I was a stay-at-home mom for seven years. Then I became a full-time working mom with an unemployed husband and two children at home (and I continue to work full-time now as a single mother). Having experienced motherhood from both sides, I understand the challenges each set of circumstances presents. Neither situation is easy, and insensitive comments can make things even harder. So, here it is: my personal list of seven things not to say to working moms.
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1. I love my kids too much to let someone else raise them.
This jab is a sure-fire way to break a working mother’s heart. To imply you love your children more than I love mine is incredibly unfair and simply not true. And to suggest that I am not “raising” my children because I am not with them 24/7 is treading on dangerous ground. I do everything I can to make sure my children are well-cared for while I am at work. Maybe the circumstances aren’t ideal, but I’m doing the best I can.
2. We gave up the luxuries in life so I could stay home with the kids.
Then are you suggesting I’m living in the lap of luxury? I’m sure there are women out there who are working to maintain a lifestyle that their families really can’t afford. However, most of us are not working so we can buy a sports car or a condo on the beach. We are trying to help pay for heat and food and health insurance.
3. I could only get to the gym three times this week!
I wish! After getting up at the crack of dawn to get kids ready for school, fighting traffic during the hour-long commute, putting in a long day at the office, and then coming home to help children with homework and keep the household running smoothly, getting to the gym for a yoga class or a good weight-training session seems next to impossible. Sometimes there just isn’t time in the day.