Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a sixteen year old daughter and I am now pregnant with my second child. Although I'm delighted to be welcoming a new baby this summer, I've been shocked by the comments I've been getting. Everything from "wow, that must have been a surprise, right?" to "why did you wait so long?" and "do you worry that people will think it's your daughter's baby?" I'm really annoyed by all the questions. What's the best way to tell people to mind their own business and stop asking?
Dear Mama Bear,
First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. Second of all, do you have any tips for moms of teen daughters? Seriously, I could use some help here. I get that they want their independence and to spend more time with friends, but why do they roll their eyes so loudly at their mamas? Any tips on how to remind them that we gave them life and nurture would really be appreciated.
Oh, wait. I'm supposed to be giving you advice here, not the other way around? I keep forgetting how this thing works. Great. I'm ready.
And I have to say that I admire you for being shocked at the comments that you are getting, because after writing an advice column for almost four years, I'm pretty confident that if someone has something stupid, inappropriate and insensitive to say, they'll say it and turn it into a question, thereby making you part of that conversation.
I blame our school system and the whole "there are no stupid questions" load of crap. Because yes, there are stupid questions. There are many stupid questions and we need to stop rewarding the people asking them, don't you think? Don't answer that.
Based on the questions that you listed, I would classify the askers ranging from "curious" to "mother-in-law" to "psychotic" and it's up to you to if you want to address them individually or in a one-size fits all way. The latter could be a "I'm not going to answer questions like that" which will hopefully cut off all future inquiries. The former could be something along the lines of "life is a mystery" (you can channel Madonna for extra impact here) or even a "that's certainly something to think about." Keep your answers short and noncommittal and if the person persists with the Q&A, let her know that these questions are making you uncomfortable.
You don't owe anybody an answer, so don't feel bad about cutting the conversation short. Except you never got back to me on the teenager parenting tips. I'd really appreciate a quick tutorial when you have a sec.
Best of luck,
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