Mothering Monday: Words that hurt

A friend posted the following as her facebook status: “What not to say to the pregnant lady with 2 hyper kids in line at the grocery store, ‘Do you really want a third?’ A little late for that don’t you think?”  It really got me thinking 2 things: 1. People may think they are funny, but they are just rude and 2. You never know the impact of your words.

Thankfully, my friend, who is a great mother with nice, well-behaved kids by the way, was able to go home, laugh about the comment and post it on Facebook to invite others to laugh as well.  But what if she was feeling like a failure as a mom, what if she was feeling overwhelmed and doubting how she was going to take care of another child, what if she was battling depression, what if that particular comment pushed her over the edge and led her to do something “unthinkable”?

Then I started thinking about the things that are said that our kids hear.  Did her kids hear the woman?  Did they understand what she was implying?  Would they think that perhaps their mom didn’t want to be pregnant or maybe didn’t even want them?  Which then led me to think about the things my kids hear me say.

Do I say things that give them the impression that I don’t like being a mom, let alone their mom?  Through our life, we can probably all remember something that was said (whether from a parent, a classmate, a boyfriend, a spouse…) that made us feel unwanted.  Maybe it was said in jest, maybe it was said in anger, but whatever the motive it hurt.  I can remember the sting, I can remember how it feels.

My new resolution is that my children will not hear this from my lips.  Because they are wanted.  They misbehave sometimes.  Sometimes I need a break.  (This week I’m counting down the days until Thursday when I go away with just the girls to a MOPS convention in Nashville.)  But they are wanted, I love them, they are mine and I wouldn’t change it.  And I don’t want them to think I feel otherwise.  I also want to be their defenders.  If someone says a comment like that to me… which occasionally their behavior in public would warrant such a comment… I want to have a comeback that shows my kids just how much I love them.  I’m thinking my reply would be, “Absolutely, I want another.  I love my children and they bring me great joy.”  (Of course I can correct them later for their behavior…)  

♥Becki, imperfect mother


3 thoughts on “Mothering Monday: Words that hurt

  1. I think in general people can be very insensitive towards children and want them to act like little adults. It did really hurt my feelings when she said that but I deal with that type of thing with humor. Joking around with everyone on Facebook made me feel better.
    Becki makes a good point about not labeling a child. I know I am guilty of calling my kids names like brat or bad, which really hurts their self esteem & isn’t something I want to do.
    For the record, we all really do want a third child and are very excited to have him or her join the family.

    1. Benita – it definitely would have hurt my feelings too. I never felt so judged before I had kids! For the record, I’m excited for you to have another child 🙂

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