I’ve probably said half of these things to people before I had kids. Before I realized, that trying not to wake up a kid while we get ready for work, is like trying not to wake a sleeping lion while blowing an air horn.
Between getting dressed and brushing our teeth, and the toddler (who is now awake) who must put tooth paste on her tooth brush four times so she can wipe it on the wall, we are perpetually late.
We are always rushing, always juggling and always running marathons to make it to work, and arriving less than fifteen minutes late.
Sometimes we just need support from others, not condescending questions and guilt trips. You can start by not asking us any of these questions:
1. “But can’t your parents just watch the kids?”
No. They can’t, and they won’t. Watching kids is a full-time gig, not to mention it is exhausting.
Some of us have young parents who are not retired.
While some of us are lucky enough to have parents who are retired and are enthusiastic to give up their leisure days and take on a second round of raising children, most of us aren’t that lucky.
Some parents are done raising kids and want to travel or golf, or just watch Netflix.
Our parents barely want to babysit our kids (probably because they are insane). And that’s okay. They are our responsibility, not our parents.
2. “But isn’t daycare so expensive? How is it worth it?”
I hate explaining this one. By the time my daughter is five, I will have spent over $55,000 on daycare. I agree, it should be in her college fund instead. But it won’t be, especially if I don’t work.
Yes, even though it costs “more than college,” it doesn’t cost enough for me to quit my job.
Let’s say I spend $1,000/month for my daughter to attend a leading brand daycare in NJ full-time, roughly 45 hours per week. Let’s just say there are 4 weeks in a month and she attends a total of 180 hours, that comes to $5.55 an hour for child care. What babysitter is going to work for that little? How about a nanny? I don’t think so.
$5.55 sounds like a stellar deal now, doesn’t it?
3. “Can’t you just get another job when the kid(s) start school.”
Um, no. I did not bust my ass going to graduate school and establishing a career while investing a decade into a company that provides me with awesome amounts of vacation time, a pension and 401k just to start over again in ten years when I’d be in my 40’s.
Maybe someday, when my kids have kids, I’ll be able to retire and help out so that my kids can get the break I never got. Or maybe, I’ll have no hair left by then and run.
If I were to quit my job and stay home for ten years, I’d abandon my 401k, lose my pension, and be forced to downsize our house. For my family, this just doesn’t work. And that’s okay!
4. “Can’t you just get a work from home job?
Easier said than done. People forget, working is work. Taking care of small children at home is even more work.
What would I do, plaster them in front of the television all day so that I could work? How is that better than daycare?
Being home with kids and trying to work for a company is extremely challenging.
If you know of a company that is going to pay me what I make now, in my professional field, and not care about low productivity and screaming children in the background of phone calls and teleconferencing, sign me up!
Working from home with a sick kid is rough, doing it for a living in my line of work just sounds like I’ll need to drink more.
5. “We offer dance classes on Monday’s at 10:45 am or on Wednesday’s at 3:45 pm, which works best for you?”
WTF? Who the hell thought these were convenient times for anyone? Why aren’t you open on Saturday?
Since my daughter fell in love with dancing at the open house, I now go to work at 6am so that I can leave by 3pm, grab my kid and get her dressed to dance at 3:45. It is total bullshit, but I make it happen.
6. “It must be nice to interact with adults all day and get out of the house. Do you enjoy your time?”
Say what now? What part of this “time” belongs to me? Singing half-songs in the car while my work cell rings eleven times before 9 am?
Between dropping my crying child off, hugging her fifteen times before I can sneak away, commuting to work, eating lunch in my car, working diligently to come in early on Wednesday’s to finish early to rush to some crazy 3:45 pm dance class, who has time for socializing?
(See next post The Typical Day of This Working Mom | mischiefmomma https://mischiefmomma.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/the-typical-day-of-this-working-mom/)
7. “What do you mean you WANT to work and not be home with your kids?
Why do we all have to act like we desperately need the money, even if we don’t? Why am I an asshole if I say that I like having nice things and spoiling my kids.
Yeah, we could sell our nice house and cram four of us into a small apartment and live on one income in New Jersey. I think we could learn to love it, maybe. But some of us don’t want to.
(Kudos to those that make it work, I admire you. But I like working, I choose to work.)
8. “The doctor’s hours are 9am-5pm, how does 11:45 sound?”
It sounds fucking horrible. It sounds like I would need to take an entire day off from work for a well visit.
There is usually a sign of irritation on the other end of the phone when I mention that I have a job.
I am tired of it. I am not sorry I work.
What happened to the days of not saying anything if you can’t say something nice?
How about this, if you think you need to ask a parent any of these questions, how about you just STFU instead?!!
We are not The Stepford Wives.