Humans have a natural ability to be curious and to comment- especially when those comments regard someone else’s business. But often times, comments can become too personal, or even grow to be offensive. Many victims of these comments are mothers with children. Every time I see a woman with many children in public, it is rare when no one makes a comment about her large family. Most of these comments go something like these examples:
1. “You look tired.”
Yes. She looks tired because she IS tired. She has chased kids, disciplined kids, fed kids and supervised their every move all day. She is completely and utterly exhausted, but so is every mom. There is no need to point out what she already knows. Now not only is she tired, but she is also self-conscious about her appearance as well. Thanks a lot!
2. “Do they all have the same father?”
My mom literally had someone ask her this when she was shopping with my two sisters. One had dark brown hair and the other had white-blonde hair. They do have the same father, but would it matter if they didn’t? You might want to check the filter between your mouth and brain before you ask personal questions.
3. “How do you do it?”
She might ask herself the same question sometimes. It may look like she is a super mom, but that doesn’t mean every day is perfect. There are some days when laundry piles grow, dishes become dirtier and children are in their pajamas all day long. Sometimes, moms need to take time for themselves as well, so don’t put unnecessary pressure on their strife for perfection.
4. “Do you work?”
She is a mother, so of course she works. As a stay at home mom, she is responsible for everything. She is a chef, maid, chauffer, banker, hair stylist, entertainer, teacher, and a sleep therapist. Motherhood is a full-time job. If she worked in an actual office, would that take her “Mom” title away? No. No matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, or you have a career to pursue, it is nobody’s business how you fulfill your role as a mother.
5. “You look like you have your hands full!”
Don’t state the obvious. She noticed when she had two screaming children in her arms, one screaming and walking behind her, all while pushing a shopping cart. There is no doubt that moms with multiple little ones get stressed out from time to time. There is no need to point it out to them. Instead, try to lending one of your spare hands.
6. “Are they all yours?”
What kind of question is that? Of course they are. Odds are they are not walking around the mall with children that don’t belong to them. It is indeed possible to have many children if you didn’t already realize that.
7. “When is the baby due?”
It is likely that they may not be pregnant. It may just be my post-pregnant belly. Either way, to be safe, one should never assume someone is pregnant.
8. “Are you going to have any more kids?”
They may, they may not. Having children is a personal decision no one else needs to validate. This question could imply that you are judging them on how large their family is. Don’t worry about someone else’s choices regarding reproduction or their family size.
9. “If those were my kids, I would…”
Well, they aren’t your kids. Don’t ever tell an experienced mother how to raise her children. She has enough on her plate already. If she asks your opinion, issue it. If not, swallow it.
This act may be silent and wordless, but it can be classified as the most disrespectful comment of all. Don’t stand and silently count how many children someone has with them. Nothing feels worse than knowing you are being judged by wandering eyes.
All in all, it is okay to comment on someone’s children, but do so in a positive and supportive light. Do not ask uncomfortable questions or make passive aggressive comments. Even if her children are out of control and she looks like she has her hands full, keep your wandering eye and judgments to yourself.