Does Your Mommy Know …?

“Does your mommy know that you are going to hurt your back in that stroller?” is the question my ‘well-meaning’ neighbor asked my 7 month daughter on Saturday afternoon. My daughter looked blankly back at my neighbor unsure of how to respond. Her typical ‘da da’ or ‘ta ta’ didn’t seem to fit the situation but the neighbor was looking at her expectently for a response.

I was standing behind my daughter quickly sifting through my possible retorts. Here are some of the options:

  • “Actually I bought this stoller specifically to harm my child’s back. I want to support the chiropractic industry.”
  • Bursting into tears and sobbing, “Am I a bad mommy? Have I scarred her for life?”
  • Slapping her

Since my neighbor was not addressing me (and was avoiding eye contact), I decided to ignore her remark. As we continued the conversation, I was still overwhelmed with the passive-aggressiveness of the statement. She obviously had an opinion about my stroller choice but she didn’t have the nerve to address me directly.

A few minutes later I decided to address her directly and just asked, “So do you really think this stroller is going to permanently damage Becca’s back?” At this point, my neighbor started back pedeling pretty quickly. From what I could piece together (between her stuttering explanation and apologetic statements), the stroller I was using wasn’t ‘meant’ to be used for long periods of time and that a neighbor once criticized her for using a similar stroller. I explained that I wasn’t using the stroller for long periods of time and wondered why people felt the need to criticize others (my neighbor wholeheartedly agreed!).

As I write this post, I am still wondering about the rampant need to give unsolicited and judgemental advice to other parents. Or even feel the need to make very odd comments. It is really amazing!

I have had a woman yell at me to put a coat on my daughter because it was cold outside (I was going from one office to another in a building- no need for a coat). In one afternoon, I was told that my daughter was either dressed too warmly or not warmly enough — can I at least get a consensus? I have been told that she is “too big”, “Are you feeding her too much?” or “too tiny”, “Is she getting enough to eat?” I have been told that she has “thunder thighs” and that she has “jowls” (what?!?!).

Most of the remarks are silly and downright idiotic but some of them hit the “mommy nerve”. This is the part of me that worries that I am making the “right” choices for my daughter.

  • Am I feeding her enough or too much?
  • Should I have invested in a more expensive stroller?
  • Did she spend too much time in the Jolly Jumper?
  • Is she outside too much or not enough?

When I am out with Becca, she definitely receives a lot of attention. She is at a very interactive stage and people enjoy talking to her (I know her smile melts my heart) and overall the attention is positive. But once in awhile, I am astonished by the comments people make.

I would love to hear about other crazy comments people have heard.

M. Kate

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3 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

3 responses to “Does Your Mommy Know …?

  1. Momma Calla

    Do your children have the same father?

    My daughter has tan skin. My son has very light skin. My husband is Italian. I am Irish. My children just received different genes. What if they were adopted? Why do people just assume? Why do people feel compelled to ask such personal questions?

  2. mkate

    Wow! It is amazing what peiple will say without thinking!

  3. Lani

    I completly understand where both of you are coming from. I am Hawiian-Spanish (very brown:) and my Husband is Irish-French(Pale with green eyes). Our children are pale with dark hair and eyes. I have had crazy people say crazy things before. One woman at the grocery store even tried to pull off my son’s socks because it was “much to hot for socks”. One that really hit me was when some grabbed me once when I was taking my child off the playground to head home. She said “What are you doing with that child? Are you her nanny?” I was shocked! I just couldn’t find a response. Finally I said “She’s my daughter!” When she gave me a strange look I said “I guess I’m thankfull that you were watching out for the children but for goodness sakes, that was just rude!” I turned and walked to my car. When I was putting my daughter(than 15 mo.) into her safety seat I admit I stared at her. Looking for the me in there. After about a minute it hit me what had just happend. I let that woman make ME judge ME!
    I said “That nana was silly hu?” And MY baby giggled. I almost cried, but not for my own sillyness. But because sitting before me was the most wonderfull perfect human being! A beautifull little girl. Sure she’s white, and… she has my mother’s eyes and my smile, she’s healthy and brilliant and she will truely be unlike anyone else. She will understand many cultures and enjoy being a part of them! I helped make that kind of human being! How dare anyone judge me or any loving mother!

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