The picture below is from Elizabeth of The Mom Pledge, a pledge created to stop moms from bullying other moms online. Elizabeth calls the face her daughter is making in the photo— "OH NO, YOU DIDN'T!" For the rest of this post, I'd like you to refer back to this picture whenever I mention those words.
I've been very lucky in that I haven't encountered a lot of trolls on my blog. There was one woman who criticized me for advocating the "Cry It Out" method of sleep training (cold turkey, SUCKA!) There was a small batch of negativity over "5 Tips for Servers with a Small Child at the Table" (all in good fun, people!) And it's almost impossible to forget Angelina Jolie's #1 fan. You know, the one who called me "a homely stay-at-home nobody" for making fun of Angie's shoes? (Somebody's got to learn to pick their battles.)
But besides that, I've been spared. Which is pretty amazing considering I talk about things like hating puppies and boner-shaped babies.
I have, however, experienced my share of "parental criticism".
It's just in REAL LIFE.
What is it about having a child that gives all strangers the right to act like your mother? They know most of us have my our own mothers to deal with, right? Mine, at this very moment, is thinking that Mazzy needs her diaper changed. Even if I changed it five minutes ago.
My favorite piece of unsolicited advice came from a stranger at the airport when Mazzy was around 14 months. I had her in the Ergo carrier and we were boarding a plane to Utah when the man behind me said— "Oh look at the spoiled baby!"
"If you give me her pacifier, I'll throw it out for you."
(OH NO, HE DIDN'T!)
Well. Thank you, kind man. The only reason Mazzy is sucking on a pacifier is because I've been waiting for someone to volunteer to walk it over to the garbage. It has nothing to do with keeping her quiet so I don't piss off fellow passengers. Or trying to hold onto my last shred of sanity before I need to occupy a very mobile toddler in a shared coach seat. Nope. I'm just weak, lazy and raising a spoiled brat. Take the pacifier, new friend! While you're at it, take the baby! She can sit with you on the plane and for the next five hours, you can teach her everything she needs to know about how to succeed in life!
There was another instance when a passing stranger asked Mazzy's name. When I told her, she replied— "Why would you give a cute kid such a funny name?"
(OH NO, SHE DIDN'T!)
In what universe is this an acceptable line of questioning from someone I've shared nothing but the sidewalk?
Here's another example.
Recently, a woman went up to a pregnant friend of mine on the street and said— "You must be due any day now!" When my friend informed her that she was due in November, the woman said— "Well, then you must be having twins!"
(FUCK NO, SHE DIDN'T!)
Isn't it common knowledge that unless someone is wearing a "baby on board" t-shirt with an arrow pointing to their belly, you should keep any burning questions to yourself?
One thing seems clear— having a child is your one-way ticket to public scrutiny.
Another item to add to "The Joys of Motherhood".
Right after having an endless supply of diapers when visiting Grandma.
What's the worst thing a stranger has ever said to you (on the street or on your blog) regarding your parenting or pregnancy?
If you'd like to take The Mom Pledge, click here.
UPDATE: I took the top ten comments from below and pitted them against each other in a comment competition for "The Worst Unsolicited Parenting Advice". Click here to check it out.
I take it that you kept your cool each time? Because I can totally see you keeping your cool. Though raging inside.
When Monkey was a month old, I took him out to visit my aunt at her jewelry shop. There was a middle-aged couple hanging out there (her ‘friends’), and the lady said (in Mandarin), “Oh you shouldn’t bring your baby out so young.” OH YES SHE DID. I said nothing.
She then went on to say, “I can hear his breathing. It’s very loud. That can’t be normal, is there something wrong with him?” OH YES SHE DID. I looked at her, eyes widened, and thought W.T.F. I said, “He’s a person, therefore he breathes.” (for the record, he was not breathing ‘loud’)
I get the ‘that baby is going to be a linebacker’ comment ALL THE TIME. OK yes my 29lb 12 month old is 97th percentile for weight, but he’s also 97th percentile for height, and he was born that way. He actually doesn’t eat anywhere near as much as he should.
