Mum’s not the word: why Grimes can’t identify with the term ‘mother’

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Grimes and Elon Musk welcomed their son, X Æ A-Xii, in May last year. (PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images)
Grimes and Elon Musk welcomed their son, X Æ A-Xii, in May last year. (PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images)

Mum, Mom, Mummy, Mommy, Mama, Momma – there are many names kids use when it comes to the most important woman in their lives. And most mothers look forward to the day their little ones are finally able to use one of them.

But Grimes is not one of them.

The singer, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher, recently revealed she has a “distaste” for the term mother – and all the other M words – and prefers her 16-month-old son, X Æ A-Xii, call her by her first name.

In a video detailing her preparation for this year’s Met Gala for fashion magazine Vogue, Grimes says while becoming a parent has positively impacted her career, she struggles to embrace the word mom.

“I think having a baby was a big rebirth for me, like artistically,” she says. “Being a mother feels weird to say. For some reason, I don't identify with that word.”

The singer at this year's Met Gala. It took the designer of her dress 900 hours to create it. (PHOTO: Instagram/ @grimes)

In May last year the now-33-year-old welcomed X Æ A-Xii, whom she refers to as X, with tech billionaire Elon Musk (50). She says without her having to tell him, X picked up on her dislike for the word.

“Which is also really weird because X, he says ‘Claire’ but he doesn't say ‘mama’. Which is so . . . I'm like, ‘How are you...?’ Like, maybe he can sense my distaste for the word ‘mother’.”

Grimes adds she simply doesn’t identify with the word.

“I don't even know why I have a distaste for [the word] because I respect [mothers]. I just can't identify with it, weirdly.”

Grimes and Elon trended last year when their son’s unusual name was revealed.

The couple later broke down the meaning, explaining that X is “the unknown variable” while Æ is the elven spelling of AI, which could represent love or artificial intelligence.

The final part of the baby’s name, A-Xii – which includes the roman numeral for 12 – was inspired by the CIA’s Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance plane.

“A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favourite aircraft),” Grimes tweeted. “No weapons, no defences, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.”

The singer with her son, whom she refers to as X. (PHOTO: Instagram/ @grimes)

In a previous interview, the Canadian singer said she enjoys being a parent more than she expected but isn’t a fan of the word “parenting”.

Grimes might have an unusual response to parenting terms but she says the experience itself has made her feel “less hate, more optimism, more creativity, more desire for life and more respect for women”.

Just don’t call her Mama.


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