Posted By Contributor, Lisa Robertson
I have three lovely little boys. They are wonderful children and while they can act up and get in trouble just like any other child (and by child…I mean daughters), they are blessing and I can’t imagine my life without them.
That being said, as a mother of three little boys, other mothers and fathers—of all ages and ethnicities—seem to love to comment on our family status. I can never understand why they feel compelled to do this, but here are the top 5 offensive things I often hear while out and about with my three sons.
1. ” Wow. Three boys, huh? I am so sorry.”
The first time I heard someone tell me how sorry they feel for me because I have three healthy young sons, I was shocked and insulted and one hundred times later, it’s just as offensive. I would never, ever walk up to a mother with one child (healthy or unhealthy) and tell them I felt sorry for them for having that child. Can you imagine the audacity of walking up to a mother at Target who is shopping with her one toddler in a shopping cart and saying, “Oh my gosh! I feel so sorry that you have that one child!”
It would be insane and ridiculous for anyone to walk up to a woman with one or even two children and say that to them, but adults seem to have absolutely no problem approaching me at Target, Disneyland, and the like to provide me with condolences on my having three healthy, intelligent and relatively well-behaved sons. It is completely insulting and it is unacceptable to say a comment like this to any parent with any child.
2. “Are all three of them yours?”
This one is beyond me and I can never understand where people are coming from when they ask me this. So what if they are or aren’t all mine? And by “mine” are they asking if I stole them? Adopted them? Gave birth to them? Babysitting someone else’s three boys? And…if they aren’t all three “mine,” why is it anyone’s business if those children belong to me? (Unless, of course you are a police officer inquiring about a kidnapped child…then ask away.)
Oh, and if you don’t believe I get this comment, I once got it TWICE in one day while shopping with my kids at the Empire Center. Twice. From employees at different stores while paying.
3. “I bet you wish you had a girl.”
Let’s just put it out there that a lot of families would like to have one of each gender when it comes to children, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I would have loved to have had a daughter. Nonetheless, I’m always taken aback when a perfect stranger asks me this. Again, like with the other absurd comments I get, it’s none of their business. Second of all, that comment implies that I wish I didn’t have one of my sons, which is clearly ridiculous.
4. “You shouldn’t give up on having a girl. You should keep trying.”
Whether or not I reproduce more children is my business and for the record, I am plenty busy and fulfilled with my three children. Plus, my house and car just won’t accommodate one more child. Also, at what point would these people suggest I “stop trying” and in the process, if I were to have more boys, does that belittle their existence?
5. “It’s too bad you don’t have a daughter since boys are more likely to spend time with their wives’ families once they get married.”
This “doom and gloom” look at my future family structure is, again, nobody’s business and goes along with a notion that sons do not love their parents the way daughters do. My children are loving souls and we are a close-knit family. While time will tell when it comes to our family’s future dynamics, I think the audacity of this comment from strangers is both shocking and sad.
So there you have it: the things that strangers have the audacity to say to me because I have three boys. I have talked to other moms in all stages of life in the “Three Boys Club” about this and they concur that they’ve gotten similar comments from other adults as their children have been growing up. Next time you see me…or a mom like me… instead of looking shocked and dismayed at our children, think before you speak and know we love our children very much because they are our kids–not because of their gender or how many of them there are.