A mother accompanies her children while they learn and play at home. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
Lately, I have been encountering words from a “genre” that I never even knew existed. I am pretty sure you won’t find most of them in the dictionary, but they have been popping up in magazine articles, blogs, conversations and even advertisements!
Yes, it’s the mommy vocabulary. I took note of some of the more interesting ones and thought I’d share them with you, both for your information and entertainment.
1. Momnesia—I first heard this from my good friend Anna Chua-Norbert. She said this is the reason women can have more than one child. Mothers were created to conveniently develop a specific form of amnesia which allows them to forget all the tears, risks, pain and other sacrifices endured during birth and the rearing of the first children.
They may say “no more,” but give it a few years and “momnesia” will kick in with another pregnancy.
This progresses through the years, making many moms forget transgressions by their children with a simple and sincere apology and a couple of kisses.
2. Baby wearing—I encountered this before I gave birth to my first child. I saw a few friends “wearing” their babies around them through big fabrics (sling) or through “baby packs,” which look like backpacks worn in front. Soon after giving birth, I received a sling from my cousin who encouraged me to practice “baby wearing” for the purpose of tighter bonding and better child development.
The newbie that I was, I took one look at it and decided it wasn’t for me. I wanted to hold my baby “properly,” as befitting the precious little angel that she was.
A few months later, while trying to run errands, I realized I needed a third arm if I wanted to keep bringing her with me and actually get things done. I never thought I would dig up that sling and try it on. And the biggest surprise of all—actually enjoying the freedom to use my arms and hands!
3. Mombie—A mom can only do so much before she turns into this. Beware.
4. Sanctimommy—We all know one of these! They’re everywhere, and they are always better than you. In case you forget, they’ll remind you as they tell you what you are doing wrong and how you should do what they do. Actually, I’ve come to realize that most of the time they mean well, so just smile and nod because who knows? She might have a point. But whoever she is, hopefully, it’s not the girl you see in the mirror.
5. Mompreneur—I love mompreneurs! Wikipedia defines this as “a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.” I am pretty sure the concept has been around for centuries as proven by the many stories we hear about our grandmothers and their resourcefulness in earning money to augment the family income, but it seems to be only now that it is being recognised.
Today, mompreneurs are becoming a “hot trend in the small business sector” and “steadily growing as mothers try to find ways to make money, express their creativity or business acumen and also parent their children.” You’ll find many successful mompreneurs on the Internet or special bazaars.
6. Breastfriend—Okay, this may sound funny but, yes, there is such a thing. You may not have gone to school together or shared a heartbreak while growing up but, at 2 a.m., when you are on the brink of tears trying to calm a screaming baby who refuses to latch, it helps to have a friend you can reach out to. One who will also be wide awake, going through the exact same thing and who is probably calling you as well.
Whether you sympathize with one another and cry your hearts out or cheer each other on, it is a bond that will help keep you going when you need it the most.
7. Oversharenting—I once read a hilarious post online from a man who was fed up with parents who were “oversharenting.” He ranted, ranted and ranted some more. But he did have a point.
With social media taking over our social lives, are the parents of today guilty of “oversharenting?” Shouldn’t some things remain private and sacred?
And more importantly, how will this affect the lives of the children? Are we raising a whole generation of kids whose world will stop if they cannot post a photo of what they had for lunch?
8. Momergency—“I have to go. Momergency.” I nodded in understanding before I realized what my friend had just said. “Momergency” was something I had never heard or read but certainly something we can all relate to. Whether it is a sick child, a shirt covered in puke or a milk leak, it’s a “momergency” that trumps all reasons.
9. Mommylicious—“Be mommylicious!” promised the promotional leaflet from the gym. When I inquired about it, (yes, I actually fell for it), the trainer explained that it was a program specially designed for mothers’ special needs such as a flatter stomach, strong core and arm muscles to help carry heavy children and strong chest muscles to lift those, ahem, other babies up.
10. Tiger Mom—What was once just a title of a book has since gone on to become part of our regular vocabulary, as we use it to describe fellow moms who encourage their children to excel and practice tough love more than the average mom. There are women who proudly wear this badge, while others proudly claim to be the opposite. Which one are you?