Think before you speak

After a very long hiatus, I am back with another post.

My oh-so-awesome husband emailed me this link about shit people say to working moms.There's another one about stay at home moms by Amy Shearn but I haven't gotten to that one yet. 

It sometimes amazes me what people can come up with to say to parents.

So I will go through and address the comments Corneal lists and give the response I would want to give these people but instead bite my tongue and wish for a plague of red ants to find that person's bed.

1. Can't you afford to stay home?
Are you effing kidding me? One that's none of your business and two, yeah, I probably could if I really wanted to but I also want to be able to provide for future children and this one further down the line. So by working right now and pursuing a PhD, in the not-so-distant future, I will be able to not only provide my daughter and future children with clothes, food, family visits and trips and college funds. Oh yeah, I'll also be able to tell my daughter that she can be anything she wants to be. Because by working my ass off to get my doctorate I am showing my daughter that even girls can be scientists if they want, even in a field dominated by boys such as soil science.

2. I'd give anything to be away from my kids for a whole day.
Then you suck.
Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of times when I desperately need and want some alone time. But to act like I'm getting a vacation from the hassles of parenting is annoying. Because as Corneal states, parenting doesn't stop just because I go to work. I still have doctor's appointments to make and keep, the daycare still needs things from me and perhaps the worst of all, there are still adult human beings that need shit from me.

3. I'd miss my child too much to be away from him all day.
Really? So do you think I just drop off my kid at daycare and not think about her again until it's time to pick her up? I miss that little girl all day. But you know what? I suck it up and go to work anyway. Why? See my response to #1. We all do what have to do to give our kids the best lives we can.

4. The problem with this country today is that not enough moms are home raising their children.
I can't state a response any better than she did so I will straight up quote her.
"I know! I couldn't agree more! Oh, wait. You're not advocating for paid parental leave, flexible work schedules or telecommuting, are you? You're not picketing in support for working parents (because, let's face it, some dads would like to be able to spend more time with their kids too) so they can make good choices for their families, right? You just want more moms to stay home. It's possible those families would be better off living under a cloud of financial or psychological stress to adhere to a traditional view of families, but I'm not buying it. If I see one more comment about how dual-earner families are undermining the very fabric of society I will lose my mind. Last I checked, no one in my family had shot anyone, stolen anything, cheated on a test, run a red light, or even so much as littered. Of course, I've been working all morning, so things may have changed since breakfast."
So while I can't claim that neither myself or my husband haven't run any red lights, I don't see that as "undermining the fabric of society." I will add an additional thought here though. Why does it have to be moms staying home with the kids? Why don't people get all outraged that there aren't enough stay at home dads, or just stay at home parents in general? Why pick on the women? For that matter why aren't we all living in small farming communities where our children will learn the value of a hard days work and how to build a chicken coop and helpful shit like that. Because it isn't 1890, dumbass.

5. Why did you have kids just to let someone else raise them?
I don't have other people raising my kid, I have caregivers that I trust to stand in for me while I can't be there. Some people may see this as raising my kid for me but I don't. The teachers at her daycare are all amazing people but at the end of the day they clock out and go home. My job as a parent never stops, I constantly worry about every. single. detail of my kid's life no matter how silly or seemingly insignificant. I worry about one of the teachers leaving or what's going to happen when E has to switch classes or how she'll handle it when we eventually move away from all of her buddies that she's known since she was 3 months old. Key word there: I. Not her teachers. This is my child and my responsibility. As a part of that responsibility I have surrounded her with people I trust to teach her new skills and values that will help her develop into a strong, independent, happy person. Just because they get to have her for 8 hours a day in no way diminishes my very active role as her mother. So shut it.

6. I just don't know how you do it. It must be so hard.
Thanks for noticing. It is hard. Not because I work and not because my husband works. It's hard because I have another tiny human being that depends on my husband and I for absolutely everything. It's hard for stay at home moms too. Because parenting is hard.

7. You must be so organized to be able to balance everything.
In all honesty, I'd probably let this one slide. If they want to believe that I am super organized who am I to take that away from them. In reality there is no organization really. As Corneal says, "I let something slide every day." That something may be doing laundry today or having a clean house or remembering when it is that I'm supposed to schedule E's appointment to recheck her ears. It's always something. The only way around it is to embrace the controlled chaos and not to let too much slide. It's a very delicate balancing act that can easily be upset by an illness or late night or holiday or birthday party (one that you probably let slide because it was a month away and now-holy-shit-it's-tomorrow!).

8. There's always time to work later, these early years are so precious.

As opposed to those later years when the kid isn't doing anything new or need any guidance from you what-so-ever? Yeah, she's super cute and cuddly now but I also can't wait until she wants to read me the story or has her first crush or wants her driver's license. The years with your baby don't get less precious. If you think they do then in 10 years your life will really suck and going back to work won't fix it.

9. You look exhausted.

Huh, wonder why? That 10-30 minutes of downtime before I fall into bed is ever so refreshing. I am exhausted. As I haven't read Amy Shearn's article of what not to say to stay at home moms, I can't help but wonder if this isn't just a universal response to anyone with a kid. And if so, when did it become acceptable to tell someone they look exhausted which, let's face it, is just a slightly more polite way of telling someone they look like hell. People don't tell firefighters or police officers or ER workers this (I hope not at least) so why is it ok to say it to parents? Are we supposed to magically have extra energy that normal humans don't possess? If so, sign me up dammit! In case you haven't noticed we live with cute little parasites that suck every ounce of energy we have in order to spin in circles until 9pm and then sleep for 4-8 hours and do it again. 

10. At least you treasure every minute you have with your son/daughter.

Yeah...not so much. I love that little girl but she definitely has her days that she is more like a bipolar werewolf than my sweet loving baby girl. I don't think that I have to though. I treasure my girl. This post seems to sum it all up in a much more straight forward and funny manner than I could so here you go.

11. Don't you worry you're missing out?

Yep. I do. But luckily I have amazing teachers at daycare that fill me in on her goofy little things that she does during the day and they have a video camera so if I can find the time, I can watch her. But yes I do feel like I missing out, but I suck it up and go to work anyway (again see #1).

What kind of crazy things have people come up with to say you about parenting (whether you stay at home or are working)? Let me know and I'll add it in to this post!


Popular Posts