5 things not to say to stay-at-home mums

By Anita Yee   — September 12, 2016
  • “When do  you think you will go back  to work?”
    1 / 5 “When do you think you will go back to work?”

    What’s wrong: This question suggests that a stay-at-home mum doesn’t work. Yet almost certainly, she feels that she now works harder than ever before. As any full-time parent will tell you, raising a young child is as challenging as meeting the demands of the workplace  and probably more so. 
    That’s why any comment that appears to show this lack of understanding  especially any remark that being a stay-at-home mum is not real work  will deservedly receive an adverse reaction.
    Say this instead: “Do you have any plans to return to your previous job?”

     

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  • "You’re so fortunate to have more time to yourself.”
    2 / 5 "You’re so fortunate to have more time to yourself.”

    What’s wrong: A typical stay-at-home mum is totally occupied from the moment her toddler wakes up until he goes to sleep.
    There is rarely  if ever  any down time. When her one-year-old is napping, she is trying to catch up with household chores such as tidying, washing clothes and preparing meals.
    She’d love to have time to herself, knowing that it will be the same routine tomorrow as well.
    Say this instead: “Do you ever have a moment to yourself nowadays?”

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  • “I’m too busy, so could you do this for me instead?”
    3 / 5 “I’m too busy, so could you do this for me instead?”

    What’s wrong: This request clearly implies that while you have a thoroughly demanding schedule, she doesn’t (because she only cares for a toddler all day). Again, such a comment indicates a lack of understanding. 
    The reality is that you probably have more free time than she does because you have lunch breaks, tea breaks, and time alone with your thoughts while travelling to and from work. 
    The typical full-time parent of a one-year-old is exhausted much of the time, with little capacity to run errands for anyone else. Chances are, she can’t even go to the bathroom in peace.
    Say this instead: “Is there anything I can do to help you?”

     

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  • “You’re lucky that your toddler is so well behaved.”
    4 / 5 “You’re lucky that your toddler is so well behaved.”

    What’s wrong: It’s not luck  it’s the result of months of continuous, determined parenting. Her toddler has not turned out this way by chance. 
    The stay-at-home mum has thrown everything into managing his tantrums, developing his skills, encouraging his social skills, stimulating his thinking skills, and encouraging his kindness and empathy.
    If she hadn’t done that, the kid you’re looking at right now would probably be an entirely different individual. So whenever you see a well-behaved child, remind yourself that this took considerable effort.
    Say this instead: “All your hard work has paid off because he’s such a well-behaved, likeable kid.”

     

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  • “I’ll babysit tonight so that you and your husband can hit the club.”
    5 / 5 “I’ll babysit tonight so that you and your husband can hit the club.”

    What’s wrong While your offer is welcome, generous and caring, chances are that the stay-at-home mum would rather catch up on sleep than go out for a riotous evening at the hottest club in town. 
    Or perhaps, she’d prefer to have a quiet hour or two chatting with her husband over a drink.
    Offers of help and support are usually very acceptable, but it’s best when they don’t have any strings attached or when they carry associated expectations.
    Let the couple decide for themselves how they will use the free time.
    Say this instead “I can babysit tonight if you’d like, so you and you husband can do whatever you want.”

    Related: Are you ready to be a stay at home mom: 5 questions you must ask yourself

    (Photos: 123rf.com)

     

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