Twelve Easy Ways to Tick off a Mom Without Even Trying

1)      Tell the mother of an only child that you didn’t realize how easy it was to have one child until you had your second.

2)      Tell the mother of several children that you chose not to have more than one out of “consideration for the environment.”

3)      Tell a new mom that she spends too much time talking about her kids, when you just spent the last thirty-six hours on the phone with her dissecting your latest relationship.

4)      Complain to a nursing mother that you’re having trouble sleeping.

5)      Tell a working mother that you gave up your job in order to stay at home because you didn’t want “someone else raising” your child.

6)      Say, like Angelina Jolie did in a recent Vanity Fair article, that you’d like to be a stay-at-home mom, but if you were, just personally, you wouldn’t feel your life had any real value.

7)      Ask a woman who is out on maternity leave if she’s “having a nice break.”

8)      Tell a single mom on a fixed income that you’d like to have more kids, but you really just can’t afford it.

9)      Tell a mother who is having a ladies’ night out that she’s so lucky to have a husband that will “babysit.”

10)   Knowingly tell the mom of an infant that if she thinks she’s tired now, she should just wait until he’s “up and running around/two-years old/a teen-ager.”

11)   Tell a single parent that you know how she feels, because your spouse went away for a whole week!

12)   Ask a stay-at-home mom what she does all day.

Photo credit:  Clara S.

About Peryl Manning

Peryl Manning is somewhat (and pleasantly) surprised to find herself the mother of two almost freakishly dimpled little boys. She isn’t sure she should be the one in charge though; at thirty-something she still manages to somehow end up sitting in her own gum, and last week she found her credit card in the fridge with the leftover pizza. She loves mellow moms and Ayelet Waldman; she hates judgy moms and truffle oil. She juggles kids, contributing to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Momtastic and Mamazina Magazines, and other parenting publications, with whatever grace she can summon.


  1. Adria says:

    I’m enraged just from reading this!!

  2. Kate says:

    LOL! i feel REALLY bad – but I totally did #1 literally yesterday #supportivefriendfail

  3. Mommer says:

    When my firstborn was a baby, and my sister had twins, whenever I would say how tired I was, or how I was so busy with baby stuff, she would say, “Oh yeah? Try it with TWO.” I was thinking, “Oh yeah? Try shutting up.”

  4. Katie Kahler says:

    GREAT! #5 pisses me off on a regular basis.

  5. Megan says:

    Yes to all!

    Also, tell the mom of a baby in the NICU that “at least you can have a baby.” Yes, someone said that to me.

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  6. Ms. A says:

    Hahaha, good ones and even I’m guilty of some of them and I raised 4.

  7. Emily says:

    Number 4…oh, how number 4 can send me through the roof. Great list!

  8. em says:

    My working friends and some relatives always ask me #12 but I always answer them with #5..which I guess pisses them off more. Hehe.
    Great job on coming up with the list, Peryl :)

  9. Yes to all of those! What a great list!

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  10. C.N.T says:

    My husband says #12 all the time!! LOL

    The dangerous mistake of referring to a Stay At Home Mom as someone who “Doesn’t Work.”

    Words to describe kids an parenting:

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  12. I have both committed and been enraged by several of these. Love it!

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  13. gina says:

    #12 used to piss me off so bad! My husband, friends and family have all said it. I told them i’d love to get 2 breaks and a lunch, oh and to be able to clock out after 8 hours would be amazing, my job is 24 hours. I rejoined the workforce recently and it feels like a 40 hour vacation compared to when I stayed home.
    Em, I too have used #5 against them, the looks on their faces were priceless haha

    • Peryl Manning says:

      Me too! Other friends have said the same thing about returning to work…but I still think women who go to work all day and then come home and cope with pick ups and dinner and homework and cleaning and baths and hugs and kisses and bedtime all within a few hours are pretty phenomenal :). At least I can work in my pjs…

  14. Aimee says:

    I love your list, Peryl. I can feel my blood boil, but I also love that we all know how much it takes to raise a child. The one that really surprised me was the one about Angelina Jolie. I didn’t know about that article! I’m very disappointed in her (the mom-way of making her feel real bad when she reads this).

    • Peryl Manning says:

      I know, I was surprised by this too, Aimee! And I love your confidence that she’ll read my article :). Miss you lady.

  15. Hilarious, Peryl! Every one of those made me laugh and cringe at the same time.

  16. Great list! I particularly like #11. I was a single mom for four years and I can’t tell you how many times (rich, married) women would think they were empathizing with me by telling me how rough it was when their husbands went on business trips.

  17. MamaKaren says:

    I’ve slipped up and committed a couple of these (#1 and #10), but am more likely to be on the receiving end. When my daughter was in 4th grade and was starting to show signs of her mood disorder, I remember telling the teacher at the end of the conference that I was going to be out of town the following week, just so she would know to (a) contact my husband if she needed an immediate response and (b) be aware that the routine at home was different, which may impact my daughter’s behavior/mood. Her response was “Maybe if you spent a bit less time going on business trips and more time attending to your family, [Princess] wouldn’t be having these issues.”

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    • Peryl says:

      Oh dear. I’m sorry that happened. And imagine if it were your husband telling her the same thing…my guess is her response would be quite different.

  18. Hahahah! Fab list and absolutely perfect photo to go with it!

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  19. Faiqa Khan says:

    Tell a single parent that you know how she feels, because your spouse went away for a whole week!

    Damn. Guilty. ::ducks in shame::

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    • Peryl says:

      The first step is admitting you have a problem…seriously though, I’ve done the same thing. And was roundly corrected, which is how I know not to do it again!

  20. Issa says:

    Number 11 kills me. Seriously at times I want to yell at people on twitter who bitch about their husbands three day absence.

    The worst though? The ones I want to throw in front of a train,(Yikes I’m violent today.) are the ones who tell me I can’t complain about my “time off” because they’d LOVE a vacation from their kids.

    Yeah. Vacation from your kids, everyone should get. Sharing 50/50 custody after a divorce? Not so fun.

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  21. Haha! Or ask a woman with a belly is she pregnant when she’s holding on to some baby fat from her last child that is now 4 yrs old. :-/

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  22. Rigby says:

    Here are a few things I didn’t realize would tick off a mom (specifically, my sister), but they sure as hell did:

    1. Ask her if she’d seen a movie (I’ve since forgotten which one, but I’m pretty sure it was a comedy). Boy, did that bring the wrath! Nevermind that the movie came out before she had kids. According to her, just asking her that question was “denigrating her role as a mother.” She told me, in no uncertain terms, that SHE IS A MOM. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TIME TO SEE MOVIES. Oops. I had no idea.

    2. Telling her I was sad she hadn’t returned my phone call from either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I really showed my cluelessness that day — woo! She informed me that she is too BUSY to return phone calls, she has a FAMILY now, and that’s what I am supposed to do! According to her, if I want to have a conversation with over the holidays with anyone in the family who has kids, I need to get on a PLANE.

    3. And the worst of all, because it probably triggered all of this, was telling her, years before, that I don’t want kids.

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