“You look good!”
“For someone who’s had four kids.”
“Especially since one of those kids is 21.”
Okay stop. In fact, stop two sentences ago. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no mom ever wants to hear anything past “you look good”. If in fact someone says this to you, you must move away immediately to avoid the unavoidable follow up sentences. (I’ve discovered that slamming your hand over their mouth can result in a more unpleasant situation than simply being mildly offended.)
I’m not saying that having kids doesn’t do something to our bodies (unless you are Gisele Bundchen), never mind your face (worry wrinkles, bags under our eyes), but it’s not as if you can’t enjoy some of this same abuse without the pleasure of having borne children. I know loads of women, and men, who have never gone through a 30+ pound pregnancy, who could still do with some serious gym and diet time.
And let’s face it, kids aren’t the only things that give us stress in our lives, or deprive us of our sleep.
So, instead of saying “…for someone who has X number of kids”, and focusing on the obvious body and face changes, it would probably be more appropriate to focus on these particular things that happen only if you are a mom.
- Has spent an unnatural amount of time waiting for things which have already been done, to be redone, in a far less efficient way. For example, toddler shoe putting-on, pre-school hair brushing, and seven-year-old face wiping.
- Visibly flinches and scratches at the mere mention of the words lice, rash, and pinworm.
- Enthusiastically volunteers to go to the grocery store, garbage dump, or to stand in line to pay a tax bill, as all involve leaving the house without minor accompaniment.
- Feels no conflict at all in judging some moms for bad parenting decisions, while totally defending others doing similar things, if they’re friends.
- Has sat through approximately 1,473 hours of school concerts, plays, karate testing, hockey practice, dance recitals, fencing demonstrations, assemblies, unnecessary graduations and countless episodes of Phineas and Ferb. Each hour in real time is the equivalent to five hours of “mom time”. There should be an award, but she would never willingly sit through a ceremony to get it.
- Can’t advise you with any accuracy as to whether there isn’t a child inflicted stain or tear someone on their clothing, at any time.
In fact, the next time you’re the victim of the “You look good…” backhanded compliment, do what I do – up the number of children by at least two, raise your age by at least five years, and let them think you look more than just “good” for a woman who has that many kids, at such an old age.
Kathy’s latest book I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8 Step Guide To Giving Your Family The “Business” will be published by Random House in Spring, 2013. It is available for pre-order now at Chapters and Amazon.com. Follow Kathy on Twitter @KathyBuckworth.
About the Author
Photo by CL Buchanan Photography
Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of five books, including “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood” and her latest, “Shut Up and Eat:Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay”. She is a feature writer for Sympatico.ca in their parenting, travel, and auto sections, and is also a columnist for ParentsCanada, Womens Post, Ottawa Families, Dabble Magazine, and GoodLife. She also regularly contributes to national magazines such as Canadian Families, Disney Playhouse, and Oh Baby. Her monthly “Funny Mummy” column appears on 25+ websites across North America. She is a parenting correspondent for CTVNewsChannel, and appears on shows such as CityLine and The Marilyn Denis Show.
Kathy is the only two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the 2010 recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She is the Managing Director of 4WordsComm.com and has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She has acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Research In Motion, Presidents Choice Financial and LeapFrog Toys. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com or follow along at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth
Kathy Buckworth Award winning author, I Am So The Boss Of You, Shut Up & Eat, The BlackBerryDiaries Feature writer Sympatico.ca, (Travel, Parenting, Auto) Columnist for ParentsCanada, Dabble, GoodLife, DisneyJunior Blogger for Huffington Post Canada, Funny Mummy Syndicated Column CTV NewsChannel, CityLine Contributor.