10, No, 40 Things I Never Want to Hear or Read Again, Parenting Judgment Edition

10 40 Things I Never Want to Hear or Read Again, Parenting Judgment Edition

  1. “Why do those other parents look forward to school starting? Do they not like their kids?”
  2. “How can those other parents stand being with their kids all the time? They must be saints!”
  3. “How can those other parents let their kids get so fat?”
  4. “How can those other parents let their kids run unsupervised all over the neighbourhood?”
  5. “If only you’d do cry-it-out, your baby would sleep perfectly!”
  6. “If only you’d cosleep, your baby would sleep perfectly!”
  7. “If your kid doesn’t cry because of you sometimes, you’re not doing it right.”
  8. “If your kid ever cries because of you, you’re not doing it right.”
  9. “He’s never going to learn to walk if you keep carrying him.”
  10. “If you ever put her down, you’ll break her trust in you!”
  11. “What a pretty princess!”
  12. “Oh, that’s a boy? …are you sure?”
  13. “If they don’t go to school, how are they ever going to be socialized?”
  14. “School is just a babysitter so parents don’t have to pay attention to their kids.”
  15. “Well I never yell. When I’m babysitting.”
  16. “You went to New York all by yourself, leaving your kid and your husband behind? Well then who’s watching your kid?”
  17. “Aren’t you lucky to have a husband who’s willing to babysit so you can have a night off!”
  18. “If the child can walk/talk/eat/ask for it, they’re too old to nurse!”
  19. “If she didn’t want to breastfeed, she shouldn’t have had kids!”
  20. “If they’re just going to plop them with a nanny, they shouldn’t have had kids!”
  21. “If they’re just going to plop them in front of the TV, they shouldn’t have had kids!”
  22. “But your kid’s going to be left out if they don’t watch TV!”
  23. “How are they ever going to learn to handle advertising if they’re not exposed to it?”
  24. “How are they ever going to learn to handle bullying if they’re not exposed to it?”
  25. “Talking about race with my kids would only expose them to racism!”
  26. “You’re just making things harder on yourself.”
  27. “It’s child abuse to not have babies on a sleep schedule.”
  28. “It’s child abuse to not respond to baby’s cues immediately.”
  29. “Isn’t he a little old for that?”
  30. “Isn’t she a little young for that?”
  31. “Boys are such a handful!”
  32. “Girls are such a handful!”
  33. “Those are all yours? You must have your hands full!”
  34. “Is that your only so far? When are you going to give him a sibling?”
  35. “If I let my kid do whatever he wanted, he’d never stop playing video games!”
  36. “Forcing your child to stop engaging in their interest is child abuse.”
  37. “You let your child walk to school?? But how could you ever forgive yourself if Something Happened?!”
  38. “Helicopter parents.”
  39. “But I turned out fine!”
  40. “I blame the mother.”

What are some of yours?

(For the record: Yes, I have heard these all, repeatedly, though not all at me. And yes, I have Opinions on some of these issues, and think some parenting choices are better than others — and I still never, ever want to hear any of these phrases again. There’s advocacy, and there’s douchebaggery, and never the twain need meet.)

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140 Responses to 10, No, 40 Things I Never Want to Hear or Read Again, Parenting Judgment Edition

  1. “He’s beautiful. Is he yours?”

    The words mixed, mulatto and milano.

    • Oh, get ready, it will only be worse when you’re an adult and out together. When I was little people would ask my mom, in front of me, if I was adopted. Now that I am in my 30s, when we go out together, people never assume we’re TOGETHER. Waiters always ask if we want separate checks, sales people will greet my mom but not me when we walk into a store together, I get asked, “Is that your mom?” with a big, wide-eyed stare. Some day people will ask your son, “Who’s that white lady?” At this point I can laugh (most) of it off.

      I abhor mulatto (stop using this term, people, NOW) but mixed doesn’t bother me. It also cracks me up when people say “milano.” Funny that you’ve also heard it!

      • Also, “what is her dad?” and “she has such a beautiful complexion?” in a questioning way, aka “where did she get that from?” It’s mostly annoying because her dad doesn’t KNOW his heritage, only that he sort of looks Native American and sort of looks Middle Eastern and maybe a bit Hispanic…so it’s this big conversation about race/ethnicity that I don’t want to have with strangers all of the time, and I don’t know why it has to be the first thing they bring up. They don’t bring up the fact that she has no hair or question why…or how she has really big beautiful brown eyes…why must they bring up her skin color? Why does it matter so much?

        • Yeah, sometimes you just want to look them dead in the eye and ask, “Are you trying to find out what kind of men I like to fuck?”

          • You made me laugh out loud, Elita. Also, the Milano thing has made it impossible for me to enjoy a good cookie. The only thing worse than the word mulatto is milano coming from an idiot that doesn’t know the difference. ;)

        • OMG, I get the “What complexion is your husband?” And also, “Isn’t it nice that his skin is so FAIR and his eyes are BLUE?”

          • “He can’t be his son! He has blond hair and blue eyes!” My husband is Native, and my youngest is VERY fair skinned with deep blue eyes. Our older son is a little darker complexion, so we don’t get it as often, but frequently with the younger one.

    • Are you serious? People still use the word mulatto?! What is this, 1861?

      I have a relative (white) who married a Latino man, so her kids are biracial but they favor their father both in skin tone and features. One time we took them out and my relative was breastfeeding the younger one with me on one side and her husband on the other side (we were all sitting on a bench watching the older kid play) when someone came up and asked whose baby it was. Like, what, did you survey the situation and assume that wet nursing was the most likely scenario? Really?

      Elita – I can’t believe people greet your mom but not you when you’re walking into a shop. That’s ridiculous!

      • OK, now THAT is hilarious. Didn’t you know wet nursing is back en vogue?

        And yes, people ignore me when I’m out with my mom all the time. Or as I said, they never assume we’re together. We have been at the grocery store, all of our things on the conveyor and the cashier will stop ringing and ask where my stuff begins. UM, if the shit was separate, I would have put the little divider thing there! And the thing is, although my mom is white, we do look a lot alike. With all of the interracial couples and biracial kids running around now, you’d think people would be more used to this!

    • My kid is half-Thai, so I get “oh, my sister adopted a kid too!” “I didn’t know you could adopt Asian/Oriental/Chinese BOYS,” and the perennial favorite, “is he yours?”

      • Yeah, I’m white and my husband is Chinese, we have three boys… thus far no one has ever assumed they’re not mine tho we do get assumed to be a Native American family sometimes with the babywearing (my husband is also tall “for Chinese” [sterotypes] at 5’9″ – he’s actually one of the shorter members of his generation in the family and most of his parents’ male siblings are significantly taller than my 5’6″).

        A friend of mine who is white with a Chinese husband (and whose husband and kids look a little more like the Western schema for “Asian”) tells me she gets “where did you get your baby?”…. she babywears and breastfeeds too.

