A lot of people make certain assumptions about women once they become mothers. They expect that women will (or should) change in a few universal ways, and if they don't something is essentially "wrong" with them. The technical term for this phenomenon is "complete and total crap" because come on, obviously this is complete crap, you guys! And you know who knows that as well as anyone? Grown-ass men. Indeed, there are things no grown-ass man should ever say about a mom, either in general or in particular, because we should all be past this.
Becoming a mom can be a transformative experience, physically, and emotionally. Or not! You could be, like, the exact same person in every way except now your life is different (because whether or not motherhood changes you, it will change your life). Regardless of how motherhood impacts you, what should not happen is for people to expect you should or will change to conform to a preconceived notion of what motherhood is, means, or does to a person. Because there is no one version of motherhood! Mothers are actual people, with depth and nuance and their own personalities, motivations, and back-stories. So a grown-ass man would never attempt to insert his (or, more likely, society's) ideas of motherhood into another person's life.
So with that in mind, and because a refresher is needed from time to time, here are a few things a grown-ass man refuses to say about a mom. Any mom. Ever.
Limit Her Sexuality
Examples: "She spent the night at John Doe's house? She's a mother." "She does [particular sex act]? She has children."
Ummm... guys? We don't stop being sexual creatures the minute we pop out a human or get pregnant. For some of us, sure, the libido takes a hit. For others of us it's not so much libido as being too damn tired to do anything but survive for a while. But the idea that we just lose all our desire and desirability is damaging and plays into the very weird (very false) "Madonna/Whore" narrative.
Limit Her Social Life
Examples: "What's she doing at the club when she has babies at home?" "Didn't she go out last weekend?"
Unless a mom is leaving her children unattended, chill the eff out, man. Having kids is stressful and maintaining a life and identity outside of your responsibilities towards them is not only totally fine but healthy. It's also a luxury that many moms cannot afford (or at least not often), figuratively or literally. So when she can, just let the mom in your life enjoy it without making her feel as though she needs to be cloistered away or engaged in child-centered activities until her kids turn 18.
Opine On Her Wardrobe
Examples: "A crop top? Isn't that a bit much for a mom?" "I can see her stretchmarks in that skirt."
Offering suggestions about what's "appropriate" attire for anyone is problematic, but when you're bringing in the idea that there are just certain things women shouldn't wear by virtue of being mothers... yeah, no. No grown-ass man would try such a thing, and anyone who is truly grown would know better.
Yucky Things About Her Body
Examples: "She's had kids so you know her vagina's busted." "She nursed her baby so those boobs must look pretty sad now."
Just... ew, dude. How vile. First of all: more often than not this is a gross misunderstanding of the human body. Secondly: even if it's observational, it doesn't need to be said. Thirdly: our bodies don't exist for your boners. Finally: there's no way our bodies are supposed to exist that should serve as a measure by which you judge us.
Comment On Her Career
Examples: "Why is she trying to make partner? She should be focusing on her baby." "Why does she work when her husband makes enough to support the family? She could stay home with her kids."
Ask yourself if you would ever say this about a father. If you say that you would recognize that you're a liar and we all know it.
Judge How She Feeds Her Baby
Examples: "You didn't breastfeed?!" "Isn't it about time you stopped breastfeeding?"
Judging a mom for how she feeds her child is obnoxious no matter who does it. But when that judgment comes from someone who has never been and will never be in the position to practice what they preach, it's especially annoying.
Tell Her What Her Romantic Relationships Should Look Like
Examples: "A baby needs a father!" "Why are you dating when you have kids?"
If a children having a father is so damn important to you, my man, have some kids of your own. If you don't believe a mother (single or otherwise) should date, then don't date a woman with children (your loss). But the romantic relationships a mom engages in are none of your damn business.
Compare Her To Other Moms
I mean, this is pretty self explanatory, right? And also, like, why you shouldn't do it? I hope?
A Damn Thing About Her Reproductive Choices
Examples: "Your son needs a sister!" "How could you even think about getting an abortion when you already have children, anyway!"
Because any grown-ass man knows: not his body, not his business.
Negative Things About Her In Front Of Her Young Children
Examples: "When you act like that you're just like your mother." "Your mom is a b*tch."
I'm not saying that once a woman becomes a mother she gets a free pass to be free from any and all criticism. But in addition to not holding moms to some antiquated standards (as listed above) valid criticisms, of her as a person or as a parent, do not need to be unleashed in front of her children (and, in fact, it can be psychologically scarring). You can take up your grievances and concerns without putting her kids in the middle of it.