Thursday, April 4, 2013

Three Things Women Should Stop Saying To Other Women

A little reminder of how we don't really know anyone's story except our own. I personally have heard each of these. Have you?

You're so lucky that you get to stay home with your kids. Maybe she is thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom. Maybe she wishes like anything she could have kept her career. Maybe it was a no-brainer decision for her family. Maybe it was a difficult, perhaps agonizing decision for both partners to make. Maybe finances are ridiculously tight and the family is struggling. Maybe she does consider herself lucky. Or maybe she feels trapped. You have no idea, so don't assume. On a related note, please no I don't know how you leave your children every day to go to work comments either, okay?

I support breastfeeding, but [cover up, don't do it in public, you should wean by this arbitrary date, etc.]. You either support breastfeeding mothers or you don't. Once you start putting qualifiers on it, you're being wishy-washy, and wishy-washy is not support. And it probably goes without saying, but for the love of squirrels no negative comments to a mom who formula feeds, either. You have no idea why another mother has chosen to feed her baby the way she has, and frankly, it's none of your business.

I don't understand why people say they need a break from their kids. I will speculate that mothers who say this have a supportive partner, probably one who works a job with regular hours and is home in time for dinner most nights and every weekend. Maybe they have parents or in-laws or close friends nearby. They are likely not in a situation where they are going it alone, either permanently (single parent, divorced, widowed) or temporarily (spouse is military or in a career with significant travel). Their "breaks" may just not be as obvious as a night out or a regular babysitter, but having someone around to share the daily mental energy matters.

What would you add here?

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.


Susan said... [Reply to comment]

I don't know how you do it all!

Momma in Progress said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, yes! Good one.

April said... [Reply to comment]

Most women would never think of telling a friend of larger size that they need to diet, exercise or work to lose the weight -- so why do so many women think it's okay to tell friends who are skinny that they need to eat more, stop exercising, and work to gain weight?

Even comments like "Man, I wish I was as skinny as you!" aren't great, as a skinny women may be struggling to keep weight on due to health reasons.

You're right, you just never know. :)

Gabrielle said... [Reply to comment]

Love this!! So true.

Laura said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you! I struggle to keep weight on and I hear those comments all too often!

Momma in Progress said... [Reply to comment]


Completely agree. It's terrible the way it's become "acceptable" to insult a woman who happens to be thin. You never know someone else's story.

Grown and Flown said... [Reply to comment]

Honestly any sentence with the word "should"...great post and a lovely site.

Nicole Orriëns said... [Reply to comment]

'Did you get a haircut? It looks very 'special'.'

The Liebers said... [Reply to comment]

I totally agree with you on number three. My kids have just spent a week with my parents and I get funny looks from people who "can't believe that the kids can be away from you for that long!" My kids love visiting their grandparents. They are well loved and well cared for there. And I deserve a break! My husband works odd shifts and 95% of the child care and home maintenance fall to me. Sure, I miss them, but it's good for all parties involved to have some time apart. said... [Reply to comment]

Cheers to you and these three annoying things that people definitely say. No. 1 and No. 3 are ones that I probably hear (not directed to me) the most. I do understand why everyone needs a break. You won't catch me saying anything of the sort. Andrea @ #sitssharefest

WhisperingWriter said... [Reply to comment]

I agree!

When people tell me I look tired I'm assuming they're politely telling me I look like poop.

Julie Jordan Scott said... [Reply to comment]

Oh yeah, the tired thing? Not a thing to say. How about when there is a space between your children (due to infertility or miscarraige or both) "So, do you remember how you did it last time?"

Or to a couple who want children who have yet to have them, "You do know how to make a baby, right?" I can't tell you how many times I was ashamed because my body didn't seem to want to conceive at the snap of a finger.

(Visiting from SITSSharefest!)

Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel said... [Reply to comment]

Visiting from SITS

All of the ones you included are SO true. So hard to be a mom and people seem to feel once you have children that gives them license to say things about your family, your parenting, your choices, etc. etc.

As a mom of twins the one I hate is "Oh twins, double trouble."

Really? Do you think I ordered them this way? Don't you think maybe they are double blessings?

Paulin Soleyman said... [Reply to comment]

Not all women have kids, myself included, so "You will understand once you have kids" is one I would like to add to this list.

Kim said... [Reply to comment]

I'm with Paulin on this one. I don't have kids either and it strikes a nerve for me when I hear that line. I know kids are challenging. Just because I don't have my own doesn't mean I know nothing about raising children. My husband and I have tried on and off for a few years to get pregnant with no success so the "You will understand when you have kids" line strikes me there as well.

Jessi said... [Reply to comment]

These are great! I know I've gotten so tired of the 'You're so lucky to be a SAHM' one. It takes hard work not luck. I love all of these. I would probably add one about, Don't tell a parent who is trying to clam her screaming kid your tips and tricks. Seriously, I'm not in the mood to listen and I'm kinda busy with the screaming kid. lol

Visiting from SITS!

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