        The one that annoys me most isn’t a racial one tho – it’s “is he a good baby?” to which I’ve takent o responding with “well, they’ve not caught him robbing the corner store… yet.” and other such nonsense. He’s 7 months old, what the hell could he do that is “not good”???

        Oh, and one my doctor pissed me off with with the older two (eldest has been exactly 50th percentile for height and weight since infancy, 2nd has been hanging around the 20th percentile for height and 5th for weight) “well, what do you expect? They’re half-Chinese, they’re not going to be tall.” Umm… hello, yeah, that 5’9 exact average height for American males guy next to me, aka “the biological father”? Yeah, not short. And his brother is 6 foot tall even. As are several of their uncles and cousins, and my father… genetics are funny things, and epigentics is a fascinating science maybe some doctors should look into it.

  2. “Are they all yours? Do they have the same father?” <– yep, been asked that before … at the grocery store?! I’ve got three young kids close in age & i am young so ppl seem to assume things….

  3. - He must look exactly like the father because he does not look like you at all.

  4. “Boys will be boys.”

    “Two boys?! When are you gonna try for that sweet little girl?”

    “I don’t understand why *any* intelligent woman would choose home birth/a hospital birth/an epidural/an unmedicated birth/a midwife/an OB/GYN.”

  5. “how old is he? oh, you must’ve had him very young.”

    • I get something like this all the time because I am only turning 25 and have 2 girls. A old lady at the grocery store was actually talking about me while I was i line. She was saying how shameful it must be to be a teen mother with 2 children (I look kind of young). I was in no mood, so I turned around and snapped on this lady. I told her that she needs to not talk about people, especially if she doesn’t know them and their situation, and secondly I am 24 years old and happily married. I walked away satisfied at her dumbfounded, gaping mouth look.

      • Good for you! I had mine young too, but as you we were happily married and a fine and healthy family. People are so thoughtless. These days most of the comments I get are the standard ones for homeschooling: “How on earth do they get socialized?” and “I don’t know how you do it.” I just roll my eyes these days.

      • funny, something like that happened to me when I was pregnant with my second. A friend of mine (who is actually over a decade my junior) and I were talking to a stranger at an interfaith gathering. My cell phone rang, my husband calling, and I said “Oh, I better take this my husband is home with our toddler, then I’ll be popping into the bathroom, you know how it is with pregnancy… be back shortly.” The woman turned to my friend and said “she’s pregnant with her SECOND? Isn’t she a bit young to be married and pregnant with a second child?”

        My friend was dumbfounded and replied “So, 30 is too young to be married and expecting a 2nd child in your culture?”

        The woman had guessed I was younger than my friend, 18-20 at most. My friend took a bit to get her laughter under control. I’ve also been asked for a hall pass when stopping in to visit my husband at school (he’s a high school teacher). I’m 4 months older than he is.

    • I got a very huffy, “You’re too young to have a baby!” and I was THIRTY-ONE when he was born. I informed the stranger of my age. She then tried to defend herself by saying I look young because I haven’t had my teeth “fixed” i.e. yanked with braces until they look like everyone else’s, and wrapped up with, “You oughta wear makeup or something.”

  6. 41. My children were all formula-fed and they turned out fine. My sister’s children were all breastfed and they are always sick.
    42. My children were all breastfed and they are never sick. My sister’s children were formula-fed and they are always sick.
    43. That mother is so selfish to be bottle-feeding her baby. She should be breastfeeding (not knowing if breastmilk is in the bottle!)
    44. That mother is so selfish to be breastfeeding that baby. The baby’s father and grandmother want a chance to feed the baby too.

    I love this post. I could go on and on about the judgment I hear of one parent against another, of one advocate against another, of one IBCLC against another. It’s not helping parents or any of the causes we care about. What if we took the attitude that whatever works for that parent, whatever works for the cause is worth trying?

    • My oldest daughter was formula fed and was super sick with upper respiratory infection the first 2 winters of her life. My youngest daughter was (and is) breastfed and she’s had nothing but upper respiratory problems. Some families are just predisposed to sickness and having fed both of my children in both ways with the same result health-wise I can testify to that.

  7. I have 3 girls. Are you sad you don’t have a boy? are you going to try for a boy?

    • Yep, that is about what we got when we found out our second child was another daughter. At least several people were like “ohhh well.” We had no gender preference and when we found out it was a girl we were happy to have less shopping to do! And then I told them “we hope to have a few more, so I’m sure we’ll have a boy someday.” Then they got all wide-eyed and wanted to know exactly how many kids we planned on having.

  8. “Do you have any other children?” (No, these 2 boys are it and yes, they’re both autistic)
    “That must be so sad for you”
    “Its probably best you didn’t have any more children”
    “God only gives us as much as we can handle”
    “You must be a saint”
    “Your husband must be a saint for marrying you and taking on those two boys”
    “I bet it was the vaccinations that did that to your boys”

    And the list goes on and on and on!

    • I’ll just tag along on Sunday’s comment because that’s the same crap I hear. On and on and on; everyone an expert.

      I’ll add this one: enough with the “abc is abusive!” You mentioned it a couple times, but it bothers me in a major way, so I want to come at it again. Egads, let’s save that word for beating, hitting, starving, locking in closets, engaging in sex acts, neglect, and verbal violence.

      Just because a thing is not good for kids does not make it abuse.

      • Oh, I forgot one: I’d be a happier person if I never heard another person call infant formula “poison.”

        That serves to make people defensive. ALL of the points on the list serve to make people defensive.

        Thanks, Arwyn. It’s fun to borrow your soap box for a change! And I couldn’t agree with this post more; advocacy does not equal douchebaggery.

  9. “What’s wrong with him?”
    “How can you vaccinate your child?”
    “How can you not vaccinate your child?”
    “Your child has medical issues, aren’t you afraid vaccines will make him worse?”
    “What a horrible life he must have”
    “Don’t you wish you had a normal kid?”

  10. 41. People who circumcise their sons are (evil, child molesters, child abusers, ignorant, etc etc)

    • Or the opposite, how can you not circumcise your son? He’ll be confused that his penis doesn’t look like his daddy’s/the other boys’!

  11. Thank you for including #34. I can’t stand when people ask me when we are going to start a family (divorced, remarried father of one) or when my son will get a sibling. Guess what? When I can afford it.

    • right there with you (i am a stepmom of one with no biological children). last time i checked, we already are a family.

    • Vincent — that is one of the ones I personally get, more often now that the Boychick is 3.5. (Thankfully, what I hear more often is “are you going to have any more?”, which is slightly less annoying — but still really more than a stranger has a right to know.)

  12. The flipside for that one, is:

    42. You didn’t circumcise him? But whyyyy? He’ll need it done when he’s older/will hate you/will never get a blowjob.

  13. Yay list! Nicely collated. Draining to read. Most all these are usually (not always) levied at mothers/female carers. Ugh.


