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. 42

    Sara says

    What!?! No self-righteous comment about the tweet that led me here and how you shouldn’t call your children curse words? That’s no fun.
    While I do have my share of marks, bruises & scars, my favorite kid comments come from my tramp stamp. Oh, to be young & stupid again. While it’s small & completely hidden while wearing pants, co-showers often start the best conversations. My daughter had a baby doll with a made in China stamp above her crack and told every visitor that “it’s just like Mommy’s!” That particular baby went on vacation until she could learn to keep her mouth shut.

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  2. 43

    Motherhood on the Rocks says

    Well if there’s a silver lining, it’s that they are brutally honest. So when they say “you look pretty,” they really mean it. That or they want candy.

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  3. 44

    Gin Mama says

    I have started to use my naked body as a weapon so i can have some privacy. I announce I will be naked in my room, actually BUTT Naked .. They always knock now that they know Ma will breakout in a booty dance if they bust in.

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  4. 45

    monkeyincowtown says

    Oh my gosh! Tears are rolling down my face I’m laughing so hard!!!
    I was squeezed into a public bathroom stall with my daughter (3) and my son (2). I’m hovering over the toilet seat with my pants down, trying desperately not to let my butt touch the seat while being pinballed between the two of them. It is then that I realize I have started my period when my daughter decides to loudly announce “Mommy, you have diarrhea in your underwear!”

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  5. 47

    adele says

    I remember my daughter coming in the bathroom when i was on the toilet mummy she said why is your belly on your legs…. Thanx for that one my dear. Oh revenge will be mine when she has had her own children. Oh daughter dear now there is the answer to that queation you asked me a long time ago hahaha

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  6. 48

    Recovering Supermom says

    I also get a lot of questions like “What is that?” and “Why is your…?” and “Why do your…?”. So very curious they are. Good thing there will come a time when they won’t want to be within 10 feet of a place where I’m naked.

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  7. 49

    Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain says

    We used to just throw the kid in the shower with us to save time but the 2yo has started to become aware of our “differences.” Especially daddy’s differences. Which she so innocently called, “poo poo.” I can only hope that she remembers that when some hormonal teenage boy wants her to touch his poo poo.

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  8. 52

    Meredith Bland says

    Yeah, my son asked me why I had belly buttons on my boobs the other day. I took a quick peek to make sure that there were not, in fact, circular holes where my nipples should be, and then told him they were nipples. He said, “Oh. They’re BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG!” Nice. Thanks for that.

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  9. 53

    amy says

    i have a wrinkle that only shows up when i’m mad at the kids. i call it my bitch wrinkle. the oldest is 7. microdermabrasion takes care of it for a week or two, but by the time the kids are teens, they’ll be old enough for me to say-this is my bitch wrinkle, YOU DID THIS TO ME!

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  10. 54

    monkeyincowtown says

    I have a vertical wrinkle between my eyes (from furrowing my brow so often) and my daughter points to it while I was buckling her into her carseat and says” Mommy, you have a little crack in your face”

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  11. 55

    Jane Quick says

    My DD likes to remind me not to forget to put my boobies (a bra) on. Thanks kid thought I was doing ok in the clevage department but apparently not. And on my last birthday she asked how old I was turning. ‘Twenty-nine’ i said calmly while trying not to have a panic attack about it. ‘Wow mum you’re really old’ came her reply. I fear as she gets older the critisicm will only get worse, but hopefully so will my hearing.

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  12. 56

    Alison@Mama Wants This says

    If only children were so honest about EVERYTHING ELSE. :)

    My 2 year old sometimes hangs out with me in the bathroom while I shower. Fortunately at this point, he’s more interested in the water than mommy’s pregnant body. He does try to smack my belly when I’m done though (his father jokes that he’s already beating up on his younger brother, hah!).

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  13. 58

    Carrie says

    My nieces are older now (11 & 12) and beginning to ‘develop’ on their own, but back when they were little and would spend the night, I’d pull them in the shower with me to get’em all scrubbed up before they crawled their cheesy asses in my bed.

    “Aunt Carrie. Oooh. Have your boobies always been that big? Mommy’s don’t look like yours. Will my boobies shake when I get older and scrub my hair like yours do? Why did you get a tattoo there? Can I have the rest of the macaroni and cheese?”

    I love those 2 girls more than life. And loved them even more back then when they were little and innocent. But I still wanted to scream, “Get the fuck out and stop talking about my shaking boobies!”

    I admire mom’s who get that daily. I only had to deal with it every couple of weekends. I’ll pray for ya’ll cause it drove me insane.

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  14. 59

    OpinionWarranted says

    Just to be “the other voice” that we can all hate here: my son actually does the opposite by pointing at all the posters of models in stores and saying “that looks like you, mom!” …”I thought that was you!”. …then 18 mo old chimes in by pointing and saying “Ma! Ma!”. I stand there, hair wrapped from run and shower 3 days ago, clothes I choose to sleep in so that dressing in the morning doesn’t have to happen, and stare at this fleck less, perfect white smile figure reminding myself in the loudest internal voice again that I simply must get around to scheduling those eye exams! Ah, love is blind but all-seeing, right?

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  15. 60

    cindafuckingrella says

    Oh, honey, you are not alone. My kid goes: Why are your breasts so long? Or he’ll hug the pathetic excuse of an over-raised batch of sourdough that is my stomach and say: Uhhm, chubby!

    In all fairness, when I wear a dress he’ll say: “Oh mommy, you look like a princess”. Just cause he’s used to seeing me in sweats…

    I laughed out loud at this one. So great.

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  16. 61

    MomOf7 says

    My 4 year old recently asked me why my tummy was so big and jiggily, especially since there’s no baby in there. Her 6 year old sister quickly said “Because we left our toys in there for the next babies to play with” Thanks ladies!!! I’ve birthed 4 and have 3 bonus children, I think 7 is enough!

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