19 October 2016

How To Offend A Working Mom: Five Comments That Have No Place in the Year 2016

Yesterday, I was talking with a co-worker of mine about how I love working and having a career and how I feel I’ve grown so much as a person, a mom and a mate by having the opportunity to work outside the home while being fortunate enough to have Maddy in a school that I trust to leave my child with every day. I thought the conversation was going well; two professional women and mothers talking about why they love to work when out of nowhere, my co-worker says to me, “Well, I think it’s great you feel so comfortable working but when my kids were young, I would have never dreamed of working outside the home while having someone else raise them.”


I’m sure you all know how well that comment went over with me.


It took every ounce of willpower I had to keep my composure and not let my ghetto side ugly show. While I understand that this woman raised children in a completely different era than me with different expectations and societal “norms,” I was still so completely offended for women, especially working moms, in general. Haven’t women worked harder to deserve more than this? In the year 2016, have we not yet truly learned that in order to have a society of strong, independent, confident women we should all be uplifting and supporting one another in our decisions, hopes and dreams? I was completely and utterly befuddled and sad all at the same time. 


Let me be clear: I don’t think anyone sets out to be rude or judgmental, but I’m often surprised at what well-meaning and generally thoughtful people say to mothers who are not staying home full-time with their children. It’s not in every case but more than I would like, there is a subtle hostility or judgment that comes from statements, like my co-worker, that makes me wish more people would be conscientious enough to think before they speak. 


As her comment marinated in my mind for the rest of the day, I couldn’t help but to think of all the other comments and questions regarding my choice to be a working mom that gets thrown onto me more than I like. So here they are – the comments. And before anyone gets their feathers ruffled allow me to be crystal clear: I 110% support SAHM’s. They work hard all day, every day and truly believe that bottom line, all moms are working moms. The choice SAHM’s make to be with their children daily is both amazing and selfless so please, stop giving me the stink eye, okay? This is simply my point of view as a working mom outside the home.


I’m often surprised at what well-meaning and generally thoughtful people say to working mothers who are not staying home full-time with their children. It’s not in every case but more than I would like, there is a subtle hostility or judgment that comes from statements, like my co-worker, that makes me wish more people would be conscientious enough to think before they speak.



ONE. “Can’t you afford to stay home with your child?” 

Let’s assume for a minute that I can’t. Let’s say that in order for my child to have the education her father and I want her to have, I work so that she can go to school or have braces or for any other need our family might have. Where exactly does this conversation go now? Awkward, right? Furthermore, I’m then tempted to put you on the spot and ask how much money your husband makes so that you’re able to stay home. Let’s just both agree to not go there, okay?

Having said this, sometimes it’s not all about the money. Sometimes, mothers such as me, work because we actually want to work. We enjoy it. I value my education and the years I’ve put into my career. I also think it’s healthy and beneficial for our daughter to see me working so that she knows there is more to life than being a wife and a mom. Bigger than this, I also know that one day, my child will grow up and leave us. I want to keep a footing in the professional world so that there isn’t a big gaping hole on my resume making it harder for me to find a job. So you see, there are many reasons I choose to work but honestly, it really shouldn’t matter because the question devalues my choices. Simply put, please don’t do that.


TWO. “I could never have someone else raising my child.”

What I really want to say to you: “am raising my child you stupid, ignorant %*&@#!!!

What I’ll actually say to you: Refer back to #1. Loving and raising a child is not incompatible with having support to do that. Yes, my child may be with other people during the day but make no mistake about it – her father and I are deep in the trenches raising her. If the old saying goes, “It takes a village” than let’s all encompass every aspect of what this saying means and stop being just a little less judgmental, thank you very much.





THREE. “There’s plenty of time to work later. These early years are so precious.”

 The last time I checked, all the years are precious so your point is…?



FOUR. “It must be amazing to get away from your kid every day.”

What I really want to say to you: “It is! You know, it’s just like a mini-vacation and can you believe they also pay me??!!”