    • That is true, Kelly, but it reminds me that I should probably add some of the ones my partner, who was a SAHD for 5 years, heard many times:

      - “Oh, were you laid off? This economy is so bad.” (no, he made a conscious choice to quit his job and stay at home)
      - “So nice that you’re babysitting today”
      - “How is your son going to learn to be a real man?” (perhaps not those exact words, but that is what they were getting at)
      - “Your wife really has you whipped”
      - “Why don’t you check with his/her mom and let us know?”
      - “Could you tell your wife that [XYZ that needs to be done for/with the kids]“

      • Yup, we did the SAHD thing too and my husband heard all those… still does hear them since he has the kids so often (but as kids get older – mine are 6 and 8 – it would seem that males parenting their progeny becomes more “normalized” to many people around here).

        My husband hated the above comments and others, but he reports he more than likely got *praise* for being a a SAHD, an “above and beyond” parent, “Superdad”, etc. etc. for the stuff I’d do/still do every day without big farty trumpets in my honor. :-)

      • Yep. While riding on the bus with my son: “How cute, Daddy’s having a little outing with the baby. Where’s Momma?”

      • My Brother is a SAHD and he gets called “Mr. Mom” sometimes!! Hello, 1983 called. It wants it’s lame movie back.

  14. Ohhhh god number 34… I think I should actually have an award for screaming “BECAUSE SPERM IS FUCKING EXPENSIVE AND IVF EVEN MORE SO OKAY????”


    “You’re making a rod for your own back…”

    Yes. Yes. I have a fucking cupboard full of rods, in fact.

  15. “HOW many kids in the family? Those parents need a new hobby!”

    I don’t have kids, but I come from a large family and this one always makes my stomach churn.

  16. Wow!!!! THREE kids????? You have your hands full!!!!

    Um, no… My hands are not full. My kids are great and you are an ass! They can hear you calling them a handful.

    Or “3? You have three and your only 29?! You sure started young!”

    Really? I am sick of being treated like I got knocked up at 11 because I didn’t wait until I was 45 to have a kid.

  17. As the parent of one daughter: When are you going to have another? or, worse, people ask my daughter, “Don’t you want a little brother or sister?” Some days she does, I don’t need others to remind her of this. I also don’t need to be told, “She needs a sibling for a friend.” or “What will happen when you die and she is all alone.” Judgey people suck!

  18. “But don’t you want your kids to be close?”

    Because apparently since baby #2 wasn’t born until baby #1 was 4 years old, my kids don’t have a chance in hell at having a good relationship . . .

    Also, “What’s wrong with him/her?” when either one of my babies wanted to stay with me and not be handed off to a stranger (or even a well-meaning aunt/MIL). I always want to shout “NOTHING is wrong – what’s wrong with you?”

    • Oh, my parents got this one ALL THE FREAKING TIME when my brother and I were growing up. My mother had PCOS and literally tried for YEARS to get pregnant (without the benefit of medical treatments and medication that’s available today) with me after she had my brother. They decided that they’d try one more time and then they’d stop at just my brother, and apparently it worked, cause I’m here ;P

      But despite having 4 1/2 years of difference between us, my brother and I have and always have had a great relationship. I have fond memories of him reading me stories, build forts with me in the woods and take me on nature hikes, and he even took me to my first concerts when I was a young teen and he was in college. Yup, terrible relationship there ;P

  19. Anyone talking about how someone’s baby has ‘good hair’ or a ‘good grade of hair’ can suck my bunghole.

    Also, really, I don’t think mentally ill children get that way because of too few beatings. Really folks, stop saying this.

  20. It used to be “How old is she?” Because then I knew when I said, “He is xx months old”, I’d have to listen to an endless “I’m SSSSOOOOO sorry. He just has such long hair.”

    But now that we are finally going to cut his hair (he’s 2 and never had his hair cut!), I will miss that moment. Because what I really want to say after they profusely apologize these days is, “Did my son’s gender just blow your mind?”

    Another I’ll add: “Where’s you son?” whenever I show up anywhere without him (my husband only gets this question when I am with him, never when he is alone).

    Also: “Do you feel guilty that your son is in daycare?” Should I?

    • “Because what I really want to say after they profusely apologize these days is, “Did my son’s gender just blow your mind?””

      YES. This, this times a million. At this point, I’ve stopped correcting strangers who presume the sex of my child based on the length of his hair; it bothers me much less than them when they get it wrong.

      On the flipside, there are multiple grandparents and uncles and ladies from church who get their noses all up in my grill, saying “His hair is too long. You should get it cut so he doesn’t have … ‘issues’.” (Sigh.)

      • Scatx and Cassandra — I never correct people when they use “she” on the Boychick, either. I’ve found that when I act like they weren’t “wrong”, and just use the pronoun he’s been assigned in normal conversation, I get fewer of those fucking-annoying profuse apologies.

        • OTOH can you imagine some of the twisted uncomfortable sarcastic mean responses one COULD employ with the “profuse apology” crap?

          “Thank you so much for apologizing. The idea of having a girl child is really repellant to me. If I’d have birthed a girl I’d put it in a Drownin’ Sack and be done with it.”

          “Please don’t accidentally refer to my boy as a girl – he may become infected with The Gayness or something worse.”


          Nels’ hair is once again shoulder length and he’s blonde and beautiful so lots of “shes”. I handle it just like you do (which often means there is no correction if it doesn’t come up naturally in convo), and of course Nels is free to handle it how he’d like (he doesn’t seem to care).

          • “Thank you so much for apologizing. The idea of having a girl child is really repellant to me. If I’d have birthed a girl I’d put it in a Drownin’ Sack and be done with it.”

            This can only be said in a completely serious, monotone kind of voice. ;)

    • on the other hand, my 1st daughter, after she lost all her hair when she was a couple months old, would be in public with me and people would think she was a boy….she could be wearing ALL PINK AND FLOWERS and they would say HE is adorable or how old is HE. DROVE ME NUTS. Now that she is 2, she like to wear jeans, t-shirts and sneakers all the time (but they are girly). Her hair is like a chin length now, and people still think she is boy….what gives? SHE is actually very girly feature wise, and when they actually look at her face they realize she is a girl and apologize (insert eye roll here). The same people now ask whether her sister is a boy or a girl (even though she is wearing pink and has a little ponytail on the top of her head). *sigh* I really don’t like strangers even trying to talk to me in the grocery store any more.

      • I actually enjoy when people don’t know the gender of the kids I’m with. If it’s a problem for the kid, of course I support the kid in handling it how they feel is best, but I am just fine with random folks being confused one way or another, and actually don’t think it’s bad for the kids either. For example, you take a baby dressed in pink and listen to how people interact, ” she’s so pretty, she’s so sweet, isn’t she precious”– mostly comments related to looks. then you take the same baby in blue overalls and a red t shirt and hear all about “how strong, how smart, how active, how engaged” he is. So I’ll take the boys being called beautiful and the girls being called smart, even if someone messes up their pronouns. Most the time, the kids don’t care. Just the grown-ups.

  21. “She’s probably just a late bloomer.” and
    “Einstein didn’t talk until he was 4!”

    Right, I guess my daughter’s difficulties are all in my head. Thanks for minimizing that for me.

