We all know there’s no way to be a perfect mom—but there are a million ways to be a great one. Still, if you’re choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, chances are, you’ve had to defend your decision to your friends, family and that random guy from college you ran into at Target at one point or another. Here, 10 things every SAHM is so sick of hearing (say them to your pals at your very own risk).
1. “I could never stay home with my kids. I’d be SO bored.” Oh, you’d never find the time to be bored. In fact, you'd be lucky to find the time to bathe. If there is one thing the pandemic has shown us, it's that being at home with your kids doesn't mean you have expandable time on your hands. Being a stay-at-home mom often means you're cleaning, cooking and running errands in-between naps and episodes of Cocomelon.
2. “Since you don’t work, do you think you could … ?” Here’s an unspoken truth about stay-at-home moms: The 55 minutes of free time they have between dropping off one kid and picking up another are precious pearls. Even if they don’t have to spend it scraping macaroni off the ceiling (or perhaps just staring at it), they may just want to take a breather. Please don't add more to their plates by pressuring them into running errands for you because you think they have spare time.
3. “When are you going back to work?” Umm ... she is fully employed, doing one of the hardest jobs in the world.
4. “I’d get tired of not using my brain if I stayed home.” Let’s be clear: Getting two nursery schoolers into a bath before 6 p.m. requires sharper negotiating skills than any boardroom. Is their favorite rubber ducky in the tub? Did you use the right yellow shampoo with the dinosaurs? Oh, and let's not forget to mentally prep for that inevitable post-bath tantrum.
5. “I’d never want my wife to stay home.” How about we let each woman make the decision that works best for them, hmm?
6. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work.” A) Being a stay-at-home mom is not a luxury. Don't assume financials didn't play a part in the decision for a mom to stay at home: Child care is prohibitively expensive.
B) Stepping in horse poop? It’s supposed to be good luck! Being pooped on by a bird? Also superstitiously lucky. When the poop you step in or get hit with came from a small human, however, you may feel slightly less fortunate. And cleaning it up feels a lot like work. Also, have you ever encountered any toddler, ever? They don't stay in one place, they are enamored with the noisiest toys and for some reason, rummaging through the cabinets is an all-time favorite pastime. Following them around all day and ensuring that they don't injure themselves is its own job in and of itself.
7. “What do you do when they’re in school all day?” Again, just because they're not at your typical nine to five doesn't mean stay-at-home moms are lounging at home all day. Sure, they may be able to sneak a nap or a mani-pedi in every now and again. But many use that free time to get to the pile of laundry that's been sitting in the hamper for a week, recovering Legos from underneath the couch or trying to get those cranberry juice stains out of the rugs and off the walls.
8. “I used to be a _____, but now I’m just a mom.” We’ve heard a version of this come out of our own mouths more times than we’d like to admit. It stops now. It cannot be said enough: Being a stay-at-home mom is just as important as any office job.
9. “Since you’re home all day, you must make your kids the most healthy, homemade meals.” Why, yes! Being a stay-at-home mom automatically means that if I'm not whipping up a new Ina Garten recipe, my family just doesn't eat that day. *Insert eye roll here.*
10. “Do you miss having a real job?” The answer is all the time and not at all, all at once. Would it be nice to speak in full sentences and spend time with people who don't throw their food once they're done eating? Sure. Do I cherish each and every time my pint-sized human achieves a milestone and I'm there to witness it? Heck yes.