Oh and then there was my former boss the other day making jokes about spina bifida while we were having lunch with friends, when it was his wife I turned to for advice on surgeons when my spina bifida child needed surgery. Now there is an oh no you didn’t moment.
I apologized via email to you about the dining out comment but I’d like to apologize to the author of the article too. It’s all Suri Cruise’s fault.
Oh my. Luckily in my eight years of parenting – not one stranger has ever said anything negative to me – EVER. So I must be perfect.
However, my family is the one who dishes out opinions to me “she’s not eating solid food yet” “she is still in a crib” “you are still nursing” “you aren’t going to nurse her here in public are you” ..and on and on.
There needs to be some sort of Family Pledge. Wouldn’t that be awesome. xoxo
JDaniel was a chunk as a toddler. I got comments on his weight a lot.
The diaper thing is true with my mom, too. Apparently my kids ALWAYS need new diapers. And I had the EXACT SAME THING happen when I was pregnant with my first and this woman said, “You’re not due until September?! You’re freaking huge, you must be having twins!” It was on my lunch break (right after I had ordered a cinnamon roll haha!) and I went back to my office and cried for a good hour.
And? AND?! I think it’s just SO EFFING DUMB when people think a baby is spoiled just because a mom does what she can to keep the baby happy. My little 4 month old Gigi tends to just want to be held most of the time and that’s 100% fine with me because I know that in just a few more months she isn’t going to want held at all. I’ve heard so many women say, “I wish I would have held my kids more. I wish I would have played with them more. I wish I would have been more considerate to their feelings.” I’m happy knowing that I will never wish any of those things or feel guilty about them. And you know? Life is hard. Baby the babies while they’re still babies – they don’t need to learn how to “suck it up” or “deal with it” when they’re little. I can help them handle that later in life. Right now they just want snuggled.
When a male friend with a large tummy took it upon himself to rub my pregnant belly, I rubbed his too.
Are Dad’s allowed to read this blog too? Our first was born in late May in Baltimore and the early summer was especially hot and humid. She had terrible problems with heat rash, so we usually dressed her in a simple Gerber onesie (greatest invention ever!) with no shoes or socks. This was before she was mobile, so she was either being held or in a stroller if we were out. Almost every time we went out, somebody would chastise us for not dressing her in enough clothes. Would you prefer we throw a sweater on her in 95 degree heat and watch her break out in an itchy, miserable rash?
Aaaah, the stupidity of strangers.
I think the worst of it was when I was pregnant with my second- I got SO many comments about “don’t you know how that happens?” and “you didn’t plan that, did you?”
Um, yes, I DO know how babies happen. And we did actually start trying for baby #2 when baby #1 was 8 months old. True, we didn’t think that it would happen on the first try, but NO, stupid stranger, my second child wasn’t an accident.
I don’t let people talk to me in public. It saves me from having to listen to them criticize me for something. Easier for all of us I’ve decided.
Strangers mostly left me alone, but when my son was three, my mother-in-law got upset that I was simply reading to him and not actively explaining phonics. She said, “Do you not WANT him to know how to read?”
That picture is awesome!!!
I think this happens to me more now that I live in NYC. The other day when we were out to dinner a woman pointed to Harlan and said “How old is that?” Yes, she referred to my daughter as “that.” I was so mortified I didn’t even know how to respond.
I would have shoved the pacifier up that dude’s ass!
Let’s skip down memory lane…
When the plumber saw my two year old, he remarked, “Man, that kid has a huge head!”
When my daycare lady told me that my 6-month old was a “discipline problem.”
When I announced my 2nd pregnancy and my coworker asked in front of everyone, “Was that planned or an accident?”
My mother once chastised me for drinking 2 glasses of orange juice in a row because it was going to “make my breast milk to acidic” and contribute to the eczema on my son’s skin.
In my defense, the only other beverages to be had in the house were alcoholic. But, you didn’t see ME getting all judge-y wudge-y about what SHE had been drinking all damn day.
Oh. No. You. DIDN’T
Ive been told I must have been pregnant with twins because I’m showing so early. I need good come backs to that! Sorry I was 5’2 105 I’m showing early!
