Yo, Momma.

Bluntly speaking, sometimes I think it’s weird that new young Moms are referring or calling themselves and their species (other new young Moms) as Bunda (meaning Mother in Indonesian, insert your existing kid’s name here or none if you’re expecting your first child or simply don’t know their kids’ names). This has been going on a while, but just recently got in my conscience when a colleague of mine started doing this when she got pregnant with her second child. She calls every woman who has a kid not by their first names, but by that formula above. It bothered me to no end.

Granted though, all of us called her as Bumil (Ibu Hamil, or Pregnant Mother in Indonesian) even when she wasn’t pregnant because she was pregnant when she first worked at the office. When I first worked there, she was already called Bumil and it puzzled me because she wasn’t pregnant at the time.

I feel it’s lazy, being exclusive and, I guess, I don’t know, something to do with identity.

Do you not know the name of the people you’re talking to? Do you not want to know? I guess for sales to call women who look like Moms as Bunda is fine (it’s annoying and generalizing but I guess it can’t be helped since there is no way they could know everyone’s names), but for people you talk to on a regular basis? Please make an effort and learn their names. People have names for a reason. Otherwise every woman will be called Bunda Bunda. Now everyone would turn around.

And for being exclusive, sometimes I (since I’m not expecting yet) feel just a tiny bit inferior. Okay, maybe not a tiny bit. Just a bit. Okay, a lot. So, if I’m not pregnant yet, I’m not at your level or group? Not that I WANT to be at your level or group if you call people that… But anyway, it makes me feel bad for not (yet) having a kid. Like it’s a lifetime goal you MUST achieve within a year of marriage. People have got other issues, problems and priorities, you know.

Why do you even ignore someone’s identity like that? I feel that it’s not okay to give off an impression that a Mom’s identity is no longer relevant when they have a kid. Like they cease to have names or even character. That if a kid is bad in some way, then the Mother is to blame. Or if a kid is great, then it’s all because of the Mother. It is true to some extent, but not always. For toddlers maybe, because they’re still impressionable, but as they grow older there are a lot of other factors that weigh in. But I digress.

All I know is, I am not going to call either of my pregnant friends, family, or anyone else for that matter, as Bunda (unless I’m talking to their kid and referring their Mom). Though I do wonder, does this happen in other places than Indonesia?

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3 thoughts on “Yo, Momma.

  1. It irks me too, not just because I feeL it reLegates a woman’s personaL identity (yes yes some may argue that being a mother is the most important ‘duty’ for a woman, but women are so much more than ‘just’ a mother. And not every women want to be a mother), it aLso confuses me because then I have to memorize the names of the chiLdren as weLL (ー_ー;)

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