While being bombarded daily with small-talk questions about children and parenting may be an inescapable side effect of motherhood, there are certain questions that no mom wants to hear. From too personal to downright rude, there are some things that no mom should ever have to answer. See what real moms say are the worst questions you can ask them.
1. Are you sick?
Unless a mom has a horrible hacking cough, bite your tongue on asking about her health. "I hate, 'Are you sick?'," says mother-of-two Corrine T. "No, I look like a sack of pounded poop because my son thinks it's a scream to wake me up at 5 a.m. asking for breakfast!" Bottom line — no woman wants to be told she looks bad.
2. Why don't you want more children?
Often asked by someone who thinks you should want more, this question is worse than the more neutral "Do you want another child?" As Lacye says, "I'm not you and I just don't want anymore!" Deciding how many children to have is a personal decision that moms shouldn't have to justify or explain to anyone.
3. Is she a good baby?
This question is especially irksome after a challenging day. "What do you want me to say?" Laura H. asks. "No? No, she's not a 'good' baby. She's challenging, complicated, intense, frustrating, sensitive, loud, demanding, etc.! Thanks for forcing me to admit she isn't good."
4. Is he your brother?
Young moms are particularly irritated by questions that reveal strangers' assumptions about their age. "At an OB visit, the lady at the front desk asked me, 'Where are your parents?'," Laura H recalls. Likewise, older moms hate being asked if they're the grandmother.
5. Is he yours?
Questions related to the nationalities or ethnicities of the baby and his parents can cause major offense. "I am Caucasian and my husband is Chinese," Kristina T explains. "Our 8-month-old son looks exactly like his father, so I get the 'Is he yours?' or 'Is his dad Asian?' all the time. Like it matters."
6. Did you have IVF?
Chatting with a mom of twins? Steer clear of this question. Moms of multiples are seriously peeved by questions about fertility treatments. Kathy S. remembers a situation her daughter went through. "When she was pregnant with her twins, EVERYONE asked, 'Did you have IVF?' She hated, hated, hated it! She said she was always so angry she couldn't think of a smart reply."
7. Is it a boy or a girl?
He's dressed in blue, she's dressed in pink . . . Isn't it obvious? "The whole 'Is it a boy or girl?' question has made me laugh since the first time I took my oldest to church," Melanie S. shares. "Dressed all in blue, sitting in a blue carrier with a pacifier that said, 'I'm a boy!' People still had to ask. Really?!"
8. Did you have a natural birth?
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"I have to say the most annoying/invasive question I get asked all the time is 'Did you give birth naturally? Or was it C-section?'" Jaime S. shares. "Um, I don't know. You?" Amy G. agrees: "I still don't know how to respond. Whose business is that?"
9. When will you try for a boy?
Questions that imply a mom should want a child of a certain gender are also bound to ruffle mama birds' feathers. "What bugs me the most is [that] they always say WHEN, as if we NEED to have a boy or there's something wrong," says Holly, a mother of three.
10. Haven't you had enough?
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Posed to moms with large families, this question implies you shouldn't be having more than two kids. We love Heather H.'s suggestion for a tongue-in-cheek response. "If you met my husband, you would understand."
What's the most irritating question you've been asked as a mom?