HOW did you handle the pacifier comment? Wait, never mind. Nothing short of a kick in the junk would suffice.
The craziest advice I’ve gotten so far was just recently in response to my daughter’s penchant for self-induced gagging, which once caused her to vomit her freshly eaten dinner all over her high chair. A FB acquaintance told me I needed to teach her a lesson in respect by either 1.) Starving her into submission, or 2.) Disrespecting something she loves in front of her. Which caused me to have this crazy image of me holding down her beloved Lambie, while Hubs gut kicked him mob beatdown-style as Lil’ Bit sat off to the side weeping hysterically.
Suffice to say, this woman and I? Have different parenting styles. (And are no longer FB friends.)
People are plain stupid. I do give the “stink eye” to kids that are misbehaving in public if they are old enough to know better. I can’t help it. It’s the teacher in me.
But your post helped inspire my post for today: http://nblo.gs/j8eDa
i love all these stories. while i’ve had my share of rude ones from the nyc years, my favorite was when i was at the park at around 6pm after a long day with my 1 and 2 year olds. i was chatting while they played in the sandbox, and this dad says to me, “your kid is eating sand.” and i reply, “ok” and keep taking. and then again the same guy more emphatically, “your kid is EATING SAND.”
and me, mother of the year, “i know. and i don’t care.”
shocked stares, and just another nyc day…
My youngest two are only 13 months apart and definitely look it. ALL the time, strangers put on their Judgy faces and say, “Wow. How far apart are they?” It drives me nuts. No, I didn’t MEAN to be pregnant again when my son was 4 months old, but yes I LOVE that my boys will be best friends. So NO, you do not get to put THAT face on when you talk to me about it.
I was in Miami a few months ago with my 14-month-old visiting my sister. As we were loading my daughter into her stroller in the parking lot at Target, this woman stops her car, rolls down the window, and proceeds to lecture me on how hot the sun is and how she really hopes I put sunscreen on her. Oh, really? That giant, flaming yellow ball in the sky is hot? And they make a product to protect skin from its harmful rays? Thanks for that awesome, totally new information.
My Mother in law is QUEEN of “i know more than you” advice:
She sees my 3 year old swipe a piece of apple (sliced very thinly) off of my plate and proceeeds to freak out. “You should stop him! He’s eating an apple!” My response: “yes. He’s been on solid foods for quite a while now.” She followed with : “but it still has the skin on it!”. Glorious.
Instance number 2: After numerous attempts on the part of same 3 year old to head into a construction site by her house and after NUMEROUS warnings from me that I did NOT want him playing anywhere near someone pouring concrete, she tells grandpa to walk him in so he can watch. Without losing my SHMIT, I tell her I wish she didn’t do that. When he then runs to the wheelbarrel and proceeds to play gaily in the wet cement, daddy screams that the kid NEEDS to be with me and out of the site. My response: “grandmom thought it was a good idea at the time.”
I must look really scary, because no one has ever approached me with a mouthful of stupidity about my child. But he hasn’t been around too long, so I’m sure I’ll get an opportunity to junk punch a stranger soon.
I LOVE YOU ANNA! I have done that same thing and it just amazes me. I might have said…”Yes and it makes his poop grainy.”
Julie- My new word of the day = “junk-punch”. Thank you.
My older son has some health problems, so we have a PHN and she brought a dietician to the house for us to meet with. Now, mind you, my son was born 3 weeks premie at 9lbs 6oz and 21.5″ — he came out almost walking, asking for his first beer and needing a shave. So this lady, in my kitchen, in my own house, tells me that at 16 months old and 26 lbs, we need to watch what we feed him because he weighs too much for his age.
Uhm …. did you miss the part where he was over 9 lbs and a few weeks early?? And no, just because he was huge does not mean that I had gestational diabeties. Yes, I had prenatal care. *I* happened to be almost 9 lbs myself when I was born.
Have you seen this website:
Exact same thing would happen to us during the heat wave of June, 87. People would scream at us on the street about socks.
