When a woman becomes a mom, she will invite friends and family over to her house to meet her adorable little bundle of joy. She knows that she's going to hear "He/she is so cute!" over and over again (and she's going to love every single minute of it). Those are such sweet, heartfelt words to hear from the people in her life who are closest to her. She also knows that when she posts photos of her little one online, she's going to also see lots of comments about how adorable her baby is.
Unfortunately, she will also experience total strangers talking to her about her baby... and those words won't be as sweet. It's hard to imagine but it's the truth. And when her kid grows up and becomes a toddler and then an older child, she still might hear some mean comments. It seems to be the reality of being a mama, and it's definitely an unpleasant thing.
These 20 moms share how they really felt about what these strangers said to them. From comments about babies wearing hats and shoes to much ruder words, we can't believe that anyone would say these things. These moms had some really great responses.
20 Girl Talk
We would hope that if we're at the grocery store with our little ones, strangers would only say something along the lines of, "Your kid is so cute!" And even then, some of us might not really want to hear that. This is even truer if we live in a big city and aren't in the habit of chatting with people that we don't know.
This mom wrote a post on the blog Happiness Is Here about mean statements from strangers and said that if someone says something like, “Four girls, wow. Didn’t you want a boy?” or "Wow I feel so sorry for your partner!” no mom is going to be thrilled with that. Her opinion is,
"Is it really that hard to believe that people might be happy with their children?"
19 Kids And Hats
According to Today's Parent, "your child should be wearing a hat" is a common thing that moms hear. We're nodding our heads, right? As the publication says, "These comments can and should be nipped in the bud with a quick 'I think my child is dressed exactly as she should be' and a winning smile."
Exactly. We can all agree that, yes, if it's freezing, we'll put a hat on our kid, but it's also totally up to us. We don't need a total stranger to tell us that. Also, if strangers are going to say something about this, we're going to ask them if they know how hard it is to get a kid to wear a hat. The hat struggle is real.
And then there are stories that will really be tough to hear. Today's Parent told the story of a mom named Ashley Wright who was at the zoo with her autistic son when a man asked why she would bring him out in public.
Yes. He really asked that. She wrote on Facebook, "To the man at the Peterborough Zoo today who loudly yelled while glaring at us,
'Why do people bring kids like that out in public?'"
She continued, "What you don't realize is Logan deserves to be out in public just as much as anyone else... He deserves to be treated just as good as anyone else." How can someone say something like that?!
17 A Pregnant Pause
We know that if we're going to hear mean and rude comments from strangers when we're out and about with our babies, toddlers, and children, then we're going to hear things from strangers when we're pregnant. But just because we know that these types of statements are inevitable doesn't mean that this is what we want to be hearing.
Babble says that if someone asks a pregnant woman "was it planned" that's definitely rude and any mom hearing that is going to feel insulted.
If you've heard that before, you know that it's a weird and mean thing to ask, and that no one should be saying anything even remotely close to this.
16 This Really Happened
"Once, when my newborn baby was crying in a store, a woman said to him, 'What did your mommy do to you?'" wrote a mom on Reddit. Her reaction to this is awesome and inspiring:
"Don't talk to my baby or presume that I'm a bad mother just because my newborn is tired."
Yes. There is so much truth here. It seems like almost every mom has been in a supermarket or some kind of store and heard some less-than-sweet comments from total and complete strangers. It begs the question, why are strangers interested in saying these kinds of things? Can't they just focus on themselves?
15 So Excited
Her.ie shared that when a mom was at the store and her kid was really happy because he loves apples so much, a stranger was actually mean about it.
The mom posted a great answer to this on social media: "Im sorry you felt that my son being excited about getting a bag of his favorite apples and jumping up and down beside me was such a big deal that you needed to ask me to 'control my kid because people are trying to shop,' when I told you that he can't help it and was just excited, and even apologized to you, you decided to roll your eyes and cut me off."
Who has a problem with happy kids? That's definitely what every mom is trying to achieve.
14 Full Hands
According to Motherly when a stranger in Wal-Mart said to a mom, "I feel sorry for you, you have your hands full with all those kids," she had a great response. She said, "First off, my hands were empty as you can see in the photo (had to point that out). What you can’t tell is that I lost two babies before being blessed with my last two, so if you want to feel sorry for me, there’s the only reason why you should. My children are blessings."
Amen to this mom for her beautiful words... but we wish that she didn't have to say them in the first place. When we hear more and more of these stories, we keep hoping that strangers will stop feeling the need to make these kinds of comments.
13 A Good Mom
Moms might debate various things, from organic vs. regular baby food to any other aspect of this whole journey, but every mom can agree that they don't want to hear someone else say that they're not a good mom. In fact, they want to hear the exact opposite.
According to Popsugar, when a mom was in a grocery store holding her baby, a stranger said to her,". . . you need to put socks on . . . poor baby is . . . very bad . . . I've been a mom for 24 years. I think I know more than you." The mom thought,
"I felt defeated and mortified and guilty for not reacting well. But mostly I felt like a bad mom."
A mom posted on Reddit that when her daughter was an infant, a stranger in a grocery store felt the need to comment on the infant's appearance. Since she had clubbed feet, she was wearing leg braces and casts, and she had a strawberry hematoma birthmark on her head.
A woman actually asked, "What did YOU DO TO HER?!!" The mom responded by explaining what was happening and added, "I'm TAKING CARE of her."
Adding insult to injury, the woman said she should wear a hat, and the mom said that "minding your own business" is the best thing. It's honestly hard to imagine someone saying something like this to a mom, but these things do happen (and they will amaze us every time).
