A little while ago, right before our annual Spring Break trip, our youngest kiddo got really sick. She came down with the flu [despite our best health tricks] that eventually progressed into pneumonia. Luckily, we were able to get her patched up before we set off on our adventures but she ended up missing a week of school. Specifically, she missed the week of school preceding spring break.
Unfortunate but not the end of the world, right? Well, someone at her school follows our blog [heeeeey if you’re reading] and started a rumor that we were actually out gallivanting in Spain instead of at home cleaning up mucus and vomit. A glamorous idea to be sure but totally untrue.
And while we’re out of the woods with the school administration [after explaining our general policy towards the kids attending traditional schooling], it made me think.
Folks really need to mind their own [bleeping] business.
Thus the birth of this [tongue in cheek] post. I’m not unique in this scenario. As we parents make the commitment and investment to travel with our kids, there are always a few naysayers with a strong opinion about what we do with kids that don’t belong to them. Amiright?
It’s tiring and frustrating, to say the least, and sometimes feels downright defeatist. But I’m about to equip you with the toolkit you need to succeed — 6 simple phrases that every traveling parent should know.
“Mind your own [insert expletive here] business.”
Keep it short and simple with this quick phrase that is sure to nip any negative speak in the bud. Works for anyone from friends to teachers to strangers. Plus, it allows for a little creativity and variety when you choose your own expletive.
“Why do you ask?”
The question might be basic but the “because it isn’t your business” is definitely implied. And trust me, if you say it coolly enough they will get the point. [Bonus points if you snap your fingers and roll your neck while delivering the question.]
“Thank you for your concern but I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
You can follow this one up with a very sassy “If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you!” but that’s totally optional. Or you can shorten it to just “Thanks for your concern.” Be prepared to make a quick escape if they still don’t get the point.
“Our finances are fine but if you’re worried here is my PayPal information.”
Do you have people keeping a mental tally of the change in your pockets? Did you and your family journey down the street [or around the globe] and now folks think you’re wealthy? Or even worse that you are accumulating debt for your trips? We budget and plan for our trips all year and they are simply our hard work coming to fruition. I’m sure the same can be said for you! However, if their concern runs deep, hit them with that PayPal/Venmo/Ca$h app info and see how far the concern goes.
This one is a personal favorite and works for a variety of questions and statements: “Don’t you think…”, “Have you thought about…”, “Well, I think you should…” No. No. And no. Don’t worry whether the answer fits the statement — it doesn’t really matter as long as it stops the talking.
Going to say this loudly for the folks in the back: YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE ANYTHING! Sometimes this is a hard concept for even me to grasp but it is so true. Parenting is hard; great parenting is even harder and you don’t have to feel like you’re doing it under a microscope. Trust in your ability to make grand decisions for your children and keep it moving.
What are your favorite phrases for naysayers?