This! My GD test during pregnancy came back showing I actually had low blood sugar. But my son was two weeks late and when they were doing the non-stress tests and late ultrasounds I saw a different doctor and got lectured on Gestational Diabetes because the ultrasound showed my son was 10 lbs or more. I had to explain the tests came back fine…and lo and behold my son was only 9 lbs at two weeks late. But she was convinced I had GD without even looking at my blood tests.
On a cold-ish day last year, I’d given up the battle to keep socks/shoes on my then ten month-old. Because, you know, I enjoyed retrieving them from the ground and putting them back on… every frigging two minutes. There were a few women who work in the local supermarket, and they often tut-tutted over my daughter’s bare feet in her stroller (still do, even on warm days…).
On this particular day, one of them (a grandmother) told me that I should be tying the socks around her ankles with string, as she used to do. After all, who needs circulation to their feet?
I once got a stern lecture in Home Depot (of all places) when Grace was less then a year old because she wasn’t dressed in pink. This stranger (or “whore-bitch” as I like to think of her) told me that “if I wanted people to know she was a girl then I ought to dress her appropriately”.
I ran over her in the parking lot, just so you know.
When Amelie was about a year this woman came to congratulate me on the playground on my…pregnancy. I wasn’t pregnant. Neither am I overweight…as you know. After wanting to die and telling her I wasn’t, she had enough guts to reply “Are you sure?”.
I would have attacked that pacifier fucker.
I can’t remember anything particularly horrible. Most people are too scared to speak to me when I’m with all the kids. But I did have a lady at the grocery store once accuse me of trying ot trip her up with my twins’ gender. They are girls, but I had them dressed in Thing One and Thing Two shirts that were blue. She assumed they were boys. I didn’t correct her thinking we’d be back to shopping for produce any moment, never to see this stranger again. But then she asked me their names. When she realized they were girls she looked at me in shock and said, “But you dressed them as boys!” Sorry, toots, not my job to advertise the vagina toting nature of my kids so that you don’t feel embarrassed.
Last weekend, my daughter and I were having lunch with a “friend.” At one point, she leaned toward my daughter and asked her:
“Are you going to be a bitch like your mommy?”
Hell no you didn’t. While I don’t necessarily take offense at being passive-aggressively called a bitch, you do not say something like that to my kid. I am not sorry I have the audacity to tell people the truth – always. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. You say I’m a bitch in front of my child; I’ll show you what a real bitch looks like…
Without a doubt it was when I was discussing with a grandma how my 18 month old refused to take any naps during the day, to which she replied “neither would my granddaughter if we let her.” Yes, I simply love having to entertain an 18 month old from 6 in the morning to 7 at night non-stop. Leave her in the crib for an half an hour anyway? I hadn’t thought of that. WTF (For the record, the little darling would hang out for more than hour in the crib, alternating between singing, throwing stuff out of her crib and yelling for me!
I love the chance to vent.
I so do.
I’ve blogged many many times on the adorable quaint town I live in BUT it’s full of small minded people.
Many times I”ve been asked if I’ll babysit since I”m such a good nanny to my kids. My kids are blue eyed and green eyed.
When I ask why they think I’m a nanny and not their mom they answer, “i..i…i thought I heard you speak to them in spanish.”
Everyday I love you more for your creative posts and then I remember I hate you for thinking of it first….
2nd pregnancy. On bedrest at 22w. Braved an engagement party after gaining 60lbs and an older woman walked up to me, unsolicited hand on my huge belly and threw her hands up and said ,”BOOM!!” then proceeded to laugh hysterically.
I said, “it’s probably my hormones talking but if you please get the fuck away from my belly.”
Everyone avoided me after that. Next weekend I’m going to the wedding. Can’t wait 🙂
Actively explaining phonics??? Don’t forget to actively explain physics as he hops around like a frog and actively explain chemistry as you boil a freaking pot of pasta!
What is wrong with people?
