I hear people say the same things over and over again about being a parent.
These are often kind, well-meaning, mature people. People who probably have already raised successful children. I should listen to these people. Most likely I will not.
1) "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
Really, random person? You said that OUT LOUD TO ME? As I am dealing with my kid's tearful meltdown in the middle of the grocery store? Look, I appreciate that this is not pleasant for you to listen to. It isn't pleasant for me either but at the exact time that this little slice of motherhood was happening we had all just recovered from the stomach flu. My child was still cranky and feeling nauseated and my quick trip out into the world occurred because we were out of Pedialyte and ginger ale, AKA the only things we could keep down at that time. I'm sorry I didn't beat my 2 year old right there in the soda aisle, because surely THAT would have calmed her down. You know what I say, spare the rod, spoil the closet. We all need more hanging space. You go chill.
2) "He's such a dedicated father!"
Really, nice lady at the church nursery? I mean, he IS a dedicated father, but he's just changing a diaper, not giving up a kidney here. The fact is, if he changed every diaper on that child from now until she is potty trained in 4 more months, he WILL NEVER CATCH UP TO ME. In fact the primary reason we have a second child 5 year later is so that he can get the chance to at least EVEN UP THE NUMBERS. He is still woefully behind on breastfeeding.
3) "Boys will be boys."
REALLY, lady at the playground?! Your son battered my kid and left her crying and bleeding on the playground. The parallel scratches on her face will take a week to heal and leave her scared and shaken for 2 days. Your boy didn't do that to my kid because he's a boy, he did it because you are a jerk.
4) "She's such a cutie/beauty!"
Yes, my children are beautiful. I know that, they know that, people in Australia can see how cute my kids are. We appreciate hearing it! However after awhile if that is ALL you ever say about my kids I will know you are not paying attention. They are also kind, weird, fearless, friendly, curious, funny, demonstrative, dramatic, strong, resilient, imaginative, creative, compassionate, tough and cool. Just like their parents.
5) "How are the kids?"
Thank you for asking. I love talking about my kids, I really do, please see above or almost 85% of the posts I write on Facebook. We can talk about them, or talk about me, my new job, my continuing collegiate adventure, my husband's new business, the marching band I joined, a cool article I read recently, the plight of the diminishing honeybees, the new Hobbit movie, my recipe for homemade Chex Mix, or more importantly, YOU. We can talk about YOU for awhile, my friend. Just you, not your kids or your husband, your siblings or your parents. How are YOU doing, what are YOU thinking about these days? Let's go get a drink and be silly for awhile, you look like you could use a break.