1. “All the mothers give birth, so it shouldn’t be that hard!”
This was literally heard from a husband describing the wife’s impending labour. Even though all women give birth, it’s not as plain and simple as ‘something women do’. Each pregnancy has mental, physical and emotional toll as well as risks, some even lasting after the birth. Even if the birth goes well, it is not something a woman will just say “It’s gonna be easy” even after a few births.
2. “So much for going natural huh?”
Sometimes birth plans and intentions may be discussed between the couple, but the eventual outcome of the actual birth experience may differ. The mother will know better than anyone else (save for the doctor) how much her body can take. If a different decision was made, it must have been a hard one for her as well. Cut her some slack. What matters is the health of the mother and baby. Don’t judge anyone on their birth choice – this goes for women towards each other too.
3. “That’s a mum’s job.”
This is such a stereotypical statement that it shouldn’t be said. Period. Ok, unless it is breastfeeding a privilege only beknown to women.
4. “You have really let yourself go haven’t you…”
Some women are elastic; their bodies snap back to their original shape before birth just within 3 months. For others, looser hips, more womanly curves develop.
Some women look not a hair out of place; for others, they may be hassled chasing after 3 kids. Some have extra help – a maid or extended family, some do not.
I am not saying that it’s alright to ‘let yourself go’, but that different people have different circumstances and for some there may be more important things then doing up hair and face.
So for men – instead of commenting, bless your wives with something that pampers her! Relieving her of some of her load may help too!
5. When the kids are rowdy or rebellious – “See, the kids are like this because you didn’t teach them properly.”
Fathers are a role model for children and may have more authoritative say in some aspects. Blaming the mother is not fair; the father should be in on the team as well.
6. “Stop being so sensitive.”
Mothers are generally more involved and detailed with regards to the childcare and children’s matters. Further to that women are more emotional then men in the first place. The closest person to share with regards to the children is usually the dad, so this statement shuts her up and patronises her concerns. Try to listen before judging. Who knows, she may have valid concerns and values dad’s input.
7. “Is it that time of the month?” When you don’t agree with something.
Don’t rationalize away reasons by using this statement against women. That’s not cool.
8. “We are eating this again?”
For convenience’s sake or for lack of time, meals may not be all varied in the week. If Dad is sick of something, probably a way out would be to offer to cook the next meal or stock up the fridge. Take-outs may be an option too.
9. “You look tired.”
This sentence is not too bad, following it up with a “can I help you with…” will be a bonus.
Homemakers are tired from the whole day’s activities with the children and house, and may I add taking care of the husband on return from work. Working mothers are tired from work in the day, and catching up on time with children and household chores in the night. Fortunate are those mothers whose tiredness does not show on their face!
10. “You are at home, how come you didn’t…”
There are many things Mummies are running around with that Dads probably do not know the full extent of. This does not mean that Dads are not pulling their weight, but there are many other subtle things that take up considerable time. Staying up to sew that button, packing that extra snack, responding to the teacher’s note, cleaning the muddy sports shoes, sanitizing the toys, drafting up activities to engage the kids with…
By Som Yew Ya