Ever feel like a compliment wasn't entirely genuine? I mean, we've all been there. We've all awkwardly tried to figure out if we're being overly sensitive or if a comment was, indeed, a jab. In fact, when I listened to moms reveal the most backhanded compliment they've ever heard about their parenting, I realized these barbed statements can come from a variety of sources and be presented in a variety of ways. Whether it's friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and even relatives, it appears as though anyone can be guilty of disguising an insult as praise.
My toddler is a very active, rambunctious boy, and I am totally fine with that because, well, he's a toddler. "Active" and "rambunctious" come with the toddler territory. However, some people have met him only to turn to me and say things like, "Wow, he's a bit of a handful" or, "Well you must be tired." Every time I hear those comments I cringe. They're the worst, because they honestly make me question my child's totally normal, age-appropriate behavior. They also make me feel like I am failing as a mom which is, of course, the last thing any mother needs to feel. Ever.
Sometimes people just say things without thinking and they're really not trying to hurt you at all. Other times their comments are passive aggressive and stems from their own insecurity. Of course, sometimes people are just jerks and are probably reacting to a bad day, week, or even month. Whatever the motivation behind a backhanded compliment, it can still sting and still take a while to get over. After all, these moms vividly remember the worst so-called compliment they ever received: