Last we checked it was the millennium. We’re supposed to be encouraging traditional feminine values, without limiting them to one gender. So, why are we still treating stay at home moms like they’re 1960’s sitcom housewives?
If the Brady Bunch were on today, Mrs. Brady wouldn’t have time to give Cindy those corkscrew curls. She’d probably be too busy trying to get Marcia to stop playing with her iPod and Greg to stop texting his friends during dinner. Isn’t it time to wake up and smell the 21st century?
After a long day caring for the kids, the last thing stay at home moms need to hear are questions designed to make her feel inadequate. Here are ten of the most eye-roll worthy comments stay at home moms are tired of hearing.
1. What do you do all day?
Talk about loaded questions; this question is loaded with insinuations. No matter how you answer this, they’re going to hear what they want to – that you have it easy because you don’t have to work and for some reason that makes you inferior.
If you’re thinking of asking this question, try, “How was your day?” instead. You’ll get a more honest answer without stirring up unnecessary feelings of guilt.
2. I bet you have a really clean house.
Sure, if you don’t count the spit up on the kitchen floor and the dirty diaper pail. Do you really think any mom always has the time to mop and glow the floor? How long ago was it that they ran the commercials where the mom can see herself in the dish she just washed? You’re setting us back years. Quit while we’re still ahead.
3. Do you have any regrets about leaving your job?
Don’t even go there. Whatever decision you made about your job, you made it for your own reasons and the way you feel about it is personal. Even if you have regrets, you certainly don’t want to talk them out with a prying individual. Answer this however you want, moms, we won’t print it here.
4. You must feel so well rested!
Sure, just ask my three-year-old about how she made me come to her room every hour to reassure her that the boogieman wasn’t under the bed. I feel like a new woman!
5. It must be nice to have someone that pays your bills.
It’s always nice to have someone to take care of you financially, but you’re hardly the image of a sugar baby. The statement implies that your living the life of Riley on your husband’s credit cards. The reality is that you're staying at home to raise your children full time (which we can all agree is one of the most important jobs on the planet), while your partner brings home the money that allows you to devote time and energy toward a role that is of equal importance to both family members. How’s that for a reality check?
6. You were home all day; how come you didn’t get to (fill in duty or chore of your choice)?
Do you really want to hear the saga of how my day went and why I didn’t get to do X, Y, or Z, or would you rather I just told you that I can’t be expected to run your errands while taking care of my kids? Relatives and friends often perceive that time spent at home is downtime. Maybe they should spend a day on your couch.
7. Don’t you get bored with so much “free time”?
Free time? Get real. For stay at home moms, free and time are a contradiction in terms. Asking SAHMs this question implies that they have a lot of it (a.k.a, they don’t spend their days doing anything productive). Why not ask if they get any free time instead? It would seem much more genuine and would also be free of the underlying implications.
8. I could never stay at home with my kids all day. How do you manage?
This is a backward compliment if there ever was one. By saying he/she could never stay at home with his/her kids, there is an innuendo that he or she is somehow more worldly or ambitious than you are. Hey, you love your kids, the ability to love is the only criteria by which anyone should be judged.
9. Don’t you want to do something with your life?
As if you’re not doing one of the most valuable things that you can do in life: raising children. Not only is this question annoying, but it's also downright condescending. When your kids turn out happy and healthy, you’ll have proof positive you did something with your life - not that you need to prove anything to anyone who would ask a question like that.
10. When are you going back to work?
This question implies that raising your children is temporary, or that this is some kind of extended maternity leave. People need to be reminded that being a stay at home mom is a choice and that watching your children grow can be equally fulfilling as working.
If you find any of these questions on your lips, try and think before you speak. Sistahs are doin’ it for themselves these days and if they’re staying at home and raising their children, more power to them. Whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM’er, we’re all on this journey of motherhood together and should seek to unite for what we have in common, not focus on what divides us.
If you’re a stay at home mom, what’s the worst comment you’ve ever received? We want to know! Leave in the comments below to share your most cringe-worthy moments!