Since Norah arrived in our lives, Kyle and I have heard our fair share of unsolicited advice and oddball comments. While some of them make sense and are actually helpful, a few comments have been said numerous times and really just leave us scratching our heads.
“You sure have your hands full!” Unless you’re willing to drop what you’re doing and lend her a hand, bite your tongue. In fact, advert your eyes and don’t even give her a sympathetic look unless you’re going to help pry the chocolate bar out of her toddler’s hands at the grocery store checkout and put the soother back in her newborn’s mouth so she can pay for her gallon of milk.
“When are you going to have another baby?” The last thing a parent wants to hear is when she plans on getting pregnant again, especially you’re asking this question within the first few months of her most recent child’s arrival. Her answer to the question most likely changes on a daily basis
“Well, you have two X, so I guess you’ll have another to try for a Y, right?” Wrong. Families can be just as “complete” with two girls or two boys as those with one of each gender. Sometimes, parents decide to have three children just because they want three children, not because they’re trying to fill some kind of gender void. That’s what pets are for. (I’m kidding. Kind of.)
“You know what you need to do …” Most people aren’t overly keen on taking advice from people they barely know to begin with. Believe me, the parents have probably tried every suggestion in the book and hearing the same advice over and over again doesn’t help fix the problem, especially if the issue at hand has anything to do with fussiness. And if you do suggest something and they say if didn’t work, don’t respond with, “Weird, it worked for little Timmy when he was fussy,” it’s like adding insult to injury.
“Was your pregnancy planned?” This is probably the most inappropriate question to ask a woman who’s either expecting or has a newborn, especially when you don’t know the woman. Does it matter? The answer is simple – No. Regardless of whether or not a pregnancy was planned, the baby will surely be loved just the same.
“Are you breastfeeding?” Does it matter? Yeah yeah, they say that “breast is best” but sometimes nursing is a challenge and a new mom is unable to breastfeed her baby. Unless you’re a health professional and you need to know, how a woman feeds her baby is none of your beeswax. If a baby is happy, healthy and growing, then that’s all that really matters.
Yes, I’ve actually been asked all of the above by either complete strangers or someone who doesn’t really know me well. While in my head I’m screaming, “WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT? BACK OFF!” I usually just politely answer with a simple Yes/No/Maybe answer and leave it at that.
The one that makes me the most frustrated is the one regarding to try and have a boy, which I will probably elaborate more on in a post of its own.
Do you have kids? What are you sick of hearing from people you barely or don’t even know?