10 Things You Should Never Force Your Child to Do…
I will admit, I haven't been parenting for very long, but I have learned some valuable lessons over the last 3 years. Before I had a child, I was convinced I would be a mother who ruled lovingly, but with an iron fist. What I say goes. To a certain extent, I do parent that way, but there are some things, I've learned, it's just not okay or healthy to force your child to do. Even if you think the result might be advantageous, take my advice: don't ever force your kid to do these things. 1. Lie. Because lying is wrong, obviously. But also because if your kid thinks you think it's okay to lie to other people, that will definitely backfire on you at some point. And yup, your kid will have had so much practice at lying, you won't even know he/she is lying to you. 2. Eat when they say they're not hungry. I know the doc says they need 3 square meals a day or 5 smaller meals plus some snacks, but really, every kid is different. And our bodies are designed to alert us when we need something to eat or drink. Also, think about it: have you ever met a child who didn't make it loud and clear when he/she was hungry? Exactly. Don't force your kid to eat when he/she isn't hungry or the consequences could mean long-lasting food issues. 3. Be someone they're not. If your kid is shy, embrace his/her shyness. Don't force her to be this outgoing socialite if all she really wants to do is play with her one best friend. Same goes for the loud, rambunctious kid. Sure, he might be a lot to keep up with, but it's important that kids feel loved for who they are, not who their parents are forcing them to be. 4. Apologize when they have no idea what they did wrong. I see this all the time at the playground. "Go say sorry!" some parent will bark. The kid will oblige, but you can tell he has no idea why he's saying sorry. So before you order an apology, take a second to explain what your kid should be sorry for. 5. Say hello when stranger waves at them. Maybe it's related to my paranoia, but I've taught my daughter to ignore strangers on the street or on the bus and subway who wave at her. That whole "don't talk to strangers rule" definitely still applies in my household, so whether or not my daughter is with me, I don't want her letting her guard down to someone she doesn't know. 6. Sleep in their own bed before they're ready. Again, I have a personal bias here, but I genuinely believe kids will naturally decide when they're ready to make certain changes, and yes that includes sleeping in their own bed. I let my daughter decide when she was ready to give up her bottles, when she was ready to start using the potty, and I plan to do the same with letting her decide when she's ready for her own bed. 7. Have a playdate with a kid who is a bully. Even if you are BFF with said kid's mom. Don't subject your kid to having his toys stolen or her hair pulled just because you want to get in good with the problem child's mom. Invite her to lunch and leave your poor kid out of it. 8. Go on a diet. I know there are kids who need to lose weight, but I don't think you should ever put your kid on a diet. You control what your child eats, so you should make smarter buying decisions in the grocery store. If there aren't a cabinet-full of twinkies and ho-hos for your kid to eat, but the fridge is stocked with fruits and veggies, you'll never have to put your little one on a diet. 9. Do something they're just not good at. I'm not encouraging you to raise a quitter, but if your kid hates it and after months and months of practice and training he/she still isn't good at karate, why not give piano lessons a whirl? Nothing sucks more than being forced to do something you're not good at. Doing something you are good at, on the other hand, is an awesome experience for a child. 10. Spend the night somewhere they feel uncomfortable. I hated sleepovers when I was kid. I hated the idea of sleeping in a strange bed, having someone else make me breakfast, having to use someone else's shower. It just freaked me out, so I never went to slumber parties. If your kid feels the same, don't force the issue. I know it would be nice to have a night off, but just ask grandma to come stay the night while you and dad hit the town. Everyone wins. What about you? Is there anything you'd never force your child to do? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.
