10 things to NEVER say to/ ask a woman with children

There seems to be an influx of nosiness and just a plain lack of decorum out there lately. I don’t know if in this age of “over sharing”, via Twitter and FaceBook and the like, that people just feel that it’s OK to interject opinions and ask very personal questions without thinking about how the receiver of said question feels. For your entertainment, I present my personal top 10 questions no woman should hear:

10. Your baby is cold! Where’s her hat/ socks/ jacket/ pants?
9. Your children are so adorable! Do they have the same father?
8. You know, Benadryl is a good way to make them sleep on a flight.
7. You’re feeding her again?! Didn’t you just feed her? Something must be wrong with your milk.
6. Oh, two girls! I’ll bet you’re hoping for a boy next.
5. Isn’t it time to try for another one?
4. What a great contraption! (motioning to the babywrap) Does her mother mind you carrying her in that manner?
3. She’s almost a year and you haven’t started her on solids yet?
2. Is that really your kid?!
1. Are you expecting?/ Do you have some good news to share?/ When are you due?

Just so you know… all ten of these items have been said TO ME in the almost four years that I have been a parent. No joke. No exaggeration. I am sure that all of the questioners were well-meaning, but still, there is such a thing as “too personal.”

Do you have any favorite “too personal” questions? Please share!!

Pax Christi!


Filed under lists, manners, Thursday

15 responses to “10 things to NEVER say to/ ask a woman with children

  1. being the wife of a Soldier, I get a double wammy… not only do I get the waay to personal family questions… With 4 kids, 15yr,11yr,9yr,& 7mos. I get them that envolve my husband career. here are a few choice nuggets:
    1. Oh is your husband deployed? are they bring him back for the birth? will you be alone when your time comes?
    2. IF your husband gets killed, they won’t even remember him.
    3. Your Lucky you live OFF the Goverment, the rest of us have to work. or If your family didn’t Live off the goverment you wouldn’t be able to afford all those kids.
    4. maybe your husband will DIE and you will get all that money.
    5. So, your husbands deployed, is that his baby? or does he know your pregnant?
    … the list could go on and on….but you can get the picture, think, I’ll go compile a post for it 🙂

    • Stephanie! Those are horrible!! I don’t care what your opinion is on the military or government, that’ s beyond rude. Can’ t wait to see your list!

      • I finished ( alittle proud, I got to it while Nursing at Keyboard) I linked back to your post ( I hope you don’t mind, thanks for the inspiration)

    • I’m sending you big hugs and lots of prayers (my hubs and I are both vets as is most of my family). I appreciate not only your husband’s service but I appreciate your sacrifice as well as that of your kids.

  2. Girl, your list left me shaking my head at the ignorance/stupidity/rudeness of people.

    Let me add to your list:

    1. So you’ve never heard of birth control? Or Are you Catholic? (mostly heard when all 4 of my kids were under 5).
    2. How’d you manage to have your kids so close together, didn’t you wait the 6 weeks? (again heard when I had 4 under 5)
    3. Isn’t she too dark to be yours? (my oldest daughter is darker skinned than the other 3)
    4. Whoa, you’re one tough mother, it must be hard raising them by yourself. (Ummmm, I’m married AND I wear a ring)

    • OK, #3 really made me laugh. For us DD1 is blonde, blue and fair skinned (looks like DH.) DD2 is brown, brown and olive skinned (looks like me.) So I can so relate to the “is she yours?”

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • OMG! I see I’ve still got some gems to look forward to! My goal is 4 by the time I’m 30 (so within 8 years total, I’ve got 2 and am planning on starting to try in Aug/Sept for number 3). I do have people go “They’re so close in age! Was that planned?” They’re 21 1/2 months apart….SO NOT THE PLAN, but I LOVE it! I look at it as getting over the bad stuff all at once.

      My friends have asked if the kids are really my husband’s because the kids are so stinkin cute and both my husband and I are dorky. I do get number 4 a LOT though. My husband is in the Navy so he’s gone half the year every year (approx) and I’m not one for jewelry so I rarely wear my wedding ring (I’ve had guys get completely upset and outraged when they hit on me and I say “sorry I’m married” and then even more so when they go “well then where’s your ring” and I say “that’s an outward sign of marriage, my husband and I know we’re married and don’t HAVE to wear rings to know it. Just because morons like you think all married women should wear them doesn’t mean I have have to.” I do have to say…I’m a bit of a witch when it comes to things like that.

