August 29, 2011
10 Thoughts Better Left Unsaid
1. "I hope you're finished [having babies]. Don't you think you have enough [children]?"
I don't understand why the number of children I have offends so many people. Are you paying for college? No? Then why do you care if I have more babies? Also, my baby is only 4 months old. Why do I have to decide right now if we're going to have more?
2. "They're getting so big. Soon, they'll all be in school and you'll have to get a real job."
Well, tell me what you really think about the job I do. Why is managing a family of 6 not a real job? It is not an easy job. It is sometimes very taxing and it never ends. Is lack of a paycheck the only thing that keeps it from being a real job or is there more?
3. Don't refer to my baby as "it".
There is never a situation where this is acceptable. If you can't tell if the baby is a boy or girl, ask! Even calling my baby girl him is a better, less offensive alternative to "it". She is a tiny person, not a belonging!
4. "I'm sorry you never got your boy."
I suppose that there are people out there who are seriously put off by the sex of their child, but I can't imagine there are many. Do I look like one of these people? I love my children no matter what they do or who they are. Why would you think I'd care if I have boys or girls? Even if I am still holding out hope for a boy (which I'm not), there is still plenty of time.
5. "You're a mother of 4? I don't believe it. Well, maybe I do."
It has happened more than once that someone has told me that I don't look old enough to have 4 kids. Then, they catch a glimpse of the size of my ass and seem to change their mind. Yes, I know it's big. It has to be. I have 4 kids following behind me too closely and running into it all day long.
6. "How does she (the baby) sleep at night?"
I have a lot of problems with this question. Does it really matter how she sleeps at night as long as we're getting enough rest every day? If I say that she doesn't sleep well, will I get advice on how to "fix her"? If I say that she sleeps great...with me, will I get a lecture on how unsafe and unwise that is? I think a better question to ask a mom is "are you getting enough rest? how can I help?".
7. "Whoa, you have your hands full."
Yes, my hands, my car, my house, my bed and my heart.
8. "None of your kids has ever had a shot? Do you want them to get sick? You know they can't go to school, right?"
I especially hate this coming from medical professionals. There have been times when my children have seen doctors other than their own and we have been lectured. The obvious answer is NO, I do not want my children to get sick. That is why I have spent so much time reading books and educating myself on vaccines, their ingredients, safety and statistics. How many of your other patients can say that?
Also, my children can go to school. Our beliefs are protected by law.
9. "You're pregnant again? You know how that happens, right?"
I'm not even sure what to say about this. This is especially a favorite among old men. I'm not sure I've ever had a woman say this to me. What do you want me to say? You mean, it's not in the water? yuck yuck yuck...
10. "Wouldn't she be more satisfied with formula?"
I'm not going to lie, it took me four children to not let this one get to me. With my first 3, I was naive enough to believe that she would. Now, I know better. Everyone knows that breastfeeding is best for the baby, so why so much discouragement? Why not try saying "Isn't it wonderful that you get to spend all that extra time with the baby while you're nursing?".