10 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Sending His/Her Kid to School…
Last week, my daughter stayed with my parents for a few days while I was on a business trip. When I picked her up on Wednesday evening, she had an awful cold that she didn't have when I dropped her off. The culprit? She spent a few days at a daycare near my parents' house and one of those germy kids got her. I thought there was an unspoken rule, but apparently it needs reinforcing because whatever my daughter had was bad enough to put her out of commission for 5 days and now I have the bug, too. So before you send your child to daycare, preschool or any school for that matter, here are some unofficial operating rules. 1. Don't send your kid to school sick! Because no matter how much you encourage your kid to wash his/her hands, he/she will still contaminate the whole class with those sick germs and that's just not fair. I'm a working mom just like you, but just because your kid is sick doesn't mean you should make everyone else's too. 2. Teach your kid it's not okay to hit/bite/kick/scratch. I know it will still happen occasionally, but I'm amazed by how bruised up the kids in my daughter's school get. I know 3-year-olds are remarkably touchy-feely, but this has got to stop. 3. Don't judge other moms for not wanting to have playdates with you. I see you guys every day of the week. Sometimes, I just need a break. 4. Don't throw lavish school birthday parties. It's not a competition. Really, no one wins if we all get into a war of whose goodie bags are better. So can we just agree to send in cupcakes and call it a day? 5. Don't send your kid to school in expensive clothes and then get pissed when my kid accidentally spills paint on them. It was an accident and whoever told you it was a good idea to spend $300 on a Gucci sweater for your toddler totally lied to you. 6. Teach your kid to enjoy naptime while he/she still has it. My daughter is actually the offender on this one. She likes to run around during naptime with a group of friends waking the sleeping kids up. Clearly, she's young and doesn't yet understand what a gift naptime really is. 7. Don't send your kid to school with nuts. Or anything else that could threaten another kid's life. Sure, pad thai makes for a cool, unique lunch none of the other kids will probably have, but those peanuts could be deadly to the kid in the class with a peanut allergy. 8. Don't let your kid bring any old thing for show and tell. Namely, your gun or your drug paraphernalia. I really cannot explain to my 3-year-old what a bong is. 9. Don't teach your kid it's funny/okay to curse. There's nothing funny about a classroom full of preschoolers screaming the f-word because one kid's parents failed to correct his bad behavior. 10. Don't be surprised when everyone in the school knows all your business. Not only do kids share what they had for dinner, but they'll also disclose what you and your partner were fighting about last night, what you watched on TV and who you don't like. They're like sponges except you don't even have to squeeze 'em to get the dirt out. Anything else? What else should parents know before they send their kids to school? Share your thoughts in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Single Parent…
Although I've admitted that there are some positives to being a single parent, it also comes with its obvious downsides. I feel like a lot of celebrity moms make it seem not-so-bad (I'm looking at you, Padma Lakshmi), but it definitely is not ideal. I feel like I've found my footing as a single mom, but that doesn't mean there aren't hiccups and growing pains. Here are just 10 of the things I never thought about--or thought through--when I decided to separate from my daughter's father: 1. Dating. Part of me genuinely believed I would never date again because I had a child. And what man wants a woman with a child? But there are guys out there who don't automatically rule out dating single moms--for real! The problem, of course, is coordinating these dates. Finding a babysitter, sometimes at the absolute last minute isn't always easy. Answering panicked phone calls from said babysitter during your date is even harder. 2. Relationships. The complexities of getting into a relationship with someone other than your child's father are the subject of a whole different blog post. Maybe even a book. But to sum things up, there is the question of when and how to explain the relationship to your kid; how much time your new boyfriend should spend around your child; balancing time with your boyfriend along with time with your child. It's a never-ending juggling act and it is not easy. 3. Your relationship with the other parent. My ex and I initially separated on good terms, but that all went out the window when I (a) started dating something else and (b) took him to court for child support. We rarely speak now and when we do, I keep it as short as possible so that it won't escalate. My daughter still obviously loves him very much, so having to lie to her about how "wonderful" he is is a real pain in my ... 