Did you know that? They are. And the sensitivity extends to kids in general.
I’m not one of those people who gets offended every time someone says, “You must have your hands full!” when I mention how many children I have. Why should I? They’re absolutely right.
What prompted this sudden outpouring of…um…incredulity? Well, a friend of mine shared a link to a Scary Mommy post on Facebook this morning. I read it, I laughed, and then I clicked on a related article on the same site called “10 Things Never to Say to a Mom Expecting Another Boy.” Also, the Day 12 prompt for Writing 101.
Anyway, back to the article at hand and my incredulity. Most of the things the author suggested you should never ask a mom expecting another boy are fairly harmless, in my opinion. Things like, “Were you trying for a girl?” Or, “Your husband must be SO excited!” I guess the reason those questions don’t bother me is because I was so desperate to have a girl (really, there’s no other word for it) and my husband was excited to be having a boy, and I will be the first person to say so, whether you asked or not.
I already had one boy and I wanted one of each, so my answer to the question, “Were you disappointed when you found out it wasn’t a girl?” is always, “Yes, but…”
See, I love my sons. Love them. Wouldn’t trade them for all the girls in the world. And Miss Tadpole is heading towards her crazy mixed-up teenage years full steam ahead, and I’m not sure I could handle anymore girls like her (mainly because I see so much of myself in her that it’s seriously frightening). I’m glad that I found out Thumper was a boy before he was born, because it gave me a few extra months to adjust to the fact that I was never going to have a girl of my own.
Of course, I should have known that I was in for a rough ride with him when he was born and the first thing I said to him was, “Now you behave.” There’s nothing quite as bizarre as lecturing a baby who’s only a couple of minutes old.
Some of the things the author recommended you should never say to a mom expecting another boy I had never ever heard before and, frankly, I found them really weird. Things like, “They say after three kids of the same gender, your body resets and you’ll have the opposite gender.” Or, “You’re losing your femininity.” Really? Having three boys makes me unfeminine? I’d like to know the science behind that, since it’s the man who determines baby’s gender, not the woman.
Anyway, I mentioned that this post was also prompted by the Day 12 prompt for Writing 101, and at this point, I’m sure you’re wondering how in the heck a Scary Mommy post relates to a writing prompt. Well, said prompt was to write about a conversation in the real world, and one of the many awesome commenters suggested another thing that should not be said: “Don’t you have your hands full?” This reminded me of a conversation that happened one day at work.
With four kids to keep track of, I’m usually pretty tired. I’ve always been tired, but this is a whole new kind of tired. As a result, I am über caffeine-dependent. One day in April, a couple came in to sign their taxes and the man noticed the 2L bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper I had sitting at my desk. “You won’t drink that whole thing today, will you?”
“I have four kids – I have to stay awake somehow,” I replied.
He seemed a bit taken aback and nodded, saying how that was a lot of kids, and a lot of work. His wife turned to him and said, “What do you mean, that’s a lot of kids? We had four kids!”
“Yeah, and they were a lot of work!” he replied.
Everyone laughed. It was funny, for heaven’s sake! And he was right – it’s a lot of work. But the way I see it, sometimes people don’t know what to say when you tell them you have a big family (because, let’s face it, four kids qualifies as a big family these days). They have to say something, right? So they’ll say something like, “Don’t you have your hands full!” It’s not that they mean to offend, they just don’t know what else to say.
So maybe we should collectively take a deep breath and remind ourselves that not everyone is out to offend. As parents, sometimes you need a thick skin; you need to be able to let stuff roll of your back, and this is a perfect example of that. It applies for writing, too, because if you can’t handle the rejection that’s inherent in professional writing, then you should really think about finding another career.
And, when all else fails, just ask for a hug. Hugs (and chocolate, and possibly coffee) can solve any problem.
Now, to track down that extra-large Diet Dr. Pepper. Like I said, I’ve gotta stay awake somehow… 😀
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20 thoughts on “People are sensitive about babies”
I had two boys, and that was hands full enough for me.
