Blame it on baby brain. Or the lack of adult conversation since having kids. Or the sleep deprivation. Whatever the case, we’ve all put our foot in our mouth before and said something to someone without kids that we have probably regretted. And here are the ones that childless couples agree are the absolute worst.
Before becoming a parent yourself, it’s easy to be annoyed by people with kids. I will admit that before having kids of my own I would dread the conversations involving a friend’s baby or how tired she was or how busy but fulfilling life had become.
In any case, now I know that parents don’t mean to annoy non-parents with these comments. But they still do. And thus, here are the comments that should be avoided at all costs (unless you thrive on awkward silences. Then go for it).
“When are you having kids?”
There is a good chance that the couple may already be trying. Or, they may simply not want them. Either way, it’s not really anyone’s business but their own. Unless they bring it up, then it’s best to keep your mouth shut.
“You don’t know what love is until you have children.”
So, essentially, life without kids is meaningless. What a lovely thought for people who cannot or choose not to breed. I can assure you that it’s possible to love things other than your children. Like pets. And partners. And a really good glass of pinot noir.
“I wish I could do that..”
Many things are off the table once you become a parent, but complaining to non-parents about it really should be too. If you really want to do something, do it with the kids in tow. No child wants to be used as an excuse as to why their parents couldn’t do what they wanted to do.
“You don’t know what being tired feels like until you have kids.”
Yes, it is exhausting raising children. But that doesn’t mean your mate who is working full time and having trouble sleeping due to stress isn’t allowed to feel tired. Parents, please stop calling dibs on the feeling of tiredness. Everyone gets to be tired.
“Pets are not kids.”
Pfft, whatever. Do pets require your love and attention? Yes. Do they make massive messes? Yes. Will you do anything to keep them safe and happy? Yes.
At my house there are four kids – two human ones, one dog and one man child partner, all of whom I love unconditionally and care for no matter what.
Just because one of them sleeps outside doesn’t mean I love him any less (and, no, I’m not talking about the man child partner).
“Once you have kids you will understand…”
Because the ability to experience empathy is only attainable once you push a child out of your body? Have child. Will understand life’s deeper meanings.
I know – we’ve all said them. And pre-kids, we’ve probably all heard them too. But once you know what not to say, it can make conversations go a lot smoother. Make sure you also check out the best responses to the most annoying comments childless couples say to parents for the other side of the conversation faux pas coin.
And check out some of our other what not to say and do posts including: