My Family is Complete and other annoying sayings

I’ve written before about a mother’s greatest critic being other mothers but having a newborn gives everyone the right to have a say in your life it seems.

Even having older children does the same.

No sooner was Boo out of the womb than people were asking if we were having another baby. Mentioning the miscarriages usually put paid to those questions-after all, no one wants to talk about that, do they?

They might not want to talk about the babies that didn’t make it, but they feel well equipped to ‘advise’ you on the ones that did.

This week I read a great post from Nikki over at Keeping Strong and Moving Forward. It was called Yes They’re All Mine and she was talking about how strangers say the same thing to her all the time, like “You have your hands full”, “Don’t you own a TV?”

It got me thinking (and having a rant in my head) that while well-meaning, what gives other people the right to make assumptions and judge you, on your kids?

It seems people have to say something. They can’t just say ‘what a lovely baby’ or ‘what beautiful children.’

In Asda for example, I’ve had people ask me (755 times in the last ten weeks), which aisle did I pick Beb up in? Now I know this is not offensive in any way but, it still grates when you’re trying to get two children around the supermarket before any kind of melt down begins.

What has really surprised me however is the comments about having had a boy.

I, of all people know how precious all babies are, not least that we have a boy and a girl.

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When Beb was born though, I had people tell me, TELL ME that my family was complete.

Why, thank you for letting me know I don’t need to have any more children. I will make sure I consult you if, god forbid I dare to think about wanting another baby.

Yes, it seems having a child of each sex is the holy grail of parenting but would my family have been any less complete if Beb had been a girl? No, I don’t think it would have been.

Granted, Hubster may have beheaded me-Anne Boleyn style for not producing a son and heir but I would have been happy whatever the sex our very-much-wanted baby was.

The point is, parents have such a tough time as it is. There is an army of well-wishers out there who feel they have a right to comment on our lives-just because we have decided to add to the population.

It is up to the individual to decide how many children they have and when it is time to stop.

For us, it is early days. Unless it is a surprise, I can’t imagine any parent of a newborn can make the decision about more babies.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

21 Comments

  1. It is fine that you wrote and rant and thank you so much for the mention. I am sorry you have been though this too but I did giggle at the image of you being beheaded in this day and age for not giving your hubby and heir lol
    Great post 🙂

  2. I completely agree. When we announced our third some people were actually shocked! Apparently if you have a boy and a girl already you don’t need to have any more babies! The correct response to anything like this should be ‘how lovely’ with a smile. It isn’t hard!

    • farmerswifeandmummy

      You’re right. How rude is that Pippa? You should have poked them really hard in the eye 😉 x

  3. Oh I did have a giggle at this. I get people asking me – a LOT – whether we’ll have any more and when, because we had our girls close (19 months).

    Completely understand your frustration at getting around the supermarket too, one of my bugbears. I know people mean well but I don’t always want to chat to strangers!

    Thanks for sharing x

  4. Great post! i`ve got a newborn too and am currently writing a similar rant post about the thoughtless crap people have said to me (About having two sons! Kind of the opposite of what’s being said to you!) – apparently people really struggle to say ANYTHING appropriate where new babies are involved :/ xx

  5. Like Pippa people were often shocked that we were adding to our “already perfect one of each family” – the rudest question which we were asked on a regular basis was “Was it planned?” How dare we deviate from people’s own perceived socially accepted norm!

  6. Hahaa oh yes, I’ve heard them all I think. I get the ‘don’t you own a TV’ one all the time, to which I usually reply ‘yes but we don’t know how to use it, do you think that’s the problem?’ It’s just laughable really, people can be really thoughtless can’t they x

  7. i was having a conversation on Twitter about this exact thing yesterday! SO many people have said we have a complete family now we’re having a boy – for 1 we wouldn’t have cared either way, and 2 why does that mean we can’t have more in the future?! Seems like like you can never win haha xx

  8. Ah the comments we have had when we announced we were having number 4. Everything from ‘Don’t you have a TV?’ to ‘Are you mad?’. No we aren’t mad, we are blessed. No we aren’t hoping for a girl to ‘even things up’. We are just happy to be here with a healthy baby in my tummy. Great post.

  9. Very well said! I can’t get over the cheek of people. Like you say, it’s almost like having a baby makes you fair game for comments like this. I’m already being asked when we are having another (Baby B is 9 months old for goodness sake!) which I find ridiculously insensitive given that it took us over 16 months to conceive Baby B! Who knows how long it could take next time?! Grr!

    Great post!

    X Becca

  10. I find it fascinating how having babies suddenly makes you public property in so many ways. One of my parents’ friends started talking to me about sex at the weekend! This might sound a little prudish, but if it wasn’t so obvious that I had partaken in a bit of the S-E-X in the past nine months, I’m really not sure that conversation would have taken place. Oh the joys of inappropriate chatter! 😉 #MaternityMondays

  11. Oh some of the cliche crap people say is so annoying. I know they mean well most of the time but it’s like they say what they think they should say. Like you said have one baby and immediately when’s the next one coming? Great post. More peopl should think a bit first xx #maternitymondays

  12. I agree with you totally, we always planned 3 children if all was well, we had 2 girls and then ‘constantly got the ‘are you going to try for a boy? and now that our third is here and a boy, we’ve had a lot of comments about him being a him and are we glad etc, actually I am just glad he is okay after his tricky beginning, his gender didn’t matter. #maternitymondays

  13. Brilliant post and I completely know what you mean – I’ve been on the other side too and I now realise what RIDICULOUS things I’ve said to parents in the past! People just don’t think, do they. Mim 🙂 #maternitymonday

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