10 Things Not To Say To A Mother Of A Baby/Toddler

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It is amazing how a simple sentence can have such an effect on you. It is just a handful of words, but those words can open a whole flood gate of emotions. This month has been tough for our family. We have been sick a lot lately. I was at the drugstore picking up antibiotics for my latest illness and ran into a friend in town. “Are you sick?” she asked. “Yeah, I have a sinus infection.” “Every time I see you, you are sick.” This is a phrase that I have heard often. It is a true statement, but it is one that pisses me off. Quite similarly, I hear “Your daughter is always sick, huh?” When it is said, it always sounds more like an accusation than concern. I know I get sick a lot, so does my daughter, so does my husband.  You do not need to point it out to me. I already know. Believe me, we do not enjoy it. This is just an example of one of the things that people say that drives me crazy.

There are several other hot button phrases that mommies just don’t want to hear…

Are you pregnant again?  – Write this down. Don’t ever ask any woman if she is pregnant. Just don’t do it! It will avoid an awkward & potentially hurtful situation for all if you never ask this question. Unless that woman is screaming out in labor pains & actually crowning in front of you, don’t even hint around to her being pregnant.

Your child looks nothing like you. – I hear this one all the time. I had to endure 9 months of pregnancy & then a 24 hour labor that still sends shivers up my spine. After all of that I was rewarded with a beautiful little girl that barely looks like me. The truth is that she is a clone of her father, but when I look at her, I don’t see that. I see my daughter. I see a part of me, so don’t burst my bubble.

Your child isn’t crawling, walking, talking etc.. yet? – Children all learn & develop at different rates. Not every child reaches these milestones at the same time. It is great that Johnny Toddler was potty trained at 16 months, but that does not mean that there is anything wrong with my child if they were not at the same age.

When are you having another baby? – If you actually do want another child & it just has not happened yet because of conception issues, miscarriage or any other reason, this is just downright cruel. If you are undecided or do not want another child, it is plain annoying. Either way it is not any of your business. Because we are nice, we will kindly shoot you a strained smile and offer a clever quip or joke to avoid your question. Take the hint.

I don’t ever let my child do that. – That is awesome that you have never let your child watch television or eat a piece of candy. You are amazing. You should write a parenting book, now if you don’t mind Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

You look tired. – I love when people say this. Of course I am tired, moron. I am a mother. I will be tired for years to come, but please by all means continue to point this out. Just say what you mean. “You look like a huge bag of crap.”  I personally think chocolate milk stained sweats & chipped nail polish are a good look for me.

What did you do all day? – This is typically asked by a spouse (not mine luckily), but others do it as well. You are just asking to get slapped if you ask this question. Everything is more difficult when you have a little one. When they are infants, it is eat, poop, cry, nap & repeat. As my daughter got older, just trying to get her dressed in the morning was an adventure. “I want pink pants, no purple pants, no I don’t want pants, I want a skirt.” Now repeat this several times a day & just change out the nouns. What did I do all day? I tried to get through it.

Looks like somebody is cranky, tired, hungry…. – When you are out in public & wrestling with your testy baby or toddler, the very thing you need in that situation is unsolicited advice and comments from complete strangers or even sometimes your family & friends. Do you want to be helpful? Go buy me a coffee & a jelly donut and then go grocery shopping for me. Thanks!

You make me never want to have kids – Ouch! I have said this phrase to one of my friends before I was a mommy. I told her she was my birth control. What a bitch I was! Now that I have heard this myself as a mommy, I realize that it not only hurts my feelings and makes me feel inadequate as a mother, it also makes me sad that the joy of motherhood doesn’t shine through.

How do you say his/her name? – These days baby name are becoming more exotic & obscure. My daughter was named after my mother. Mai is a Vietnamese named that means cherry blossom. When people ask me what our daughter’s name is I have gotten in the habit of saying “Her name is Mai as in Mai Tai. She is named after my mother” This hopefully stops the parade of botched pronunciations & stupid questions. When our daughter was first born a work colleague of my husband actually argued with him about how to pronounce her name.
“You mean her name is May?”
“No, it’s Mai.”
“No, it is May.”
“I am pretty sure it is Mai.”

