A fellow working mom pointed me to an article this week about all of the insensitive things that people say to working moms. I haven’t heard all of these, or thankfully even half. I have wonderful friends and family, who are genuinely supportive and/or have really good verbal filters if this topic comes up.
The short version of the article:
- Can’t you afford to stay home?
- I’d give anything to get away from my kids for an entire day.
- I’d miss my child too much to be away from him all day.
- The problem with this country today is that not enough moms are at home raising their children.
- Why did you have kids only to let someone else raise them?
- I don’t know how you do it. It must be so hard.
- You must be so organized to balance everything.
- There’s always time to work later. These early years are so precious.
- You look exhausted.
- At least you treasure every minute you have.
- Don’t you worry you’re missing out?
There are some pretty personal and somewhat insulting things on this list. The ones in red are phrases that have actually been said to me. Most of the time I’m too exhausted to feel their sting until days later, when there’s a chance I’m better rested. Which also explains why #9 has been said to me quite a few times.
I think this list is like most miscommunication in life. Sometimes we say dumb stuff to others without realizing how it comes across. And sometimes overtired people hear insults where there are none. And some people can just be jackasses. If you need further proof, there’s a list of comments one should never say to a stay-at-home mom. I feel confident that there’s also a list somewhere of idiotic comments one should never say to a woman without children.
I have no wisdom beyond that, but I will leave you with this: Why are there no lists about comments made to dads?