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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What not to say to a mom

"If you don't stop saying dumb things to my mommy,
I'm going to kick you in the shins and then go potty
in your cornflakes!"
Photo credit: roxinasz
If you're a mom with kids - or even just a woman - you've probably heard a whole host of idiotic things from family, acquaintances, even perfect strangers. If you even remotely do anything outside the norm, apparently, someone is sure to notice and say something. Again and again and again....

1. "You must have your hands full!" I hear this a lot when I'm out with my three kids, and while it's not necessarily mean, it just gets old after awhile. I want to say, "Actually, I just duct-tape them to the couch and turn on the television. That's the only way to get things done anymore!" I must hear this like 52 times in one outing, and anymore I just smile and nod, smile and nod.

2. "Oh, a boy and a girl! The perfect family!" This was said once when I was out shopping with my younger two children, who are a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, I have an older child who was at school that day - I almost felt bad for him. I think I said under my breath, "I have three children. Are we still the perfect family?"

3. "Are they all yours?!" This probably happens more once you dare to have four, maybe five kids - like they're taking over the planet or something.

4. "Do they all have the same father?" Yeah, that's a classic. Let me whip out their birth certificates for you. Aren't genetics a funny thing?

5. "When are you going to have kids/more kids?" Even childless women hear it too, and it's important for others to realize that not everyone is voluntarily childless. I felt bad after reading a comment from someone who often hears from strangers when she's going to have more kids, after she suffered a miscarriage. And no one should have to explain that they don't really desire to have kids, either.

6. "Aren't you done having kids yet?!" Apparently not, since I'm pregnant. Or you could say, "Actually, it's just gas!"

7. "You know how that happens, right?" I think this one should be met with a totally deadpan expression, followed by, "Whatever do you mean? Can you explain it to me?" with panic in your voice.

8. "Oh, two kids! Now you're done!" as if you've just completed a prison term or an order at JC Penney's or something. I heard this from someone once and thought, Funny, I don't remember ever discussing my fertility plans with you.

9. "The uterus is not a clown car." Although I'm this expression is usually reserved for people like Michelle Duggar, I'm certain that in due time anyone with more than two kids will be hearing it, too.

10. "Was the baby planned?" Um, excuse me? Even crazier than this question was the fact that I entertained it with a serious answer. I think I was too taken aback to think clearly.

11. "Oh, you should just have the epidural/induction/cesarean already!" Whenever you want to "birth outside the box" you're probably going to hear this, whether you've had a baby yet or not.

12. "Was it a vaginal birth?" An acquaintance told me this one, about a friend of hers who had just adopted twins and was approached by a complete stranger. Apparently it was of the utmost importance to know that little factoid. (And I think she cleverly retorted, "I don't know, it wasn't my vagina." Sarcasm FTW!)

13. "At least you have a healthy baby." Not only might this not be the case, but the details might not be so pretty, either. So if you don't want to hear about it, just shut up already.

14. "Your husband should go and get fixed." Um, last time I checked, we're not dogs - but are you offering to do the procedure?

What ridiculous comments have you heard from people? Do tell! 


Ruby Rose said...

THANK YOU! I'm preggo with twins (a turn around right after having my son who is currently 11 months old) and I can't tell you how often I've heard most of these. I'm sorry, was my vag an open discussion point for everyone, and if so why wasn't I let in on it?!

This was great, thanks for posting!

Tom and Juli said...

The clown car one makes my blood boil!! In a world where women have come so far, can vote, have careers, have jobs where they're in charge of men, are considered equal to men, etc... Yet it's okay to degrade a woman by relating her uterus to a circus act when she chooses to do what her body was designed to do... Is just horrible! I can't believe the disrespect people have for women who choose to have children.


Amber Delaine said...

I had a wealthy client approach me seriously and offer me money for the baby I am currently pregnant with. She wanted me to continue to carry my child for her and then hand over custody when he/she is born. Yes, for cash. DEFINITELY not the thing to ask a pregnant mom, but I doubt it's as common as the other things people say.

Anonymous said...

Some of the questions are valid, some of them are rude, but if you're going to have a million kids, some of them you just have to put up with.

I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, only the youngest two share a father but we never got the "are they all from the same father" question. and these days with adoptions and multiple marriages it is a more likely thing.

"Are they all yours" Also a valid question, especially with all they young mothers who are barely in their twenties yet have 2+ kids. I walk through the supermarket in porirua and see girls barely in their teens who are pregnant, walking beside their mother who's pushing a pram and considering their mother is still young enough to have kids you have to wonder if the one in the pram belongs to the pregnant teen or the mother. I dont go up and ask but... I still wonder

The Deranged Housewife said...

Well, I think the important thing is "you don't go up and ask." Because you're wearing your tactful hat that day! LOL

Amber - that is *the weirdest,* creepiest thing I have ever heard! Yikes!

Michelle said...

Ok, here's mine...I have five girls...are you trying for a boy??? ARGGG, as if your life isn't complete without having both sexes of children. Believe it or not, I did not get pregnant five times to have a boy.

Michelle said...

