7 Signs of Foot-In-Mouth Disease

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Our country is just now bouncing back from one of the worst flu epidemics we’ve ever encountered. I sure hope your family steered clear of that beast!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but now it’s time to check yourself for yet another threatening epidemic: Foot-In-Mouth Disease (also known as FIMD) . . .

No, I’m not talkin’ about the red bump causing, itchy, scaly disaster of an illness that tiny tots tend to contract from places like the so-fresh-and-so-clean buggy seats at your local Target.

Today, I’m talkin’ about that pesky little disorder that pops up from time to time in adulthood when you’re chattin’ it up with a mom friend and she wrecks herself before she has time to check herself.

I thought I would shed some light on this phenomenon not often discussed out loud: what NOT to say to mommas . . .

Have you ever been afflicted with FIMD? Or even worse, have you ever been affected by one of its scar-inducing symptoms?!?

You know those moments when you’re in the dressing room at a store.

Or the checkout line at Publix.

Or your own home, for goodness sakes!

And someone asks you a question or makes a rhetorical statement that would rub any momma the wrong way?

I want to take this opportunity to confess to all of you that I have uttered every single one that I’m sharing below at some point in my life. So, today I’m preaching to the choir because your girl is a repeat offender. But, after being bitten by and fighting off this disease for too long, I feel obligated to attempt to prevent others from walking the harried hallways of the FIMD recovery center.

If you find yourself uttering any of these, promise me you’ll think again. And if you have ever been the victim of one of these, promise me after today you’ll know you aren’t alone and ignoring FIMD is the best cure! 

I am standing up for all you moms today! Share this if you think someone needs to be scanned for or alerted to the dangers of FIMD today!

Here goes . . .

(1) “Are you expecting?! – I’m leading off with one of the most palpable and shame-inducing inquires to really get this ball rolling. Because let me tell y’all, there ain’t nothing as hurtful as being essentially told you look similar to a beached whale.

On any given day I could be carrying a fourteen-week-old fetus in my belly or I could be concealing a Five Guys burger all the way with fries and a milkshake. Who knows? That’s the fun of it, right? Spoiler alert: I’m probably never gonna tell you which way I’m rockin’ it that day unless, of course, I have a pocketful of sonogram photos I’m itchin’ to show off. So let’s keep it a game, ok? You do you and Imma do me. Even if doing so means having the whole world questioning if I’m taking my pre-natal vitamins like a good little girl should . . .

(2) “Aw, your kid looks just like . . . [Insert Dad or random celebrity here]” – Nope. No. Never good. Unless you are about to tell me that my kid looks exactly like me or like my favorite grandmother, I’m gonna be looking for the nearest exit and encouraging you to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I may be on an island by myself here, but hearing that my kid looks exactly like my brother-in-law is just not up there on my “Top 10 Favorite Moments of Life” list. Anyone with me on this? 

(3) “One kid, huh? When are you having another?!? – Listen. I just delivered my first into this world, people! FOR THE LOVE! LET ME LIVE! I am gonna take one for my one-kid mom friend team today and share with you a breaking news alert. (See, I knew my Samford broadcast journalism degree would come in handy someday!) Fresh off the presses: there are actual humans on this earth who desire only one child. I realize that this may be earth-shattering information, so feel free to sit down and take a hot second. But, for real. Not everybody is jonesin’ to take out inordinate amounts of debt, squeeze several tiny tots into a minivan multiple times throughout the day and/or wait for 45 minutes at Cracker Barrel while the hostesses drag together a table big enough to somewhat comfortably accommodate seven and a highchair. Color me shocked . . .

(4) “You look tired.” – Congratulations! Can I get a “Duh! for $200, Alex?!?” I mean, really. As a mom, let me tell you what I don’t have time for these days: proper under-eye cream application, fancy face mask rituals, and oh yeah, sleep in general. So, if you see my hair pulled up in a top knot for the fifty-leventh day in a row, consider yourself lucky that I managed to pull it up there in the first place. And if you are offended by said top knot and my comfy off-the-shoulder sweatshirt, I want you to know that I am now accepting donations for babysitters and spa days. Just putting that out in the universe. Rather than stating the obvious, help a girl out. Will you?!?

(5) “Two girls . . . you gonna try for that boy?!?” – I can honestly feel my blood pressure rising right now as I am typing this. And nobody even said this out loud to me in this moment. I have two girls — eighteen months apart in age. I can’t tell you how many times even in one day I get asked by total randoms when I am going to try for that boy. Well, I have exciting news to share with y’all today. Just recently — I would say within the last six months — I have trained myself to suppress the instantaneous and innate urge to put said curious (read: inappropriately nosy) individuals in choke holds and shake them around for a ‘lil bit.