11 Much Worse
A mom shared her story on New Orleans Moms Blog and said that once, she was at a grocery store when a stranger commented on how she was telling her toddler that she wasn't going to have any treats.
The stranger said, “Mind your mama or you are going to get in trouble!” The woman's toddler burst into tears, which we can understand (because we would probably burst into tears, too, if this happened to us).
The mom said that her motto for strangers is "Mind Your Own Business" and that's definitely something that we can get behind. This applies to any comments that strangers could make about our kids and our parenting decisions.
Miscarriages are heartbreaking and a very difficult, tough subject. If we have ever had one, we might not want to talk about it or we might find it hard to, which is understandable. We definitely wouldn't want our friends or family members to say something about it out of the blue or make us feel worse about it.
Unfortunately, sometimes people really do put their foots in their mouths. For an article about mean things that strangers say to pregnant women on Momtastic, a mom said that her friend told her "Hopefully this one is a keeper!" The mom was "speechless" (and we are, too).
9 Just Some Regular Food Shopping
For some reason, the mean comments really come out when a mom is grocery shopping. We're sure that any mom who has experienced this wants to say, "Can I just grab my milk and eggs and fruit and get out of here?"
A mom posted on Reddit that when she would take her baby to the supermarket, people would comment if he was fussy: "One older lady accosted me and told me I needed to get him out of his car seat and hold him NOW. She then told me what a bad mother I was and tried to follow me around the produce. I had to cut her off and tell her to leave me alone."
While many mamas can, unfortunately, relate to this, no one should ever tell someone that they're not a good mom. It's honestly the worst thing to say.
On Reddit, a woman posted about the experience that her coworker had while pregnant: "Not me, but a female coworker is pregnant with her second child. Her first passed away due to unforeseen circumstances, and another coworker commented on it:
'Oh, I bet you're so excited! I bet you won't ever let THIS ONE out of your sight!' We were floored."
"Floored" is definitely the right reaction. It's impossible not to feel that way when reading her post. While we often think that we should put ourselves in someone else's shoes and see things from their perspective, we can honestly say that there is no reason to say something like what this person did.
7 Cold Feet
A CNN article about rude comments that people make mentioned this story from a mom: when she was on vacation, someone said of her baby who wasn't wearing shoes, "Ooooh! Look at the tiny little baby with the cold feet!" The mom shared that she felt like she had to defend herself and say that the baby's feet weren't freezing at all.
Many of us can most likely relate to this and have had something similar happen. Whenever a stranger says something about how your baby or toddler is dressed, it's pretty mind-boggling. Don't they get that moms can dress their baby however they want? Why even comment?
6 Future Plans
"Are you going to have more kids?" is another rude comment, this time from an article on Mommyish. This mom says that a great answer is,
"Yes, stranger. Please let’s discuss the planning of my family. Because it all hinges on what you think. I mean, really."
Don't we just love her answer?! It's a seriously good thing to say if we ever find ourselves in this situation. Deciding when to have another kid is a really big deal and it's not something to talk about with people that we don't know all that well. We might not even want to discuss it with anyone other than our partner (you know, the person that we'll be having said kids with).
5 Working Or SAHM Mom
While we would all agree that all moms should support each other, we know that there is a debate between staying at home with your children or going back to work.
A mom named Brynn Dessent told CNN about her own experience: "I was holding my five-month-old and talking about how I had to go back to work and how hard it was. This lady said I was making a big mistake -- that her own son had never forgiven her for working. She didn't know my financial reasons for working, or my emotional struggle with it all."
Especially after hearing this story, we can all agree that it's best to live and let live (and let moms choose to work or not).
4 A Common Comment
Romper says that many moms often hear,
"You look great for just having a baby."
Do we want to hear this? No, we don't. When you've just had a baby, you don't want to hear any comments on your appearance. That's true of strangers but also the people in your life, from your friends to family to your partner.
It seems like no mom would actually say this to another mom since they have gone through this and know that having a new baby in the house means messy hair and going days without a shower and being so tired you don't even know what's happening. Why would you make someone feel worse and comment on how they look?
3 Big Sis
Even teenage mothers hear comments from strangers that they don't exactly enjoy. According to Cosmopolitan, teen moms often hear "you look like you could be the big sister."
As this mom wrote for the publication, "Yes, I know it's generally a compliment to tell others how young they look but not to me, not in front of my daughter. Not when I'm trying really hard to be a good mom and be taken seriously. I'm very aware I could be her big sister, but I'm not, I'm the mom." Those are beautiful, inspiring words any teenage mom can relate to (or any mom at all because we can all relate to being criticized).
Sometimes, you hear a story about the strange and rude things that people have said to moms and are honestly speechless. That's the only way that we describe feeling after hearing this story that a mom posted on Reddit.
She said that while in the hospital for having her oldest child via C-section, she was asking where her baby was. She wrote, "Because I'd felt them pull him out but hadn't heard him crying yet and no one would acknowledge me at all. One of the nurses looked down and said in this horribly snide voice 'hmmm. Guess you aren't the star of the show, anymore, huh?'"
What?! We truly don't have words for why someone would say this. It seems so strange since a new mom (literally just minutes ago) is dealing with so many emotions.
1 Bonding With Baby
Unfortunately, every mom has been criticized, and while we wish that wouldn't happen, we know that sometimes it does. Working moms also hear really awful things, like this comment that a working mom wrote about on Working Mother. She wrote,
"A friend was surprised that my son had a bond with me 'because you work and leave him every day.'"
Can't we all just get along?! We can definitely agree that whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, everyone should feel close to one another because of their shared parenting experience, and there is room for everyone. We can be moms however we want to be moms. And we should always be nice to each other, too.