    • *hugs*

    • I have to tag onto this one, too, because I heard a great deal of minimization and it HURTS. Of my youngest child, who has many special needs and who cried exponentially more than the average baby and rarely slept:

      But he seems fine NOW!

      Some babies just need less sleep than others.

      Some babies are just like that.

      Well, babies cry. That’s not unusual.

      • Oh, ugh, you got one I missed – “But he seems fine! He looks so healthy!”

        My son has some health issues and I get this all. the. time. And it pisses me off to no end. Yeah, thank you every-freaking-one I talk to for minimizing my pain and fear and stress. He may look healthy, but there have been times when he has been decidedly NOT healthy. And just because he does not look sick (whatever that means), does mean his health issues are any less stressful or terrifying for me as a parent.

        • @BriaGrace – My kid had a febrile seizure last night, and I got a taste of what it might be like to have an unhealthy child. (He’s fine now but we’re still keeping an eye on him for obvious reasons.) I can’t imagine the constant fear and stress you have in your life, and I’m sorry about those who minimize your pain due to their ignorance.

          @Alicia and @Adrienne – I have two siblings who are high-functioning autistics (Aspergers and PPD-NOS). The comments my family got when we were trying to find out why the heck my sister wasn’t talking at 6 were awful–and of course it’s a constant battle to get them the support they need, yadda yadda yadda, the same song and dance which everyone with a special needs child knows by heart.

          The comments my mother still gets (“this is your fault,” “well, it’s just your bad parenting!”) are terrible. I can empathize with your pain, but she could probably do it better.

    • The one I get about some of the special needs. “Do they know if he’ll catch up eventually?”

      Who exactly are “they”??

  22. #34–YES! And might I add:

    “But isn’t he lonely?”
    “Poor kid, he’ll have to take care of you all by himself when you’re old.”
    “That’s so selfish.”
    “Oh, poor thing, you must not be able to have more….”
    “You PLANNED to have an only child?!”
    “Is something wrong in your marriage?”
    “But Christians/Americans/whatever are going to die out if we don’t have more kids!”
    “Never say never!”

    I’ve heard all of these, especially the last one (which must be said in a chirpy, well-we-won’t-give-up-on-you-just-yet manner).

  23. Oooooh dear…And off we go!

    - “He’s two and you still carry him around in that thing? He’s old enough – he should be walking!” (“That thing” is our well-loved mei tai.)

    - “He’s two?! Uh-oh, terrible two’s, huh?”

    - “His name is Ryatt? Wow, how appropriate.” (Usually said when he is fussy.)

    - “He doesn’t talk yet? Well, just wait. As soon as he starts, you are not going to be able to get him to shut up! You’ll miss these days!” (Excuse me, but my son does talk. It’s called American Sign Language.)

    And, last, but certainly not least, the Big Two:

    (Warning: Second point contains possible sexual assault triggers…)

    - Any reference to his “father.” This includes, but is not limited to, any mention of “I bet he’s daddy’s little…”, “I bet he looks just like his daddy!” and “His daddy must be so proud of him!”. First, way to be heteronormative. (Mama is queer. The only penis in my household belongs to my son.) Second, way to assume his father is in his life. (He’s not.) Third, way to assume I am partnered. (I’m not.)

    - My son was conceived as the result of a sexual assault by a stranger. I don’t go shouting this from the rooftops, but I do sometimes tell people. Responses that piss me off have ranged from, “Really? And you didn’t abort him/put him up for adoption? Why?” to “Wow, really? Were you drunk/high/wearing something revealing and did he threaten you/drug you/have a weapon?” There are also the people that flat-out call me a liar…because no real person would keep a baby conceived by rape.

    I also agree with Scatx. It annoys me to no end when people become overly apologetic when they misgender my son. Actually, I get a little giddy every time it happens.

    I’m sure I’ll be back when I think of more…

    • Told you I would be back!

      - “Is he your first?” (Yes.) “I can tell. You coddle him.” Also, “When are you going to have more?” (Um, at none-of-your-business o’clock?)

      - “You’re raising your child as a Christian/Jew/Muslim/other organized religion? Way to brainwash them young!”

      - “You’re not raising your child as a Christian/Jew/Muslim/other organized religion? But how are they ever going to learn right from wrong?”

    • Victim blaming and parental judgement rolled up into one gross little package!

      I’m sorry you have to deal with these attitudes.

  24. THANK YOU! Lovely, wonderful post.

  25. “Boy, what a chunky baby! She sure could use missing a meal/I bet she never misses a meal!”

    When Gracie was a baby, I had 2 family reunions within a week of each other and I had no less than 10 people (at each) make mention of how I must be overfeeding my baby and one even flat out called her obese. (I’ll mention that now, as a 5 year old, she is perfectly healthy, if not a little thin.)

    I don’t mind it when people say something like, “Oh I just love chunky/roly poly babies!” but please don’t call my child fat. Neither of my children are overweight and they both eat healthily so just back off.

    • Ugh. I hate when people project their body image issues on kids (well, I hate it when they project it onto anyone, really, but it especially peeves me when it involves kids). My son was always long and skinny and when he was still little (and still exclusively breastfed) people would always tell me I needed to stop breastfeeding and give him “real food” to “fatten him up”. People still tell me I must not be feeding him because he is so small – his doctor even was pushing to put him on a feeding tube with high-calorie formula because he was apparently “too thin.” He eats like a horse and it is almost always healthy foods.

      P.S. I love chunky babies! Chub is seriously adorable. :-D

    • A chunky baby is a healthy baby! Infants need fat to develop brain cells, so the chubbier they are, the less their body has to work to develop those neurons–usually. On a non-medical note, little thigh rolls are awesome! :)

  26. “You’re spoiling that child!” or “That kid’s so spoiled!” As my pal Deni pointed out, our kids are not fruit. And things that are spoiled are ruined forever. To assume a kid is ruined forever because we indulge something that a person thinks we shouldn’t is kinda bizarre.

  27. Great post! I would love to never get prying questions like “Did you adopt? Which of you gave birth? Did you use the same donor for both?” We also get “You are so lucky to be parenting with another woman” followed by a diatribe on men and I don’t really need to hear that again. But none of those is that really nasty judgmental stuff. The trouble with parenting is it’s just one big exercise in learning to give up control and compromise. The whole judgment thing just feels like a big vicious circle — the more you judge the worse you feel about your own parenting and the more rigid you get.

    • I have two friends who are also queer and parenting two children. They used to constantly get asked, “Who belongs to who?” (as in, which woman gave birth to which child) and, of course, the questions about how they chose to conceive.

  28. [Insert description of rambunctious, lively behavior by son.]

    “Oh, he is SUCH a boy.”

    AUGH! He is physically a boy. He is probably gendered male, but we won’t know until he’s older and does or doesn’t say otherwise. But sorry, a not-yet-two-year-old with a lot of energy running around and climbing and getting into things is SUCH A TODDLER.

    Just. Such a toddler. That’s it.

