Scary Mommy is one of the parenting blogs I religiously follow. Reason being, the experiences and thoughts are almost a mirror to mine.
In her latest post, Melissa Sher questions the Editors of the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary about their lack of acknowledgement on the new age mommy. While the dictionary has revised itself to include 150 new words, Sher feels they have wronged us mommies by not including on one of the biggest mutations of grammar & society – Neomamma.
A “neomama” is my word for a new mom. It’s a word to describe being a first-time, clueless new parent who doesn’t know what she’s doing and doesn’t yet have maternal instinct (but thinks she’s supposed to). She is scared of making a mistake. She is terrified of it. And she is tired. She is horribly, disgustingly, jaw-droppingly tired. This woman… This state of parenting… Well, there is no word for it. That’s why I’m making it up. And I’d really love it if you could add it to your big book.
Think about it. New age mommies are distinctly different than older generation mom’s. Compare yourself with your older aunties, mums or grandmothers. We are a breed of mothers who take parenting very seriously and more importantly are not scared about admitting our mistakes and writing about our mishaps for everyone else’s benefits (from Twitter to Facebook to blogs).
Experiences like this happen to us, neomamma’s.
If you need more evidence, I would like to tell you a little bit about the first morning I spent at home alone with my first baby. He was probably about six days old. My parents were gone. My in-laws were gone. My husband was gone. There was no one around to ask about potentially infected umbilical cords, weird-looking poops or strange soft spots. The big event on my first real day on the job was what should have been a nice, relaxing walk around the block. I had bought a sling that came with its own instructional DVD. But not long after I left the apartment, I decided that the fabric from the sling was smothering my son’s face and that he probably couldn’t breathe. So I took him out and just started carrying him in my arms. Of course, a woman walking down the street holding a newborn, wearing an empty sling is going to attract attention. An older lady stopped me. “Oh. How adorable! What’s his name?”
“What’s his name?”
What was his name?
Now in my defense, the kid and I had only met earlier that week. My husband and I had just named him. The name was still so new! After a couple of seconds – one second, two seconds – the name came to me. But do you know what a “neomama” I felt like?
I hear you, mamma. So Merriam Webster, please listen up.