4. Milestones. I was watching an episode of Glee and Idina Menzel's character nailed this one on the head. She was explaining how it's obviously hard to deal with a crying baby when there are dishes to wash, laundry to be done and no one to help. But it's even harder, however, when your child takes his/her first steps, or says his/her first words and there is no one there to look over and celebrate with. Word. 5. Stress. Feeling like your kid's entire success in life rests solely on your shoulders is a quite a bit of pressure. Is she smart enough, will he get into that school, why can't they stop sucking their thumbs? It helps to have someone who is equally invested in your kid talk you off the ledge when you feel like these little things signal total failure for your kid. 6. Alone time. Is basically non-existent. Fortunately, I really love spending time with my daughter and having her around me. But even so, there are times when I wish I just didn't have to clean to the soundtrack of Yo Gabba Gabba in the background. 7. Money. Even millionaires complain about how expensive raising a child is, so the money factor affects all parents. But if, as single parent, you're not receiving any financial help from the other parent, there's even more of a strain. 8. Resentment. Full disclosure: I totally resent my daughter's father for being able to hang out with his friends whenever, go on impromptu trips and buy whatever he wants because he isn't responsible for the day-to-day care of our daughter. I would love to just go on vacay without tons of planning beforehand. That being said, I wouldn't trade places with him in a heartbeat. He's missed so much of her growing up--I just couldn't live with myself if I wasn't there for those firsts. 9. Guilt. When I see seemingly happy families with two parents strolling down the street when it's just my daughter and me, I always feel self-conscious. My daughter deserves that, but I will never, under any circumstances, get back together with her dad. Because I'm so sure of that, I can't help but feel really guilty. 10. Anger. When I put my daughter on time out, she'll scream and cry at the top of her lungs, "I want my daddy." It is literally like a knife through my heart. "If she only knew," I think to myself. "At least I am here, trying to make you a better person. Where is he?" Any other single moms feel my pain? What about married moms? Does being married and raising kids come with its own challenges? Share your opinion in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.
Hot Topic: Would You Let A Stranger Touch Your Daughter’s Hair?
On Saturday, while enjoying a Mother's Day pedicure with my mother and my daughter, it happened to me. I've read countless articles about other mom's experiences, but I'd yet to experience it myself. Being that I live in the New York City and it's so culturally diverse, I actually thought it wouldn't happen to me. But it did. As I was sitting waiting for my nails to dry, one of the nail technician's who didn't have a client came over and told me how cute my daughter was. I thanked her and then she asked, "Can I touch it?" Huh? I thought to myself. "Her hair," the woman said. "Can I touch her hair?" Before long, there was a small gathering of three woman running their fingers over my daughter's braided hair. Now part of me wants to see the good in this. I get that cornrows look "cool" if you're not accustomed to seeing them every day. I get the very rudimentary feeling of wanting to get a closer look at something that's unfamiliar. I know, well at least I hope, these women didn't intend to make me or my daughter feel ostracized. Problem is, while they were gawking over my daughter's hair, there was another part of me that wanted to say she isn't a freak. Her hair isn't some strange thing that should be behind glass for people to peer upon like an exhibit. It's hair for goodness sake! And I'd rather you not have your fingers in it! In retrospect, I probably should have said something, but I thought it would make an even bigger scene. And I didn't realize how much it bothered me until my daughter asked yesterday why they were touching her hair. I told her it was because they thought her braids were cool, but part of me was wondering the exact same thing. "Yeah, why were they touching your hair?" What's crazy is, I have a friend whose son has gorgeous red hair. And she gets the same thing! Complete strangers coming up to her asking if they can touch his hair. But I'm wondering, as moms should we embrace these opportunities and allow people to touch our children's hair so they realize it's really not that different? Or should we put our foot down say, "Heck no! No you may not touch my child. He/she isn't some circus act and I will not allow you to ogle." If you've ever been in this position, how did you handle it? If not, how would you handle it? Share in the comments. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.
Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? The 10 Most Expensive Aspects of Raising a Child…
So far, that is. My daughter is only 3, and already I'm convinced I am going to go broke at any second. Granted, my circumstances are unique because I am a single mom doing it all alone, but even still. I'm sure if there was another salary, there would also be more things to pay for. Now don't get me wrong--I knew when I got pregnant that raising a child wasn't cheap. I knew there were diapers to buy and bellies to keep full, but I don't think it really registered. In fact, I know it didn't register. So for all you women considering having a baby or moms with newborn, here is some real talk for you. Kids are expensive! You think Linda Evangelista was crazy to ask for $46,000/month in child support. I say, she probably needs it. Lord knows, I do! So before you get all caught up in how cute babies are, consider these costs: 1. Childcare. This was, by far, the biggest shock for me. Obviously I knew I'd have to pay someone to watch my daughter while I worked, but never did I think the starting rate was $700/month. And that's cheap! That's bare-bones daycare. Add some enrichment programs or meals and you're up to $1000/month. Actually, I'd be happy paying $1000 a month for daycare at this point. Something is so wrong when daycare directors can look you in the eye and tell you their tuition is competitive at $1700/month... for 3 days a week. 2. School. And no, it doesn't get better for school age children. Private school--at least here in New York City--can easily set you back $3500 per month for a 4-year-old. The older they get, the more expensive it gets. But let's keep in mind, most schools will only keep your kid until 3 p.m. If you're working, you then have to pay someone else on top of that three grand to watch them until your day at the office is done. 3. Food. My daughter is pretty thin. She's three and a half feet tall and weighs about 35 lbs. But you know how much I spend a week on just snacks and juice boxes for her? $50 easily. That doesn't include breakfast, lunch or dinner. And don't even get me started on eating out. What ever happened to kids eating free? 4. Toys & Entertainment. In some ways, I am lucky that I live in a one bedroom apartment. Space constraints make it such that I cannot physically hold many toys in my apartment. But even with those space constraints, do you know the going rate for kids' toys? Sure the LeapPad is awesome, but it's also $100. And don't even get me started on these outrageous kids' toys. 5. Shoes. Even me, a self-professed shopaholic, has a hard time paying $30+ on a pair of shoes for a toddler. I've seen my daughter destroy--obliterate!--gorgeous designer shoes one too many times to make that mistake again. But the truth is, the cheap ones are usually not so great for their developing feet. So what's a mom to do--throw money in the trash or let their little feet suffer? 6. Gear. $2000 for a baby crib. $1000 for a stroller. $400 for a car seat. $100 for a baby carrier. And those are just the essentials your baby will need during the first year! 7. Summer camp. This will be my daughter's first year attending summer camp, but just like school the prices are enough to take your breath away. I shelled out $2500 for 8 weeks, which is actually a bargain compared to other day camps here in the city. And let's keep in mind these camps start 2 weeks after school ends and end 3 weeks before school starts. WTF? 8. Laundry. Between accidents, spills and what was supposed to be a fun afternoon at the playground, what used to be a $15/month endeavor is now at least $50/month. On laundry! Add that up and it's $600 just to keep my toddler's clothes clean. We're not even talking about replacing the clothes once she outgrows them... in 3 months! 9. Travel. My advice to you new moms? Fly as much as you can while your kid flies free. Because no matter how rich you are, you die a little inside every time you have to spend $300+ on a plane seat your kid will probably spend 10% of the flight in. 10. Therapy! Ha, just kidding. After all that, you think I could afford a therapist? That's what blogs are for! Moms, did I forget anything? What do you find is the most expensive part of raising your child? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post
10 Things Suburban Moms Probably Take for Granted…
Despite my complaints (wait for them, they're coming), I wouldn't trade living in the city for anything. I love that my daughter has such easy access to all the city has to offer and raising her in such a diverse environment is really important to me. That being said, raising a kid in a city seems much harder in a lot of ways than raising children in the suburbs. I'm sure being a suburban mom comes with its own challenges, but as a city mom I feel like suburban moms have it good. They have space, privacy and of course, there's all that money they're saving. The point of this post isn't to offend or insult suburban moms. Rather, think of it as my way of commiserating with other city moms. And in the process, maybe helping a few suburban moms who may be feeling down about their situation realize it isn't so bad. Here are 10 things that make being a city mom hard as hell... 1. Space. And I'm not just talking about apartment space, although that is a problem, too. Everything in the city seems more compact. It's a breeze to push your double stroller through grocery store doors in the 'burbs, but it's darn near impossible to get that rig inside the corner store. Trying to navigate once you're actually in the store... whole other issue. 