My rad friend Mary asked me to do a post in response to a piece PARENTS MAGAZINE wrote on “What Not To Say To Moms on Maternity Leave.” But, everything this author needed to say, was said. Totally true. And totally been there. What peeves me in the current day is the flurry of judgment laid on me for being a working mom. Not by everyone. There are many stay at home parents out there that are back to back with commitments just like the working moms, if not more so. But there are many who aren’t.
Everyone who knows me knows I love being a mom and I love and am grateful for my job. A job outside the home and your life at home are not diametrically opposed. Being a great mom doesn’t mean you’re a bad career woman. Being a great career woman doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. Shocker. I know.
For me, the commitment to one makes me better at the other. An appreciation in one makes me appreciate the other. However, like many working moms we suffer from judgment, shakes of the heads, eyes of pity and less than thoughtful words. Like these listed below.
Here’s my list of what not to say to working moms:
Wow, it must be so hard for you that you have to work. I feel very fortunate that my husband does really well and I don’t have to work.
I don’t know how you’re trusting anyone with your baby. Don’t you hear the horror stories about daycares and nannies?
“No, never heard.”
When I was pregnant, I quit my job so I could raise my kid. Why don’t you quit and then go back when they’re older?
“I don’t know. Because…money?”
How do you manage working and being a parent?
“Let me ask my dad how he managed both. And in the meantime ask all the dads.”
I don’t know how you do it. I’d miss my kid too much.
You look exhausted.
“Thank you. Likewise!”
Babies need their mommies.
Oh let me do it. I have time since I’m home all day with the nanny. You have to work.[Dull knife through heart.]
I know you work so you won’t be able to come but we all are planning a play date to the beach on Tuesday.
Thanks for working with my schedule.