What I’ll actually say to you: How about we all just STOP polarizing the conversation and the debate about who has it worse. There are pros and cons to each choice. Instead, how about we join forces by saying, “I know you’re at home all day with the kids and I really need a break from work. Want to do a spa day together?”





FIVE. “Don’t you have family nearby that can watch your kid when she’s sick?” (A pretty standard and famous questions by co-workers)

What I really want to say to you: “My child is my responsibility, especially when she is sick. She wants and needs her mother and I will not deny her that need.”


What I’ll actually say to you: Regardless If I have family or not nearby to help me, I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for taking care of my child, period.



If you’re a working mom, what challenging conversations or statements have you had to deal with from others? 
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

20 comments:

  1. I have a pretty good balance. My office is 10 min from home so I work but I have a quick commute and I go home for lunch. My boss is super easy about when I take time off for say comic con or leave early for trick or treating. My husband is actually home with the kiddos during the day and then he works evenings.

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    1. That is a great arrangement you have! You guys are super lucky. Thanks for reading!

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  2. Oh gosh people are so offensive. I have a short temper so I can only imagine what I will be like when people offer their opinions after I have kids lol

    Rachel | www.theconfusedmillennial.com

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    1. Prepare yourself because it's coming! Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. It's all so infuriating. Like, really? It's 2016. Let's all get with the program, please.

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  4. So funny...and sad. I got the exact same questions from everyone when I worked. Particularly offensive was the "someone else raising your kid" statement. Please people! Think before you speak!

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    1. Every time I hear someone say that it takes everything I have to not punch them in the face. And I especially would never tell a stranger that their parenting choices are wrong. People never cease to amaze me!

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  5. GAHHHH I'm not a parent but so many of my girlfriends are and this stuff is infuriating. People need to MIND THEIR OWN DAMN BUSINESS and stop judging. Ugh.

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  6. It is so crazy to me that we are still having this same conversation in 2016. Moms, do what works best for you and your family; everyone else, shut up about it.

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    1. Exactly! Why do we have to have an opinion (and share it, at that!) towards people we don't even know? It's so strange to me. Thanks for reading!

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  7. WOW, I'd FLIP OUT if someone said this to me, and I'm not even a mom yet! Some people have zero filter...or common sense. Yikes. Thanks for writing this - it's an *important* piece.

    Coming Up Roses

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    1. Thanks, Erica! It's weird - from the moment people find out your pregnant, it's like they feel they're entitled to have an opinion about everything you do. WRONG. How about live and let live? Have a wonderful weekend!

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  8. What happens on breaks and Summer vacation with Maddie? Do you and Michael take the time off or does she have daycare? I'm always in awe of the balance involved with a working Mom or Dad even. I love how you find what works for you and make it happen.

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    1. Nope, we work. That's one of the things that sucks about being a full-time working parent during summer break. Unless we take the time off for a vacation, we're in the office while Maddy goes to a summer program at a day care or other facility during the day. We try to juggle it the best we can and make it work for everyone but even I'll admit, it's not always ideal.

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  9. I love your answer to three! Because seriously why aren't all the years considered precious and truthfully why are the early years when the child will have little to no memory of it the most important. Now yes it has to do with bonding but really. I am not a parent. But I hate it when my friends get asked these question. You should have the freedom to work or stay at home as you wish. Just like your husband should too!
    The sick one does bother me as someone who had to pick up after people who took off when their child was sick. I by no means was upset that they needed to take care of their child, they should be there. It was the mess they leave behind that bothers me. There's a right way and a wrong way to leave work when you do for something like that.

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  10. I don't even have kids and I am pissed at these comments!

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  11. Not a mom yet but hopefully will be within the next two years. People are assholes and don't appreciate a working mom. I'm going for my MSE and will have a busy career, yet you can bet your ass that I'll a working mother....and no one else will be "raising" my child but ME and my husband. *drops mic*

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  12. Wow i can't believe people would make these comments in this day and age! It's a very personal choice and I can be sure they wouldn't say the same to a man. Keep it up mama!

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