"Hug your kids"

Community Leader
Registered: 12-01-2001
"Hug your kids"
Fri, 04-19-2013 - 11:48am

An executive started a company meeting this morning by saying, "With all the sad things that have happened this week, make sure you hug your kids. If you have kids."

This person is a middle-aged father. I don't think he meant to offend any of the people in the room who didn't have children — whether by choice or because they were having problems conceiving. I just don't think he considers that anyone WOULDN'T want children, so if we don't have kids yet, we'll hug them 10 years from now when we do.

But this bothered me because he easily could have said, "Hug your loved ones." Just because I don't have children doesn't mean the events of this week don't rattle me. I have nieces and nephews. I have siblings. I have parents who live near the explosion in Texas (They're fine). I'm a human being who travels a lot. Just because I don't have children doesn't mean I am not sad.

And, as always, I think of the people who want children desperately but can't have them. I'm sure there was at least one such person in the room who probably felt even worse after hearing that. I'm bugged even more on their behalf than on my own.

My boss also does not have children. Or a spouse. Should my boss be completely unfazed? No need for her to hug anyone? She and I discussed this afterward, and she said she was happy to hear she wasn't the only one who also was taken aback by the "hug your kids" comment.

Anyone else encountered a comment such as this one lately? Did you say anything? Did it bug you?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Fri, 04-19-2013 - 2:27pm

I don't know, I chalk up comments like that as knee-jerk responses from people who are not intentionally thoughless, but say thoughtless things none the less.  This is true for any thoughtless comment made by people of a specific norm (heterosexual marriage with kids), they have no clue there exists others who are NOT LIKE THEM...oh, the horror!  ;)

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for balletkat
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2005
Mon, 04-22-2013 - 12:30pm
I hear you, it makes me sick to think that there are those out there that forget that people may not or may choose not to have kids. I guess that means we don't have "real" marriages then....