I was at a playground once with my daughter who was then 18 months old. There was another little girl close to her age playing there, and so the 2 of them started playing together. The mother of the girl appears after a few minutes and begins small talk with me – i oblige. 5 minutes into our conversation, she asks me if my daughter was the second born, and I replied “no, she’s our only child at the moment, our first born infact”. She gives me a stare and says “you probably had her pretty late in life then”!!! I couldn’t believe that a stranger would actually say that. I wanted to smack her right there and tell her that i had her when i was 29! when did that become too late to have kids! BITCH!
I was told I had given my baby boy a “girl’s” name; when at six months he wasn’t quite sitting up unsupported, I was advised to put him in a box or a laundry basket and make him sit up; I was assured that both my thumb-sucking babies would grow up to have ruined teeth and serial killer tendencies. People are assholes.
When I was pregnant with my first, I was reaching up to get something off a high shelf and this woman came CAREEEEEEENING toward me… “Don’t put your arms above your head! You’ll wrap the chord around her neck!”
I gave her the special one-eyebrow raise.
“Um. Okay. I’ll just bend over and touch my toes later and unwrap it. How’s that?”
I only have this one:
We were paying for our shoes at the store (my workplace, no less) and I had JUST set X down because he had been struggling against me holding him. He started tugging on our pants legs and doing his whiny half-assed cry, and some random scummy guy practically yelled that my kid was crying. Uh, dude A) I know; B) turns out I couldn’t have done anything about it at the time anyway.
The best part was my mom was the one with me and she thought the same thing I did about him.
At an outdoor concert when my daughter was 3 months old a man asked if I had earplugs for her. I thought he was kidding and laughed, and then he said “seriously, you should have something to put in her ears; they’re very sensitive at this age.” Nevermind that we were hanging out at the back by the porta-potties, not standing right in front of the speakers.
My third child was slow to walk and even slower to talk – she had no incentive she had an older brother and sister who did everything for her- but that did not stop my neighbor from relentlessly speculating out loud to me whether or not sh was deaf and/or had a muscular disorder. But the best had to be the woman who ‘kindly’ told me my child would grow up bowlegged and never learn to walk if I kept carrying her around in my front pack – the woman had her yappy dog in a stroller!!!!!
The other day I went out to brunch with my son and a couple friends. I gave him a small peice of pie for dessert. The waitress asked me if I was really going to give him that much sugar. Obviously, I had already chosen to do so…
I guess I’m really mean looking because no one ever really approached me when the kids were young like that. But I stuck my foot in my mouth big time once…enough to learn NEVER to do that again! I was at my son’s soccer game and we moms were talking and one of them looked very pregnant. Not fat, in fact slim everywhere else…and I said, “So, when are you due? I hope not in the dead of summer with the heat!” to which she of course replied that indeed she was NOT pregnant and that that was her normal shape. Color me purple at that point and wishing I could curl up and disappear somewhere far away. NEVER AGAIN. 🙁
I was at a conference and meeting someone I worked with by telephone for the very first time. She knew I was pregnant and when I showed up and we hugged she said to me, “Oh Lisa you don’t even look pregnant! I cannot believe you are due in January! (It was October) and someone standing by EYEBALLED me up and down and said, “I can.” WTF Beyotch?
Running into Target with baby in cart – windy as heck, cold, its Minnesota after all. Baby has learned a new trick of removing her hat. She just had pulled it off with a big grin and it was in her lap and I got “Tsk! Tsk! It’s too COLD out here Mommy for baby to not have a hat!” Shuddup!
Walking around the mall one hotter than hades Saturday to avoid the heat but get in a little time out of the house. Old BAT sidles up and says, “Oh a BABY!” looks into the stroller and looks back up at me, “What a CHUNK!” Um whatever old biddy – you’re gonna die soon.
For me, the bullying came with breast feeding. I chose not to breast feed and I got SO.MUCH.CRAP! I almost never talk about it on my blog or anywhere b/c the amazing amt of people who felt free to call me selfish and negligent TO MY FACE. We are all parents, right? Doing the best we can? Isn’t that all any parent can do?
