What Not to Say

Despite having a week on the emotional roller coaster, it’s taken me a while to come up with this weeks Ranty Friday post.

Until a couple of hours ago I was pretty stumped, then I read an article on the Beeb website about an employee of a well known supermarket chain, making inappropriate comments to new mother in Hampshire.

I’ve touched previously about judgemental parenting and those without children also passing judgement on parents. This however is another annoyance altogether.

Whatever the hell happened to the saying, to quote a young rabbit called Thumper, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”?

Holy hell in a hand basket.
How did this woman think it was appropriate to judge this lady on taking her 6 week old child to the supermarket? I mean, god forbid this lady want to get out of the house and into a sense of normalcy as opposed to being stuck at home all day with a new baby. Gone is that rule that new babies shouldn’t be introduced to the outside world before 8 weeks old. What a load of crap.

And then, “She asked me what I was thinking ‘bringing my son to a place like this’.”

A place like what? Your employer? Is your employer that bad that you think babies should not be subject to it? It’s a frigging supermarket, not a lab in the CDC or WHO!

Then to add further insult to injury, have the audacity to ask where the child’s father was?! As if it is any concern of hers.

To be honest, I am not surprised. Not in the least. Get a few mothers together and ask them if they’ve been on the end of any inappropriate comments with regards to their new baby and you’ll hear a load of shocking stories.

So for those of you who apparently weren’t taught to keep your mouth shut if you can’t say anything nice, here’s a few things NOT to say to a parent with a small baby, in addition to the things mentioned above.

~ what is it?
It? Don’t refer to someone’s baby as an “IT”, it’s incredibly rude. If there are no obvious giveaways such as a headband with a bow, baby dressed like a girl, or a boy, etc, then say “is your baby a little boy or girl?” Parents are much more likely not be offended!

~ oh, he looks like a little old man!
Unless a parent has made a comment about the appearance of their baby, you do not make any comment that could be construed as negative. I know a few ladies who have openly claimed “I have ugly kids” and that’s up to them. If you lay eyes on a babe that isn’t, in your opinion, cute, then find something else to compliment.

~are you breastfeeding?
Is it any of your business? No? Then just don’t bother asking. Same goes for, bottle feeding, did you give birth naturally, etc etc.

~what is he/she wearing?
Usually the same thing as you, clothes. It may not be to your tastes, but then that’s because it’s not your choice.

~what a well behaved baby!
This is a tricky one, and one in my opinion, should never be said at all. Baby maybe quiet and sleeping nicely now, but that doesn’t mean that between the hours of 2 and 6 am he or she wasn’t screaming when not being fed or held and mama or daddy is sleep deprived and only out walking because that’s what gets the baby to nap. You could be lucky and be bang on, but you could also be quite unlucky with saying this. So just avoid it.

So, yeah, in future, if you cannot say something nice, then just don’t open your mouth.

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