Last night, as I made an attempt to toss and turn without waking my husband, all I could think about were the millions of bugs I was sure were crawling on me (I saw a bug in the house earlier that day) and the stupid things people say to parents. Bonus if they aren’t parents themselves. Bonus bonus if they aren’t parents and they’re speaking to veteran parents.
- I can see why you’re in such good shape!
Are you saying I’d be fat if I didn’t have kids? I do more than chase children around all day. To be fair, I recently said this to a friend intending it as a joke, but really it was a lack of something witty to say. I can authoritatively say, don’t say this.
- So, what do you do all day?
Oh, you know. Nothing really.
If you are saying this to a SAHP (it’s not just moms that stay at home anymore), I want you to slap yourself. Don’t make me lift my hands to do it, they’re already busy.
- Did you know that TV (or any device) harms your child?
If you quote some statistic or article I’ll walk away from you and unfriend you from Facebook while I do it. I can only assume if you’re saying this, you get a perfect uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep, on what must be a thousand dollar mattress, while tiny elf fairies deep clean your house for you. If that’s not you and you’re still able to say this, you’re clearly withholding something from the parenting community at large; I demand you spill it now.
- You know, they’re only this age once; you should treasure it.
Oh, good, I’m really glad you brought this to my attention. I was totally neglecting to treasure my kids and whatever stage they’ve entered into before you said this. Just because parents vent frustrations or speak about how annoying a stage is, doesn’t mean they don’t treasure it. It means they need an outlet in order to properly treasure it; I thank you not to take that away from us.
- You sleep train? Oh. I see.
While you’re not saying it, what’s heard is, “So you don’t love your children.” Listen, you well rested soul, you; parents are only human. We can’t properly keep children safe or alive if we haven’t slept in 3 weeks. Parents try to make the best decision for everyone. It’s hard enough without the peanut gallery throwing crap our way. We did a modified CIO method with our girls; know what I did the first couple nights? Sat outside the door on the floor and cried while they cried. I knew, though, if we didn’t do it that way no one was going to get what they needed. Stop throwing stones.
- Yelling doesn’t really help anything – you should calmly discuss things with your kids.
I’m not perfect, none of us are. If you can stare me in the eyeballs and tell me you’ve never yelled, even when you knew you shouldn’t and when you knew it would solve nothing, I call BS. I don’t yell because I think it’s best or I think it’s right. I yell because in that moment I’m tapped and I’m stressed and I don’t know what else to do. It doesn’t make it okay, it makes me human.
- You want another one? Really? Wow, that’s brave.
If you are saying this, and you’re not one of the parents involved, it’s really not your place to say anything. Period. For the record, a family having another child is not the sole reason for a population crisis.
- You shouldn’t feed your kids that.
I don’t know about anyone else’s kids, but mine won’t eat just anything. When they were young, we fed them everything we ate – like all the books said. Both my girls loved it. Now, my 5 YO refuses to eat anything red, mixed or too brown. Our 2 YO is coming out of that “I eat all the things” phase and entering into the “I don’t need food to survive” phase. I pick my battles and make what they’ll eat.
- I can’t believe you haven’t heard of [insert current pop culture reference]!
I’m lucky I know who’s running for president. I only know Christian and children songs. I watch Daniel Tiger and Bada Namu; if I’m lucky, nothing with that bald whiny Canadian kid. Don’t act like you don’t know who I’m talking about. After the kids go to bed, I binge watch TV from 4 years ago, still trying to catch up.
- Don’t [insert anything here] with your kids.
Don’t tell another parent how to parent their children. Just don’t. We had two deaths in our family within a month. We didn’t let our kids go to the funeral, but we told our kids why and what happened. I was told, about the oldest, “Listen, don’t tell her about death. She is too young to understand and it’s too hard for her.” We don’t want to steal their innocence, but death is a part of life and we want them to be aware of it. We’re their parents; don’t try to pretend you know them better. We also teach them how to respond if attacked, in case that interests you.
What are some crazy things you’ve been told?