Dear Annie: I am a woman who doesn’t care much for babies. What do I say to those who expect me to hold their infant? Some people actually thrust their little bundle into my arms without even asking.
I have never had any desire to have children, and I don’t see what the appeal is. Babies are messy, leaky, smelly and noisy, as well as demanding and expensive. I understand that not all women feel as I do, so when I’m around mothers, I say nice things about their kids and have positive comments when shown pictures.
However, these same parents are shocked to learn that I am not as thrilled with their little darlings as they are. Is there a nice way to say, “I think your baby is sweet, but I feel more comfortable when the little tyke is on someone else’s lap”? – Not a Mommy
Dear Not: No matter how nice you are, some people will be offended that you don’t admire their child as much as they do. If they ask you to hold the baby, reply with alarm, “Oh, no, I couldn’t possibly. I’m afraid I would drop it.” If they push the baby toward you, put your hands up and back away. You are under no obligation to participate in this ritual, and if others can’t understand your attitude, so be it.
Dear Annie: “Hurt and Confused in Wisconsin” said her husband’s stepmother is emotionally abusive. She had trouble reconciling this with the biblical command to honor thy mother and father.
I am a minister who has counseled many in this position. “Honor thy mother” means do not speak to or about a parent in a disrespectful manner and do not treat them hurtfully. Do not refuse help for an honest need. Do not exploit or abuse them.
However, some people are nasty and cannot be reasoned, pushed or coerced into changing. It is possible to honor thy mother from a distance, so I recommend they have as little contact as possible. I will keep them in my prayers. – Mishawaka, Ind.