I like to consider myself a young mother. Well...I USED to be one anyway! (wink, wink) I had my first child, Mr. President #1, at the ripe age of 24, and on a very regular basis, I was constantly falling victim to the unwanted and unsolicited advice from everyone else about how they thought I should be raising my children, or how they thought I should look or carry myself.
I love to give advice to young mothers in a "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT" sort of way, but for me, it was often hard to tell if the comments were genuine, or if some of y'all were just trying to get under my skin. Because I was once in their shoes, I am sharing this advice to save some of the young mothers from all of the agony and headaches I was subjected to. Motherhood is hard enough without all of the commentary from the rest of the world, so let's cut our young mothers a break.
Here are 10 of the most insolent comments I have received over the years. Whatever the cause may be, please make a little effort to NEVER UTTER any of these the next time you have an encounter with a young mother at the playground.
1. Are you their big sister?
Now I know you just heard that little boy call me MOM! Not that I'm trying to be rude or anything, but this might be one of those instances where you should probably just mind your own business!
2. You look sooooooooo young!
I'm sorry, but I really don't look that young. I'm 30 years old, so it's a little late for you to be mistaking me for a 16-year-old. Rather than trying to imply something nasty with your "you look so young" comment, just know that I'm all the way fabulous and keep it moving.
3. So...are you married?
Well if you would take a second to look at my hand, you would see that I am wearing a wedding ring. Regardless of that fact, why do some of you always have to assume that young mothers aren't married? Please stop. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a single mother, but this is not the case for all of us. I am a proud wife!
4. Do your kids have the same father?
This is probably one that offends me the most. It really does not matter if my children have the same father or not, but since some others are so concerned about this topic of discussion, the answer is YES.
5. Are you the babysitter?
Well......actually.......I'm not the babysitter. I'm their mother. But thank you so much for asking! Have a great day!
6. Are you planning to go to college?
Just keep 'em coming, why don't you!? I've already "been there, done that." I graduated from college before I had my children. This one can really make some young mothers feel unfulfilled and unaccomplished. Try building them up instead!
7. Do you have a job? What do you do?
The last thing I want to talk about at the playground is WORK! But since you insist......YES! I have a job! I probably make more money than you! And working mothers ROCK, by the way!
8. You don't "look" like a mom!
What does this even mean? What is a mom supposed to "look" like anyway? Mothers come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, and come from all different walks of life. No two mothers look alike.
9. It's nice that you got it over with!
"Got it over with?" Really? News flash: you don't just get motherhood over with. I mean...come on now. Once a mother, always a mother. Motherhood is a responsibility a woman carries with her for a lifetime.
10. Did you get any stretch marks?
The nerve!!! Right? I know what you're thinking, and the answer is YES. Someone actually asked me this once. I have never been ashamed to admit that I do have stretch marks and an incision scar to accompany them. But I like to refer to these marks as my Battle Wounds and to my most treasured scar as my Badge of Honor.
I honestly don't know which is harder sometimes; being a mother or answering some of these ridiculous questions! The next time you see a younger mother at the local store or the neighborhood park, please refrain from asking her these questions. Besides, I'm sure she has heard them all before. Mothers, please know that you are awesome! If you hear the snide comments and questions, just keep it moving. You got this!