Before I had kids, I worked full time. After I had kids, I stayed home for five years. Now I’m working full time again. From that fairly recent shift back to full-time work, I’ve had some first-hand experience with questions and comments regarding that change. The following examples are all things that have actually been said to me, either in person or via blog comments/emails.
The following are examples of things you should never ask a working mother:
Do you think it makes you a better or worse mom?
If I say it made me a better mother, I’d be saying that being around my kids brings out the worst in me. If I say it makes me a worse mother, that’s admitting that I made a choice to reduce the quality in my parenting by picking a career over the well-being of my children. I’m exactly the same kind of mother to my kids; I just don’t get to spend all day with them during the week.
Judging by how much we pay the school, they can probably handle staffing their own events. I go when it’s an hour or less of a time commitment, but I can’t take off from work every time they have a book fair event and need a parent helper. I did more than my share of that shit when I was a SAHM mom, so I’m going to coast off that karma for a while.
Even if I had the flexibility to work from home, I’d need my kids to not be there because I can’t do my job while parenting them.
Do you like the alone time?
Honey, it’s been a long time since you worked if you think an office job is “alone time.” Yes, I don’t have to share my lunch with a 2-year-old, but that doesn’t stop actual work from interrupting my special snowflake “alone time.”
I could do a whole other post on questions you shouldn’t ask a SAHM mom, including gems like, “Do you feel like you’re wasting your education?” and “What do you do all day?” but for the sake of brevity, we’ll stop the ranting here.
Has anyone ever asked you one of the “working mom” questions? —Kara