I wish I could say it was a stranger, but my mother-in-law once joked about calling Child Protective Services because Mango wasn’t wearing socks. It was summer, and it was about 80 degrees out, but in her defense, we were in her apartment, which she keeps at about -50 degrees, but I hadn’t known that at the time.
A kind stranger story: one time I put Mango in her Baby Bjorn and went to take her on a walk to the post office. She was crying uncontrollably, and I kept bouncing her up and down and trying to give her her pacifier (oh no! a pacifier!). I stopped to talk to some friends at an outdoor cafe and Mango just kept crying, so I said, “I better keep walking; she’s just so cranky”. I’m waiting in line at the post office when the woman behind me goes, “she only has one leg sticking out”, and then I realize her other leg has been awkwardly folded under her body the whole 5 blocks I’ve been bouncing her around. Mom of the Year!
a stupid, childless man told me I had a “ridiculous sense of self entitlement” because of my belief that public restrooms should have changing tables. Of course this was on FB – he wouldn’t dare say that to my face. But if by chance we’re ever in the same restaurant together at the same time, guess who’s table is going to become a changing table?? shit.
thank you so much and i love your response!
I bring Macaroni to work with me (small family business – it totally rules) and we were covering the front desk when in walks Mrs. I-Know-More-Than-You. She lectured me on how big he was (yes, 26 lbs is heavy for a 9 month old. yes, his dad is very tall. yes, he may play football someday) and then proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t be eating dairy products because of the growth hormones in them which contributed to her 15 year old relative being 6′ 8″ tall. Whuck? That’s genetics, lady. And I’ll eat all the dairy I want, thank you, because I’m still bfeeding and I don’t want to have osteoperosis when I’m 40. kthxbye.
I got the same thing as i was toting my newborn in a sling desperate to buy a breast pump…All i had the streangth for was to send her the evil eye!
On the rare occasion a stranger would sneek up and touch my child they would exclaim “Ho her hadns are so cold…she need more clothes!” My replie was always get your germmy hands off my child!
I hope that you and Mazzy were sitting behind that dumbass guy on the plane and that’s when based on his suggestion, you decided to take away her pacifier!!
I have the same issue! My former Mother in law used to always call my son a Mama’s boy and my own mom used to loudly sigh every time I’d pick my newborn up when he was crying.
As for strangers not saying anything to me, I think it’s b/c I look like such a bitch.
Yes that too! It happened to me too! Why do people feel like they can touch someone else’s child??
I HATED the ‘sure it’s not twins?’ comment. Don’t people know how terrifying that could be to someone???? And it really upset me when strangers would tell me that my crying child was hungry. NOT helpful. And not true. He had wicked colic. I am basically a pacifist but in these circumstances…I had to practice major self-control.
SAME happened to us! My son ALWAYS got heat rash…and sweated like a beast as an infant. People scolded me all the time for only having a onsie on him.
my kid tap dances in the 98th % for height, weight, and head circumference. he’s nearly 2 and people give me shit for how big he is (he is not fat, by the way), the fact that he still has a pacifier and a lovey (HE’S NOT EVEN TWO!) and that he should be potty trained. WTF?
I had just given birth to twins, they were maybe 2 months old, and this old lady walks up to me and says “oh my goodness, you just had these babies, and you are already pregnant again?” Like, wtf, they are 2 months old, I’m still fat from them, and btw how would I have time to be pregnant again and already be showing in 2 months? PEOPLE!
My MIL is shocked that we have two cats and are expecting our first in October and have yet to A. give them away, B. heartlessly ship them off to a shelter, or C. butchered them for dinner.
If I have to hear for the 376th time “The cats will suffocate the baby! They smell the milk on the babies’ breath and then they suffocate it!” This constantly conjures up images of some sci-fi movie where the cute kitten’s head opens up and some evil cat-alien with a gas-mask-like, suction-cup mouth emerges to swallow my babies head.
