SHUT UP!

mom blog shannon sutherland I live in New York City and I walk around a ton. This is great for exercise but unfortunately I am bombarded by dumb people every day. Everyone has there own opinion about everything and they never ask me whether or not I would like to hear it. Here is a list of the things people tell me.

1. Your daughter is so cute.

2. Your son is so cute.

3. Would you like to babysit my child. Oh you’re the mom? You look to young to be a mom.

4. You shouldn’t let your daughter play with trains.

5. You shouldn’t let your dog so close to your baby.

6. You daughter has such chubby legs.

7. I am homeless can you buy me a beer?

8. No, can you buy me some drugs then?

9. No again… can your daughter by me some beer or drugs?

10. ***K You

Right now I don’t care that much but I hate that complete strangers feel like they can comment on my child’s looks and my parenting. I don’t know them and who do they think they are? But I wonder what I will say to my daughter when she is older and people make these comments. I wish I could raise my daughter where there are no dumb people that might make comments that will effect her but I know that is not possible. I guess part of my job as a mom is to teach her to take things with a grain of salt. So my plan is just to be honest and say there are just dumb people out there who think they have the right to talk about you even though they don’t know you and you should ignore them.

What do you think?

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon Sutherland

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40 Responses to “SHUT UP!”

  1. Melissa August 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM #

    You should tell her to only value opinions of those that have value in her life. Her parents, her aunts, uncles, grandparents and close family friends.

    Strangers and passing aquaintences have no real value in her life. They don’t provide her with a home, love or security. Until they provide those to her, they are just a passing irritant.

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM #

      LOL passing irritant. I like your suggestion.

  2. Shawna Kollath August 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM #

    The good news is that I’ve found as your kids get older they at least stop with the comments about their looks. Sadly, the other stuff stays. I LOVED that my kids had nice chubby legs… when they got sick and wouldn’t eat, I knew they had something to live off of. And faster than you’re ready for, the chub is gone and they are off and running like mad!

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

      I don’t mind the chubby legs I think there are cute as well I just think it’s weird that complete strangers come up and comment about or pinch her thighs.

      • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM #

        Wait, strangers pinch A´s thighs?! Wow. Thats impertinent. :-(
        Seriously one just can´t touch other people, especially kids. Its hard for me to imagine, how people could dare to do such things.

        • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 10:46 PM #

          I agree. I was so shocked when it happened the first time I didn;t really say anything :(

  3. Karen Dent August 3, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

    I hate that too. What will end up happening is Princess A will take her cue from you. I used to get all kinds of comments on my kids. Now if random people make comments my kids either ignore them, or if it is a compliment say “thank you” and then when they are out of ear shot usually Katie will say “what was THAT about?”

    Karen

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

      LOL Katie sounds so funny!

  4. Francesca August 3, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

    Sounds good. I think, one can´t really do more. :-/ Just tell kids not to pay attention to such comments and constantly tell them, they´re fine exactely the way they are.

    Honestly I don´t know, whats going on in people to tell others, what they think. (And how could one dare to tell a Mom her kid have chubby legs?! Thats impolite and dumb. How could a BABY have chubby legs? Beyond my understanding.)
    I also get “parenting”-tips (or people just tell me, my dog is misbehave and should go to school…). And I constantly think: “Did I ask for that?! No. So mind your own business.”

    Its just rude to make any (not-asked-for-)comments (especially about the children) to random people. One just can try not to listen to it. Even though thats hard sometimes.

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM #

      I get tips about my dog as well.

  5. Lisanne August 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM #

    For me, it’s kind of a “take it or not rule”, you take whatever you need (if you need) and you don’t care about the rest. You let people babble without really listening to them. Nobody perfect and people have a tendency to babble a lot for nothing…. Your baby to “fat” ? Big NO! Your baby too thin ? big NO too! etc… Whatever happen, they gonna have comments, good or bad. You still show them respect but without giving them access to the core of who you are. It’s not easy but feasible. You choose what you let in and leave the rest “at the door”. When I was younger, I had to deal with a lot of that stuff and mental bullying (I came from a really small town). That one of the way I found to help me to go through all that.

    Just want to make a note on the fouth one : Trains ? What wrong for a girl to play with trains ? They’re afraid she’ll turn into a boy suddenly ?

    • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 1:25 PM #

      Its against nature when girls are playing with trains, cars or any other not-pink, not-girly not-prepare-them-for-mother-role things. ;-)
      Sorry for the irony. But I think, this stuff is really annoying, too. This stereotyped thinking, which things are just for girls and which are for boys. Boys can play with dolls without turning gay and a girl isn´t a tomboy or something like that, just because she loves cars or climbing trees or so.

      Kids should be able to choose, whatever toy or hobby they´re like without be bothered for that (or the parents).

      Some years ago I read a book called “We don´t were born as girls, we were made to them” (“Wir werden nicht als Mädchen geboren, wir werden dazu gemacht”) from Ursula Scheu. It was a revelation.
      She mention also things like that the little girl (I think it was her own daughter; I´m not sure) were treated better, when the people thought she´s a boy (f.e. then it was easier for the mother to buy free-time-clothes; before the sales clerk just want to sell her cute dresses which shouldn´t get dirty and so on).

      Oops… This not-really-topic-related reference is a little long. Sorry.

      • Lisanne August 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM #

        I totally understand what you mean!!! I grew up lovin to go with my dad at is work. He was the milkman and had a huge truck. I even helped him, but i’m still a girl who loves pink and ruffles. I just kinda wanted to point out that its not because of your sex that your not able to do the stuff usually “reserved” to the other sex. That’s how I was raised and how I want to raise my kids. I thank my parents everyday for that. Its like my niece : Her favorite color is pink, she loves to have her nails done and absolutely adore Hello Kitty. But she prefer to have her hair in her face and love to help her dad with landscaping around the house and with his car (he love to drift, like in the movie Fast and Furious). She even told her mom once : Mom, I just “drifted” with my tricycle…

        I did a little long reply too… ooopsie daisy!

        • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM #

          Sounds familiar. Your niece is almost like me. I love to wear girls clothing (I´m totaly in skirts and this stuff; but I don´t like the color pink, don´t know why). But since I´m a child I love Horror-Movies and I´m a big Action-fan (Fights, explosions? The more the merrier. lol). I also like cars, especially the race-related (one reason why I like the “Fast and Furious”-movies^^). Even my Mom knows that and when I see a Porsche or something like that she ask “Drool, drool”? ;-)

          This “I drifted with my tricycle” sounds cute/great btw. :-)

      • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM #

        That book sounds interesting. I wonder if has been translated into English.

        • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM #

          I wonder, too. I just try to look, if it was translated. Maybe I find something. Will tell you, if yes.

          • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM #

            Can´t find something. :-( I think, it was just published in Germany (and Austria and so on). Thats a pity somehow.
            I wonder, if there are maybe similar books in America. I mean, obviously its a global problem.
            Or I translate a copy and send it to you. ;-)

          • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM #

            Let me know :)

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 1:53 PM #

      Yes, I am told Amelia will be a lesbian because she like strains. ! I don’t care if she is a lesbian. 2 trains don’t turn people gay.

      • Lisanne August 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM #

        O.o I’m actually spechless…. How can a kid turn lesbian/gay because they played with toys “usually for the other sex” ? It’s great that you don’t care about that stuff!!! I would have replied : SHOW ME HOW IT CAN and i’ll THINK about beliving you. Give me a acutal PROOF of what your saying. That what I hate about some people : they say stuff about thing they don’t know anything about!

        • Francesca August 3, 2012 at 2:26 PM #

          Because some people think being (sic!) gay is a choice, not what you are (what you were born as). (Which is what I believe: One is born gay or bisexuel, not raised to.)
          And if one let kids play with the “wrong” toy, they will become confused about their gender roles. So a girl who play with “manly” things like trains/cars will become manly. And all manly women are lesbian. (I don´t mention, that I know lesbian women, who are very feminine…)
          Sadly thats what some people really think. :-( That kids can be raised to be something and that toys, hobbies or some favours of the kid can influence the sexual orientation. I think, most normal thinking people can´t see any sense behind that. Because there isn´t…

          • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 10:44 PM #

            Yeah, it is pretty dumb. I just give Amelia toys that are safe and keep her occupied. I don;t care if they are “boy” toys

        • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM #

          I should have said that Lisanne. That would have been funny!

  6. Melody August 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM #

    There really are too many stupid people out there. I just ignore them. I should have taken that advice when I was younger. I definitely agree with you on just being honest with her about how some people are and to just ignore them.

  7. Lara J August 3, 2012 at 9:14 PM #

    I hate it when people try to touch my child. One woman recently wanted to hug my daughter and I didn’t let her!

    In the past people wanted to touch her cheeks. I never liked that. Now they want to ask her name and she hides behind me or sometimes she tells them but I’ve told her not to tell more than her first name ever!

    People can be so rude about children and I try to avoid interacting with ones I see that look like they are going to be rude to us.

    I’ve always done exactly as you have. Dressed my daughter in unisex or “boys” clothes. My daughter has never been too girly, but she is ok with whatever I dress her in. Mostly as long as she is in purple, she is fine!

    And what is up with people telling you that your child can’t play with trains!? I was raised on hot wheels, he-mam, gi joe, and WWF.

    The thing is, someone is always going to say something, good or bad. Some things, I just walk away and forget the moment I turn around. Best way to go! Thanks for your discussions!!! I love them! Makes me think!!!

    Lara J

    • Shannon August 3, 2012 at 10:42 PM #

      Amelia LOVES hot wheels!