We had litters, as one of my neighbors put it. Our oldest are 11 and 10, and our youngest are 3 and 2. The older two help out a lot with the younger ones, for which I am supremely grateful (and proud) – I can’t imagine having four under five, like some people I know. Having two babies so close together was hard enough; I don’t even want to think about having more than that. And parents of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) deserve a medal.
Yes, having two at the same time would be traumatic, although if they were your first, then you wouldn’t know any different!
That’s true. Our oldest two are nine months and one week apart, but they’re step-siblings and they were four and five when my husband and I met. Our younger two are thirteen months apart, so that was the first time I’d had to take care of two babies at once.
Cricket will be four in a week – how time flies! It seems like only yesterday that Bubbles was four… 🙂
Unlike most people on this football mad island, I always wanted a girl. “But they can’t do…” I didn’t care. After waiting almost twenty years for a baby I would have been happy with a Dalek.
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I always feel horrible for people who want children and can’t have them for whatever reason. A friend of mine was unable to have children so she adopted, but I know that’s not an option for everyone.
Besides, girls can do anything they set their minds to. Like Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
I have four kids and yes they are a handful. Wouldn’t trade em for the world.
Exactly. They may be a handful, but they’re the best kind of handful. 🙂
Well, I don’t see how anyone can be offended by another parent telling them they’re working harder than they are. I only have two kids and I’m a mess. I have lost permission slips, gray hair, an extra 20 lbs… honestly! When I hear people have 3 or more, I just think: HOW HOW HOW? I admire you. I pity you. I’m in awe of you. I want you to sit down so I can rub your shoulders or maybe even your feet. It’s never an offensive statement: You are working so hard. It’s an admirable one. It’s saying, from one mother to another: You are one tough cookie. Kudos to you. People are so easily offended, IMO.
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I don’t, either, but apparently some people are more sensitive than we are. If I could like your comment twice (or even a thousand times), I totally would. And I know exactly what you mean about lost permission slips – I lost one during our move and found it immediately after asking the teacher for another copy and then turning said new copy in. *sigh*
I’m afraid I say “wow, I bet they keep you busy.” Because I have one little boy and if I had four keeping me as busy as he does I would definitely be needing more than 2l of coke… I’d probably be eating actual coffee beans. Phnark.
Right? The other evening I needed coffee to make it to bedtime, and I didn’t even have all the kids home that night. Between softball tonight, piano tomorrow night, softball again on Wednesday, and Corn Carnival, garage sales, and a birthday party this weekend, it’ll be a miracle if I’m still standing next Monday.
On the subject of eating actual coffee beans, though, I have actually done that. If you put enough chocolate on them, they’re not bad… 😀
Mwah hahahargh! Have you eaten cocoa? So bitter, so disgusting and gives you a mouth like a corpse but keeps one awake without the sugar. Phnark.
I might have as a kid, thinking it was going to be delicious. I remember the first time I tried unsweetened chocolate in home ec. pretty vividly, though – that stuff is foul on its own! 🙂
And honestly, I’m not sure which it is that keeps me going – the caffeine or the sugar. 😉
You’re clearly not getting fatter and fatter and fatter the way I am then! Pnark. Honestly, I run round like a headless chicken in danger of disappearing up its own arse and do I lose any weight? Do I bollocks. So annoying. So I have to watch my weight AND try to artificially enliven myself when zomboid. Then again, as I said earlier I only have one… Which is what everyone says to me. “Oh just the one.” To which I always reply “yeh, well he took 12 years to make” and they go red and shut up.
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You sound like me! I’ve been losing weight the last couple of years, actually, but it’s getting harder to shed it and then keep it off. I’m told if I exercise, I’ll feel better, but who has time for that? I’m too lazy for my own good. Probably. Maybe. 🙂
I managed it once, in my 20s and haven’t managed to shed more than a lb here and there since.
I’ve lost over 50 lbs. in the last couple of years, thanks in large part to a migraine medicine that made everything taste terrible. I’m kind of stuck at the moment, but I hope that once I get my hormones straightened out, the number on my scale will continue its downward trend.
Good job. I’m in awe. I probably need to lose about 28 lbs, maybe a bit more that’s crept on over the last 20 years or so.
I’d like to lose another 30, but I don’t know if or when that’ll happen.