Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What you should NOT say to Stay-at-Home Moms the first week of school.


Over the years, many well meaning people have doled out to me unsolicited, misguided platitudes along the lines of, “Oh, they grow up so fast!” and “Enjoy them while they are young.” And here’s one I love, “Breast is best!”(Not when I have a fever of 104 from Mastitis and my nipples are cracked and bleeding!)

 Along those lines, here is a guideline of phrases and sentiments that you should avoid.

 
10. After all those years of nurturing, quality time, won’t you miss them while they are at school?

9. See you at the supermarket!

8. Oh Goody – new blood! The PTA needs someone to head up the Election Day bake sale – come to think of it, have you considered being a class parent for your child’s homeroom? Or maybe the school carnival? Book Shelver in the Library? Hall Monitor? Book Sale?

7. Don’t you just miss it when they were babies – why don’t you have another child?

6. You would be really good at selling, Amway, Jewelry, Natural Cleaning Products, Vibrators, Nu Skin… Can I talk to you about how flexible the hours are?

5. You let her take the bus to school?! Don’t you know what happens on the bus! Well, I guess it’s OK for you – I just would never feel comfortable.

4. They don’t teach enough Arts at their school – Want to start a Home-Schooling Co-Op?

3. Honey, could you pick up my dry-cleaning?

2. So, when are you going back to work?

 
And the number one thing to NEVER, EVER say....

1. What are you going to do with all of your free time?



 


 

40 comments:

  1. I'm a stay at home mom. None of those things are offensive to me. Both stay at home AND working moms need to get over themselves. Everyone does it differently.

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  2. My mom had to work the whole time we were growing up. Now, she's raising my niece. She's a retired stay-at-home-grandma-mom. And it's SO FREAKING HILARIOUS to watch her deal with the PTA. She wants to support my niece's school, but really, there are only so many hours in a day.

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  3. exactly why is number 1 so offensive? I think it's a valid question.

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  4. Yeah what's wrong with asking them what they're going to do with all their free time? They are going to have a lot of free time. Bad list imo.

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  5. Seriously?! Asking a stay at home mom what they're going to do with all of their "free time" while the kid is at school is incredibly asinine. Most moms I know that stay at home never STOP working while the kids are at school. Laundry, dishes, housework, prepping dinner/snack for kid when they get home, or just damage control at the house in general. Whoever is asking clearly has no idea what it's like to try to take care of a family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, presumably, all of that was happening while also caring for, teaching, entertaining and disciplining and nurturing little ones, right? I mean, I assume the children weren't in front of the TV all day or otherwise disengaged with you. So yes, there are certain tasks that need to be accomplished (in homes with 2 parents working outside the home as well, BTW), but there are certain things that you don't need to worry about once the kids are physically out of the house at school for part of the day, too. How is that not free-time, even if there was a great amount of multi-tasking before? And why is so horrible to be curious how that transition would be for someone?

      I personally don't think there is anything wrong with actually having some "free time" - heaven knows there was so little of it before the kids go off to school - and it is certainly well deserved. Taking offense to that question, and not being willing to recognize or admit, that yes, things might be a little "free-er" now, sets ones self up to be a martyr too. And what is the point of that, really? Taking offense at being asked assumes the questioner is accusing you of being "lazy" or something - when really, it could just be curiosity or result in an opportunity to support one another. Such a novel idea some days, it seems.

      Delete
    2. I've been a SAHM, WOHM, WAHM, and more, over the past 11 years. When my first went to preschool, there wasn't another child at home with me. I was bored. I would work out until about noon, but then what? Seriously, it was a cakewalk compared to having him home. So I went back to work. I then had a 2nd child when my oldest was 8, and I worked until I got pregnant with my 3rd child. I stopped working a year ago b/c it's pretty chaotic here. I can't wait til they're all in school full-time. Is that awful to say? No. I never saw myself as a SAHM, but at different points in my life, it's been the most practical approach to parenting. But I'm already plotting my return to work. I have volunteered at high levels in my older son's school (co-chairing $100,000 auctions 2 years in a row? yeah, I'm that sucker) and basically enjoyed it, BUT I don't enjoy the school cliques and politics. It's not for me. I'm not the best time manager, but I am pretty good. I have found there is a lot of time on my hands between 9 and 3. It's a valid question.

      Delete
    3. First of all, thank you for reading my blog and commenting - I do appreciate the time you took to read and engage in this conversation.

      I completly agree with you - asking fellow moms what they are going to do now that the kids are in school is a fantastic question to ask - and one that I have asked many times. It does create support - something that we ALL need.

      As a 'former' stay-at-home mother (I now work outside the home during school hours)MY expereince was there can be a cultural perception that it is easy, or not as respected to be a SAHM. Maybe others out there did not expereince that - but I did.

      To me, free, means just that - free. Free is a weekend off with girlfriends. Or an hour reading in bed.

      I don't consider regular "business hours" to be 'free-time' But I am not setting myself up to be a martyr - yuck! Now that I don't have my girls with me every moment, do I meet friends for coffee guilt free - hells yes. Do I run out and return clothes at Old Navy at lunchtime, and pick up something else for myself - of course!

      Yes, time is "free-er" and I can pee by myself between the hours of 9 and 3 - but I don't think this translates into free-time

      For me - "Free-time" bugged me. And that's why I wrote about it - to also make fun of it.

      I hope you keep reading -

      Delete
  6. After years of the intense grind of stay-at-home parenting, I did a little happy dance the first time both my children were in school. For myself and for my girls having reached this important milestone. And personally - no - I did not miss them for one moment!

    And Jester - good luck to your mom going back into the PTA fray! I bow to her commitment.

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  7. Oh my gosh, before I even got to the end I had #1 in my head. So not looking forward to that when mine are all in school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we need to come up with a list of snappy responses!

      Delete
  8. Boy do peeps take themselves seriously. And btw, if you are gonna leave argumentative comments, the least you could do is give your name instead of anonymous. Geez. I think it was hilarious and intended to make us laugh not start an argument. I am a sahm and really none of those questions would bother me personally but they did make me laugh out loud. Especially the vibrator one. Love your blog too, first time I have been here and found you via Genie in a Blog. :)

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    Replies
    1. I think I love you Kari - you dig my blog AND got the joke! Thank you - See you again soon.

      Delete
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