Oh, Happy Day

I get birth-mother, biological/genetic mother, step-mother, and, of course, mother.

Similarly, I understand the difference between father and sperm-donor, as I understand Dr. Phil once referred to a man who had “fathered” a child but had not been, you know, a father to that kid. Or a good father, Ă  la Keanu Reeves in Parenthood (language warning).

I even understand in loco parentis. But while we’re on loco, I don’t get birthing person/people, the latest but I’m sure not the last attempt at inclusive language. Or something. (And that “person” should be “peroffspring,” shouldn’t it? If we’re going down this road, let’s do it.)

So, whether you are a mother (of any variety) or had a mother (ditto), a Happy Day to you this fine second Sunday in May. It’s the first such day that this household has had no living mother to whom to send flowers and I have to say it’s a bit weird.

So, let’s treasure and support all mothers and children of mothers while we have them with us, and let’s worry a little less about the language. And you folks who coined “birthing person”? You go first.

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4 Responses to Oh, Happy Day

  1. Good grief! I saw something along the line of “birthing person” in the newspaper and assumed the editor had fallen asleep at his/her/their/its desk/monitor. So it’s a thing, now. The birther but, also, perhaps, alas, the birthed?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – 🙂 I suspect this one won’t last. As a woman of an age to have gone through the whole tedious discussion of whether “all men” meant “all people” I have a soft spot for inclusive language. Just not quite this soft.

  2. Vince Wawryk says:

    And happy Mother’s Day to you, Isabel.

    You’ve reminded me that we need to have the kids call their “Sparents”, those voluntary spare parents who have previously and will continue to step-in on our behalf in time of need.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Vince – Many thanks. And yes, those “loco parents” fill an important function.

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