I’ve seen that look so many times. It’s the look on a mama’s face when she hears her little one call me “Mommy”. The truth is, I’ve had about 30 babies and toddlers call me “Mommy”, and that’s not including my own children.
Some moms laugh it off, most say it doesn’t bother them. But I see that flash of sadness in their eyes before they cover it up. A quick internet search reveals that this is a pretty common occurrence too. It can be heartbreaking to hear your child call another woman “Mama”.
When Your Child Calls Your Daycare Provider “Mommy”
But it’s not what you think. You haven’t been replaced. Your child hasn’t forgotten you. And no, NO, your child does not love her more.
This is what’s really going through your baby or toddler’s mind when they call your daycare provider “Mommy”:
- The word “Mommy” is a role, like “Teacher” or “Doctor”. It’s not for any one person. After all, all of the other kids call their female parent “Mommy” too.
- It’s easy to say. It’s much easier than “Miss Sue” or even “Jen”. Try it! The word “Mommy” or “Mama” rolls out of your mouth easily.
- Remembering friends’ names is hard too. Toddlers often don’t even use names with one another. But ask me to point to James or Jessica, and I’ll get it right every time. I know each person’s name, but saying those names is much more difficult.
- My daycare lady calls herself by her own name all the time. I’ll start using it soon.
- I’m learning how to sort things. All blocks are called “blocks” no matter what colour or size they are, and no matter who they belong to. Right now, I call the women who take care of me “Mommy”.
- I know who loves me most. I know who gets up with me at night, and I know who takes care of me when I’m sick. It’s you!
- I know who I love the most. Even when I have a hard time switching gears at pick-up time, I depend on you to be there every day to take me to my own house with my own toys and my own Mommy and Daddy.
So chin up, Mum! Your little one will move through this phase quickly, and soon enough, there will be another phase to worry about. Remember that your child is still learning and growing. As long as you’re taking good care of your child, you have no reason to feel guilty or worry about him or her going to daycare each day. Believe me, they know who Mama really is, and it’s not the Daycare Lady!
Has your child ever called another woman “Mommy”? How did it make you
feel? What advice would you give to others?