There is no doubt that bullying exists. And it has started happening earlier and earlier. It is not just kids bullying the new kid in high school for lunch money or dunking someone in the toilet just for fun. It now happens in preschoolers when kids don’t go to each other’s parties because they don’t think the party would be cool enough; in a situation like that it is a parents fault for not bringing their kids to the party. It is also a mother being told she does not belong in the same group as other mothers. I remember when we were young we went to everyone’s party because a piece of cake, some chips, passing the pillow and going back home with a bloody good time was enough and also because we would get grounded for being rude if we didn’t go.
Female cruelty starts in school when some girls become queen bees and mistreat others who might not be up to their standards. Once they become a little older and go to a university it is about who gets most attention from the boys instead of who gets best grades. A little more ahead in life when they get married, they make fun of other women who might not dress up the way they do or act like they do. These scenarios might not seem very serious but they can be very hurtful for the person going through it.
But when it comes to being mums, women actually have the capability to hurt another woman in a different way completely. So here is a list of things you should never say to another woman.
- Why are you not breast-feeding? Don’t you know breast is best! When I have a baby I will definitely breast-feed…
It is none of your bloody business. It is as simple. You do not know what this woman who is not breast-feeding her child has gone through. How much trauma she might have endured or maybe her child does not have the capability to be breastfeed for some medical reason. Breast is best but when it is not a mother has to make a hard call. And it is the hardest on her and not the child because the baby will drink the bottle milk but that woman has to go through so many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ before she makes that choice. And if you do not have a child you have no right to say things like that. End of discussion.
A better question to ask: Did you try breast-feeding? It must be so hard to breastfeed the baby. I really don’t know how I would do once I have a baby.
- When will you have a baby? You know time is running out… Look it took us a few months to get pregnant.
This can be one of the most hurtful questions you can ask a woman who might have been trying for years if not months. She might have had a miscarriage. But you do not know about it because again… it is none of your business!
A better question to ask: Do you guys plan on having babies? It’s so hard to raise a child now days. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide.
- So when do you plan on going back to work? I can’t imagine sitting at home with the baby!
Ok ladies you really need to understand it is not your life and you do not need to know everything going on! But yes if someone who was enjoying work has decided to stay at home after the baby (Do not forget what she has given up on; at the very least it is 8 hours away from her kids everyday that could probably keep her sane) it might be because she wants to bring up her child herself, or she has no one to help or maybe because she can not afford to send her kids to daycare everyday.
A better question to ask: How are you doing? Do you need to take a break and go grab some coffee alone? I am happy to help you out for a few hours.
- Oh my god you went back to work so soon? How did the baby take it?
Someone who went back to work after having a baby might have had it hard enough and does not need a lecture or a judgment from the perfect mom. She might have had her reasons. Financial or otherwise it is her call; not yours.
A better question to ask: How are you doing? Are you missing the kids? Do you need any help with the housework now that you are back at work?
- I don’t know how you do it! I can’t even imagine my life with kids
Look! She is already going through a lot. You do not need to make her feel that she should regret a decision that she cannot reverse. Please understand a mother gets baby blues and depression. If you can’t say something nice please do not open your mouth.
A better question to ask: THERE IS NO DECENT WAY OF SAYING THESE WORDS DO JUST DON’T.
Even while I am writing this post I am baffled at how many times I have actually heard these questions. My response has always been a smile and sometimes a ‘you wouldn’t get it, till you go through it.’ And to women who have been asked these questions, ladies you do not need to answer anyone.
Please do not ask such questions. And also if you can, offer to help. Drop off some muffins and chocolates or if you cannot do that just send a message and ask are you ok? If you see a woman picking up a ton of groceries offer to help her pick some up. If you see a random woman looking like she is going to break down in a mall, go and give her a smile and if appropriate give her a hug. Those 2 minutes you spend helping her, might make her day!