I follow a lot of blogs. Like, a lot. To say I'm a blogaholic is an understatement. I mean, I love blogs and blogging so much that I started Memphis Moms Blog. I spend every waking hour working on Memphis Moms Blog, or perusing the internet reading other blogs in order to stay caught up on what's happening in the world of motherhood, the world of womanhood, and really just the world in general. I've noticed something about a lot of the blogs I follow, though. There is this trend that keeps popping up on the really popular blogs. It started out as mildly annoying to me, but it's finally reached the point to where I just can't handle it anymore.
27 Things You Should NEVER SAY to a Working Mom
Things You Should NEVER SAY to the Mom of a Blue-Eyed Baby
12 Things NEVER TO SAY to a Mom of Multiples
15 Things People Should NEVER SAY to Pregnant Ladies
Things You Should NEVER SAY to the Mother of a Teenager
Please, can we just stop writing about what people should never say to us?
Let's get one thing straight, y'all: we pretty much all suck. We all say stupid stuff we shouldn't say, and it's not because we're jerks, it's because we're human. I'm fairly confident that every single one of us can think back to a time when we've said something we shouldn't have to someone who probably didn't want to hear it. Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome isn't anything new, and we've all been afflicted at some point in time during our lives. Let's not pretend any of us are immune.
I apologize if I annoy you with my questions, and I honest-to-God don't ask them in order to offend you. Believe it or not, there are probably very few, if any, people that are here on this planet with the sole purpose in life of frustrating or offending you. I, too, have been frustrated by people's comments. I've been a single mom, and have had a wide range of offensive/ignorant things said to me. I'm actually guilty of the rude eye roll, the snarky comeback, and the unamused death stare. I've done all those things to people I felt were telling me or asking me something that they should never say to me. To me, it seemed obvious that what they were saying was uncalled for, and they should never say it to someone like me. Then one day I asked a woman with twins if her kids were twins. As it turns out, that's something some blogs will chastise you for, and tell you never to say to a mother of twins. And guess what? It turns out they weren't twins. Turns out Mom and Dad adopted a baby, and right before that baby was born, they found out they were pregnant. Huh. I guess it wasn't that stupid of a question after all. Also, Mom got a chance to tell me their story and we both laughed about how people always assume they're twins.
I totally get it. Sometimes we get tired of hearing the exact same question or comment from strangers a million times. Take it from me--my last name is Bright. I have heard every single joke about my name that anyone could ever come up with. I grew up with the nickname "Notso," for crying out loud. As in, Notso Bright. But have I written a passive-aggressive blog entitled "Things You Should NEVER SAY to a Person With a Word As Their Last Name?" No. Because that would be stupid, and awfully condescending, and truthfully a tad bit narcissistic. I don't honestly think that everyone in the world should tip toe around whatever situation I find myself in. That's just not how society works, and I don't have the energy to hold that many grudges.
I have several friends who are mothers to children with visible special needs. Lucky for me and everyone else, every one of those women actually welcomes questions from other people. They use these questions, not as an excuse to scoff and call people ignorant or rude, but to educate people about Down syndrome, or blindness, or muscular dystrophy. They answer these questions and comments with grace, humility, and understanding. Even the outright rude comments are met with a smile and an answer that will leave the commenter a bit more in-the-know than they were before. This is the way society works. You don't get to dictate what people say or don't say to you. We are not required to get on our soapbox and make sure society is fearful of saying the wrong thing around us, and to be frank, that in itself is just plain rude.
So here's the deal, Mamas. Why not instead of constantly telling the rest of society what they should never say to us, we instead embrace the fact that there are people out there who are just trying to strike up a cordial light-hearted conversation while you're both stuck in line at the post office. Some of us literally just want to have a conversation--any conversation--with someone other than a three-year-old. Instead of being grossly offended by the statement, "wow you look like you're ready to pop!" when you're 10 months pregnant, smile and agree that you are huge. Because you are huge and it is noticeable, and people are bound to comment on it. I'm guessing that person didn't intend to offend you, or suggest that you're disturbingly large. It's not worth your energy to get all uppity and snappy--trust me, you'll need that energy in 12 hours when you're in labor.
We're all human. We're all a little dumb. And we should all show one another a little grace. Laugh it off, mamas, and enjoy the conversation.
Oh, and for the record, my last name will be changing at the end of this month. That's right, I'll no longer be a Bright. Nope. I'll be a Ball.
But I promise I'll still refrain from writing a blog post about what you should never say to me about my last name.