    Despite the fact that, statistically, girls are more verbal, no one calls him ‘such a girl’ or ‘girly’ when they comment that he talks a lot too. No, then he’s just ‘so smart’ or ‘so talky’.

    Yannow, maybe he is just himself. The very talky bits? Those resemble me. The very hyper into-everything bit? Yeah, those resemble me too, especially when I was younger but somewhat even now.

    …so much for ‘boy’ vs ‘girl’ there.

    And, on the subject of my privacy, coworkers (!!) asking “So are you going to have another?” and “When’s the next one?” (My mother-in-law asking it would be a different sort of matter, but my mother in law has class and DOESN’T. But she could get away with it due to the relationship. Coworkers, not so much.)

  29. Arwyn, I’ve said it before, but I was probably anonymous, so I’ll say it again:

    You. Are. Awesome.

  30. ‘That’s good he took after his dad, it’s so hard to keep kids healthy these days’

    My son & husband are tall & skinny. I am tall and full bodied.

    People assume that, not only am I unhealthy (which, I could stand a little more activity, but eat well & am othewise healthy) and that it will be easier for me to keep my son ‘healthy’ (re: skinny). But also that I MUST be ashamed of the way I look & relieved that my son doesn’t ‘look like me’

    Look people: he’s one, can we all just agree that, regardless of what you think of my weight, commenting on the shape & size of an infant/toddler is wrong.

  31. Also, any & all parts of the following conversation:

    -when are you going to wean him?

    - I am not, I plan to let him wean himself when he is ready

    -so like, when he’s five?

    -if that’s what he decides he wants

    -five? Isn’t that a bit extreme?

    -it’s slightly above the world average, but when you take into account that less that 10% of babies in north America are still breastfed at the age of one you can see how that number is actually quite low. Besides, my sister was allowed to self wean, it’s not that out there for me/my family.
    -so what’s wrong with your sister then?

    I left the conversation at that point… The fact is that there is NOTHING wrong with my little sister. Nor will there be anything wrong with my son that will have anything to do with allowing him to self wean.

    From now on I am simply going to answer with ‘it’s none of your damn business’

    • My daughter is only 13 months and I already get this question. Um, we’ll wean when she’s ready. She’s not ready, so she hasn’t weaned. If she’s ready tomorrow, or she’s ready at six, I don’t care. It’s not like she’s going to come over and take a sip of momma’s milk at the age of thirty. When she’s ready, she’s ready and she’ll wean. WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?

  32. How’s about, “When are you going back to work?”
    To which I respond, “Well, if you mean paid work, I am still doing that, from home, part-time.”
    Responses to which are, usually, either, “Yeah but back to work properly, I mean”, or “No, but fulltime, I mean”.
    When I make noncommittal noises, people often follow up with, “Well I’m glad your hubby doesn’t mind carrying the can financially, then!” [Cue genial chortling from them, and mounting rage from me]

    On the same theme, I also like, “Why have children and give them to someone else to raise?” and its opposite number, “Look at all these women dropping out of the workforce once they’ve had babies! It’s a WASTE of a GOOD EDUCATION / training / investment!” (which is thinly veiled code for Why Bother To Educate Teh Wimminz Or Pay Then Equally When They Will Simply Run Off and Replicate At The Drop Of A Hat.)

  33. Well. Hmm. After I read the post and got to the end of the comments, it struck me that this was an awful lot of judgment going on about other parents’ judging. Is that judgmental of me?

    • Yes, kind of.

      I’m pretty sure that the point of this post is that each of our parenting styles are different, and we’d be better off if–instead of deluging each other with comments every single time we manage to go shopping, or ride the bus, or make a decision regarding feeding/hair/clothing/”work”/more siblings–we respected each other for the difficult job we’re taking on for what it is and realized that few people make these decisions without a lot of thought.

      Like being pregnant (“Are you sure you should be eating/drinking/doing that?”), people think that once you have kids, you’re open to questions about your decisions (“Are you sure you should be feeding/holding/clothing them in that?”). There is a time and a place for helpful advice and constructive criticism, but at the park from a stranger who doesn’t know you, your kid, or your values? Hell to the no.

      Usually these types of comments are masked as a thinly-veiled question or “advice,” and most of the time they’re aimed at/blamed on the woman in the equation, which helps no one except the person who felt their opinion needed to be said. I know I’ve had plenty of comments aimed at me which only undermined my sense of self worth as an anxious new parent who just didn’t quite get the whole baby-wrangling thing.

      I doubt the people who judge vent that other parents judge them for judging. Perhaps they do, but I’m not aware of anyone so self-aware.

      because we’re deluged with comments every single time we manage to go shopping, or ride the bus, or make a decision regarding feeding/hair/clothing/”work”/more siblings, or any of the other myriad issues you see here.

  34. So basically what you are saying is…”Everyone needs to shut the f*&^ up and mind their own business!”…???? :-)

  35. Two more, this time both from family:

    “You can’t dress him in THAT, it’s PINK!”

    “He is not beautiful. He is handsome.”

  36. Great post. This is why I love this blog, and why I am so sad that RMB has somehow ended up on my work’s blocked list. Malware?!?!? But I need my RMB fix! GAAH!

    • Shana — or because I use words like cunt and fuck not infrequently. ;)

      (But really, blocked?? ACK! I don’t know whether to be indignant or proud! I think I’ll go for both.)

  37. Anything involving ‘bad habit’ makes me want to pull my hair out. Extra bonus points if the ‘bad habit’ is being formed in an infant under 6 months old. Really? This child does not know her own name, how can she have habits?

    Oh, and a breastfeeding one – ‘that latch looks fine to me.’ Gah! Just … gah!

  38. I had a couple of posts like this one a while back entitled silly questions you shouldn’t ask parents
    The worst one I got was from a pead, saying ‘she sure doesn’t like like her father at all!’, while my husband was inn the room. I was wondering why he didn’t just ask my husband if he doubted the paternity of his child
    I do get some is her father black / she’s mixed race / your husband must be a foreigner, but I take them with a smile (we presume that my husband’s great grandmother had a mediterranian fling in her day, but we’ll never know, will we)

  39. “He must look like the mailman.”

    Because my son is blonde and my husband is dark and Sicilian. Ugh. Not funny.

  40. Love it! Not sure if you have seen it, but I made a Mommy Wars Bingo card.

  41. Wow…all of these things. I parented my little cousin, and we heard a few things like this:

    “Hey, where’d your front teeth go? *looking at me* Did you knock em out?” *fake joking grin* (hey dickhead how bout her mom fed her coke in her bottle?) Since it was none of their business, I taught her the stone cold stare (trademark pending). When she got old enough, we would both fold our arms and simply stare hard @ said idiot until they melted away and slunk off. It was fun!

    People need to stop getting up in each others business. I blame the talk shows.

