Whether well-intentioned or rude and unnecessary, moms are often barraged with annoying comments about parenting, post-baby bods and their bundle of joy. Think you’ve heard it all?
Check out what these moms report as the worst things to say to a mom based on first-hand experience.
There’s nothing more annoying than someone claiming to know your child better than you do. But when annoying comments also insult the hard work you’ve done with your child, it’s tough to keep your cool as well as Sherri Kuhn did. “When my son was little, we were at the mall and he kept pointing things out and chatting about them… colors, animals, letters. He was a super-early reader and loved books, but he didn’t watch any TV shows.
A woman came up to me and said, ‘Wow, he certainly has a big vocabulary!’ to which I replied, ‘He loves books, we read a lot.’ Then she said, ‘Oh no, obviously he watches Sesame Street all the time. How else could he know those things?’ Grrr.” Agreed!
Annoying comments about child care
After a cross-country move, Kristen Burris, L.Ac., could use all the moral support she could get. However, “A stay-at-home mom, who at the time I thought was my friend, said, ‘I can’t believe you are OK with other women raising your children — how do you do that?’ She was commenting on my need to hire a nanny to watch my children from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. four days a week while my husband and I worked to provide for our family.”
And, she’s not alone, shares Jacqueline Fisch of Chicago, Illinois. When comments like, “Why are you going back to work? Don’t you love your kids?” are being casually thrown your way, it can be hurtful — on top of insulting.
Parenting advice about apparel
Regardless of the weather, there always seems to be some well-intentioned stranger armed with parenting advice on what your kids are wearing. “With the kids, I have a ‘pick my battles’ mentality when it comes to certain issues that just aren’t worth fighting about, including wearing a coat,” says Katie Kavulla of Being5. “While they have to take a coat to school on cold or rainy days, on the weekends, I don’t push it. But, I can’t tell you how many comments I get about it from strangers! My husband had one couple scold him, in front of the kids, about their lack of weather-appropriate clothing. It’s always a button-pusher for me!”
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Things not to say to adoptive moms
As an adoptive mom to five kids, Carrie of Cinco de Mami has heard a lot of doozies ranging from, “‘Didn’t you want any white kids?’ to ‘Do you know anything about their mom?’ First, I am their mom, and second this is kind of personal.” When it comes to other people’s families, keeping comments to yourself should be a golden rule.
Two cents about conception
While babies can be a blessing, Charmel Jacobs of Rockton, Illinois notes that not everyone shares the same sentiment. When hearing the news that someone you know is expecting, things not to say to a pregnant woman like “You’re pregnant again? You aren’t fixed yet?” should definitely be at the top of the list.
Rude remarks about the size of your brood
For some strange reason, outsiders think they have the right to make annoying comments about how many kids other people have. “I have my children with me all the time,” explains Nefertari Nelson. “I actually love being a mommy! However, somehow it seems to make people say, ‘Are all of those your children?” despite the fact that they are well-behaved and polite!” Apparently not everyone was raised with the same manners.
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Whether it’s strangers serving up unsolicited parenting advice or your nearest and dearest topping the things-not-to-say list, when faced with annoying comments like these, keeping calm and parenting on is likely the best defense!