10 Things to NOT Say to a WOHM

Just in case you ever wondered what we really hear when you tell us these things… 10 Things to NOT Say to a Work-Out-Of-The-Home-Mom

1) “I took off work for the first four years’ of my child’s life to be with him.”

Translation: if you were a caring mother, you wouldn’t work until your child is school aged.

2) “A woman’s place is at home, so we trust God for our income.”
Translation: if you use your brain and hands to work, you aren’t a true Christian. (Never mind what the Bible actually says about that issue…)

3) You came back to work after only six weeks? Well, be glad. I took off 12 weeks after my son was born and it was much harder than if I had only taken 6 weeks off.
Translation: I got 12 weeks with my baby and you only had 6! Na-nanana-boo-boo!

4) “I take naps when my children do.”
Translation: when I’m exhausted, I sleep. When you’re exhausted, well, when do you sleep, anyway?

5) “I’m already pregnant with my next baby; my kids will only be 15-months apart! When are you going to have another one?”
Translation: I have the ability to take care of two children. Do you? (answer: absolutely NOT! How am I supposed to be pregnant while working FT, maintaining a home, transporting a baby for childcare, getting up in the middle of the night with a baby, and keeping my family healthy…all at the same time?! And how could I possibly live through leaving two babies in someone else’s arms every day?! You must be crazy…)

6) “I send my daughter to day care twice a week so that I have some me-time.”
Translation: I see my daughter so much that I actually want to have time without her.

7) “You breastfeed? Oh, I quit that; it’s too much trouble.”
My response: yeah? Try pumping at work. Or anywhere, for that matter.

8) “I love seeing all of my baby’s ‘firsts!”
Translation: Must be you don’t care about firsts. After all, you work.

9) “I am so bored being a SAHM.”
Translation: I am a spoiled princess who has the audacity to not use my time wisely nor to delight in every single moment of my child growing…and then I’m going to tell you about it.

10) “Did you know that you’re son is crawling?”
Translation: you obviously spend no time with your child, so you won’t know when he reaches developmental milestones.

Disclaimer: I do realize that SAHM’s receive enough flack of their own. While not downplaying that, this is simply a humorous and honest look at the WOHM’s side of things. And yes, I have heard each and every one of these things myself!

8 thoughts on “10 Things to NOT Say to a WOHM

  1. No matter your situation, someone always has something to say to make you feel like you're doing it wrong. I had no idea how crazy competitive women were about these things until I had a baby of my own. I *wish* we would all just support each other. The “us and them” attitude makes me sad.

    Some things I've heard:

    ~It must be nice to have so much extra time since you're home all day. (hu?)
    ~So what do you do all day since you don't work? (Obviously I don't contribute to my family whatsoever since I don't earn a traditional paycheck.)
    ~Exclusive pumping isn't worth the effort. (I'll decide that for myself, thank you.)
    ~Eventually you will have to send him to school, then what will you do with yourself? (Apparently homeschooling is not an option and my only function is that of mother.)
    ~You're spoiling him by holding him all the time. (on babywearing)
    ~If you don't let him cry it out, he will never sleep on his own. (I very sincerely doubt he will still be crawling in our bed when he's a teenager.)

    I could go on and on… *sigh*

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  2. Oh! I almost forgot my favorite: “Why did you bother to get a degree if you were just going to stay home?”

    I have a lot of answers to that one. Unfortunately, most of them aren't very polite.

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  3. Word! Thanks for sharing, ohbabyo. It's RIDICULOUS. Don't women realize how they make us feel? Like I mentioned, SAHM's have the same problem, just different comments. My mom is still a SAHM (and has a BSN to boot!) and has always received the same comments that you're getting. She finally resorted to the reply of “well, I guess it's better than this is me and not you then, right?”

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  4. ok, so not to be a pitb, and i KNOW i fall victim to this myself, particularily when it comes to “do you know what causes that” in reference to having lots of kids, but so many of the ones you listed seemed pretty innocent to me. I think that its up to us to CHOOSE how to take a comment. You can turn it into something personal and insulting or just another person's perspective. The fact is, if you did choose to work outside the home, then you chose to give up some of those things… so what?! that's your choice! there's nothing wrong with that. My choice is different. I choose to give up a LOT of material stuff, and having my day consist of rational demands. (since having 4 small children all want your attention at the same time is far from rational)
    But the thing is, in all likelyhood the people that said those things to you didn't intend any ill by it, they were just sharing a perspective if their life. Why would you choose to take it the worst way possible. All it does is make YOU miserable. And i can completely relate, i think i replied mainly because i see so much of MY thought processes going on in your post.

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  5. Oh my goodness, if I have ever said anything I am sorry!!
    I will be completely honest: all of my life I had planned on staying home and raising my childre, my mom had so that is what I knew. However, once I finished college I felt that with putting that much money out there was no way I was going to stay at home – I needed to work that money back.
    However, now that I am pregnant I would love to stay home but I am the one who carries the insurance for our family….

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  6. I am sure that both SAHM and WOHM get comments that offend them. I have and continue to being a SAHM. I love my job and adore the time w/ kids. I never have time to myself… not even to take a bubble bath, but I wouldn't change anything about my life! I truly admire women who can work and still make it happen at home. Especially mamas who breastfeed, cloth diaper, or do anything extra at home, because I see some sahms who do nothing, and I know how stressful jobs are. I believe that each family has it's own prioritys and needs. We live a frugal lifestyle so I can stay home and raise our children. It is the #1 priority for us. Many things factor into the choices families make, but ultimately, what is right is what is right for your own family. I own no new clothes or shoes, I don't wear makeup, I have never had any spa treatments or pedicures or manicures… they just aren't as important as that bonding. But the fact of the matter is, if I could make more $ than my husband (who is not college educated but works very hard warehouse work) he would be a SAHD.

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  7. I have visited you several times now. And many of your posts seem to label or poke at SAHM.

    I encourage you to have an open heart and examine your feelings regarding this issue. You seem to have some trouble with SAHM's. Maybe you resent or feel guilty that you cannot? I don't know but whatever it is it comes across in your writing.

    For all it's worth – maybe your just trying to be humorous, and I just don't get it.

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  8. I'm glad to see the other side of the coin – you only see the SAHM response. We have a writer at A Nation of Moms that is very similar in your thinking – she also pumped and pumped now with her 3rd child. Her name is Lindsey. Would love to have you guest post for the blogazine some time!

    By the way I am the winner of the Guidecraft Kitchen, and I am so excited. Thank you so very much for the giveaway!

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