Not to mention that according to the MIL, “trust me, it happened to me when I was a baby!”. If only…
My husband and I live in the UK and had one of these week-long vacations at a place that runs loads of toddler activities (because what is vacation without some form of daycare?) Hubby gave me the morning off and took our son to a painting class. Our son was going through a shy phase at the time and preferred to sit on Hubby’s lap. A grandma next to them said, ‘Oh, what’s wrong?’ My husband said, ‘He’s just shy – he did the same thing in a sports class yesterday’ to which Granny Who Needs To Shut It said, ‘Clearly you’re over-pressurizing him.’ My poor polite British husband sat there quietly stunned. It’s too bad his much louder American wife hadn’t been there.
My worst comment was probably from a neighbor while I was still pregnant with my first. I was a bit of a young mom, and I had known this woman for years. When she came to visit one day, she asked me, “So when will you be putting the baby up for adoption?”
I was so dumbfounded that I didn’t say anything! I finally told her that I had every intention of keeping my baby girl, and she looked so disgusted with my choice to be a young mom. (I was 19 when my daughter was born.) Needless to say, we don’t talk anymore.
On a lighter note, when I was pregnant with my second, I was at the grocery store having a serious sugar craving and bought a sampler cheesecake, when a stranger walked by and commented on how unhealthy those were. I was really pregnant, and wanted a cheesecake, why is it anyone else’s business!
I cant beat Sarahs, that is the craziest thing I ever heard! The only one I can remember is when prggo with baby one and not knowing gender, I was told that I couldnt possibly be having a girl as girls are tiny delicate things and I was just far too large. I had a girl. Oh, and my lovely but neurotic MIL told me how a baby was brain damaged from rolling off a couch, because I had my non-rolling two week od lying on the couch … while I sat facing her, straddling her with my leg and not taking my eyes off her. But ou knw, ebery so often I was blinking, I guess during those moments I was inattentive …
When I was pregnant the first time, an old man in a convenience store treated me to a breastfeeding tutorial while we stood in line. I thought we got through it okay until I was leaving and he made sure to holler after me “don’t forget to use water based lubricant on your nipples!”
I hear you!! I have four kids, ages 12 mos, 3, 4 and 6, and one day this spring I was trying to get them all to sit in their seats in the van so I could buckle them up after a family gathering. They were all jumping around and excited and I was getting a little annoyed, and my uncle came up to me in the driveway and said “Well, it’s your own fault, if you’d have kept your legs closed like your mother told you this wouldn’t have happened.”
Yes. He. Did.
I haven’t talked to him much since!
When my first daughter was about 10 months old she was a crawling, touching, button pushing machine! She used to pull books off the shelves, turn off the computer, empty the CD cases (we lived in a 1 BR apartment and everything was out), you name it. A busy little bee for sure. Sometimes I’d slap her hands and say no. My mother in law (why is it always the mother in law?) noticed that my daughter didn’t “listen” when we told her no as she was about to do something, and her conclusion was that I wasn’t hitting her hard enough.
This is the same woman who argued with me when my baby was 6 weeks old whether she would be able to spank her one day “When she needed it.” I was fuming. So nice that she was looking forward to thumping on mine so she’d have more stories to add to the stories she happily told of disciplining her kids with coat hangers and curtain rods so her hands wouldn’t get sore.
This is also the same woman who looked at me like I was an idiot when I mentioned baby proofing my home. Apparently, she never baby proofed ANYTHING, because leaving things out gave her the opportunity to teach her babies “NO.” Poor kids.
Worst unsolicited parenting advice to date:
“Don’t let your 6 month old have any chocolate or coke! I’m speaking from experience.”
Right…like I’m gonna take advice from a parent who thought sugar and caffine were okay for someone less than a year old to consume…and was surprised when it turned out to be a bad idea.
But, just so the dispenser of this sage advice can sleep at night, I promise I won’t let him stick anything metal into an electrical socket OR run out in front of cars.
Maybe this doesn’t count, but I was in the grocery store, in line with my husband, and I was occupying our two year old while he stood ready to pay. He asked me to go get him something, to which I replied, “Okay, you take Jumby”, he politely told me “no, just take him with you”, while I watched him stand there with empty hands. So I huffed my way over and got what he wanted. Later he told me that the lady behind me had said “Well, she wouldn’t make a very good single mother, would she?”. Um, let me think, who asked your opinion, and when did it become a crime to ask daddy to hold the Two Foot Terror while I got something for HIM? Ugh. People should just shut up and move along!
