Even today, when women have equal rights to men, women still have to fight for the society’s approval of their life choices. The scenario of the traditional family role division, where the father brings home the bread and mother stays at home with children is still perceived as the only “right” way by a great number of people.
If you are a working mom, you should never doubt that you do a great job. You even do two great jobs by managing everything on two fronts – office and nursery. But the comments of rude and insensitive people often bring working mothers down. They feel guilt, shame, and can even suffer from an emotional breakdown because of not being “good enough” as a mother and as a worker.
The Most Common Shaming Phrases Working Moms Hear
We are sure that you’ve heard most of the phrases below and perhaps your feelings were hurt. Never let even a single thought of yourself doing something wrong come into your mind. Nosy people who don’t understand or think their opinion may define how you as a mother are doing, deserve the answer that will make them think twice before they speak.
“I wouldn’t let anyone else raise my children”
No matter who “anyone else” is – a daycare center, a nanny or relatives – they are NOT raising your children. They just take care of them while you’re making money. Such a phrase minimizes everything you do and what it takes to raise a child. You’re the one who gets it done and it’s normal to need help sometimes, even for stay-at-home moms. The fact that you aren’t near your kids 24/7 doesn’t define the quality of the upbringing you provide for them.
“But your husband earns enough!”
Personal goals, self-development, the business of your dreams, confidence … Working is not only about money. For some people it is, but all of us are different, and it’s normal to be so. Besides, you create an excellent role model for your children, showing them a good example of how to be ambitious, committed and persistent in achieving your life goals. It’s about giving your children a proper upbringing, and has nothing to do with how much your husband may earn.
“Don’t you feel guilty for not always being there for your kids?”
Of course, working moms do feel that guilt, and it tears them apart. And in many cases, such insensitive comments is what makes them feel it. Who dares to say that working means not always being there? What are you actually guilty of – having the desire to provide your family with a bigger income and give more opportunities to your children? The desire to achieve personal growth and inspire your kids to follow your steps? This deserves the feeling of pride, not guilt. What people should really feel guilty of is bullying working mothers with such assumptions.
“Is your husband happy with you working?”
Come on, it’s 2019, not 1959! Nowadays it’s completely normal when a father sits with children while the mother is working, takes a paternity leave or shares the work around the house with the wife. An adult man can do the laundry, dishes or take a child to a pediatric dentist. It’s his children, too, and his wife’s ambitions and decisions have the same value as his. Those old-fashioned standards are outdated in our modern society. The world changes, deal with it. And yes, it’s a good thing to have a wife who is an excellent mother and wife and also has a successful career. What’s not to love here?
“But you don’t you miss your kids? You have no heart!”
Sure you do, as every loving mother does. But let’s be honest – motherhood is very stressful and sometimes it’s good for you to switch to something else and give yourself an emotional break. The fact that you miss your kids throughout the working day makes you double your love and care for them when you come home from work. And unlike stay-at-home moms, the bonus is that you never get tired of them. The idea that motherhood is all joy and happiness doesn’t reflect the tough reality.
“It’s selfish to put your career before your children”
Oh really? Are you going to work to sleep or to party? You do it for many reasons – to provide your family with money, to have an opportunity to afford more for your children, to show your children more perspectives and inspire them. You have two important tasks and you handle them like a boss. Isn’t that far from selfishness? If having any interests besides your family is being selfish, all mothers need at least a little selfishness of this kind.
“You look so tired, how can you manage to do everything?”
Let’s face the truth – no one manages to do EVERYTHING. There will be always something missing, more or less. And it’s normal – we are humans, not multitasking robots that never get tired. Every mother gets tired, working or stay-at-home. But this tired look is worth it because you do a lot of good things for your family and for yourself, even if you don’t manage to always do everything. A perfect image of the “Instagram mother”, that always looks good, smiles, lives in a perfect house and earns a lot of money, is fake. Real mothers look tired, welcome to reality.
Don’t these phrases sound familiar to you? This is how people hurt working mothers, intentionally or not – it needs to be stopped. Now you have the arguments that will shut down the shamers and you should never be afraid to use them. And you should never EVER let any offensive comment make you doubt yourself and what you do. Your children are the luckiest children in the world to have a mother like you.
We are the society, we are those who transform it, and no great things will ever happen if we listen to shamers instead of the voice of our hearts. This is why it is not only important to continue doing what you want but also not be afraid to speak aloud against the shamers to protect yourself and other working moms.