2. Not having to carry your stroller up and down stairs. I will admit, this is how I lost all of my baby weight and some. But when I was carrying that 25 pound beast up subway stairs, I honestly thought there couldn't be anything worse. Even labor paled in comparison. 3. Not having to push your stroller through snow. Strollers, like cars, should come with 4 wheel drive. Just for city moms. Have you ever tried pushing an umbrella stroller over 3 inches of snow? Yes, it's probably the best arm workout ever, but it's also like a modern day variation of that whole pushing a rock up a hill torture. 4. Being able to run to a car with your kid when it's raining. But if instead you have to get yourself, your kid, his/her backpack and your own bag to a bus stop 3 blocks away, the rain is essentially your immortal enemy. I know they make children's umbrellas, but that requires actually getting your kid to carry his/her own umbrella. Not that easy when the wind keeps blowing it up, or the rain keeps blowing underneath it or your kid is just not in the mood that day. 5. The school situation. I know that some suburbs have bad public schools, but I feel like the situation is even more dire in cities. The classes are too big, the facilities are decrepit, the list goes on. That means private schools are really most parents' first choice, except that unlike public schools, private schools turn people away. The competition factor plus the tuition makes educating your child in the city pretty much a nightmare. 6. Inviting the grandparents to spend the week (ok, maybe just the weekend) with you. I'd love for my parents to come stay with me for a few days, but that would mean they'd have to sleep (a) on an inflatable mattress or (b) in the bed with my daughter and me. Not. Happening. 7. Being able to take your kid out to eat. Of course, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the city featuring a diverse array of food. Unfortunately, lots of those restaurants look down on diners under the age of 10. They don't have crayons, they don't serve milk and they don't respond well to having to clean up spilled beverages. In general, I feel like eating establishments in the 'burbs are way more kid-friendly. 8. The money situation. We all have bills, I know. But at least in the suburbs you're getting something other than location for $1600/month. 9. Privacy! Because we live in such close quarters in NYC, your neighbors basically know what you do every second you're in your apartment. They know when you're weaning your baby off the paci--they hear the screaming every night. They know what you ate for dinner--they smell it across the hall. They know when you go on vacation--they stop hearing your child scream in the hallway. In some ways it's a blessing, to have someone who knows your goings and comings, but it can also be a bit of a curse. 10. Letting your kid be a kid. Toddlers love running around and they deserve to work off some of that steam. In a house, a kid can run around and stomp to their heart's content, but if my little girl so much as steps too loudly my downstairs neighbors are on the phone with the landlord petitioning for me to get evicted. City moms, did I miss anything? Suburb moms, what sucks about raising kids in the 'burbs? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.
5 Things Every Mother Should Tell Her Child Every Day
Whenever I learn that a celebrity has passed or there's some major national news event like a school shooting or bombing, my first thought it always of the victim's loved ones. What was the last thing they said to their loved one? They will forever be left with those words... hopefully they were able to tell them that they loved them one last time. I know it's morbid, but life is short and there's no time for holding in our feelings for those that are most important to us. What comes to mind for me is my love for my daughter... and these 5 things I try to tell her every day (partly for my own peace of mind!): 1. I love you. I know most of us already tell our kids this, but that doesn't mean we can't say it more. Or in new ways. And don't forget to load on the kisses before and after. 2. You are amazing. You'll probably have to tell your toddler what this means, but the key is to tell your little one everything that makes him/her special. Whether he's funny or smart or caring, make sure your kid knows he's extraordinary. 3. You make me so happy. Because us moms can get a little stressed out and tend to do our fair share of yelling, it's important to remind our kids that they really do make us happy. Even if you've got crayon to clean off the wall and piles of laundry to wash, put on a smile and tell your kids how happy you are to have them in your life. 4. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I actually stole this from a Ray LaMontagne song, but I play--and sing--it for my daughter regularly. It's a beautiful love song and the chorus perfectly describes how I feel about my daughter. 5. I'm so proud of you. Sure your toddler may not be bringing home straight As or scoring winning goals yet, but when she ties her own shoe laces or goes to the potty all by herself, praise her accomplishments. Nothing is better than a seal of approval from mommy. Anything else you'd add to the list? What should we be telling our kids every day? Share in the comments.