  42. I have a few.

    “You have 2 girls, are you going to try for a boy?”
    “You have 2 girls, that must be a lot of drama”
    “Their birthdays are only 13 days apart, that must be terrible”
    “Why doesn’t your daughter speak better?” followed by “Oh she is only 2, I assumed she was older she is so big”
    “Your baby is cutting teeth and you’re still breastfeeding?”
    and the topper, said by my MIL on several occasions, “Go pump some milk now, I want a chance to feed you baby!” Ummm…that would be a big no, I don’t pump unless I have to.

  43. O yea, and to add one more to this, my OB asks, while my husband is sitting there, if he is the father of my unborn child….wow.

  44. My favorite was shortly after I had my second c-section, was fairly traumatized by it. Nurse came in to check on me, noticed I had a girl, asked if I had any other kids, I told her yes, that I had two older girls. She said “Ooo! Who did you piss off in your last life??” Really?

    To add to MamaBennie’s “You have 4 girls, I feel for you!” And now I get “You have 4 girls and now a little boy, that poor thing.” *rolls eyes*

  45. http://slackerinc.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/why-i-tell-strangers-on-the-internet-they-are-bad-parents/

    Check out this interesting fellow who feels obliged to give other parents crap. Way to make the world a better place.

  46. “He’s so big! He’s a monster!” Me: duh… We’re standing right in front of you and I’m 5’10 and hubbie’s 6’2.

    “Oh I could sit at home too, if I wanted.” (in regards to me quitting teaching to raise my own child)

  47. … You’re 19?! And you’re raising your own baby? Why wouldn’t you give her up for adoption? Why didn’/t you let her father have custody, he’s 23!

    WELL.. I turned 20 when my daughter was 5 weeks old. I did not let her father have sole custody because he was busy fucking half the country and I didn’t need my daughter being exposed to that, and having a different mommy every weekend. Not to mention that he was a raging alcoholic who constantly pressured me to have an abortion so that his parents wouldn’t find out that he was having premarital sex, and didn’t own up to the fact that he (that is to say, I) was having a baby until the day she was born. His mom was under the impression that he whacked off in my bathroom and I sat on it.. Then when I was pregnant with our second, she went out on an all out rampage at me..

    I was also a very good mom at 19, and still a very good mom at 22. My daughters are 2 and a half, and 1 (yet another gasp from the noseys in the grocery store, of course)and very happy and well adjusted.

  48. Pingback: “Drive away now, Mommy.” On first days and split hearts « Raising My Boychick

  49. I don’t know what to think about all of these complaints about comments people make. I know it must be annoying to hear the same thing (or variations thereof) on a recurring basis. I’m really shy, and tend toward social awkwardness. I have very few “mom friends” in real life. I find it very hard to talk to other moms, and I’m always extremely afraid of accidentally saying something, voicing any opinion, that might offend or rub somebody the wrong way – to the point that I don’t know WHAT the fsck to say. I don’t know how to approach some other mom at the park and Know The Right Thing To Say (What are her views on breastfeeding? Feeding? Schooling? Discipline? ad finitum), so I pretty much usually don’t. When I do see other moms small-talking it up, it often involves a lot of the comments enumerated here in Arwyn’s list. Is that how moms (parents) feel each other out in order to bond? Aren’t the people asking these questions, at least sometimes, just well-intentioned people who are curious or want to be helpful? Is it…BAD to be curious, about the person you’re sitting across from in a waiting room or at the park? I don’t know. Again, I get how it could be annoying to hear the same thing over and over, and I know that, personally, I go ridiculously out of my way not to offend. I wish I understood people better.

    • Sara- I’m with ya! Obviously a lot of things people say
      weren’t intended to offend or anything, and sometimes they are…
      But really. I could have an encounter with a perfect stranger and
      offend while struggling not to offend. EVERYTHING that comes out of
      my mouth could be taken as judgement and I try my damndest not to
      judge- I do have my opinions but I’m not a douche. And what about
      sharing info? There are things I’ve learned that I wish someone,
      yes even a stranger, would’ve brought to my attention a long time
      ago. There is just no way to do that without making someone feel
      judged. So I don’t say jack. I’ve gotten so fearful of talking with
      other parents because I know what it feels like for other parents
      to share their info with me- no matter how helpful it’s

  50. I’m late to the party here… but, the most irritating, and FREQUENT comment(s), directed at my son:

    Oh, she’s so adorable (because boys can’t possibly have curly blonde hair?!?!)!

    - and –

    Oh, his/her hair is absolutely gorgeous (which, then, people have some crazy need to reach out & touch – I am not kidding – complete strangers have come out of their way – to touch my son’s hair)

    - while –

    completely ignoring my daughter.

    Sigh. Come on people, really? How about, just Hi! How old are you? Do you like shopping with mom? Cool looking sneakers. You look like you’re a good helper. Or whatever.

  51. (3 boys and pregnant with #4) “Were you trying for a girl?” to which DH answered “No, we were just trying to have sex.”

    “You finally got your girl” (after my fourth was a girl)

    “Was it on purpose?” (the pregnancy)

    “Four kids? Don’t you guys have cable?” (I swear to god, somebody said this to me.)

  52. I stay away from all such comments/questions. I stick to “so cute!” and just smiling and making happy faces and waving at them. Then a smile at mom/dad and i’m on my way.

  53. Pregnant with #4:
    “Don’t you know how pregnancy happens, girl?”

  54. I hated all of the nasty looks/comments I got when I was pregnant with my DS. I am 19, married, and my baby was planned (not that it’s anyone’s business or that it really matters), but people in the supermarket/at the mall/on the street felt the need to tell me how “shameful teenage parenting” is and how I should have “waited to graduate high school before getting pregnant” (I am a junior in college and graduated years ago…), or my personal favorite, “I see you have a ring, did he propose after he got you pregnant?”.

    People can be so ignorant. And even if my pregnancy had been unplanned, and if I were still in high school, it is nobody’s business but my own. I hate how uppity people can get!

  55. I am white, married to a dark Filipino. My daughter (not from my husband), is fair skinned, blond hair, blue eyes. My son is mixed. what I hate is not a statement, its strangers hearing my daughter calling him daddy, looking at her, looking at him, back to her, then back to me all inquisitively. Like I’m supposed to explain that I got knocked up at 20. Or them thinking I fucked around on my husband.

    Also “you didn’t breastfeed, don’t you know how beneficial it is?” And every other anti-bottle/formula statement out there. Not that it is any of your damn business, but I have scar tissue on both my nipples that made it impossible to breast feed (old badly healed piercings). Not that I feel like discussing my boobs with some random stranger.

    Butt the fuck out! :-)

  56. I’m thinking a brisk “None of your business” might be a catch-all response to some of these nauseating questions.
    “Is he yours?” *is slightly ill*

  57. I’m 23 weeks pg with boy-girl twins and am new to the whole momma thing. I find it somewhat strange that suddenly complete strangers think it’s okay to talk about these issues with me… and really, since I’m a progressive suddenly back in small town America where I grew up, it’s almost a relief to have something in common with other women instead of being the freak at the table at work. In attempts to shoot the crap around the break room table, I’ve made some comments, particularly about gender, that my old feminist self would have NEVER made.

