Q: I knew I would take on the persona of "Mom" when I had children, but I had no idea how much my true identity would be totally ignored by other adults. I'm mainly talking about the service providers for my children. The pediatricians, nurses, hair cutters, photographers all without fail address me as "Mom." I'm not Sandy. I'm not Mrs. Purdy. I'm simply "Mom." Is it just too much trouble for them to see me as an individual? I've never called one of these providers on this, but I'm always thinking while I'm in those situations: "You know, that's not how I'm going to be signing that check I'm about to write you. Nope, that check won't be signed "Mom," it'll be signed 'Mrs. Purdy.'"

Heija: Dear Mrs. Purdy,

Allow me to defend the "Mom"sayers among us. I, too, have noticed that I am renamed in the presence of my kids. It's even possible that I have also addressed other mothers in public as "Mom" or "Grandma" to avoid saying ma'am, or something truly insulting like that. I would much rather be called Mom than to wait the extra time it would take these service professionals to learn (and slaughter) my real name. In fact, it is probably saving us all money to allow this practice to continue. Do you call the cable guy "Mr. Cable Guy"?

If you really feel strongly about the practice, may I suggest a little subtle revenge? First, try responding to regular service providers in a similar manner. For example, instead of Jeff, call the photographer "Photographer." If that doesn't work, go ahead and sign the check with your real name: "Mom."

Sincerely,

Mom

P.S. There is one person who is not allowed to call me "Mom," and that's my husband.

Have a healthy relationship with your husband after the baby is born