Here are some of my favorites:
My SIL visited me after giving birth to my first-born: “I just can’t imagine you as a mom.”
I was 8 mos pregnant with my 3rd child and stopped at the grocery store. The clerk looked at me and said, “You’re out kinda late.” It was 9:30PM.
Recently I stopped at Dunkin Donuts to get my usual (they know me there) when I got out of the van to get my drink (had to wait after going through the drive thru) the new lady said, “When are you due?” I said, “I’m not.” She said, “Oh…you have big belly like me.” REALLY?!?
I was in a ridiculously long line at the post office when Creepy Close Talker Man commented on how happy my 6 month old Doodle was. I said thanks and scooted over further. Of course he came closer again and said “You take lots of pictures right? Don’t forget about videos. You really need to video tape them too”. Um, sure do…scoot scoot.
THEN he launched into an entire statistic filled lecture explaining that if I were to insist on immunizing my child that video tapes of his “natural” behavior following the shots were crucial and could be used as evidence against the doctors when it turns out my child has autism. WTF!
I loved going to Target a week after my first was born via C-section. I drove myself. I hobbled to the baby section. I desperately perused the breast pumps for the cheapest, easiest one there, as I was SUFFERING. Of course, a baby cried. My boobs turn into fire hoses. A VERY helpful elderly woman informed me ‘Breast discharge is a sign of cancer – you need to make an appointment ASAP!’
REALLY lady? Because I’m not standing here, leaking all over the floor of Target like some dairy cow on steroids, holding two breast pumps and trying not to lose my schmidt…
On your name comment, I had to add my experience with name comments.
My oldest daughter’s name is “Harlo”, when she was about 2 months old, a stranger asked me what my baby girl’s name was, I told her “Her name is Harlo” and she said, “You’ll probably re-think that name when kids are calling her “harlot” on the playground.”
Fuck no she didn’t! is right.
Bwahahahah dweej – I seriously choked on the peanuts I was eating when I read your reply to Julie.
This was incredibly difficult, especially between Sarah/Family Planning and Alexandra the Spanish Nanny. I mean they are all bad, but those two were just extra horrifying. However, none of these would make me want to hide, it definately would make me want to give these losers a piece of my mind and possibly some of my FOOT too!
Wow! the AUDACITY!
I couldn’t agree more, We definitely “spoil” my little girl Leila (7 months). We pick her up and hold her every time she cries out to us and doesn’t want to be in the playpen/swing/playmat/etc. In no time at all she’s be running away from us not wanting our kisses and hugs. My kids can be called spoiled I don’t care. I will spoil them. Maybe this world wouldn’t be in such a mess if more kids were emotionally spoiled.
WTH – why is that such a big deal, with octomom, kate plus 8, and the recent couple having their 20th child, I think that warrants more criticism than have your TWO kids be close in age. If you can’t support your kids without pimping them out on tv, then maybe it’s time you consider birth control. Just saying!
I wrote a post about being kind once, and a troll like creature called me a ‘heretic banal narcissistic … Walmart shopping heifer …’ I think she missed the point!
I think the worst one I had happen was a joint offence to me and a friend of mine (a soon to be new mommy.) her, her SO and I went to target so because she had asked me to help her pick out a few things that she realized she wanted/ needed from helping me with my son. So we are in the baby section looking at stuff. her SO is pushing the cart with my son in the pumpkin seat. my son starts fussing and and he says “momma i dont think he is happy.” i quiet him down and go back to helping my friend she picks up two different carriers asks her SO “daddy what kind of carrier do you like better?” Some lady that was standing in the ailse with us the entire time audibly gasps and then has the balls to look at me and say, ” you let your husband sleep with another woman and are okay that he got her pregnant?” My response was,” I dont care who he sleeps with cuz he isnt my husband. now please mind your own business so we can enjoy our shopping in peace.” we finished our shopping but could not stop laughing.