Rude Comments Other Moms Make: “Your Son is So White, I Feel Sorry for Him!”

Bad mommy moment: I forgot to put sunscreen on Mason before we left the house this morning. He goes to the park every afternoon with his class, and as I was walking to lunch earlier today, I was panicking that he’d get a sunburn. (It is sweltering out!) Then I remembered his teacher telling me that she puts sunscreen on the kids before they go out. Hopefully she was telling me the truth and he won’t come home with a burn.

I relaxed a little and then suddenly remembered a conversation that I had with another mom recently at a friend’s party. Now I’m not so relaxed. It was so unimaginably rude, I just have to share:

Other mom: Your son is so white, I feel sorry for him! He must get sunburned the minute he steps outside.

Me: Nope, we just put sunscreen on him before we go out and he’s just fine.

Other mom: Really? I can’t believe it. He’s just so white!

Me: Well, he’s been playing outside the whole time we’ve been here, and, look–no sunburn!

Other mom: Huh (totally amazed)

Meanwhile this woman, who I had only met about an hour earlier, is totally ignoring her kids while she’s picking on mine. Her nine-month-old is perched precariously in the opening of a sliding glass door chewing on what looks suspiciously like a barillo pad, and her three-year-old is throwing sand at a group of younger kids. Hmmm.

It baffles me that moms pick on other people’s kids. In this case, Mason is fair complected–so are his parents, creamy skin runs in the family on both sides. (See how his skin matches mine in the pic above?) On the upside, he has beautiful skin.

And it’s not just strangers who are rude.

In fact, I was visiting a friend in another city recently and she managed to insult Mason three times in about 10 seconds (“His skin looks translucent!” “He’s so skinny he looks emaciated!” “He has the face of an old man, it’s so weird!”). The last comment was in reference to how much he looks like Chris, but Chris doesn’t look like an old man, so I didn’t get it. Anyway, I ignored her, hoping that she didn’t realize what she was saying. But still, WTF.

I know you know what I’m talking about. I see it happen all the time to other moms, at the playground, in the local coffee shop, standing in line at the grocery store. Any moments of rudeness you care to share?

Photo by Adriana Casey

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  1. by Kim

    On July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Back when my son was about 6 months old and had a rather large head(totally healthy though and he has since grown into it), a mom I had never met walked up with her child. She stopped and looked at my son and said “wow – he has a big head!” and then continued walking. Gee – thanks for noticing! Some people just don’t think before they speak!

  2. by Tatiana

    On July 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I’m darker than my daughters, they are very fair skinned compared to me. When my oldest who is now 6 was a newborn I was at the park with her. At my local park there are a lot of nannies with kids. A lady next to me asked me “How long have you been a nanny?” I looked at her like she had three heads. I told her “Since she’s been in my womb!” Lady says to me “That baby is too white to be yours!” I was appalled! It took everything in me not to slap her!

  3. [...] Rude comments other moms make (Parents.com) [...]

  4. by Kim

    On July 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    When my son was about 8 months old, I had just switched to bottle feeding a couple months prior. A then “friend” (after more comments like below, she is no longer considered under that title) was over at my house for dinner and my husband asked when and if they were going to switch to a bottle. She replied by saying “bottle? Uh no, we treat our kids like a human”. Wtf is that suppose to mean? Again, she is no longer a friend!

  5. by Brian

    On July 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Not sure where this falls on the “rudeness” scale – but when people constantly mistake our little girl, for a little boy. Even when she is dressed head-toe in pink/purple. If you don’t know people, don’t guess. A trick my wife learned while working at a children’s clothing store was to ask the baby “what’s your name” or say “aren’t you so cute”. No gender, no name, no asking what gender. Usually the parents will respond with something that will give you a clue!

  6. by Sarah

    On July 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    My daughter was born with “stork bites” on her nose. When she was young, they were very red. (they have since gone away) When she was about 4 months old, an aquantence asked what was wrong with her nose. When I told him they were birth marks, he replied “oh well, you can just get her a nose job when she’s older.” I almost cried right there.

  7. by M Paul

    On July 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    My son plays basketball and one of the moms on his team called him a ball hog! My son was the only kid scoring but even if he was should she have the nerve to say it?? Should I respond with the fact her son misses every shot or let her know I find that rude or yell louder for my son to score again???

  8. by Carly

    On July 28, 2012 at 1:01 am

    That is so rude sometimes I just don’t get people at all! Yesterday my daughters were playing at the playground. I was talking to another mother and she was wondering which girls were mine I pointed to my 6 yr old and she said ” oh the chubby one?” I could not believe it!! So rude!

  9. by Laura @ Stroller Parking Only

    On July 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Aaah! I can’t believe the things people think are appropriate to say out loud. Some (many) people really need a filter. I can relate to the fair-skinned thing. I am very fair skinned (as is my daughter) and people make comments about it all the time. I’ve gotten so many rude comments over the years like “You’re so pale. Don’t you ever go outside?” “You’re so pale. Are you sick?” No one has made any insulting comments about my daughter’s skin colour (yet), but I’m sure she will have to deal with the same ridiculousness. And I agree, a little sunscreen goes a long way! :)

  10. by J

    On September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I am pretty pale myself, I come from a white mother- she had red hair, and a half white/half Lakota Sioux Father, and his father had red hair, so I have a slight yellow tint to my pale skin, and naturally I have red hair, but no freckles, and I work out so my I’m very toned. Although I tan quite easily with sunscreen applied- I choose not to because I know all to well of the health risks, and I am pale by choice. I make sure to wear jackets and lots of sunscreen any time it is sunny- I recently moved to Arizona and I have noticed that although it is sunnny often there, there is always shade, shelter and air conditoning in almost every store and car- But everyone I have met acts like living in Arizona means sleeping all day out in the sun or something; I went to a Birthday party recently- And the first new person I met, this is the first thing she said to me, “You just moved here from Washington? I feel so sorry for you, you’re so pale!” And I look at her arms and notice a lot of weird moles on her obviously artificially tan skin and think to myself, ‘I feel sorry for you, you obviously have never heard of skin cancer- which you proably have.’