Here are a few bonus phrases unrelated to motherhood that I could do without…
Hey, it looks like you have packed on a few pounds.
You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that.
Looks like someone needs to get their roots done.
Is it your time of the month?
Any sentence that begins with “No offense, but …” or “Don’t take this the wrong way…”

What are some things that people say that drive you crazy?

10 things not to say to a mother



  1. Well last week a friend of my husband invited us for dinner. So we went and there was this selfish girl that sat next to me, and was asking so many questions about my daughter. And her final questions was… Do you work? My answer not now, I’m taking care of my daughter although I do help my husband at the office, or from home. Her answer Don’t you get bored of taking care of your daughter and been at home all day. What do you? I couldn’t belive she was saying that…. I totally realate to your post. ♡

  2. Yes, yes, yes to all of the above and been asked so many stupid and ridiculously things over the years now that I can’t even recall all of them, but granted just so used to people’s ignorance at times that doesn’t even shock me anymore. Sad, right?!

  3. This is great! The “your child is always sick” really hits home. And my sisters are Vietnamese (adopted). Both of their Vietnamese names start with Mai. My middle sister changed to an American name early on but my oldest sister is Mai. The number of times people have called her Mia or asked how to say it is ridiculous!

    1. Yes, I hate hearing about how our family is always sick. It drives me batty. Mia is another one I get for my daughter’s name. It really is not that complicated of a name. It is easy to pronounce. There are only 3 letters. My cousins had to change to American names too, which I though was a shame because they had such beautiful names, but I totally understand why.

    1. Sometimes I don’t think they get it either. One of my friends used to say things like this. My baby was very difficult and colicky while she had a very calm, quiet baby. When baby number 2 came her tune changed quite a bit.

  4. Omg, I so love your post. I can relate in so many ways. Due to the amount of children I have, I’m always asked those questions, are you pregnant again and when is the next one due or are you finish. Nowadays, I get how do you it. And as you stated, your right, I just smile and change the subject. That’s just the world we live in today, people will be people.

  5. wow, as I was reading each one of those, I was nodding yes yes yes! They are all awful things people don’t realise are so hurtful, and so many people say them. Another one while you’re pre is, “wow! You’re so big!”, which usually gets said to you on a day you were feeling pretty ok with your bump size and bam! it knocks your confidence again.
    Great post.

    1. Between that and all the stares it made me never want to leave my home. Seriously people, you have never seen a crying baby? One time I did have one woman come up to me while my daughter was flailing around uncontrollably as I tried to get her back into er stroller. While everyone else stared and made stupid comments she crouched down and whispered to me, “Would you like a little bit of help?” I almost cried because it was so nice to see someone who sympathized instead of judged.

  6. Love this. The once that touch home for me is the “is she okay”. My response: “yes she is. She has an airway defect so she coughs a lot. She is fine.” I also can relate to the when are you having more kids or people asking Olivia if she wants a baby brother or sister. It stings especially since we have been trying for a year+. But your right I smile and move on. 🙂

    1. Those are two that make me the touchiest as well. We tried for a little while, but it just doesn’t look like it meant to be for a 2nd. I am 40. It is not as if I have a lot of time left for that. It breaks my heart & it is upsetting when people ask me about it, but I just smile. It is all we can do. Good luck to you. I hope that you are blessed with another little bundle soon.

  7. yes to all of the above! you nailed it! yes yes yes to all of them!!! all i can say is…YES! =) right now mine is…”oh so she just turned 3, shouldn’t she be potty trained?” “oh she isn’t potty trained…you should try this this and this” “oh well mine was potty trained by 2, but i did it this way…” grrrrr.

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