Google+ Authentic Parenting: 8 Things Not To Say To a Stay At Home Mom

Thursday, March 27, 2014

8 Things Not To Say To a Stay At Home Mom


1. What do you do all day? This has to be one of the most offensive, but also most frequent ones I get, though I must admit that as the kids have gotten older and more people know I also work several 'jobs', it's getting less. Running a household and raising kids is a LOT of work. There is always something to do. Personally, I co-own two businesses, work for both of them, write the occasional book and then there's this blog. Plus I unschool my two kids, that does take some time. Yes, here in Liberia I do have a cook and a gardener (who plays with the kids now and again), but I repair clothes, make new clothes, make my own curtains, go to the market to get fresh produce for our family to eat etc. No matter what their family looks like, wether they're homeschooling or the kids go to school or they have a cleaning lady or... Stay at home moms keep busy. Very few of us get to lay by the pool and drink cocktail all day (now wouldn't that be nice). The reason why people don't know all these things is that they lose interest as soon as you tell them you're a stay at home mom. They eyes go blank and they just move along.
2. It must be hard for your husband to support the entire family. Even though just one partner brings in the financial part, doesn't mean the other side doesn't work. There's just as much merit to going out to work as there is to staying home and keeping the boat afloat. Heck, the fact that one partner stays home even saves money (clothing, daycare, cleaning costs...).
3. It must be lovely to be home with your kids all the time. Yes, it is lovely, and it is awesome that we are at a point in our lives that we have the means to support our family on one income. But sometimes it can be horrible, hair pulling, dreadful. Stay at home moms often live in relative isolation and being alone with your kids all the time can take it's toll. There's no need to romanticise SAHM's.
4. Lovely, well but then you can afford it. I once made the calculation with a friend where both her and her partner have a low salary and NOT working for one of them was actually financially more attractive, since there would be tax benefits, no daycare to pay, less gas and other savings you make because you're home. Most families could afford for one partner to stay home, but it may require some sacrifices. My friend chose to stay at work even after the calculations, because she knew she'd miss the social setting that work provides.
5. Don't you have any ambition? Again, a pretty demeaning comment, doesn't really show that you have picked up any tact throughout the years. Deciding against a career for the benefit of your family isn't a lack of ambition, it's a choice. Most SAHM have made this choice knowing what the other side of the coin looks like. Ambitious women will find a way to channel their creativity. And even if one would lack ambition, but makes a lovely home for her family, isn't that a beautiful thing to do with one's life too?
6. How anti-feminist of you. This one often said with praise by men, with disgust buy women. The truth is, SAHM is a choice and feminism should be ALL about choice. If feminism is only about one specific path, then it's more like one of the -archy's it so violently opposes. I am a SAHM, I have kids and I am a feminist.
7. Well, I couldn't spend that much time with my kids. Then why did you have them?
8. What a waste of your degree! Personally, I believe in study as the formation of the mind, what you use that mind for doesn't necessarily need to be a job. In hindsight, I would have chosen a field of study that would have been more useful to me as a stay at home mother, but that's not because I chose wrong, that's because my studies had been chosen for me by my parents.

Are you a SAHM? What's the most annoying comment you've ever gotten?




photo credit: clappstar via photopin cc


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6 comments:

  1. The most annoying comment I've received a few times, "Well, it's not like you have to actually think during the day - not like someone who deals with other professionals." I just want to scream when I hear this, but instead I just reply, "I know! It's so nice. I especially love the part where I can crap in my own pants too because it's not like I spend all day with other people who are potty trained either." :)

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  2. I friend of mine was telling me about an argument she had with another friend who was a SAHM. (I am too). I think she temporarily forgot who she was talking to, and she said to me, "I mean, this has to be bothering her more than me because she's at home all day bored, and I'm like, out in society, busy working, doing my thing all day." Couldn't believe it. Yes, because those of us home with our kids spend much of our time looking out the window with a cup of coffee bored as sh*t!

    I also just wrote an article about at-home moms vs. office moms: http://www.punkwife.com/my-truth-about-being-a-stay-at-home-mom/

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  3. A friend of mine was telling me about how she had an argument with a friend who was is a SAHM (so am I). I think she forgot for a minute who she was talking to, because she said, "I mean, this has to be bothering her way more than it is me, because she's like, home all day, bored, and I'm like out in society, busy working, doing things all day." Yes, because at-home moms, in between sifting through poop, running a household, and taking care of other human beings all day have LOADS of time to stare out windows with a fresh cup of coffee and ponder petty arguments with friends while wishing they only had SOMETHING to do....

    I wrote an article about at-home moms vs. office moms, if you want to check it out! http://www.punkwife.com/my-truth-about-being-a-stay-at-home-mom/

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  4. You make great points, but I wish you hadn't addressed them all to 'moms' with 'husbands'. It's time we all recognised that it doesn't have to be that way round - husbands can be SAHPs while wives work, but so many of the writings on this topic seem to assume that only women will choose to stay home.

    And I have to say that your seventh reply did make me see red. I chose to have my kids because I love them, but that doesn't mean I want to spend every minute of my day with them or give up the incredibly satisfying, worthwhile, outside-the-home career that I love - and the fact that I feel that way doesn't mean I love them any the less or that their birth was less of a good thing. I think it's lovely that being an SAHP has worked well for you, but please don't make snide comments about those of us who prefer to be WOHPs.

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  5. You make great points, but I wish you hadn't addressed them all to 'moms' with 'husbands'. It's time we all recognised that it doesn't have to be that way round - husbands can be SAHPs while wives work, but so many of the writings on this topic seem to assume that only women will choose to stay home.

    And I have to say that your seventh reply did make me see red. I chose to have my kids because I love them, but that doesn't mean I want to spend every minute of my day with them or give up the incredibly satisfying, worthwhile, outside-the-home career that I love - and the fact that I feel that way doesn't mean I love them any the less or that their birth was less of a good thing. I think it's lovely that being an SAHP has worked well for you, but please don't make snide comments about those of us who prefer to be WOHPs.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your reply. This article was written about moms because of the simple fact that I am a mom. I haven't yet met a SAHD in person and I can imagine that they must get quite different comments, so I choose not to discuss this. I do know that they exist :)

      I didn't say in this article that choosing a career over staying at home means you don't love your kids, I just find the comment 'I wouldn't be able to spend ALL THAT TIME with my kids' quite odd. I think everyone needs some time away from their kids, or even their partner. Time to yourself no matter how you parent is important!
      However, whenever that comment is made to me, it is made with such disgust at the mere thought that it makes me wonder what they're in for...
      Doesn't mean this comment is about you. Have you ever said such a thing to a SAH?

      Delete

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