Oh and PS---last time I checked I haven't known or met anyone with "a million kids"

Anonymous said...

anything over the standard amount of kids then. like i knew 3 familys when i was growing up who had 12 or more kids.

anyway i've been told i had this wrong by the friend who posted this on facebook, and its not people who're already talking to you but complete strangers which say these things. in that case, my condolences, and this is just another thing to put on my list of why i shouldnt have kids

Em said...

I have been told I am blessed with two beautiful children and they are a boy and girl, I should be blissfully happy with that. This from those that know me, mother eh hum. I smile and nod a lot when I hear she's a handful or wow you are so lucky with two. As those that have read know, I have 3- 2 girls and a boy, one just watches from heaven.

tabitha said...

I don't really think we should have to put up with the questions about whether or not we shoud have more kids. We have 5, the first twin girls, then another girl, then a boy, and a boy After the twins when i got pregnant one in law asked me "what are you going to 'do' abouut it"? Umm, love it. My husand is 24 years older than me, and my brother in law asked when i was pregnant with #4 if I was afraid my dh woud die before the ids were grown. Weird, and sadly all the young widows I know lost young husbands, so no guaruntees in life. After baby 5 was born he called and said, "congratulations, are you done?"
I have had my vagina compared to a highway.
I actually want one more if the Universe blesses us, but I am afraid of the announcement period to the point I have had nightmares about it. The last time my mom announced our pregnancy one of her Faceookk friends wrote"She needs to learn two words:Birth Control" To which I replied less than graciously. Rant over, thanks for the post.

The Deranged Housewife said...

Yeah, I always wonder - when there is a loss situation, then you need to clarify even more because of dumbo comments. :/

Anonymous, your comment reminds me of one I've heard: "This is why I never had kids," as he looks down at mine and smiles nervously. I said, "Yeah, you were a kid once, too!" LOL

DingleJen said...

My personal favorite answer as a question is... "how big are the clots in your period? Only works with other women.

Farrah {3 Kids 4 Years Blog} said...

OMG, I hear most of these and I only have three kids. It's like COME. ON.

Marlene said...

While I was never offered cash, a client asked my employer if I was keeping my baby, because her co-worker wanted to adopt one. This client was one of my least favorite people of all time to start with, and she did not score any points after asking that question.

K said...

I'm pregnant with my tenth. I live in a rural community in tx so most people are more open to big families than when I lived in a NYC bedroom community. I get asked a lot if we are a blended family which these days would be more.likely than a single marriage resulting in 10 children. My pediatrician has 9 but it is a yours, mine and ours. It is far less crass to be asked if we are a blended family vs. Do they all have the same dad? I get the do you know what causes that constantly along with don't you have a tv. I have a few standard snappy comebacks. The most recent new favorite is following up after asking how old my oldest is is to ask how old I am. Im surprised some people don't ask when my anniversary is. You can see them doing the math. :P

Anonymous said...

I hear these all the time, I have 6 children soon to be 7 and I hear the you have your hands full all the time. Even when there Daddy is with us. I hate the comment "Are they all your's? Yes they are all ours. My husband even gets the comment at work are they all from the same mother? One day I got so sick of hearing that I said Well one child is from so and so this one is from another and the rest we have no idea where they came from. I know there are a lot of blended families but it is no one's business what child belongs to who. My family also likes to harp on this subject Even though my Mom has 9 children My grandma and sister both had 5. Sadly my grandmother's daughter passed away in a car accident at 18. FIL had 8 children. With my husband being the very baby in the family. I am finally telling my family about baby number 7 by sending them a Christmas Card saying all our names and little one. Anyway's there are some pretty neat websites for larger families that have a lot of good come back's for the larger family.


Quantmlife said...

Yeah, too many people, "open mouth and insert foot." Or at least that would be preferable. Love the comment, "I don't know. It wasn't my vagina." She was quick with that comeback.

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in a orthopedic doctor's office with my 3 children who were behaving pretty well. A man came in and sat down and said sarcastically, "You need some more kids!" To which I replied, we're expecting our fourth in December.

Erin Whitney said...

Our son is 4 1/2 (will be 5 in April.) I'm preggo and due with another boy in 3 weeks. People make some of the RUDEST comments when they find out how many years our two sons will be. I'm sorry, but this is when the fertility drug decided to work for us. I also had someone tell me that my kids were too far apart and they'd never get along. Obviously, I'm setting myself up for a huge failure because our oldest is beyond excited for his baby brother. I won't even tell you what people have said when oldest son tells people he wants to get in the birth pool with me... :)
And PS. Amber...SUPER CREEPY. :)

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I are both from big families.. our mothers heard it all! My favorite answer to the ignorant comment"don't you know what causes this" is "Oh yeah! it's the FUN part!" =) I'm expecting my 6th child and my oldest is 6yrs old (no multiples just very fertile!) and I don't even announce that I'm pregnant anymore... I get the sickest comments, I thought having a child was supposed to be a joyous occasion. Sad, sick world.

Linda said...

Great post!

I always get rude adoption questions from people wherever we are. Some people just don't seem to have any filter whatsoever. We have 2 natural and 2 adopted kids, so are a target for the busy bodies.

This web site I should have said has some great comebacks for rude people:

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