Back when I was a stay-at home mom (before my working-mom days) there were quite a few people who would throw these seemingly "innocent little" phrases out at me or at other mothers that were insulting to the core. Whether a woman is a stay-at-home mom by choice, because day care is too expensive, or both — or heck any other reason, doesn't mean she's home living it up and eating bon-bons. OK? Thanks!
I Wish I Could Stay Home All Day
I see a LOT of moms do this now in moms' groups and private boards. As a working parent I understand missing being home, seeing my kid more and the struggle of working-mom life, but comments like the one above is all-out nasty. It makes it sound as if a mother is staying home doing nothing. She is raising her kids, darnit. Have some respect. If you really are a feminist or a supportive woman, own it and support all the many choices a mother can make. Are there moms who stay home and stick their kids in front of the TV? Yes, but there are also moms who go to work and do ZILCH at the office.
Be supportive and not nasty.
How Hard Could It Be?
This is a phrase I heard people say left and right. It's insulting and diminishes mothers and children as well. It screams: "Children mean nothing. They are a hobby. An easy job."
Kids are NOT easy. And it can be very, very hard, thank you. As a working parent, I feel a different fatigue in my current life than I did in my former, and both ways of living could and can be difficult or easier, depending on the day and moment. There are pros and cons to both scenarios, and that's the bottom line.
If everyone could stay home and raise kids — if it were really that easy — then everyone would be doing it. Saying "how hard can it be?" also implies that you think a SAHM is an idiot or stupid. As if a monkey could do that job, and let me tell you, the only monkeys involved in this equation are the children, and if you know anything about monkeys, you know that they're sneaky.
Quit demeaning mothers who stay home! As a working mother, I find it offensive too. Children are precious investments of time and energy. Not some mindless video game or toy to pet or play with now and again.
I Was Working All Day
This is a real zinger! When someone says this, it's as if he or she is saying "I was working all day and you were sitting on your butt."
A SAHM is:
Cooking-Cleaning-Playing-Feeding-Wiping-Teaching-FoodShopping-Errands-HouseWork-Running-Reminding-Loving . . . and then some.
She is not sitting on her butt. She is managing a household. Do you think the day care teachers sit on their butts? Do you think owning and running a home is child's play?
Try it for a day. A week. A month.
The two scenarios of the working parent or the at-home parent are different — but equally valid ways of life.
The next time someone insults your stay-at-home status, Mommies, ignore them. These comments are made out of ignorance and you can't change a fool!
A Former SAHM