Ten things you can always say to a working mom

Awesome article on Huff Post Today, What Not to Say to a Working Mom. Here’s 10 things I think you CAN and SHOULD say. What do you think?

  1. Good for you. Good for you for going for that job – doing the background, applying, interviewing, and making it happen. It’s an unexpected affirmation.  Many working moms expect some kind of reaction, as do stay at home moms (SAHMs). Basically, no matter who you are and what you do, you know you’re up for judgement. So give them something unoffensive, supportive, if not a bit bland.
  2. Different things work for different families. I know families of stay at home dads, single moms, same sex moms; I’ve even heard of families where both parents stayed at home for a couple of years. In Europe, of course.  There is no formula for the perfect family, just as there is no formula for who should work and who shouldn’t. Acknowledge and respect that.
  3. You’re lucky you get some adult interaction during the day. I know my mom dearly missed that as a SAHM mom for over a decade, attacking my dad as soon as he walked in the door for anything resembling a chat.
  4. It’s tough to try and penetrate the workforce after leaving for a while. Yes, it’s a consolation for a working mom since we never got to step out of it for any large chunk of time.
  5. Life’s a balancing act. Yup. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom. You’re busy, you’re juggling, and often you’re struggling. I work so I pay someone to come clean my house, deliver my groceries, and babysit Liron for a few hours after school. You stay home and you juggle shopping, errands, childcare, and a number of other things – oftentimes without the recognition you deserve as a really hard worker. I know SAHMs get a bad rap. Don’t knock it til you try it.
  6. At least you can cancel a meeting/move a meeting/blow off an email, etc. When you’re at home with your kids you report to the “big boss,” and there’s no such thing as a “lunch break” when you’re with your kids. You can’t walk away if you’re angry, or reschedule a meltdown.
  7. Paid vacation! Nice. Benefits, Sweet!
  8. You have the opportunity to set an example for your kids. After all, a woman can do just as much as a man, and more. Be assertive, make your way in the professional world; grow as a person – this can make you a better person, even a better mom.
  9. You’re lucky in this economy to have a job. We all are. We’re lucky we can provide for our families – to put food on the table, to sign up for ballet class, swimming, buy Chanukah presents – provide our kids with the medical care they need.
  10. It’s quality, not quantity. When you’re in a good place mentally, you can give your best to family. So spending good quality time with your kids matters the most. As long as our kids are in great care and we are there, present, and we create real, meaningful bonds, I think we can work on skipping the guilt trip.

Thoughts? What did I leave out?

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