As a mum I often cringe when I think back to my pre-child days, my days of relaxing in front of the tv without wondering what this evenings timer was, the days of lazy Sundays in bed, going to the cinema whenever I pleased without having to make arrangements and just generally being my own person.
Yeah, being my own person stopped the day I grew a child and became responsible for keeping another human alive. There is really no end to the level of stupid things that people say to us mums, and while it’s often meant in a harmless manner, it’s enough to make you want to go all Jackie Chan and take them back to church. From unsolicited advice to just plain thoughtless comments, society seems to have decided that project procreation is a spectator sport and it’s up for commentary, be that as a new mum with a newborn baby attached to her nipple and sitting on doughnut rings in order to actually be able to SIT or a mum with school age children who have started to learn how to eye roll and negotiate for pocket money. Parenthood is really tough, and it’s not a spectator sport at all. On that line of thought, no one can prepare you for the shock of what is to come – the total change in your life and how it runs, the shattering difference that sleep deprivation will make, not being able to fit into your clothes or, heaven forbid, leaking boobs on the underground. It doesn’t get easier as they get older either. Nope, it’s just a different kind of hard and a different kind of awesome.
Just in case you, dear reader, haven’t been in this position or you have someone who you feel could use a handy guide, I’ve put together 10 things you should NEVER say to a mum.
- Ohhh I’m so fat. Really? Are you… because I have a whole tyre to spare around my midriff that I can’t seem to find the energy to shift. Also, my kids leave so much food and I’ve never been a waster so…
- I can’t believe it takes you so long to do your hair and make up. Yes, yes it does. You know why? I’ll tell you. Every 4.2 seconds someone shouts “mummmm” and you can just about get one flick of mascara done in that time frame. As for straightening my hair, well that pipe dream faded a time ago.
- Have you been to the new restaurant/seen the new movie etc? No. Chances are the answer is no. Seeing anything or going on any kind of date requires childcare and military style planning. I have dates organised with my husband in NOVEMBER.
- I’m going to have a quiet evening to myself. What is this quiet of which you speak? Q-U-I-E-T… nope, not a clue.
- I won’t do that with my kids. This will be met with pure hysterical laughter. It’s nothing personal, you just remind us of our younger, stupider selves.
- I heard that you are supposed to train a baby to sleep/breastfeed until they are 2 years/delay vaccinations/any other unsolicited advice you fancy. Oh dear. Until such time as you spawn a child from your undercarriage, this one is best left alone. In the immortal words of one wildling woman, you know nothing Jon Snow.
- I know how you felt in labour, I … Stubbed my toes, got kicked in the gentlemanly zone, hacked my own foot off in a nod to SAW. I don’t really care. Until a child comes out of your vagina, kindly keep your pain comparisons to yourself.
- Did you think it would be this hard? No. No I didn’t, and neither did anyone else otherwise we would be extinct.
- Do you find it difficult being a younger/older mum? Do you find it difficult being a douchebag? Older mums, younger mums… we’re all the same, we’re MUMS.
- I’m so tired. If this isn’t met with expletives then the mother is too tired to have heard you. Seriously, a jury wouldn’t convict her… just saying.
- Should they being doing that at this age? Oh do piss off. Should you be questioning my parenting ability and making me doubt myself at YOUR age.
- I think I will be fine when I have kids, I looked after my sister/raised my puppy/fed the cat once. Nope. You don’t know, you are in for a shock mo fo.
- I heard kids are really expensive. Yes they are, and you will spend eternity paying for things for them – hobbies, travel, school stuff, school trips, clothes… it’s never ending. Every time you think you have sorted everything for your kids there will be another something.
So there you have it folks, a handy guide for what NOT to say to mums.
What would you add to the list?