No, this is not a post about the terrifying horrors of mom jeans. Instead, this is another post inspired by real conversations I have recently had with friends. In the past week, I have had two of my beautiful friends upset and a little heartbroken about words spoken to them and it made me realize that although these statements should obviously never be uttered to any woman of child bearing age, apparently it isn’t obvious… so here goes my public service announcement.
5 Things You should never say to women between the ages of 20 and 40.
- Are you pregnant?
NO! For the love of God, I either am puking because I actually get sick like any other non-ovary carrying human or you are seeing a stomach bulge because I ate a damn burrito for lunch. Lesson – unless you see a foot kicking through a chick’s abdominal wall, do NOT ask if she is pregnant! Fertile woman do actually still catch the flu and gain weight for non baby reasons.Embed from Getty Images
- You will understand when you become a mom / You don’t understand because you don’t have kids.
One woman even told my friend who is an ob/gyn that she couldn’t possibly be the best at her job until she has gone through labor herself. Let’s break this idiocy down. That is like saying I won’t be the best trauma surgeon until I get shot by “two dudes…” I’ll take a rain check on that award. And newsflash – Not all women want to have children and another 7.4 million women have fertility difficulties (www.cdc.gov). So please think next time that the person you are speaking to might have gone through the heartbreaking journey of infertility or miscarriage.
- I’m so sorry you aren’t married.
And I’m so sorry you are on your third. Boom! Just because you have made certain choices for yourself doesn’t mean everyone has to make the same choices. You know how McDonald’s has a menu? Yeah, well, so does life. And when does being single, which is so “cool” in your twenties now something to pity because the calendar year has turned once or twice? Just because you are friendly with someone does not mean you know her entire life story! Maybe their parents went through a terrible divorce that has left an emotional mark, maybe they went through a broken up engagement, and guess what, maybe it just doesn’t matter. I personally would much rather see my friend single than have to watch another friend suffer through a terrible divorce.Embed from Getty Images
- I just couldn’t imagine someone else raising my child.
No one ever says this to my husband, and not just because he is 6’6” and a former professional athlete. Well, okay, maybe, but you get my point. I want to start a professional marketing campaign that states, “ALL moms work.” Whether it is part time, full time, in the house, out of the house, for a large corporation or our own company, we ALL work. Haven’t you heard the saying, “It takes a village”? Because it does, we all raise our children, regardless how or where we divide our time.Embed from Getty Images
- So when are you going to hurry up and have kids? Tick, tock, tick tock.
This again should be obvious, please see #2. I really don’t think some of you know how these words can slice into the heart like a knife when you are struggling with fertility or miscarriage. Your friend will tell you if she is trying or wants to get pregnant in her own time. Please allow her do so.
Alright, PSA is over, you may now return to your normal programming 🙂
As an Ob/Gyn resident who just hit my 30s and have no kids, I can appreciate Nos 1 and 2 especially 🙂
Also, thanks for doing this blog. I am constantly entertained by your posts!
I couldn’t agree with these more if I tried. Absolutely spot on.
As a doctor who has struggled with miscarriage, infertility, getting fat intermittently and having the flu I totally agree with this. Thank you! I must add that it is an insult to comment on any of these things because: I have a medical degree (and a couple of others), I am in my late 30’s and I am not an idiot. So, surprise, surprise, I am actually aware that fertility declines with age (painfully aware given I have been married for 15 years….) and that being fat is bad for my health (that’s why it happens intermittently!). Do any middle aged men read your blog? I hope so.
Hear hear. Totally agree and so so so sick of all these questions. I get asked all the time if I was going to have children from patients. My standard answer now is: I don’t need children when I have patients (like you). *grrrr*
#4 gets me so fired up. Then I remind myself that the people that use that terminology don’t understand how childcare and working motherhood play out in the real world. We’re the ones RAISING our kids. We have hired someone else to CARE FOR them during the day for part of the time. They feed them, change them, put them down for naps, play with them. At home we do all of the above, plus kiss them goodnight, rock them in the wee hours of the morning, teach them our value systems, and make them feel secure enough in our relationship with them that they happily separate and are confident we’ll come back and get them later. That doesn’t sound so bad when we put it that way!
As an ob/gyn physician and a mom, I can especially relate to #2. I have experienced pregnancy and labor and probably have less compassion now than I did before. We all get thru it and yes it hurts but YOU aren’t the first one in history to do this.