As a proud #girlmom, allow me to enlighten anyone who is worried about whether or not I am crying myself to sleep at night because I am not raising the next *wannabe* Atlanta Braves superstar. Answer: a resounding, I am not, friend. I am blessed with the opportunity to love on my best friend’s little boy, my cousin’s son, and all kinds of other studly little fellows at church and school. But, God blessed me with baby girls. And He knows what He’s doing. So, instead of struggling with the tee-tee tee-pee or whatever they’re calling those things these days, y’all can find me cramming myself into a Barbie dream house, sipping on tap water being poured out of a giant teapot that my toddler just prepared in our pink-to-the-max bathroom. And, livin’ my best life, girrrrl . . .

(6) “Girls (or Boys) are the BEST!” – I want you to imagine a facepalm emoji right now. Because, that is exactly what happened to me when I suffered from Foot-In-Mouth Disease a few years back. One of my dear friends told me she was expecting and would be finding out the gender the following week. Overly excited, I exclaimed, “GIRLS ARE THE BEST!!!!” Someone should’ve arrested me for bein’ out of my ever-lovin’ mind. In the moment, I thought I was being fun and engaging and welcoming to this whole #momlife thing. Instead, I was setting myself up for Jerkville Party of One when said friend discovered she was in fact having a boy five days later . . . Ugh. Tracking off #5, I will tell you what I have learned through that little dumpster fire scenario. Girls are awesome. Boys are awesome. ALL kids are awesome. And you will find me leaving it at that until the cows come home.

(7) “You’ve got your hands full! – I really want to type an expletive here. But, the Southern Baptist in me is winning this round . . .

Is this person kidding? Like, we as moms don’t have any idea we’ve got our hands full . . .

So, what is this person saying? Are they telling us we look like we are strung out and on something? Is it offensive to them that maybe we don’t always know that our kid is dumping Oreos off the shelf while we are reading the nutritional facts off the back of the Lorna Doone box in Aisle 7? Is our toddler’s tantrum causing them angst? Have we eaten too many Five Guys burgers all the way with fries and a milkshake? What. What are they saying? 

Yeah, I’m gonna go with a hard pass on that little ditty coming out of my mouth from now on. Because of course we’ve got our hands full. Full to the brim if you want the cold hard facts.

I could go on and on for days, but due to a word count restriction, and the fact that it’s dance party time up in my house, I will leave it at that.

FIMD is not something to take lightly. So, if you ever find yourself victim to any of these phrases, I encourage you to suggest that the infected individual take several seats.

When mommas support each other, we all win. LET’S WIN, Y’ALL! Loved hanging out with you for a bit today and hope to chat again soon!

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Erin is a proud Bama girl, writer, speaker, lawyer, friend, lunchbox packer, boo-boo kisser, sweatpants wearing Momma to her two precious girls: Bellalise (5) – a sweet, gentle-natured soul, and Annalise (4, going on 14) – the life of every party. She met her husband Marshall during law school and drug that Cajun boy back to the Heart of Dixie, a place he now proudly calls home as well. They live in Birmingham where their dining room is currently being used for laundry overflow. Outside of writing, Erin’s hobbies include scrapbooking, tennis, online shopping (don’t tell Marshall), crafting, cooking with her girls and a clean fridge – an outright miracle worth celebrating these days. She is the author of the must-have read for Moms: Cheers to the Diaper Years: 10 Truths for Thriving While Barely Surviving, and the soon to be Girls-Night sensation: The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible series! When she isn’t attending toddler tea parties or wiping up spaghetti stains, you can find Erin writing on her blog: ErinBrownHollis.com and on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter @erinbrownhollis. She welcomes all moms to find a community of love and acceptance on her site where she shares recipes, crafts and encouragement weekly.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for sharing this educational post. Last year, I have seen so many kids coming with that condition. Educating the parents is key.

  2. I’ve heard all these before and I always silently roll my eyes. Especially about looking tired. Yep. I have 2 little kids.

  3. Hahaha these are great! They made me laugh! The number one I get it are you going to try for a boy? Because we have two girls! It’s like really!? I’m just happy to have kids!

  4. LOL these are so funny and SO true!!! If I get asked one more time when I’m trying for a girl I swear I’m gonna lose it ???

  5. #4 – I absolutely HATE when people say that to me and I make it a point not to say it to others. It’s like saying “Hey you look like crap today!”

  6. I always get the “are you having another?” i’ve been expecting a burrito for about 3 years now, little pudge probably isnt going away…

  7. I get asked when I’m having another one all the time! They keep telling me how my daughter is already too old and should have a sibling by now! She’s two! Lol. And I’m definitely with you on the she looks like so and so! So annoying!

  8. This is so funny! My best friend had a new coworker congratulate her on her pregnancy which she responded thanks but I’m just fat. The other woman kept insisting that my best friend was pregnant until she finally got it that there is no pregnancy! Thankfully my best friend is a good person and just laughs it off.

  9. My fave response to “You have your hands full!” is “mhmm…full of blessings!” …seasoned with extra salt.

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