The Harshest Critics


You know the old saying that we each are our own harshest critics? Well, it’s bullshit. At least in my house it is. It’s not that I’m especially easy on myself, but rather that the kids are constantly critiquing me. And they’re brutal.

It starts first thing in the morning. I’ll be innocently showering when a midget body will barge into the bathroom, and upon seeing my figure in the shower, run out screaming, like I have scarred him or her for life. It’s not uncommon for the child, whoever it is, to fall into a fit of giggles and call for his siblings. “Lily! Evan! Ben! Mommy is naaaaakkked. Come see!!” If I’m really lucky, all three will stand outside of the shower pointing and laughing like I’m a zoo animal taking a dump. “Ewwwwww” they shriek as I rinse out the conditioner, thinking that in the future 3AM showers would be a far wiser idea.

Once I get out of the shower, time permitting, I slather myself in lotion. Should I be lucky enough to have an audience, they will inevitably point to my thighs. “What’s that purple squiggle, Mommy?” A spider vein, I sigh. “That one, too?” Yes, that one too, honey. “Over here, too?” Yes, my darling, that’s what they’re called. Let’s move on.


“What’s this?”

It’s a stretch mark. That’s a scar. That’s a vein. That’s cellulite. That’s hair. That’s a wrinkle. That’s a bruise. That’s… crap… what is that? Just let me get dressed alone, alright?

Lily, my child who is convinced that gym shorts worn with tights underneath are some kind of fashion statement in the year 2012, frequently greets me with “is that what you’re wearing?” and an accompanying eye roll once I make my way downstairs. In all fairness, it’s a somewhat acceptable response for the days when I do, in fact, leave the house in the sweatshirt I slept in and slippers, but much less appreciated when I have actually put some effort into being presentable. Yes, Lily, I hiss. This is what I’m wearing. Thanks, my love.

The patch of white hairs, the stubble on my legs, the heels in need of exfoliating… nothing goes unnoticed by my lovely children. At the end of the day, as I read the boys bedtime stories, Evan inevitably focuses on my face. “What’s that dot?” he will ask, pointing to the tiniest pore or a birthmark or a chicken pox scar. One by one, he counts them like he’s counting sheep, falling asleep to the comfort of my imperfections.

Fortunately, my skin is thick and there are a few “Mommy, you’re pretty” statements thrown into the mix for good measure. And, who other than my kids is really examining my nose from half an inch away, anyway? On the plus side, their attention to detail is impeccable. It would just be nice if the attention wasn’t focused on me for a change.


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  1. 4

    Dawn says

    Mine, too. But, since having both girls, I explained to them that mommies are always older than their kids and do not like these things pointed out, it’s kind of hurtful to do that. Just like one doesn’t like people making fun of her because she’s shorter than everyone else and the other doesn’t like to be called a tom-boy because she’s not as girly when playing. I told them that I don’t make fun of them for being different so they shouldn’t do that to me. They don’t do that anymore, but yet to make sure, I lock the door. LOL

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  2. 5

    Kristin says

    When my son crawls into bed with us, I know the quickest way to get him to leave is to breathe on him: “Your breath smells like poop!”

    Lucky for me, they’re still young enough that they think my belly is a fun toy, not gross. Hours of fun to jiggle mommy’s belly!

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  3. 8

    Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) says

    Hilarious. I so hear you. My favorite (insert sarcasm here) was when one of my twins asked, “Mommy, what happened to your belly button?” I think I said, “You! You both happened to my belly button. All 13.5 combined pounds of you.” Sigh.

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  4. 10

    Rina says

    I get the “What’s that?” constantly…and for some reason my son loves to point out when I forget to shave, especially under my arms. Seriously? Do you have to yell “EEEEWWWW HAIR!” every time I move my arm? Luckily, no one is around to hear it but me and my husband.

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  5. 11

    ImASassyBlonde says

    Kids like to make you feel so imperfect and perfect at the same time. Why is it that if our husbands say that stuff, we don’t forgive? Off to slather on the cellulite reducing lotion and those new shorts that are supposed to get rid of the tummy. Spider veins are just roadmaps to my life. *sigh*

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