Please stop pointing out the obvious

I hate when people tell me how small my children are. Oh really? I have never noticed.

And they always do it in “that” voice. You know the one I’m talking about. Yes, you do. The slightly high-pitched, sing-songy voice. “Is he really six months? Ooh…he’s so sma-all. How much does he weigh?”

None of your damn business.

I guess the reason it bothers me so much is because of working in a doctor’s office for two years. I know the negative connotation of those three words. I know what they mean, or are thinking when they say it. Especially, in the area I live in, where, because of the choices other mother’s make, their child of the same age often weighs twice as much as mine.

So they judge me. And they blame my mothering habits on them being small. Instead of the fact that I’m only 5’4″ and 110 lbs. Or the fact that my sister is only 5’4″ and a 110 lbs soaking wet. Or the fact that my grandma was only 4’11” and 90 lbs (presumably). They don’t consider the possibility that, while they both have their father’s eyes, and Caitlin is the spitting image of Chris, maybe they get their body type from their mother. Little. Like all their cousins from their aunt. We’re just a small breed of people.

But no, those three words don’t mean “oh, wow. You guys are so little” or “How lucky are you that your children are so healthy and perfect.” No, those three words mean “Why are you exclusively breastfeeding? Why aren’t you supplementing with formula when obviously your milk isn’t enough??”

I do, for a fact, know that’s what they mean, because someone has actually asked me this.

Why I don’t supplement? Because I don’t have to, my milk is absolutely perfect for my children and my body knows that. Because I was lucky enough to be born into a family where breastfeeding is important and supported and defended strongly. Because I was lucky enough to marry a husband who, while wasn’t raised in a breastfeeding family, was open to this new idea and fell in love with all the benefits and is proud of my accomplishments. Because when their doctor sees their weight and height, she doesn’t suggest it at all. Instead, she says, “Oh my, you’ve gotten so big! And you’ve learned so much since last time I saw you.” She obviously doesn’t agree with those who think it’s not enough.

So, next time you see me, don’t tell me how little they are. I realize they are probably smaller than most children you will see, breastfeeding or not. But maybe it’s not because any of us isn’t doing what’s best for their child, because I’m sure 90% of mother’s are only doing what they think is best, but maybe because I just have small children. And keep your comments to yourself.


10 Responses

  1. The worse is when pediatricians judge, you know that story. But it is such a blessing when a pediatrician can be reassuring and find the positive in their small size. Childhood obesity is a really BIG problem yet no one ever seems to make negative comments about chubby babies. It is annoying, I’ve dealt with it for almost 12 years.

    I am just now finally able to let it roll of my back, I know my children are well fed and I know they are small. It isn’t a matter of breastfeeding because they don’t breastfeed any longer, it is clearly a matter of genetics. Personally I would prefer Madi’s petite nearly 12 year old size of 51 inches tall and 48lbs than the giants I see walking out of her middle school! I honestly think she is healthier than most of her peers and I am glad there is no threat of obesity looming in her future.

    Ignore their ignorant comments and just smile. When they get a little older their small size will be a novelty and you will start to hear far more positive comments.

    And is Kinley small? Honestly, he looks like a rather large baby to me, not chubby, just perfectly sized but in comparison to Caitlin, Charlotte, and my three he looks big. That smile is definitely the biggest part of him though, SO precious!

    • I KNOW! I think he is a monster, but one of the receptionist yesterday asked how much he weighed and I told her at his last appointment he was 13 lbs. She responded that her 2 month old was 13 lbs…I think he is quite huge in comparison to others, but apparently not.

      People can be so irritating. It just seriously bothers me and feeds to my CPS fears.

      • As long as the pediatrician is fine with it then don’t worry about CPS. It was Pratt that turned me into CPS because Annabelle was 15lbs at 12 months old BUT of course she was she had issues due to her developmental delays but no one even considered that as a possibility. Thankfully, CPS saw that she was well loved and taken care of. When you start hearing the term “FTT” flung around by your pediatrician that is the time to transfer to a new doc. It doesn’t sound like you have to worry about that though.

      • Also, if the average baby is 20lbs at 12 months old, isn’t 13lbs at 6 months old pretty much right on target for reaching that? So weird that someone would think that is unusually small.

  2. And who is their pediatrician? Are you going to Dr. Simes or are you still at Rappahannock? I love Dr. Simes, never a negative comment out of her mouth about size but she is only 4’10 herself so she gets it.

    • Still at Rappahannock, but with Chris probably changing jobs soon, I might have to change doctors, depending on where we end up going. Right now the top contenders that we are hoping for are a job in Fairfax, or a job in Richmond so it really depends on what happens with that. If I end up in Richmond, I might switch to another, but if he goes to Fairfax, I won’t.

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