10 Phrases We Wish Were Banned from Mom Conversations


Mothers are the most amazing people in the world. Seriously; and I am not just saying that because I am a mother and I have four pretty cool kids. I’m saying that because I admire my mom friends more than any other people on the planet. I admire their composure, their cool personalities and their ability to let things just roll off their back without seeming to get to them. I love that we can get together and talk about how awful our kids can be at times, how hilarious they are most of the time and how much we wish we had more time to ourselves. I admire them because they are superhumans that create life, give birth and then somehow manage to do everything, every day, all the time all while looking beautiful, put together and totally in sync with their lives.

Moms are completely awesome. I love them. I do, but sometimes there are things that you just shouldn’t say in mom conversations. As the mother of four, I can say that there are certain phrases I would never use with moms I don’t know all that well. My personal girlfriends of a million years? Bring it on; nothing is off limits and I know we don’t judge one another even when we disagree. We support one another; but there are certain things that should just be banned from conversation with moms you’re not that familiar with – for reasons that might just surprise you.

Can’t you just…

No, I cannot just. I know that when another mother says this, she is just being helpful, but it never really comes across that way in conversation. Mostly because any sentence that begins with this phrase usually follows another mother stating her failure in some way. “I can never make it to school on time with my kids even though we wake up four hours before we have to leave and I have an hour to get them all in the car,” followed by, “Can’t you just….” Is usually taken as hurtful. It’s not meant to, but the implication that comes from this phrase is, “You’re not doing it the right way,” and that hurts.

Well, I can…

Well, I can tell you this; when you put a “Well” in front of something, it immediately sounds rude. Drop the, “Well,” and move on. For example, “I’m not sending my kids to private school,” sounds a lot more conversational than, “Well, I’m not sending my kids to private school,” right? Did you read the tone in that “well”?

No, you have no idea…

Here, “No” is a lot like “Well” above. You might not have any idea, none of us have any idea what your particular kids are like or whatever, but we all know that we know in general what it’s like. Example, “You have no idea how bad my kids were today, girl!” sounds so much nicer than, “No, you have no idea how bad my kids were today.”

I could never be a single mom

I could never be a twin mom, yet here I am with year-and-a-half old twins and two older kids and a husband that says he has no idea how we do it on a daily basis. No one wants to be a single mom, of course; that’s not the ideal. But people do it all the time because they have to do it. Someone has to do it. It’s fine to think you’d suck at the job but if you had to do it, you’d do it. All this statement does is make single moms feel bad about themselves, as if you are pointing out you are better than they are.

I don’t know how you do it

People say this to me with twins all the time. I don’t know how you do it doesn’t sound all that bad, really, but it all depends on how you say it. When someone says to me, “I don’t know how you do it,” with awe and wonder and pride, I’m okay with it. But when, “I don’t know how you do it,” comes with a raised eyebrow, a look of disgust and a sneer, it makes me want to punch you in the face. I do it because they are my kids and I love them, and God decided that I needed four kids – who am I to argue with that?

My husband is useless

Listen; husbands are not perfect, but neither are wives. I often find myself telling my husband he’s darn lucky he has me to find all the things that are literally right in front of his face, but I prefer to look at his good points – which includes pretty much everything about him. Sorry, ladies, but moms with great husbands don’t have any sympathy for moms with less than great husbands. I knew when I married my husband that he would make an amazing father, and I was right. He’s 100% hands on with the household requirements and needs, he’s 100% hands on with the kids and he’s not a complainer. I knew that when I married him, and we put our expectations on the table. If you want him to be more helpful, let him know. If you let him get away with being useless, don’t complain about it – fix it.

My kids are such brats

Kids are not brats. Kids behave like brats, but they are not brats. Let’s make it clear that we should remember refer to a specific behavior rather than the child as a whole. It’s hurtful to call a child a brat when you’re really just referring to their behavior.

Last night at the club…

Need I elaborate?

Why don’t you have another one?

Unless you’re talking about a glass of wine, be quiet. Why does everyone have a need to ask this? It’s a personal question equivalent to me looking at you and saying, “So, how big is your husband’s you-know-what?” What you are doing is asking someone when they are going to have unprotected sex; creepy. Additionally, let’s not ask about breast feeding, stitches, let down or things of that nature. And let’s not forget that we should be sensitive to other moms. We may not always know if a mother had a difficult time getting pregnant, can no longer get pregnant, or she realized after this one that she actually hates kids and never wants another. You don’t know, so don’t ask.

Are you sure you want to…?

Go home instead of staying here and having another glass of wine with us while we discuss what’s going to happen to Olivia Pope and Jake/Fitz? Because that’s the only time this question is appropriate. Moms really don’t love it when someone begins a sentence with “Are you sure you want to,” because it usually ends with a stupid question such as “use disposable/cloth diapers,” “breastfeed/use formula,” “give your kid a lunchable instead of a home cooked meal you made out of only organic food you had shipped directly from the farm?” It always comes across as sounding like you’re saying, “Well, you do what you want, but my way is better.”

The appropriate response is: You go, mama. Good for you for doing what is best for you and your family.

Photos by Getty Images


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