I read an article the other day regarding this topic and it made me think about some of the things people assume when they hear you are a stay-at-home mom or dad for that matter. People say stupid stuff at certain times, either because they do not know how to react or because they just don’t think ahead before speaking their mind. To sum it up these are the most insensitive things that you should never say to a stay-at-home parent.
1. It’s so nice that you can afford to stay home. If a mom stays at home to raise her kid it doesn’t necessarily mean she can afford it; sometimes it can be exactly the opposite. There are a lot of moms out there that even though they are aware that staying home will be a financial disadvantage for the family, she chooses this path because she doesn’t want to miss the first years from her child’s life. So don’t assume that just because she stays at home she is rich; it’s a personal choice just like going to work.
2. You look tired. You could use some time off. Don’t say that if you aren’t prepared to offer your services as a babysitter. Of course she looks tired; it’s not like she is sitting on the couch all day and just watching junior play around. She has to be a cleaning machine, she has to wipe, wash, change, bathe, cuddle, feed the little one, do the chores around the house, be an administrative assistant, a cook and so on, and if we add some sleepless night to most of them, your lucky you got the chance to see her. So, think twice before rambling like a lost unicorn in the world of dinosaurs.
3. It must be amazing to be care free and not worry about work problems all the time. I think this phrase makes most moms want to kill the working moms. If you are a stay-at-home mom it doesn’t mean you are care free. Your child is your job for the first couple of years and that job never stops. You never have a cigarette break, a breathing some fresh air alone break, a whatever break, because it’s something you have to do and think about constantly. On top of it all you are also a woman. A woman with needs, hopes and dreams. It’s not like most stay-at-home moms choose to do this for the rest of their lives, but just for the first few years of her child’s life. She doesn’t stop thinking about her career and her plans. Sometimes she is terrified that she won’t be able to readjust at her old working place, or that she will be left out just because she had a baby. Be a little more sensitive, maybe she sometimes craves to have a lunch break like you do.
4. I wish I could take your place. I heard that a million times the first year after my daughter was born and I admit it didn’t bother me that much, but after hearing some other mom’s stories and the way they looked at the phrase, yeah it’s kind of uncool to say it. Let’s say you have a child who screams 24/7 (yes there are some of those too), you are crazy tired, you don’t feel like a woman anymore and the only time you have for yourself is when you go from the bedroom to the kitchen to sterilize the bottles. Imagine someone would say that to you as if you are the luckiest person in the world, I can see why the mom in question would want to strangle the person who makes that statement.
5. Look in the mirror. It’s impossible to tell me you didn’t have five minutes to put on something nicer. Okay, this one pissed me off the most and it’s only available for the first three or four weeks after you give birth. To understand better I have one of those amazing kids, the kid who sleeps a lot, who never woke up once during the night since she was born, who didn’t have colic and didn’t scream all the time while teething. Despite all that the first four weeks I looked like crap and honestly I didn’t really care about it. It’s difficult to take a shower like you used too when you have a kid attached to you all the time. It’s even more difficult to give a damn about what you are wearing outside when you know that stroll is your only time off. I know what they say: you are a woman, how you look mirrors your self esteem and blablabla. Honestly, I know moms who were looking amazing from second day after giving birth, but even they didn’t care about it, because when you have a newborn you are constantly amazed and tired, so you don’t care how the world sees you; the newborn is your world for a while.
There is so much more I could say on this topic and I will make a plan to gather more moms to talk about their opinions so I can share them here. In conclusion I can say that I am one of those moms, and although now I am working, I never committed to anything that would keep me away from her for too long . I am not blaming working moms at all, I believe everyone makes there own choices based on what they think it’s best for themselves. I was never willing to sacrifice the moments we shared together, the bound we have created, the fact that I know her better than anyone. As I said, it is a personal choice and nobody should judge anyone for that choice. Most importantly, when you speak to one of the moms I mentioned before, just try and see her side of the street for a second and then make a statement about it.