Monday, April 16, 2012

Things NOT to Say to a Working Mom

I could never leave my child for that long.
Yes, well, it breaks my heart too but someone has to pay the bills. But thanks for the guilt trip.

I don't know how you do it...
This statement is always trailed off. I'm never sure if they mean they don't know how I work & take care of a house & child, or if they don't know how I leave my kid every day.
I suspect it's the latter, but I don't really know.
Either way, the answer is the same: necessity. I'm a mom, so I do what needs to be done. Period.

Why do you work?
There is no right answer to this question.
If I say it's because of our finances, then it comes across like I am blaming my husband, or that my husband has somehow failed our family because yes, if he made enough money, I would stay home.
If I say it's because I like my job, then comes the side-eye of how could you choose your job over your child.
If I respond by asking why you stay home, then you list the 6,000 things that are awesome about being a stay-at-home-parent, and why it's so much better for your family that you stay home.

If you're struggling with (housework, child care, pet care, etc), why don't you just hire a (housekeeper, nanny, dog walker, etc)?
This one frustrates me because I have heard it said so many times to working moms by other working moms.
Just because a family has two working parents does not mean that they have disposable income with which to hire domestic help to assist with chores. In my experience, it more than likely means that they do not have such disposable income.
Besides, don't you think that if someone, anyone was regularly struggling with a task, and had the means to hire someone to do it for them they would have thought of that already? You're kind of implying that the person you're speaking to is an idiot as well.

Working while the kids are young is just not worth it.

Really? 'Cause I think my daughter enjoys having a roof over her head & food on the table.
And if I happen to find my career very fulfilling, then I think my child would find a happy, stable mommy more rewarding as well. But maybe that's just me.

Are you coming back from maternity leave?
I'm a responsible employee who would not leave you in a lurch if I knew ahead of time that I was leaving my position, for any reason. The choice to return from maternity leave or not is a personal decision to be made by the mother & her family. Back off. She'll tell you when she's ready, either by presenting her plan to return, or submitting her resignation.

You should just take a day off!
Yes, of course, why didn't I think of that?!? Because of course, all employers grant us unlimited time off, right?
I have a limited number of days off in a year. If I took off every time I "should" take a day off... I'd run out of days long before the year was even half over.
Are there times when I should? Of course. But can I simply take off for every single one of those occurrences? Not without risking losing my job.

Why don't you just take time to... ?
As if time were a limitless commodity. As if we wouldn't love to do just that. But after working 8+ hours during the day, handling child care drop-offs & pick-ups, feeding the family, doing the bedtime routine with the kiddo, and completing the most minimal of household chores (and I mean minimal), well... there is no time left in the day. Unless I give up sleep. Which I do way too much of already. So... please stop acting as if I have all the time in the world. Because I don't. I have all the love in the world, but time? If I could find the time to do it, it'd already be done.


Amber said...

I know exactly how you feel!

There are no easy answers. People just need to butt out and mind their own business.

What works for one family, may not for the next.

My MIL is notorious for saying, "you just need to make time for ______." I usually just smile at her and say, "yah" but I think , "eat s#$%, you nosey ol' windbag."

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Hard enough to be a mother.
Then with all the critics these days saying how mothers are somehow inferior for this or that reason, I really cannot imagine having to put up with all the constant criticism.
I personally thank you for all the hard work in and out of the home. Raising the next generation is the hardest most thankless job and I'm super glad that some wonderful people such as yourself are still doing it, even under fire- every day.

Brandie said...

You always leave me such nice comments! I thought I'd stop by and check out your bog. Love it! I'll be back to read more!

Steph{anie} said...

This is such a tough issue. SAHMs don't have the right to "judge" working moms for doing what they simply HAVE to do. There's no right or wrong in this debate...every family is different.

Julie said...

Amen! Every family is different, you do what you have to do in this world to get by! Just my personal observation but the SAHMs seem to end up with the more eh, um spoiled kids and I've also seen mothers whose lives ONLY revolved around the children and when her job was done ie: you raised them to adulthood and they left you, they had no idea what life was about. God is very clear in the order of things and balance is key no matter what your home situation is you can usually find a way to balance things out in the long run. I guess what I'm trying to say is just because you don't drive to a work place every day doesn't mean that you are a better mother. Now that I'm home for over a year now, it was easier for me when I had a job to drive to, for my mental status anway, but my daughter is 13 now! :0

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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