Friends who don’t have kids say the darndest things! Here’s a classic: A childless friend stayed on my couch for a few days right after I gave birth to my first daughter and then left for a hotel saying only, “Wow. Your baby cries a lot. I haven’t been able to sleep at all.”
Another time, a neighbour lady told me my daughter looked really cold when she just didn’t like to wear hats. Whatever your own story, we can all attest to having some pretty wacky comments lobbed at us as mums. So, in the spirit of commiseration, here are some of my favourite crowd-sourced opinions we never asked for.
“Are you going to keep it?” A friend of mine who got pregnant over age 40 actually heard this from more than one person. Horrifying!
“Why is it so hard to shower? Just do it when the baby sleeps.” Errr. This one really stings. My sweet friend Leslie, now a mum of three kids, was dealing with her first newborn baby when she heard this comment. What if your baby doesn’t sleep as much as those other cute babies they advertise on TV? I know my first one never did. And, just like Leslie, I logged days in which I didn’t get to do much for myself.
“My friend had the most horrifying birth ever…” People who had never had children tried to tell my friend Lynn their friend’s birth horror stories as she was nearing the end of both of her pregnancies. Again, I have no idea how this is ever deemed okay. When a woman is anxious that her baby will come out healthy and safely, she does not want to hear about how your great-aunt Rita endured a three day labour at which point they had to remove her baby from her vajayjay with a vacuum.
“I’m thinking about having children, but I’m worried I’ll end up like you.” My friend Shari confessed that someone said this to her — and I can’t even. This “friend” is obviously implying that she considers Shari’s life with a kid difficult/insane/insert rude adjective here. Not helpful, people!
“You seem really, like, crazy now.” After I’d just had my second daughter, a non-parent friend said this to me. Not. Helpful!
“Take advantage of your free time during maternity leave and attend classes at one of the local universities!” Seriously, a co-worker said this to my friend Liz. Uh, clueless co-worker? We are not sitting on the couch painting our toes and watching TED talks. Maternity leave is work.
“Do you ever worry your daughter won’t be pretty?” It’s hard enough to raise a girl today with all that’s stacked up against her, so it’s still shocking to me that a woman said this to my friend Sacha.
“Do you ever feel like going to uni was a waste?” (Translation: “Well, you might as well just let your brain shrivel up and die now that you’ve had a kid, dummy!”). Just because a mum decides to stay at home, or maybe deems it makes more financial sense (See? She can use her head!), it doesn’t mean she suddenly goes numb from the neck up or that her intellectual life is over.
“Is it hard to leave for work every day? I don’t know how you do it. When I have kids I’m going to stay home and raise them.” Clearly, you can’t win if you decide to be a working mum or stay home! My friend Amanda is a powerhouse media honcho and she loves her job. She is spectacular at it. Guess what? She’s also an amazing mum teaching her son the value of hard work, responsibility and commitment to one’s dreams. But, clearly, the whack job who said this to her did not read that memo.
What’s the craziest thing one of your kidless friends ever said to you? Leave it in the comment section below.
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