    I’m just mostly made to feel silly by the fact that I’m ambivalent about pink princess stuff or little Nascar onsies. I mean, really, I will love whatever boy or girl I have but do I really need to tip the scales that much by making sure she’s always in pink and he always wears dinosaurs?

    I’ve had someone say that women who have epidurals are wimps. (call me a wimp but I’m demanding mine at the front door! Yes, I know it’s possible to deliver twins naturally and I have nothing but respect for people who do it. But I’m not one!) I have some chronic health conditions that determine whether or not I can nurse. I’m having to choose between medications that are relatively safe for my babies and my own health and that makes me feel ashamed and guilty. I’m having heart palpitations and can’t decide whether or not to go back on my antidepressants — I feel I can’t talk about it with anyone because I’m talking about doing something for my benefit, even though research shows that treated depression is better for babies than untreated depression. The same for other drugs for other health conditions. It’s a sickening feeling that there is no easy call between my well-being and theirs, yet I’m constantly assailed by people from both sides.

    thanks for writing this.

  58. “It’s nice that you found someone loving to raise your child.” Um, my daycare provider is not raising my child, my husband and I are raising her and our daycare provider helps us by watching her while we are both at work. Thanks though.

  59. Pingback: Get out of my head! « Pax (Ro)mama

  60. I’m really late to this conversation, but couldn’t resist adding:

    To my sister, whose children are biracial: “I think it’s so wonderful/brave/whatever that you decided to adopt them.”

    To my daughter, who happens to love snakes and bugs: “You don’t want THAT!”

    Any “That’s for girls/boys” comment. Grrrr.

    I’ve lightened up on it as the kids have gotten older, but I distinctly recall a waitress asking my toddler if he wanted soda, before I had a chance to make it clear that his choices were juice or milk.

    I sympathise with people who want to connect. I want to connect, too. But I also try to acknowledge the boundaries of the relationships I have. I don’t ask a complete stranger intimate questions about their children or their parenting, but as I get to know someone they usually eventually offer the information themselves.

    Arwyn, thanks for being who you are and blogging what you blog. :)

  61. I love this; I’ve got no love for parenting extremes one way or the other. It’s not so black and white as people would seem to think!

    I’m, like, the latest to this post, but I gotta add; it grates my nerves when people ask my toddler probing questions, or give him commands. I’m down with, “Oh, you’re so cute!” or little things like that; even little questions like, “How old are you/What’s your name?” aren’t terrible, because I figure that they’re trying to engage the kid in conversation. I’m down with that.

    But things like, “You’re a big boy, you shouldn’t do that anymore!” from my aunt when at 18 months my son was trying to get into my shirt or other questions/commands that he is unable to comprehend/give a shit about. Of course, now I can’t think of any; it’s not something that happens often.

    Also: people telling babies/toddlers not to cry (or really, behaving in perfectly normal baby/toddler ways). I admit to wanting to tell the kid to shut up in the middle of a long, fussy day, but he’s a baby. It’s what he does.

  62. I’m late chiming in too, but I hate hearing:
    1. “Can I hold him!?”(from complete stranger and people I barely know)
    2. “Wake him up! I want to hold him!” (from pushy relatives, who don’t value my son’s need to nap as much as I do–they also demand their “right” to hold my son even when being with them makes him cry)
    3. “But without a dad, he will grow up to be ________?” (a criminal, mean, crazy, gay, confused, angry, a lowlife, misogynistic, unloving, weird, an alcohol, a drug user, messed-up. . .I mostly only see that on the internet and don’t hear it too much in person)
    4. “Oh! He looks like a Gerber baby!”
    5. in baby-voice, “Mama, when can I have a _____?” (french fry, soda, or other junk food)
    6. in the most disrespectful tone possible, “Why!? That’s stupid.” (in regards to my parenting choices–too many people talk like they’re looking for a fight or act just plain rude and disrespectful if you don’t do what they do)

  63. Oh, I almost forgot!

    Spoken in a voice of deep forboding or cynical amusement: “A girl! Just wait until she’s a teenager!”

  64. I wish I found this sooner, I totally agree, especially
    with a lot of the comments! One that gets me is in reference to a
    mom doing something stupid, “It’s okay, she’s young.” You know
    what? F. U. dude! Way to perpetuate the stereotype that young moms
    must be stupid and give them an excuse for being so! Oh, and “She’s
    not STILL nursing?”/”He’s not STILL co-sleeping?” If you have to
    ask like that, you probably know he or she STILL is!

  65. How bout you need to cut his hair or they need socks or
    their toes will freeze when they are inside I get those

  66. “God wasn’t speaking directly to you when He said, ‘Go
    forth and multiply.’” Just because a (married or other) couple is
    not using pills or condoms and not planning to tie tubes or get
    vasectomy doesn’t mean we’re planning to have 100 kids. Even if we
    were, though, our kids are loved, we live in our own home, and we
    aren’t begging out of your pocket!

  67. While I totally get the idea behind this post, and agree
    with it – a lot of this stuff is people *trying* to be polite. Like
    “You’ve got your hands full!” I see that as actually respecting the
    fact that parenting is hard work! (Now, of course, ANYTHING is
    super irritating if you hear it over and over) Or people
    apologizing profusely for calling a child the wrong sex, there
    *are* a lot of people who DO get totally bent out of shape over
    that. I know I’ve said the “Wow what in the world is that like?”
    type comments to parents of twins. I just know how hard one has
    been for me and have uber respect for parents of multiples. What’s
    offensive to one person – may not be to the next, and vice versa. I
    am SO not talking about about unsolicited advice though. I guess
    what I’m saying is – if they aren’t being downright rude – maybe we
    should try not to let it bother us so much? Great post.

  68. “And we used to worry about him not talking for so long!”
    or “You know, we were really worried that he wasn’t talking- we
    almost had you take him to someone..” Just because he didn’t “talk”
    “normally” for about 3 years- didn’t mean he wasn’t a good
    communicator… “There’s nothing wrong with candy, children NEED
    treats.” and “If you don’t let him have candy now, he’ll jut go
    overboard later.” Because treats can only be considered treats if
    they contain high fructose corn syrup and other gmos, artifical
    flavors and colors. “Well, that just sounds like (a lot, too much)
    work.” Said referring to just about everything I do or want to do.
    Seriously. This one drives me nuts the most. Natural birth=work,
    breastfeeding=work, staying home=work, homeschooling= work, raising
    our family in the country=work, making food from scratch=work, the
    list goes on.

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  70. So what you are all saying, is that friendly people who are interested in your kids should just forget about it? Some of you are so backwards. I ask about the kid because it’s cute. Not everyone is so “modern” as to instantly know about your “special” family. Give people a break, some don’t know any better and are trying to be friendly! It’s people like that who make others afraid to be friendly. Lighten up!

    • coralflora — Or, that we’re tired of the parent-judging memes underlying a lot of “casual” questions (though the original 40 are decidedly not so casual ones), and that although we can and do smile and (attempt to) recognize the friendliness inherent in the queries from kindly strangers and reply in kind, we really wish people would think of some new things to ask that aren’t quite so obnoxious.