12 Things You Should Do To Be A Better Mom
Admit it: resolutions are made to be broken. Every year we say this is the year I'm going to "live life to the fullest" or "lose all my baby weight" and you know what? It never happens. So stop wasting your resolutions on things that don't really matter and make this year the year things change. Don't resolve to get skinnier or exercise more--just decide this is the year I'm going to be an even better mom. Start with these 12... 1. Stop posting all your kid's pics on Facebook and instead make a real, tangible album with the photos. Yes, it requires actually going to a store and printing the pics, but imagine how much better it will be in 25 years to sit down with your kid and look through an actual photo album. Clicking through a slideshow just doesn't have the same effect and who knows where Facebook will be in 25 years anyway. 2. Tell your kid you love him/her 5 times more than you already do. If you only say it before bed, find 4 other times throughout the day to say it. If you're already saying it 5 times a day, keep up the good work--and start leaving your kid love notes in the lunch box or in the sock drawer reminding your little one how much you love him/her. And don't just tell--show your kids, too. 3. Reduce your kid's TV time by one hour each day. And use that hour to get down on the floor, sit at a table or go outside and spend real, genuine QT with your kid. I have nothing against Dora, but your kid shouldn't know more about Dora than he/she knows about you. 4. Splurge on yourself at least once each season. Because you deserve it. Period. 5. Take a trip... without your kids. For some, like me, this won't be easy. But even I'm coming to see it's necessary. Even if your trip is just a weekend getaway, use this time to relax, recharge and come back to your kids re-energized. Plus, being away will only help you appreciate just how much you love them. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 6. Teach your kid one valuable lesson you didn't learn until you were an adult. For me, it's totally going to be money management and the importance of saving. Some other ideas include healthy eating habits, showing affection or a love for learning. Whatever you decide, commit to instilling this lesson in your child in small ways throughout the year. 7. Take a class with your kid. Because anyone can drop a kid off at ballet or karate and come back in an hour. Do better in 2012 by actually participating with your kid in a mommy and me yoga class or cooking class. Check out Plum District or Doodle Deals for deals on classes in your area. 8. Take baths with your kid... regularly. I get that this may not be cool for all moms, but I can't even tell you how my daughter lights up when I join her in the bath tub. Maybe it's because in the hustle and bustle of the day, bath time can seem like a bit of a chore. Either way, it's a nice change of pace for your kid to see that bath time isn't just another thing you want to check off your daily to-do list. And that you can have fun in the tub, too. 9. Volunteer together as a family. Because no matter how little you think you have, there are always people who have it worse. And it's never too early to teach your child to care about others. 10. Plan a family staycation. Family vacations are usually all go go go and you almost always come home feeling more exhausted than when you left. So instead, take one week off from work and spend those 7 days staying local with your kids. Heck, some days you don't even have to leave the house. It's just a much-needed opportunity to stop and remind yourselves what really matters--your family and that you're all together. 11. Stop watching TV shows that profit from women behaving badly. This includes, but is not limited to, Real Housewives, Bad Girls Club and any of the "Wives" shows. Keep in mind, these fighting, screaming, drink-throwing women are someone's daughter and in a few years, they could be your daughter. Stop these shows now. 12. Kiss like there is no tomorrow. Whenever my daughter is sick and I take her to the doctor, my pediatrician always jokes, "I guess someone hasn't been getting enough kisses." It's silly, but maybe there's something to it. So who cares if you're grossing strangers out or your kid keeps screaming, "I'm a big girl!" Smother those kiddies in kisses because tomorrow is not promised. Any thing else you've resolved to do this year? Share in the comments.
