From Mummy to Mum

Family life

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There are days when I get bored of hearing the word Mummy.

“Mummy, he won’t share.”

“Mummy, she’s being mean to me.”

“Mummy, Mummy, Mummeeeeeee!” in the middle of the night because someone needs a drink/the toilet/has lost their favourite toy under the covers.


And then there are the days when hearing the word melts my heart.

“Mummy, I love you.”

“Mummy, you’re the best Mummy in the world ever.”

The first time each of them said it.


However, it’s recently dawning on me that my days as ‘Mummy’ are numbered.

Little Miss E, my six year old eldest child, is starting to call me Mum.

Not all the time. When we are at home, it’s always Mummy. When she’s upset it’s always Mummy. And if no one else is around it’s always Mummy.

But if we’re out and about in the vicinity of other people, especially older children, the word mum is beginning to slip into conversation. She has this thing about being ‘grown up’ at the moment – she won’t put on her fancy dress clothes around the house when her brothers do anymore; certain television programmes she won’t watch because “it’s for babies” – and the word Mummy doesn’t fit in with her new image.

It hit me like a tonne of bricks the first time I heard it. We were out in public, with other families, and I didn’t want to make a big deal about it because I don’t want her to feel like bigger kids are laughing at her.

25 05 2016 Mummy Mug

I’m not ready to let go of being Mummy yet. What I would do with my Mummy mug for a start?!

But it made me really sad.

I find all these little signs of growing up quite emotional. She needs me less and less as she learns to make her own way in the world.

My other two children – Little Man O, aged 4.5 and Toddler Boy I, aged 2 – still call me mummy. But as younger siblings always copy their big siblings, I’m sure they won’t be as old as Miss E is now when they make the switch.

I’ve asked a couple of friends how they feel about going from Mummy to Mum, or Mammy to Mam, seeing as we are in Wales, after all. One or two aren’t bothered but most of them are. One friend hates that she has been mum since her child was three and a half because he spends a lot of time with older cousins and picked it up from them. Another mummy mate with a daughter the same age as Miss E feels just as emotional as me and has told her daughter in no uncertain terms that she’ll only answer to Mummy and not Mum.

I’m grateful it’s not all the time. I’m still Mummy to her most of the time.

I know she can’t call me Mummy forever – I certainly don’t want her to be calling me Mummy when she’s a teenager, but I thought I had a few more years of Mummy left in me yet.


What do you think? How do you feel about making the transition from Mummy to Mum? I’d love to hear your thoughts, either in the comments section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy

For all my posts on parenting, see the Family Life section of Cardiff Mummy Says.

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25 05 2016 From Mummy To Mum



24 Comments to From Mummy to Mum

  1. I am definitely not looking forward to that – I get mummy mummy mummy at the moment until it drives me demented but when my three-year-old decided to call me ‘mother’ (after hearing it in Tangled) I flatly refused to even answer to that…

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Mother, haha! My eldest two went through a stage of calling their daddy ‘father’ after hearing it in The Sound of Music. I used to feel so embarrassed in public wondering what people thought! x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      I noticed a lot of changes when my eldest started school. My middle child is off in September too 🙁 x

  2. I’m with you. My eldest is 11 and still says mummy and daddy but not when her friends are round and I have to make a real effort to remember too. She once told me she will always call me mummy though and I really think she will. Not so sure about the others but they’re little still. Its one of those little things nobody tells you about motherhood isn’t it? x

  3. In Ireland, we generally use ‘Mammy’. But I remember being about 10 and I stopped calling my Mum that in public. I was so embarrassed by it, but now I have reverted back to ‘Mammy’ in my old age 😛

  4. I get both now, from all three of mine! Except it’s often Mom, which probably upsets me more to be honest! My eldest, who is almost ten, uses mum the most, which I guess is just to be expected. Doesn’t stop me having an internal cry every time he says it though!

  5. I have never really thought of this before since my eldest still calls me mummy all the time but I do know for certain that my heart will sink a little when that word disappears for good – the only real pain about parenting is the beauty and the sadness of watching your kids grow into amazing adults


    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It really surprised me Laura, when she came out with Mum. It’s a weird feeling because obviously I want them to grow up normally, but I find it sad that they are leaving that childhood innocence behind too. x

  6. My two and a half year old says ‘nuk’ instead of ‘milk’ and I always gently repeat it back ‘you’d like some Milk?’ as you should with words they can’t quite say. Yesterday I heard her say ‘I want milk Daddy’
    The tears came and for a while they wouldn’t stop, just another realisation that all these innocent little cutenesses’ will all disappear. If I’m like this with milk god knows what I’ll be like when we go from Mummy to Mum!!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Awww, I know exactly what you mean. I remember some of the cute things my eldest used to come out with as toddlers that they don’t say any more, and it makes me so sad. I’m glad it’s not just me!! x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      They grow up so quickly, don’t they? Thankfully, it’s still Mummy most of the time, but it is slowly changing 🙁 x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Awww, I know, makes me feel old too. Thankfully, it’s still Mummy most of the time but I am aware it will soon change. x

  7. Kerry Norris

    Aww it would upset me too. Eva calls me mama at the mo. No idea where she get that from. Mum just feels like their baby days are gone 🙁

  8. Hello Beautiful Bear

    Oh no! I’m not looking forward to this at all with Lily. I remember doing it with my Mum but now, at 25, she’s been back to ‘Mummy’ or ‘Mumsy’ for years now. Just try and remember that she’s growing up, it’s just a phase and she doesn’t love you any less, she’s just trying to express herself as an older kid and wanting to be taken seriously etc.
    I don’t think it’s fair to say ‘I will only answer to Mummy’ – that’s a bit selfish of your friend isn’t it? It’s just what kids do I think
    X X

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