment, I was Mummy. I think in the span of ten minutes, the technologist referred to me as Mummy about 55 times.
I get it. You work in a children’s hospital. You have kid after kid filing in and don’t have the time to learn everyone’s name. But, then, just don’t call me anything. Just say, “this is what’s going to happen” don’t add “Mummy, this is what’s going to happen.”
Some parents may not be bothered by it, after all, we love our kids and are proud to be their mums. But that’s not my whole identity. When I gave birth to Braeden, an automatic name change didn’t happen. The social worker in me knows it is about identity. I don’t want Ella to ever be her diagnosis and that’s why I didn’t allow a diagnosis of CP to happen earlier, I want her to just be Ella. Amazing Ella. That name was carefully chosen for her and is filled with love and hope for her, and is easy enough for any barista to get right.
So, yes, I am a mum, but I’m also Alyssa, and don’t you forget it.