      Thank you for your list~!

  3. Wendy

    My favorite has to be the, oh, how does your husband like being a dad.” Said after DD was born (DS1 was 11 and has known and considered my hub dad since 18 months). Or, after DS2, “Is Doug glad he got his boy?” (DS1was adopted officially with the name change 2 months after DD was born…people don’t think outside their own normal.

  4. Sara

    Here are a few not so helpful comments and questions that have actually been said to me concerning my daughter, who happens to have special needs….
    1. I could never do what you do.
    2. Will she grow out of it?
    3. Maybe you dropped her on her head and don’t remember doing it.
    4. Your daughter talks like a baby.
    5. Do you think you will have more kids or are you afraid you could have another child with special needs?
    6. Oh I understand… my friend/neighbor/uncle/cousin/etc. had a seizure once.
    7. It must be really hard.
    8. What are you going to do with her after you and your husband are gone (as in dead)?
    9. Have you tried_______________?
    10. She reminds me of my dog.

    • My goodness, Sara! Those are awful! And to be able to handle those with grace and not malice has to be even more challenging, especially Numbers 3 and 10. There’s nothing redeeming about those.

      • I honestly never know what to say to a family with special needs children. You guys are strong and amazing to be able to handle ignorant people with grace and class. You are strong to be willing to take your child’s special need in stride.

        I worked with special needs kids at a summer camp every year for 8 years from the time I was 13, only taking one year off, until the summer after I turned 21 (I would’ve continued and would still be working there today if I hadn’t gotten married and moved away to support my husband in the Navy). I never had then 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What I did was hard, partially because they weren’t *my* kids so I didn’t know what all they were taught or had been working on their whole lives to get to the point they were, but also because in our groups there were 10 kids to however many people decided to actually take their job seriously (my last year, that meant me taking care of the 10 kids myself for most of the days because the other three were good friends and didn’t care about all that much except what party they were going to and who was hooking up with whom). We also have 5 groups and really, we all pretty much hung out together, so 50 kids with really maybe 5-8 people watching them all and interacting with them all.

        I wouldn’t trade my experiences with those kids for anything. I’m still in touch with a few of them thanks to facebook. I miss them like crazy and was really hoping to go back to Michigan this summer during camp so I could introduce my kids (2 1/2 and almost 1 year) to a few of the very special people I met there.

        Is there anything like that where you live? A summer day camp that lets them go and feel “normal”? I know we had a school that many of our kids went to, but I was friends at my public high school with a few of them. I hated how they were treated. I got so close to one girl that we were practically sisters. That’s where my core values were really tested and where I because so intolerant of people treating my family poorly. Anytime someone said something to her or myself about her I went off. I’m honestly amazed I wasn’t suspended some days.

        Thank you for being one of the special people who is a parent to one of the amazing kids who are special needs. *HUGE HUGS* to you and your husband!

  5. Shannon

    How about 10 Things To Never Say to a Single Mom! I have heard some doozies.
    1. Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if you and your husband could have worked things out?
    2. You must be so lonely all the time.
    3. Wow! Good thing you had a girl and not a boy.
    There are just a sampling of the things that I hear.

  6. corita

    I get the comments about how different-looking my kids are ALL THE TIME. I can’t believe how rude it is. Three of my boys have blonde/brown straight hair, while the oldest has lots of curly dark hair like mine. I can’t imagine what it is like for families where the kids are adopted.

  7. Pingback: Guest Post: Top 25 annoying Army Deployment Questions and Comments

  8. This is an amazing list! Thank you for writing it and also to the ladies who added on! I’ve not had too many comments and questions about my kids which I deemed inappropriate/rude/pushy/prying/etc. I think the one(s) I have had have been said in others replies that I’ve commented on. (Sorry about how long my comments were! I ramble a lot! One thing I hope my kids DO NOT get from me! I also LOVE sharing my experiences and stuff, which sometimes comes off as me trying to “one up” someone,but that’s NEVER the case! I just love to share and try to connect…I’m not too good at it).

    Let me tell you all, you are AMAZING women! Thank you for doing all you do!

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