What Not To Say To Stay-At-Home Moms
Did you know there’s an epidemic of women who are afraid to admit they want to be stay at home moms? I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ll meet a group of women, everyone will go around, saying what they do, and then we’ll get to one woman who seems sheepish—she looks down, she scratches her ear, and she says, while batting her hand at the air as if it’s not worth mentioning, “Oh, I’m just a stay at home mom.” Just a stay at home mom?! There is nothing “just” about that. That is hard work! But I can understand how SAHMs have been pressured to feel like they have to play down what they do. Our generation is very much about women can do whatever they want…except be a stay at home mom. I’ve heard the way working moms and working women who don’t have kids talk about stay at home moms. Have we forgotten that, if the spirit of women can do whatever they want is real, then shouldn’t that also mean being a stay at home mom? I think so. So, on that note, here are things to stop saying to stay at home moms—it’s a bit condescending.
You must get so much time with your kids
Yes, but it’s not exactly quality time. It’s chasing them around, making them eat, making them take their naps, and getting in all the little micro fights that occur during the day. When dad gets home, he gets the tuckered-out, well-behaved munchkins that mom wrangled into obedience.
Wow. Married to Mr. Money Bags
Just because a woman is a stay at home mom doesn’t mean that her partner is loaded. Also, since when is it okay to comment on someone’s financial situation like that? Women only seem to think it’s okay to speculate on how much a woman’s partner makes when that woman is a SAHM.
How traditional of you
Translation: how backwards of you. But really, a SAHM probably isn’t trying to be traditional or make some sort of statement. She’s just doing what works best for her particular situation. She probably put a lot of thought into this, and discussed it extensively with her partner, and they decided this is what works best for them.
Can I drop my kids off with you? Hahaha
Then there are the working moms who crack jokes to the SAHM like, “Oh great—want to just be my daycare? I’ll drop my kid off at 8am and be back by 6!” They think it’s sooo funny.
We should get together during the week!
Because the SAHM has nothing to do during the week since she doesn’t work, huh? Just try and stop by her place on a Thursday afternoon. It will be absolute chaos and you won’t be able to have five minutes of uninterrupted conversation.
I don’t get it—why do you need a nanny?
Some SAHMs still hire a part-time nanny, and working moms don’t understand why that’s necessary. But you really don’t know what goes on in a SAHM’s life. If she has multiple kids, and manages the household, she can’t have eyes on her little ones at all times. Maybe she can do the bare minimum of keeping them alive, but she wants a nanny to play with them, help them with their homework, and give them more quality attention when she can’t.
Oh great, so you can help me out
Don’t call your SAHM friend to ask her to pick up your dry cleaning, because you won’t make it in time from your meeting. Don’t call your SAHM friend to ask if she can take your dog for a walk. She cannot help you out—she is very busy.
How did you not get around to it?
Making the cupcakes for the kids’ bake sale. Making the kids’ Halloween costumes. Paying those online bills. Many people may be shocked to know that a SAHM doesn’t just have oodles of free time to get to every errand.
So, do you have an allowance?
Eeeeh, sorry, what now? An allowance? As if her husband is her father? Honestly, SAHMs typically have a better understanding of the household budget than the working parents do, and they’re the ones who set some financial guidelines for the couple.
Being in sweats all day—how nice
You may think it sounds nice, but many SAHMs would love a reason to get out of their sweats. They just know that the moment they put on some clothes they actually like, their kids will vomit or draw on them.
It’s a work thing—you wouldn’t get it
Don’t brush past a story about your work, thinking the SAHM wouldn’t understand. She probably did work at some time in her life—it’s not as if that was centuries ago.
I’d go crazy
Being with the kids all day? If you were a SAHM? Yeah, well, she is going a little crazy. She doesn’t really need anyone rubbing it in her face.
Do you miss work?
So what if she does? Or what if she doesn’t? If she does miss work, admitting it isn’t helpful right now—this is the boat she is in. And if she doesn’t miss work, then what? Does that mean she is lazy or unambitious? What’s the end goal of this question?
Shouldn’t your kids see you working?
Ah yes. The good old, “But shouldn’t your kids have a strong female role model?” question. If a woman who barely sleeps and spends all day keeping mischievous and vulnerable children alive, safe, and happy isn’t a great role model, then I don’t know who is.
What about when the kids go to school?
Will she be bored? Lonely? Listless? It’s not like a SAHM doesn’t still have lots to do when her kids are at school. If anything, the moment they leave for school she just thinks, “Alright, now time to do all of the tasks I can’t do while I’m chasing them around.”