I’ve done a little bit of it all in my few years as a parent. I’ve been a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom.
And no matter the circumstances, there are just some things you never, ever say to a mom—any mom—especially a mom who is trying her damnedest to be the best she can be at the mom thing, the working thing, the friendship thing, the wife thing, all the things. While encouragement and advice are (most of the time) welcome by the Trying Her Damnedest Mom, there are just certain things that ought not be said out loud.
So, in order to enlighten you (or your friends, or your husband, or the neighbors, or the entire world), here are 10 things a working mom doesn’t want to hear:
1. I could never let someone else raise my kids.
Meh, no big deal. It’s easier this way. I don’t help with homework, or fix dinner, or set appointments, or offer guidance, or get them ready in the morning, or tuck them in at night. I don’t even snuggle, hug or kiss them. This is just the way it is when you have someone else “raise” your kids—it’s all or nothing.
2. Kids are the most important thing. I make time for what’s most important to me.
Ummm… So I can’t even entertain this comment.
3. You spent all day without your kids, why do you need an hour to yourself?
I don’t. Because nobody else all day long needed anything from me.
4. You’ll realize that no amount of money is worth this time you’re missing out on.
You’re absolutely right. Maybe you can write up that memo for me when it comes time to pay my mortgage to the bank. Oh, and the electric company. And I’m sure Kroger will understand when I request free groceries for my family.
5. I don’t know how you get everything done.
This is a joke, right?
6. From co-workers: Your kids are sick? Isn’t there someone else who can take care of them?
It’s weird. You know, for some reason, daycare won’t allow them to come in sick because they might spread what they have to the other kids. Their grandparents don’t live near by, our babysitter is in school, and everyone else I know has a job too.
Want to know what’s also weird? When kids are sick, they seem to want and need their mom the most. I’m sorry that’s so annoying to you.
7. It must be good to get away.
Yep. I do a little dance every time I leave the people I love the most in the world.
8. Cutting back on your expenses could allow you to stay home with your kids.
My children haven’t had new clothes (hand-me-downs, anyone?) since the day they were born. Neither have I, for that matter. (Consignment stores for the win!) And my retro minivan? It’s been paid off since 1996, and I ain’t adding another bill.
Expenses are cut back. (Oh, and for the record, I might even enjoy my job.)
9. Good for you for putting yourself first!
Oh! I was mistaken—I thought this was me putting everyone else first. My bad.
10. Good for you for taking whatever measures you have to take.
There’s a fine line, and this straddles it. Because I don’t have to do any of this. I get to.
I get be the first person my kids see each day. I get to be the one to tuck them in at night. I get to not be isolated. I get to help provide for my family’s lifestyle. I get to enjoy using my talents outside the home. I get to treasure the time I do spend with my kids. And I get to set an example of hard work in and outside our home.