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10 Things You Should Never Say to a Mom

There are just some things that you don't say to a mom. Some things that are completely off limits:

1. You look tired

Of course, I look tired. I AM tired. I could literally put my head down and take a nap for about four hours right at this very minute. But thank you for letting me know that I look so God-awful that you just had to tell me about it. Thank you for pointing out the bags under my eyes and my look of general malaise. Now, in addition to being exhausted, I feel so much better about myself.

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2. (To a stay-at-home mom) What do you do all day?

Make breakfast, make lunch, make dinner, prepare an endless array of snacks, clean the house, clean it again, do laundry, do laundry, do laundry, carpool to sports, carpool to after-school classes, carpool to play dates, wipe tears away, make tiny humans laugh, organize schedules, talk to teachers, deal with my parents, deal with my spouse's parents, take kids to doctor appointments, fill out paperwork, RSVP for birthday parties, buy presents for birthday parties, plan my own kids' birthday parties, be the secret reader at school, be the class mom at school, help with homework, break up fights and negotiate peace treaties.

I'm sorry, what was the question again?

Maybe just stop at the "she's so cute" part.

3. (To a working mom) Do you EVER see your kids?

Yes, I see my kids. What kind of a question is that? Are you trying to make me feel terrible about myself?

I see my kids in the morning, and I then go work a full workday. Afterwards, I come home, and I begin the second shift, where I'm also responsible for meals, laundry and the general well-being of my kids, spouse and house. So, I actually work two full-time jobs, and one of them is a 24-hour a day gig.

4. Are you going to let your kid do that?

Well, he/she is doing it, so I suppose so.

5. You feed your kids that?

Why, yes, I do. I also let my children eat garbage and some toxic waste. Do you happen to have any asbestos around? Makes for a great snack.

6. Why didn't you (fill in the blank) today?

Don't. Just don't.

7. Why are you so worried all the time?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because I read the news and every other day there's something horrible happening to some small child out there. Maybe it's because I'm not a complete and utter moron, and I know that if you're not careful, your kid could drown, get hit by a car, be abducted, lose an eye, lose a limb, hurt another child, eat something poisonous, eat something he/she is allergic to, choke on something innocuous or just plain old die.

Why aren't you more worried?

Do not ever point out a woman's gray hairs to her.

8. When is the baby due?

Nope, no baby in this belly. Just a lot of leftover blubber from the last one. BUT THANK YOU FOR NOTICING! I'm also starting to get wrinkles. Would you like to discuss that, too?

9. She's so cute. She doesn't look a thing like you

Maybe just stop at the "she's so cute" part.

10. And, of course, the one I overheard at a mommy play group: You have so many gray hairs

Do not ever point out a woman's gray hairs to her. Unless, of course, you are her stylist, and she is sitting in your chair, and you are about to make her look gorgeous. (Please note, if you are her stylist, you may not say this to her at the supermarket, or anywhere else you may be powerless to fix said gray hairs.)

Unless, perhaps, you are talking to a hipster mom and she is trying out the whole "silver hair" trend. But even then, you probably shouldn't say anything. What if you've found the one gray hair in her silver hair?

Or, unless, perhaps, she is so confident and self-assured that the grays don't bother her. In which case, can you please give me her number? She probably has a lot to teach me.

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Here are some things you SHOULD always feel free to say to moms:

1. You're doing a great job.

2. Your kids are adorable.

3. Your kids are doing great.

4. You should be so proud of yourself.

5. Can I help out?

6. You look great.

7. Let's go get a glass of wine.

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Photo via Twenty20/tarcanden

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