      • Lara J August 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM #

        I’ve made sure my daughter loves them too! She’s got a ton of them. One thing though!: stepping on them barefoot in the middle of the night. Also I stepped on a triceratops little dinosaur today. I laughed because the place usually ends up a mess by the end of the day and I am always stepping on stuff. Cars, beads, dinosaurs, I love being a mom! :)

        • Shannon August 4, 2012 at 12:18 AM #

          Amelia has loved dinosaurs ever since we went to the Natural History Museum

          • Lara J August 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM #

            It’s great when a kid has something they are so interested in! except when they are on the floor and you step on it. We went to Universal Studios in Orlando and they had the big exhibit for Jurassic Park and a dinosaur museum. Very cool. You could look through something like a binoculars and roar into a microphone and “be” a dinosaur. It scared my girl to death, but me being a big kid, I had more fun with it!

          • Shannon August 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM #

            that sounds hilarious

  8. NL August 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM #

    There will ALWAYS be people out there who make rude and thoughtless comments. Remember when you were a teen…..Do you have a boyfriend? No? Why not? Then college… When are you going to get married? Then as a single adult…(and my fav) why aren’t you married? Srsly? Then married… When are you going to start a family? Then with my child (who’s half white half asian) IS SHE YOURS? the funny thing is that people will
    say that to me right right in front of her, whereas others would always pull me aside and ask me privately if she was adopted, how did I get her, did I go to china, etc. And you know what, none of it mattered, then or now. I have always answered proudly that she’s mine and I have the (c-sect) scars to prove it! Don’t let it get to you; you are doing a great job. And I really enjoy your blog

    • Shannon August 4, 2012 at 12:19 AM #

      Thank you…. and maybe it is good to say something in front of my daughter so she sees how to react to dumb people lol

      • NL August 4, 2012 at 8:52 AM #

        Absolutely!

  9. Mary Cate Longo August 4, 2012 at 12:30 AM #

    I still find it strange that people think Amelia is a boy. I just don’t see it. She always looks like a girl to me, no matter what outfit you put her in. And as for her legs…..she’s a toddler! What do they want you to do? Put her on a diet before she’s even 2 years old? Honestly, some people have no brains at all. I remember when my cousin was a baby. He had really chubby legs and when he got mad at me for taking too long to get his bottle ready he would cry and his legs would turn bright read. It was hilarious! And both my nephews had chubby legs as toddlers and now they are both well over 6′ tall. Boys toys vs. girls toys? What a crock of sh*t! Toys are toys. My brother had a doll when he was little. His name was Jimmy. And my brother turned out perfectly normal. I played football and soccer and hated dresses. I didn’t turn out gay. I think Amelia is blessed to have a mother like you. Honestly, you are doing an awesome job raising her.

    • Shannon August 4, 2012 at 7:14 AM #

      Thanks Mary. Your nephew sounds adorable.

  10. Mandy August 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM #

    I feel like I haven’t commented in forever. Now that I’ve moved I can come back out of hiding.

    I think the point of this is that there are a-holes every where… regardless of what city/state/country. It’s important to teach your kids that “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” And that some people just make bad choices in life and haven’t learned from them yet (druggies asking your kid to go buy)

    As kids hair grows out the comments become more gender specific. I’ve lived in 3 countries. Each culture has their own things. In Asian cultures kids are loved and cherished more than in the states. Grandmother types always have something to critique, but want to love on your kid at the same time.

    And let A play with whatever makes her happy. My little girl LOVES anything pink/purple and always wants to wear a dress, but she LOVES trains and pirates. She’ll play and read about trains and then go feed her my little ponies.

    I think sometimes it’s easiest to just say “thank you for the advice” and walk away.

  11. Karen Dent August 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM #

    The “boy toys” and “girl toys” is something I never understood. Katie hates dolls and Barbies. Has never played with them. She loves real babies and toddlers and will mother them and wants to be with them. She just doesn’t get the “doll thing”.
    You should see the looks and hear the comments about having my son in dance, competitive dance at that. My in laws keep dropping hints that maybe David doesn’t like it and should quit. I have heard parents of some of the girls he dances with say “my husband will never allow our son to dance.” I hear it all.
    I have come right out and said to people “if my son is gay it is not the end of the world, and if he is, it isn’t taking dance that made him that way!”
    I am teaching David and Katie that as long as they are happy with their choices then I am happy. As long as David wants to dance he can dance. He likely won’t make a career out of it (he wants to be a chef), but right now he enjoys it. I look at it this way, he could play hockey where he is surrounded by boys, or he can dance where he there are 6 girls and two boys in his group LOL!
    Karen

    • Shannon August 4, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

      My brother took tap when he was young. Then when he was in high school he played football and was very good at it. We think the tap dancing classes helped. When people find out my brother took dance as a child that don’t believe us because he is the stereotypical football playing college frat boy.

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