The people who write the “5 things not to say to a parent”-type articles are such assholes.
Or so I was told after I wrote this blog along those lines last week. I get it, folks. You don’t want to be told what you can’t say. After all, this country was founded on the freedom of speech, damn it.
See, I always liked those blogs because I am the asshat who tends to forget to think before I speak. But I get that most people are not asshats, or, if they are, they don’t care because being politically correct all the time is just exhausting.
So here it is, a list of comments every parent loves to hear. There are AWESOME to say to parents whether you are a conversation disaster like me or a perfect person I love to hate:
#1 Comments Every Parent Loves To Hear: “You look great.”
Despite the exercises, creams and hand-clutching prayer, my stomach will always look like someone blew it up and deflated it. There will be dark circles under my eyes, and my outfit will come with a side of something smeared on it. Jokes aside, many of us parents are crazy insecure about some physical change, so hearing “You look great!” is amazing. It doesn’t have to mean that we conform to some kind of societal standard of beauty.
Maybe it just means we look happy, or healthy, or less exhausted than the day before. Or just lie to me and say I look nice when I look like a dumpster fire. I don’t even care at this point; I’ll take the compliment.
#2 Comments Every Parent Loves To Hear: “I can tell that you adore your kids.”
THANK GOD. Sometimes, I think that it isn’t so obvious, like on the really hard days when my patience is gonzo and I want to pack my bags and get in the car and just drive with no purpose. I carry around so much guilt on those days. At night, I lie in bed and worry that perhaps my children feel less loved. I hope my kids know how much they mean to me. If you can see it, it is an assurance that maybe they do, too.
#3 Comments Every Parent Loves To Hear: “Your kids are beautiful.”
Un-knot your panties; I’m not saying I need my children to associate value with looks. But it sure as hell never bothers me when people tell me my children are sneezing-baby-panda-level cute. Because they freaking are! Even ugly babies are still cute, you know? My son was born looking like an old man, so I know what I’m talking about. Everything is just miniature and fucking precious. (Actually, you could give my kids any kind of compliment and I will gobble it up like it’s wine and cheese night at an all-you-can-eat buffet.)
#4 Comments Every Parent Loves To Hear: “Can I help?”
Straight up: I’ll probably say no, because I really don’t want to subject you to the screaming child or diaper explosion or whatever we’re “handling.” But even if I say no, the simple act of you recognizing that my life is a hot mess is validating and comforting. Thank you for caring enough to want to help me. And when I do say yes, I promise I will repay you somehow, though it might be a little late and covered in ketchup and/or a child’s drawings.
#5 Comments Every Parent Loves To Hear: “You are a good parent.”
True, this depends on how you define a “good parent.” For me, it’s only barely above just keeping the kids alive but well below preparing all-organic, non-GMO dinners every night. I will never tire of hearing you tell me I’m a good parent. In fact, parents need to tell each other that more frequently. It’s easy to forget because we are constantly worried that we are failing. Like, CONSTANTLY worrying about it because we are inundated with bullshit articles and Facebook posts and sanctiparents that point out exactly how we are NOT doing a good job.
I don’t say these things to parents in my life these things often enough, and I’m going to start. Join me, won’t you?
Go enjoy more of Kate’s sarcastic sense of humor at her blog, My Kind of Parenting, or here on Facebook.
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