Is It Weird for an Adult to Call Her Parents “Mommy and Daddy”?


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One of my guilty pleasures is watching “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I grew up in Jersey and even though my childhood in the Garden State looked nothing like the lives portrayed on the show, the casts’ accents, Italian background, and traditions do remind me of home —especially when the adults on the show refer to their own parents as “Mommy” and “Daddy.” 

I didn’t realize this was a weird thing to do until one of my brother’s girlfriends (now his wife) called us out on it years ago. She grew up in the Midwest and, to her, hearing twenty-something adults refer to their parents as “Mommy” and “Daddy” sounded pretty odd. Since then, I’ve confirmed with plenty of other friends, that, yeah, it’s a little weird. 

In defense of my brothers and me, we had stopped calling our parents “Mommy” and “Daddy” to their faces when we were kids, and we wouldn’t say it to you, a non-sibling, but when we talk about them to each other, we do. “Did Mommy tell you that Aunt Toni and Uncle Allen are coming over for Christmas Eve?” “Tell Daddy that I’m taking the boys over to the other ride.” It just rolls off the tongue for us. 

Maybe we never found it strange because our own parents talk about their parents this way, too. And thanks to “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” I’m now confident that it’s not just a Napurano/Perez Family thing; it’s a Jersey Thing, at least.  

I find the phrasing no more weird than when people talk to me about their own parents and drop the “my” from the conversation. “Mom suggested we leave by 10:00 to avoid traffic.” Who’s mom? Your mom? Because we don’t share a mother.

Each family has their own nicknames and customs, and as I hear my little ones in the other room talk about my husband and me as “Mommy and Daddy,” I’m hoping they keep it up, even when they’re adults and even when other people think it’s strange. 


  1. Being still called Mommy is such a beautiful sound to my ears. It evokes sweet memories of decades of love. So thankful my daughter who now is a mommy herself still calls me that and I hope one day she hears that beautiful name from her grown children.

  2. When I first heard this I found it weird too. I don’t remember if I called my mom mommy oce in a while. I know my daughter calls me both mom and mommy.
    I was watching Pose and the main characters mother dies and the family is going to the funeral and they are all calling the dead mom mommy. Like “this is mommies” etc.
    I think it sounds babyish. Calling them mom or dad is normal but mommy and daddy makes the adult sounds very immature.
    The mother may like it but refering to the mother as mommy is weird, but maybe it is an Italian thing and that is why they did it in the show?


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