Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Hot Take: Taylor Swift Isn't Your Mom, I Am

Ad failed to load

You may have seen it in the comments of Instagram or on Twitter: "Mom." Just "mom" in response to an image or Tweet from someone (usually a celebrity) who may or may not, in fact, be a mother. It popped up a few years ago, but I'm just sort of tuning into it more now (because I'm actually a mom and we're dorky and late to youth trends... I still don't Snapchat you guys, because WTF is it even?). But however late to the trend I may be, I'm here to say I'm reclaiming "mom" from our younger sisters. Sorry youths, but you get lots of things — shopping at Forever 21 without getting weird looks, drinking more than a glass of wine without suffering from a hangover, waking up and having absolutely nothing hurt — we moms get "mom."

It began in 2014. Kim Kardashian-West, in her callipygian glory, bared her bare ass on the cover of Paper and broke the internet (which, miraculously, has nevertheless continued chugging along just fine and remains more than functional to this very day). Then-teen pop star Lorde tweeted the image with one word of commentary: "Mom." People were confused. Was this some sort of indictment against Kim K. showing so much skin? Because moms should be sexless? Because moms must always "think of the children" before they show some skin?! Screw you, Lorde! Moms can be sexy and show their booties however they damn well please!

Ad failed to load

But of course that's not what she meant, because Lorde would never be that uncool. "omg haha ok so. time to explain this," she clarified "i retweeted kim’s amazing cover and wrote ‘MOM’, which among the youthz is a compliment; it basically jokingly means “adopt me/be my second mom/i think of you as a mother figure you are so epic.”

... when you "mom" a peer it renders the term completely useless.

"Ah. OK," we all seemed to collectively say. Like, it's quirky but it also makes sense. Someone whose sheer fabulosity, poise, and ability to slay can set your very soul aflame. So Lorde used "mom" to signify that Kim K. is someone she looks up to. Someone who could actually be her mom (and I'll grant a little wiggle room here, because there's only a 17 year age gap between Kim Kardashian and Lorde, but technically it works, I'd imagine). I can think of several celebrities to whom I could apply Lorde's definition of "mom." Maggie Smith, Bette Middler, Mariska Hargitay (who is, shockingly, my mother's age). Like: they're amazing and they're moms to boot. I get it, you guys. I'm hip. I'm cool. So yeah, #mom all day every day.

Ad failed to load

The more I thought about this particular praise, the more I could dig it. Because it's about time moms were recognized for the remarkable creatures we are. Moms are someone you look up to, someone you look upon to nurture you and take you under their wing. Moms are someone you want to emulate and learn from.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to sit in my very best folding chair, don my fanciest housecoat and hair curlers, shake my fist crankily, and insist that you damn kids get off my lawn.
Ad failed to load

I also think the trend speaks to the idea that everyone, young and old, is openly embracing the idea that we don't know what we're doing, like, in life as humans. (And to be fair to ourselves as a species, have you seen the world lately? Like, at all? Who can make sense of themselves in a world like this?) So we stand in awe of anyone who seems to be successfully living their best lives and "adulting." We gaze at them and think, "Teach me and raise me and lift me up to your level."

But then things got out of hand.

Suddenly the astonished masses were tossing "mom" around without the necessary nuance. They were "mom-ing" people like Taylor Swift and Tavi Gevinson. Like... really, dudes? Are you really going to call a child-free 21-year-old pop star a mom? Are you at, like, 22 saying you want 27-year-old Taylor Swift to raise you?

Ad failed to load

No. Stop. I'm usually not one to deride youth culture or trends (because, if history has taught us one thing, it's that those who do so always come across as looking like bitter idiots), but I'm afraid I'm going to have to sit in my very best folding chair, don my fanciest housecoat and hair curlers, shake my fist crankily, and insist that you damn kids get off my lawn. Because enough. You've proven that you cannot handle "mom" as a compliment and now it has to stop.

I have dedicated my life to the protection, development, and happiness of my little creatures. I am the source of their courage, comfort, and calm.
Ad failed to load

Look, I know I have no power to stop you. I know this is making me sound old and ridiculous and I know this is absolutely not a big deal and even addressing it makes me look like a crazy person who takes everything way too seriously. But may I humbly put it to you, from my spot on my lawn, that when you "mom" a peer it renders the term completely useless. Even looking at Lorde's original explanation, "mom" in these contexts make zero sense. Like... what exactly do you think a mom is? What does a mom/child relationship look like to you?

"Soul twin," "idol," "life goals," "patronus" — all of these get the same sense of awe across. But there's more to "mom" than just admiration. I know I'm outside of the demographic that decides how such terminology is used, but I'm part of another demographic that I feel should have some say.

I'm a mom. An actual goddamn mom, and I know what it takes to be one.

Ad failed to load

I have sustained two children with my body for a collective four and a half years. I have been in active labor for 27 hours. I have been cut open and left scarred to birth a child who refused to "exit through the gift shop." I subsequently tore my vagina pushing out a nine pound baby.

I have been pooped, puked, and peed on more times than I can count. I have given up most of the square footage in my house to kids stuff. I have stopped swearing during most of my waking hours. I have given up vacations to anywhere that isn't child-friendly (read: particularly interesting). I have had mastitis. I have had post-weaning depression. I have had a miscarriage. I have spent months of my life running on so little sleep that would be considered torture under the Geneva Convention. I have honed catlike reflexes and James Bond-level improvisation skills out of sheer necessity.

Ad failed to load
"Mom" is not an honorific you should throw at just anyone.

I have known the pure joy of raising small humans from basically unaware bundles of impulses to little people. I spend my days striving to be the kind of person my children want to look up to and learn from despite feeling like I don't now what I'm doing or what's going on half the time. I have dedicated my life to the protection, development, and happiness of my little creatures. I am the source of their courage, comfort, and calm.

I am f*cking fabulous.

Ad failed to load

"Mom" is not an honorific you should throw at just anyone. This is especially not something you put on someone who could not actually be your mother (like... legally, physically, or otherwise).

There are so many words you can use bask in someone's greatness... but this one is ours: hard-won and meticulously maintained. Please leave "mom" to the professionals from now on.

Ad failed to load

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik