Eight Things You Should Never Do To a Mom
In general, I am not a feisty mommy. You can ask the people who know me best—if I’m yelling, I’m cheering someone on. The only finger I give is a thumbs up. And, I have a high tolerance for the A-holes in the world. In fact, I seldom consider people genuine A-holes. Usually, they’re just people like me doing A-hole-ish things.
I’m a little riled up as Mother’s Day approaches. And, in the spirit of things, I have some advice for y’all: don’t be an A-hole to Mama. Your own mama. Your mama’s mama. Your neighbor’s mama. The mama behind the cash register at the grocery store. The mama in the cubicle next to you on weekdays. You get the point. If she’s known the feeling of growing into a lopsided, beached whale and then a deflated balloon, she deserves a little effort made on her behalf. Even if she’s never been pregnant but has fed, wiped, or cleaned up after you or someone else, you should think about what you do and say when she’s around. Let’s throw the A-hole ways to the wayside when mama enters the picture. Alright?
Here are some tips for how…
What Not to Do to a Mom
- Take your road rage out on her. The inspiration(?) for this post all started on my way to work one morning this week. There I was, going along my merry way on the highway, planning the day ahead, like any other morning. Suddenly, a man in a blue pickup truck moved in front of me full speed, hit his horn as I slammed on my brakes, flicked me off, and then sped away. As if giving me a near-death experience before breakfast was not bad enough, he had to seal the deal with a honk and his middle finger. When my life stopped flashing before my eyes, all I could think was, “What would his mama think?” If you wouldn’t do it to your mom, don’t do it to someone else’s. We, moms, have plenty of things to worry about, “not dying today” shouldn’t be one of them.
- Ask her if she’s pregnant, with child, got a bun in the oven, etc. No matter how cute you make the question, it’s not cute for you or her when she says “no”. Most mommies still have their baby bellies for a while after the baby is out. You don’t need to point it out. Not being able to button our jeans is reminder enough, thank you. Before you ask the question, take a moment to think about how you’ll both feel if the answer is no.
- Ask her if she got a haircut. If you don’t know, don’t ask. If she did just step out of the salon, she’s not going to be happy that she forked over buku bucks for a new look that’s not so different. Keep it simple: “Your hair looks nice.” It’s a win-win. If she got a haircut, she’ll thank you for noticing. If she didn’t, it’s a compliment that may just make her day.
- Ask her if she’s lost weight. This one bombs every time. If she hasn’t, then you’ve got her thinking she needs to drop some weight and that you agree. If she has, then she’ll wonder if all those salads and trips to the gym paid off—because if you have to ask, that means you can’t really tell. I’ll tell you what. If you think I’ve lost weight, say I look “fit” or “in shape”. Tell me that my arms look “toned” or my legs look “strong”. Please don’t ask if I’ve gotten less fat.
- Get in her way when she’s in a hurry or hungry…or especially both. When I’m in mad-mama-on-a-mission-mode, you’ll know it. You’ll see the sparks flying all around and the smoke trail behind me. This is your red alert—stand back. Don’t mess with mama until she gets what she needs—whether it’s a snack or the items crossed off her to-do list. Take a number, and wait until it won’t go up in flames if you approach.
- Question her parenting. Out loud. Sure, we all have met someone and thought, “Wow, she lets her kids do that?” or “I can’t believe that’s what she teaches her kids.” Think inside voice. As moms, we all do things a little differently. We all make mistakes. Most of the time we beat ourselves up about them. Still, we’re often doing the best we can. Unless you see a mom harming her little ones physically, I say you’re better off holding your tongue.
- Criticize her husband or her kids. It’s all about the double standard here, people. I can complain all I want about my husband’s bad habits or my challenges with my kids. You? Don’t say a word! When I tell you that my husband is a selfish, lazy pig or that I’m sending my kids away for the next 18 or so years, your job is to listen, nod every once in a while, and offer the occasional “oh, you know you love them though.” And, it’s true that I do, so don’t you go saying nasty things about them.
- Comment on her eating habits. As I’m writing this blog, my husband just shared a touching mother-son story with me. Over dinner at a friend’s house recently, as the mom at the table was about to bite into dessert, her son shouted, “Why don’t you just tape that cheesecake right onto your butt?” If you see a mom devouring a family-size bag of chips or a super duper sundae, even at lightning speed, just know she has her reasons. And, along the same lines, if she’s picking like a bird at trail mix or a veggie tray, and you’re thinking she needs to live a little, keep it to yourself. You are witnessing one tiny piece of her life. Even if she were to eat this or that for every meal, when she wants your opinion, she’ll ask you for it (or read your blog!). Thanks, but no thanks.
So, there you go. Instead giving flowers, chocolates, cards, or Happy Mother’s Day wishes, let’s do all the moms in the world a favor and make a Mother’s Day resolution: let’s take a break from the above. If you’re a mom and reading this, you’re not exempt. Let’s treat fellow moms with the same courtesy we want. And, hey, it’s not a bad idea to join forces and share the ideas with the non-moms in your lives. Mothers unite! Let’s rally against those who do A-hole-ish things to us!