Words have a lot of power and influence people in ways we may not completely comprehend, so it’s best to choose them wisely. No matter how well-intentioned you are, the outcome of your words might not be at all what you had in mind.
Therefore, it’s important to deliberately refrain from being insensitive. Other than this, mothers have a lot on their plate every day. All they ask for in return is support and affirmation from everyone.
You’ll do well to keep these secrets from any mothers.
*You gave birth to another girl, AGAIN?
Ouch! How impolite or rude can you be? This is like a sword to the heart of a mother, especially if this is her fourth child and her husband and family members are already on her case for a male child. Be a nice sport by encouraging her instead. Not having a boy isn’t a loss or crime after all. Don’t fuel ignorance.
*Look at you, seems the kids took it all.
Maybe she really isn’t half as pretty as she was before she had kids but you don’t have to make her feel having kids has made her ugly, come on! Perhaps a blow to the stomach wouldn’t hurt as much as those words. Consider subtly introducing beauty routines which may savage her diminishing beauty. Having a lovely spa date sometime may open her eyes to a lot of possibilities, for instance.
*Hope you’re on a diet because at this rate, you are going to blow.
An imprudent way of telling a mum she is getting too fat. Why not try to cajole her into embracing exercises, controlling portions and eating more fruits and veggies? If you have a gym membership, perhaps you should try to invite her too.
*You really need a change of wardrobe. Your clothes are so last-season!
This is a very ill-mannered way of telling a mum she doesn’t have a good sense of fashion. That may be true but should not be pointed out harshly. Doesn’t this sound better, “why don’t we go shopping sometime soon?” I need a change of clothes and so do you. We need to catch up.” This may cause you both to laugh and feel at ease with each other but you would have put a plan to change that wardrobe in motion without upsetting her emotions.
*Your second child looks nothing like the rest of your family.
Trying to question the child’s paternity? This is definitely not pleasant. The child may resemble an extended family member you haven’t met or paid attention to, so, consider keeping that thought to yourself to save the poor mum the explanation. She doesn’t owe you any by the way.
*Does your child eat? She’s so skinny.
How did you know! She doesn’t eat at all, so, what are you going to do about it? Be cautious about commenting about a mum or her child’s weight so bluntly. Don’t ask a mum what she feeds her kids that makes them so fat either. The weight is obvious, so, she knows and probably looking for solutions already. If you really care and have a solution, then, mention it lightly. It would be better to keep quiet altogether if you have no help to offer.
*Your daughter is always in the company of guys. Hope you’ve taught her sex education.
You’re telling the mum since her daughter is loose, she should be taught sex education to prevent unwanted pregnancies or worse. Consider being more polite by saying, “Kids sure grow up fast these days and considering the high level of immorality in our society, we should keep educating them about the do’s and don’ts, especially in the area of sex.” The mum will understand your good intention as she’s not ignorant of her daughter’s friendship with guys (which may very well be innocent). Even if she had not considered teaching her child sex education, she may buy into the idea now that you have mentioned it.
*Hope this tastes better
Yes, it was hell smiling through the last dinner at her house hoping you’d survive the last bite but don’t ruin her good cheer at the table with that comment, especially if others are present. If the meal turns out just like the last or even worse, guess you’ll survive too. If you’re close friends, consider preparing the next one together as a co-host, maybe, she’ll learn a few skills in the process. Notwithstanding, participating in the cooking makes it more likely you’ll accept whichever way it turns out.
The list is definitely not limited to these few. Criticize constructively without sounding rude, and ultimately, remember, mums should have one another’s back.