      But feel free to assume the worst of us. As, y’know, you’re accusing us of doing.

    • You know what I think, I think people should just learn to mind their own business. One can be ‘friendly’ and show ‘interest’ by just saying ‘hi’ to you or your child and a flashing smile. Sometimes a friendly smile is ALL a parent (often desperately) needs.

      • So, everyone who told me I had beautiful hair or a sweet smile when I was a kid should have backed off? Their compliments weren’t always specifically gendered, ie, “SHE has a beautiful smile!” or “look at HER hair!” (so blonde it was practically white… and very fluffy). I realize the point of the post was to ask people to not make judgments, but the comments evolved into asking strangers to somehow be aware that they were imposing genders on someone’s child. Sometimes a compliment is just a compliment. Mistakes can be innocent, or misinformed at best/worst, and it’s unfair to assume everyone has an agenda.

  71. Hiya girls! or Here you go girls! (my boys have very long hair!) Is she a girl?(mostly asked by kids who think short hair is what makes a boy a boy…)

  72. OMG. As a single parent and full time working mother who is also *still* breastfeeding, I hear some of those and more.

  73. “you look like you have your hands full!” I suppose in some way this is intended as a compliment? That it is an attempt to acknowledge the amount of work that goes into raising three kids on a daily basis, but really it just drive me crazy. I am always so tempted to respond “actually no. I have been raising my kids for over five years and I am pretty well adjusted to life as a mom. We have each other pretty well figured out by now and we do just great, thanks!”

    The ultimate for me though is “are you going to try again for a girl?” I have three fantastic sons and it really offends me when someone asks this question in front of my children. It implies that my husband and I would somehow value a daughter more than a son, and that perhaps we were hoping for a girl each time we were expecting. I always respond with something along the lines of “nope. we’re very happy to have three sons, boys are great!”

    I also had my oldest son (and was married) when I was only 21 so I suffered through a lot of rude looks and inaccurate assumptions when he was little. It really makes me sympathetic towards teenage moms!

  74. “So you’re straight now?” No, being in a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean I’m no longer attracted to other genders.
    “You’re not old enough to be a mom/kids having kids/ insert reference to my age” My ovaries work just fine thanks. They have since I was 9.
    “Were you using condoms?” How is this your business?
    From my OBGYN regarding birth control. Veiled as funny. “We don’t want you having more until 25 or so!” I’m not planning on it but that is MY choice.
    “If you give the baby up for adoption, everyone will be happy!” I know someone who wouldn’t. Me. Yes, even with an open adoption. Is it that hard to imagine that I don’t want him calling someone else “mom”?
    “But you can’t go out and party or drink and do teen stuff now!!!” Always asked by adults. I don’t like parties or drinking.
    “But you’re to young to know how! Here let me show you how to do it RIGHT!” Uhm yeah. No thanks.
    And the constant “XYZ is ABUSE!”

  75. Pingback: 20 Things I NEVER Want To Hear Or Read Again, Postpartum Depression Edition

  76. I love the way most of your list is a comment juxtaposed with its opposite. Equal opportunity irritation! :-)

    It doesn’t happen much anymore, but when my son was a baby and toddler I got very tired of,
    “Are you a full-time mother?”
    and I know that has its opposites, offending mothers who aren’t employed for pay with the implication that they don’t WORK.

  77. “Where did that red hair come from?” because my husband and I both have brown. Or, if they’re feeling particularly saucy, “Uh oh, does the mailman have red hair?” *wink wink ha ha only joking*

    At best, this is a request for me to tell you about my son’s ancestry, which is none of your damn business. Besides, what on earth is it going to mean to a total stranger to hear “his great-great grandfather on his dad’s side had red hair”? You don’t know me, you don’t know the great-great-grandfather, so how could any response to this question possibly be meaningful in any way? What if my son was adopted–how would his red hair be any of your business then?

    At worst, you’re calling me a cheating slut. Thanks ever so. Oh and P.S., you’re also making inappropriate assumptions about mail carriers. When my son was conceived, our mail carrier was an African-American woman.

    • Vulva Baby is only 14 months, and I am already SO BEYOND TIRED of comments on her red hair. No, I don’t have red hair. No, after starting to go grey neither does her dad. No, actually, I don’t love that EVERYWHERE SHE GOES she’s being told that 1) looks matter first and most, and 2) hers are exotic or unusual. SO OVER IT.

      So yes. I sympathize. A lot.

  78. I am bi and have a biracial, autistic daughter with OCD and ADHD. I could go on!!!

    “Oh, I’ve always been interested in international adoption! What agency did you use?” (Um, even if she were adopted, it’s not like asking me where I bought my shoes!)

    “She’ll outgrow it.”

    “But she’s so smart?”

    “I think you’re projecting your own hypochondria onto her. It will give her a complex!” (Seriously. Um, no, I’m projecting about 5 separate diagnoses from different people onto her, that all were the same).

    “You don’t want to label her. It will limit her.” (No, it will assure that she can self-advocate, learn what she needs in life, and know when she’s being discriminated against, as well as receive the services and supports she needs to be successful in life).

    “She’s the way she is now because you nursed her every time she so much as whimpered. You should have had her on a schedule.”

    “She’s using you as a pacifier.” (No, the pacifier is the fake boob, not vice versa. And it works! That’s why it’s called a “pacifier.”)

    “You need to give her a good spanking. That will set her straight.” (One of my LEAST FAVORITES).

    “She’s learned to manipulate you because you give in to her tantrums.” (It’s impossible to explain “collaborative problem solving” for explosive or inflexible children, which involves modeling compromise and flexibility, to COMPLETE STRANGERS!!)

    Random people (doctors, strangers, people in stores, etc) assuming that my partner (who is blonde and Caucasian) are both the parents of my child. Or that we adopted. Once some angry radical Black Moslem group started yelling at us, “And now they [homosexuals] are ADOPTING OUR KIDS!” I gave them a piece of my mind… it’s NONE of their business whether a child is adopted or not, and that was extremely degrading and disrespectful to my child.

    “Can’t you control your kid?” (No, she’s having an actual, real meltdown, and there is NOTHING I CAN DO except physically bring her out of the store right now, and you’re not helping).

    “Stop making excuses for her.”

    “You’re so brave. I don’t know how you do it.” Neither do I, you idiot. There’s nothing brave about just dealing with what life gives you. And yes, my kid CAN HEAR YOU and she doesn’t need to hear that she is a burden, because she is also a lot of FUN and adds so much joy to my life.

    “You need to feed her meat. That’s why she’s autistic/thin/has behavioral issues/always hungry.”

    Oh, I have a whole other pet peeve here that’s not about parenting at all.. people assuming my very petite, boyish partner is my SON and getting all weird on me if we start holding hands, etc. I know people who have FTM partners who have this problem, and it can be very sad and degrading to both partners. I just assume that if someone is a pedophile, they aren’t going to go parading their criminal activity around in public!!

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