9 February Collaborations You Need To Know Now
This month's fashion and beauty collaborations might be slim, but it's only a sign that way more are in store for next month, when spring shopping officially hits. In the meantime, check out who teamed up with who for February's latest partnerships, including Caroline Issa's office-appropriate collection with Nordstrom, MAC's latest collaboration, and how Charlotte Olympia and Hot Topic used Disney's Cinderella as an inspiration for their newest offerings. Check out our slideshow to learn (and shop) more. Don't forget to check out: SNL's best moments, slide sandals to wear for spring and fuzzy sweaters that every celebrity is wearing
10 Things It’s Not Okay To Ask Other Moms
As much as I love seeing my daughter have a blast at our local playground, I also secretly dread going there. I’m sure the other moms are well-intentioned, but they ask the most inappropriate questions. Maybe I’m just a private person–or overly sensitive–but I just met you and I don’t think it’s any of your business whether or not I have a husband and if we’re trying to have another baby. So before you plan another playdate or make small talk at the swings, consider the ways in which you’re probably stepping way over the TMI line. 1. Are you trying for baby #2? Because what your’re basically asking is whether or not I’m having sex. And that is very freaking weird. I don’t even talk to my mother about having sex, let alone a complete stranger. If you must know, ask whether or not I’d like another child. 2. Are you married? I will admit I am extra sensitive about this because I am a single mom, but even still, if there’s no ring, you probably have your answer. If you ask, I just feel like you’re rubbing in the fact that you’re happily married or that you’re pitying lowly ol’ me and then we’ll never be friends. 3. How old are you? Yes, I look young, but that doesn’t give you permission to ask my age. And no, following my response with “Oh my goodness, you look so young. You look great.” doesn’t make it better. I have a kid, you have a kid, we’re both here. That’s all you need to know. 4. Are you doing IVF? Actually, anything related to fertility is off-limits unless I open the door. It’s an uncomfortable, sometimes painful conversation as is which means it probably shouldn’t be going down at the playground. 5. Is that your kid? You just saw her hop out of this stroller I’m pushing, right? Then yes, that’s my kid. I will initially take it as a compliment that I look so good and there’s no way I could have pushed a baby out of this svelte body, but don’t push the issue. She may not look like me, but she’s mine. 6. Is he/she autistic? I get that moms whose children suffer from certain ailments are looking for moms who can relate, but if you ask me this and my child isn’t autistic, how can I take it as anything but an insult? 7. Are those real? This also applies for “is that real?” It’s just always in poor taste to question the authenticity of something someone else owns, so don’t do it. Yeah, I may be a young, single mom, but that doesn’t mean I can’t buy my own diamond ring. 8. Can you watch him/her for a sec? NO. No I absolutely will not watch your kid while you go make a phone call or get a pretzel or talk to your friend on the other side of the playground. I’m stressed enough making sure no one kidnaps my own kid, I simply cannot be held responsible for your child, too. Sorry. 9. How do you manage without a nanny? Whoopdy-friggin’-do you have a nanny to wipe your kid’s snot and push your double stroller for you. Awesome. Good for you. If I could afford a nanny, obviously I would have one. So please, don’t rub it in. Just enjoy your hired help and leave me alone. 10. Are you the nanny? This is typically offensive on so many levels because you are essentially implying I’m not ______ enough to be this child’s mother. Not old enough, not wealthy enough, the list goes on. All you need to know is that the kid came here with me which means I’m responsible for him/her. End of story. Anything else annoy you on the playground or other places you interact with moms you don’t really know? Share in the comments.
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