Whatever Happened To Just Mum And Dad: Labels

SAHD,SAHM, single mum, working mum, gay dad, gay mum, LBGT mums and dads, single dads, stepdad, stepmum, divorced dad, divorced mum. This list is endless when describing what sort of mum or dad you are, although I have very rarely seen the term ‘working dad’.

2017 for me has been the year of labelling parents all across social media. It seems that if you don’t have a label how could you possibly be a mum or dad?

So where has all this labelling of parents come from? In my opinion social media and the media in general, and there is no doubt that political correctness has a lot to answer to. Where have the days gone when no matter what the type of family you have, mum and dad are simply that, mum and dad.

There seems to be an importance to parents nowadays that they must inform others what type of parent they are. In fact it would probably be easier to write it on a label and stick it on your chest just in case somebody mistakes you from being plain and simple mum or dad.

Let’s be honest when you introduce yourself to a parent of one your children’s friends, I normally just say my name and that’s it. Usually the other parent has worked out that I’m the twins dad. Oh yes by the way I’m a part-time SAHD, it’s really important you know that, it’s my badge of honour. What utter nonsense! So why do we constantly remind people of this on social media etc?

How the world has changed!

On twitter profiles I so often read that somebody is a parent, but then feel the need to say exactly what type of parent they are. Why?

I really don’t get it. I’m not going think any more or less of a person depending on the type of parent they are as defined by the 21st century. It seems to me that it’s almost a competition as to the type of parent you are.

What happened to the days when it was just mum and dad, and that was it. It didn’t matter what the role of the parent was, who was the main child carer, whether parents were still together or divorced, gay, who the main wage earner is or whatever the role of mum or dad was within the family environment.

So I ask the question why are we labelling parents? What is the need?

Why is it so important to be pidgeon holed or defined as a certain type of parent? Are we not just simply a mum or dad? We have a role to play in our children’s lives to help them grow into nice people and hopefully make the world a better place, as well as love them unconditionally and teach them right from wrong. Hopefully then our children can correct some of the dreadful things my generation have done to this world. You don’t need to be labelled a particular type of parent to do that. Just be mum or dad.

The world we are currently living in has so many ridiculous ideas that are forming our culture, which I believe is complicating life. Let’s keep it simple. Having a label as mum or dad does not make you a better or worse parent, and it doesn’t make you any better than the other parents standing next to you because hopefully our children think we are all great mums and dads.

Is it important to you that you are labelled a particular type of parent? I would love to hear.

24 thoughts on “Whatever Happened To Just Mum And Dad: Labels

  1. I don’t see labelling as important. Convenient perhaps, when trying to connect with “like” people, but really it shouldn’t (and doesn’t to me) make much of a difference. #ThatFridayLinky

  2. I have no kids and people still try to label me as a mom blogger. Not all women bloggers have kids, but it doesn’t stop them from trying to convince me I must get into one of their boxes and be labeled. #ThatFridayLinky

  3. What an interesting post. It has got me thinking and I’m wondering if there are so many labels out there because a lot of people don’t feel they belong. If they put a label on themselves then they get a sense of belonging to that particular group. So I guess being mum and dad is no longer enough for some. To be honest I think it is sad that so many people don’t feel they belong and need to be placed in one or several groups to feel wanted/needed.

    #ThatFridayLinky

    E
    http://www.parentingteens.uk

  4. I feel like I don’t ‘fit in’ to any of these labels. As of later on I don’t work anymore as I’ll be going to school from next week, and the job I have is only 3 hours a week. I feel labelling encourages parents to ‘one-up’ each other and can be problematic. There’s so much of it already online. I’m a mum, simple as.

  5. 100% agree! I remember writing a while back that I no longer liked the term Stay-At-Home-Dad because when I fell into that bracket I did anything but stay at home!

