What Not To Say To SAHM (Stay At Home Moms)PARENTING | Nirasha Jaganath | July 30, 2008 at 7:05 am
I am at the junction of tip-toeing back into the workforce after an absence of 2.5 years and though I look forward to actually finishing a cup of tea (and one that has not been reheated for the 20th time), I do feel pretty passionate about my role as a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). Before I get totally immersed in the working world I want to find a way to give voice to some of the frustrations we experience. A place we finally can have our say. Maybe having this written down will ensure I never become guilty of saying this to anyone.
“You are so lucky you get to take rest, sleep, eat or watch tv all day” or “You’re so lucky!” or ” You can do whatever you want all day.”
Rest? Man, I can’t remember when I could use a bathroom with the door closed. Keeping a pair of eyes everywhere while you clean, cook, entertain and get no bonus, raise, time-off or rewards is a bit of a tricky and consuming task. Apparently some spouses are guilty of this too. I still remember being asked a few years ago, just after I resigned to take care of Miss J, “How was my vacation?” Grrrr…. Yes, that person is still alive and I hope reading this.
“I could never JUST be a stay-at-home-mom, how do you do it?”
Mmm,.. I don’t know, I guess you would have to be crazy or maybe JUST a supermom/superdad. It takes a lot of strength to swap financial autonomy and adult conversations for being a prime caretaker 24/7 and still make dopey faces as needed.”
“I work AND take care of my children.”
Yes, of course you do, with a lil help from your childcare option.
This is the response to being asked what I do and responding SAHM
. It is always a total conversation ender with eyes already scanning around for someone more interesting to talk to. In the words of my coolest mommy friend “My baby was just born, not me. I have oodles to share and talk about too”.
“You are so lucky you can afford to stay at home.” aka “You must be rich if you can stay home.”
Lucky, are you kidding? We constantly keep re-juggling figures to try and make it work and debate about having two incomes. Very often sacrificing little pleasures and on the constant lookout for bargains. Honest truth is now that I am trying to re-enter the job field and arranging care and all other sundries, I cannot believe how expensive the work I do is. According to Salary.com, if paid, Stay at Home Moms would earn $134,121 annually.
“What do you do all day?” or “What do you do with him/her all day?” or “What do you do with all that time?” or “Don’t you get bored?”
Oh, nothing. We place them in front of the tv and let them eat cheetos and wash it down with soda while we catch up on the latest gossip with the other SAHMs or watch soaps on tv with the kids. Don’t worry, we make sure to clean up in time at end of day so as not to leave evidence behind.
“I’ll bet your house is really clean.”
What are you smoking? Your socks? Ever tried to clean a home with toddlers underfoot?
“You stay at home because you are lazy.”
That’s right because I guess the children get dressed, fed, cleaned, entertained, carried, disciplined, etc all by themselves, right?
“You are sponging off your husband!”
Totally, and Man what a wonderful sponge my husband makes.
“You are teaching your kids that a woman’s place is at home.”
No, I am teaching my child that a woman has a right to do what she wants, irrespective of the pressure she gets from society.
“Women should have lives of their own”
You didn’t really think I was living your life, right? Whose life is it anyway?
“You’re a SAHM? Good for you!” (Said in a condescending tone.)
Why is it that comment “Good for you.” always gives me the creepies? Maybe if people just said “Good” or “Great” it would be fine, but somehow the “for you” part kind of sounds like it is just good for you but not me.
“I couldn’t be a stay-home mom; I need intellectual stimulation.”
Yeah, that’s tough. Not everyone can find or create intellectual stimulation at home. It is a difficult job since kids are a tough audience.
“Can you research/buy/install since you’re home all day anyway?”
Sure, and while I am down there why don’t I shine your boots too?
“Oh, so you don’t work!”
Ok, the next time I hear that someone is going to get hurt. Enough said!
This is not a reflection of attitudes of Working Moms (WOHMs) but of the few ignorant or careless individuals who give a bad reputation to all hard working moms, whether inside the home or out.
I invite comments, whether you agree or not. Feel free to suggest topics you think should bear discussion.