I was reading this article on working moms earlier in the summer. I pondered some of the thoughts and came up with my own list of 9 Things Never To Say to Stay-At-Home moms.
1) Wow you’re so lucky to be able to stay at home. That’s nice your husband makes a lot of money. Lucky, yes. Do women who stay at home have husbands with large salaries? Not necessarily. In many cases, it’s the opposite. We have to make choices to live on a tight budget, cut corners, and live simply. It is not always easy, but it is worth it.
2) Don’t you feel like you are wasting your college degree? College teaches you that you can learn. Many people venture outside their college degree and some go back to school later for a totally different degree. I feel like I use my degree every single day in some form even though I am not bringing home a paycheck. When I get closer to forty, I may go back to work or start a new career. That is a whole twenty-five years to work. Nothing is being wasted.
3) Don’t you get bored? You are only bored if you choose to not engage in anything. Stay at home moms have the freedom to try hobbies, take their kids on fun outings, read books while their little ones are napping, do craft projects with their kids, etc. Sometimes an office job sounds more boring than what I do on a daily basis.
4) Don’t you want your children to be cared for by other adults? This assumes stay at home moms sit at home all the time with very little interaction with anyone. I know very few stay at home moms who live this kind of life. Many stay at home moms go to Bible Studies or mom’s groups where their children are cared for by child care workers. Some stay at home moms swap kids to help one another out. Some go to the gym while their children go to child care or a kid’s exercise program. My children have many other adults in their life they are close to besides my husband and I.
5) Are you ever going back to work? Although this question does not seem offensive (and for the most part it’s not), be careful when talking to a stay-at-home mom about “work.” Being a stay at home mom is a job with long hours and some days very few breaks. It IS work and it IS a job.
6) You are with your kids all day. I would go crazy. Any situation you are in, you learn to adapt. It is funny when I hear people say to mothers of twins–”Wow I could never juggle two babies.” As if she had a choice!? She didn’t plant two babies in her womb. It’s the same with being at home. Yes, there are crazy days. Aren’t there crazy days in the working world? You learn systems, routines, and things that you used to despise grow on you because you get really good at them (for me that would be laundry). You embrace that homemaking is indeed an art.
7) My brain would turn to mush if I stayed at home all day! It’s funny that people assume our days consist of PBS Kids programming and board books–and why this is such a bad thing? In addition many stay at home moms take on-line classes, write blogs, are in book clubs, lead or manage moms groups or Bible Studies, and work on hobbies. Not to mention home school moms who are constantly educating themselves and their children. The TV is not all day with soap operas and talk shows (mine is hardly on at all). I read the newspaper every morning which I never did (nor had time for) when I was working.
8) Your house must be spotless since you have so much time to clean. If the kids are home most of the day, the house will be messy. Constantly. When I worked in child care, it was unique. Your main job was to care for the children and nothing else. As a stay at home you have sixteen other responsibilities going on all at once–meal planning, laundry, organizing, returning e-mails, taking your kids to activities etc. There are some days moms cannot get to the cleaning.
9) Imagine how much more money you would have if you worked. Money is not everything. The fancy cars, designer clothes, elaborate vacations will not last. The time spent together as a family has a lasting impact. Relationships are more important than stuff.