    I know in earlier blog posts I will have used the SAHD label but certainly not anymore. DAD in itself already tells people I now have super powers 🙂

    Great post Nige 🙂

  6. A thought provoking post. When I write about myself I describe myself as a working mum because that is what I am. I wouldn’t introduce myself to another person that way. Kids don’t care about any of that I’m Mummy to them and that is all that matters. #ThatFridayLinky

  7. Well Nigel, I am not so much going to disagree, but in my experience there are very good reasons for introducing yourself as a stay at home dad (or “main carer”. I’ve always preferred to call myself the “main carer but other people called me SAHD so often it just kind of stuck!).

    In all seriousness, if you take your kids to see a medical professional and you happen to be a father, you get treated with suspicion and a certain lack of respect. After about two years of being the main carer, I found that if I walked into a doctor’s surgery and said “I’m their main carer” I got treated very differently. As soon as you establish this, things go much more smoothly. In fact yesterday Izzy’s reception class teacher came round and I made clear to her that she sould be dealing with me 99% of the time instead of mum. Alas, SAHD’s / male main carers are so think on the ground this is essential.

    As for social media profiles, the blogging world is slightly different to the real world, as we all know! There are sound commercial reasons for making people know you are a SAHD if you are one.

    You have, however, realised a very good point. Years ago you were simply mum and dad. Gender roles, however, are now more fluid. you can’t guarantee that mum is the main carer any more or even that a child has one mum and dad so people feel the need to classify themselves.

    Just to throw one interesting thing in there, step parents are a whole new ball game. As a stepson myself, I think there are very valid reasons to keep those titles.

    I agree, it does get a bit daft when people refer to themselves as a PTSAHM (yes, I have seen this!) but there are reasons for these titles and they can justified.

  8. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the stay at home mum label, or work at home mum label. I’m a working mum, who works at home but also stays at home with her kids. I don’t really fit into any label which can be hard to explain!

  9. Personally I only tend to use a label if it’s relevant. I’m a “working mum” but only use that term if I happen to be talking about something specific to that (like getting the kids out of the house by 7.30am). I don’t know if it’s necessarily a negative thing, but I know some people do use it as a badge of honour to describe themselves or a way to tar someone else and that’s where it becomes an issue.
    #thatfridaylinky

  10. I think it’s all a waste of time to be honest. I just class myself as a mummy, that’s all people need to know. People who know me know the ins and outs so I don’t see why everything and everyone needs to have a label these days. #thatfridaylinky

  11. Everyone’s parenting experience is different and I’m always really interested to hear about others experience but I would think you were a little odd if you introduced yourself at the school gates as Part time SAHD 😀

  12. Yeah it’s crazy, I think the only time I say “Stay at home Mum” is when I have to tick a box on a form and there are no other options. I hate the term “full time parent” the most though, as though those who work are not full time parents at all. I think being Mum and Dad is enough, no need to label us anything more than superheroes!!! #thatfridaylinky

  13. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Great post! I was thinking something similar the other day. I’m doing a seminar for WAHM mum’s next month and I want to label it just mums/ working mums/ working people but the context made it impossible to do that.

    I’ve never been a fan of labels. Why must we pigeonhole people?!

  14. I totally agree with you. Why can’t we all just be plain old parents again? It makes people self-concious as to what category they fit into – I hear so many parents saying “I’m just a SAHM” when they should never feel they have to say ‘just’ as it’s just as important as a working parent. #ThatFridayLinky

  15. I think the problem is, is that people feel like they need to justify themselves therefore the labels have come out in full force. Im guilting of calling myself a working mum on occasions though! #ThatFridaylinky

  16. I hadn’t really thought of it before but yes there are a lot of labels! As long as my little boy just calls me mummy I don’t care so much about whatever anyone else labels me#bloggersbest

  17. The labels do drive me a little mad! I just say I’m a Mum but never put any other label on it. If someone asks do I work I say yes part time but I’m not a part time Mum. I get you completely!! great post and thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest x

  18. The labels do drive me a little mad! I just say I’m a Mum but never put any other label on it. If someone asks do I work I say yes part time but I’m not a part time Mum. I get you completely!! great post and thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest x

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