by DEVON CORNEAL
I don’t think anyone sets out to be rude or judgmental, but I’ve been surprised at what well-meaning and generally thoughtful people say to mothers who aren’t staying home full-time with their children.
There’s a subtle hostility or judgment that comes through in some of these statements that makes me wish that everyone would, every so often, think before they speak.
Before anyone freaks out, I completely and totally support stay-at-home mums. They work. They work hard. Their choices are valid and awesome and please stop glaring at me. There are days I envy them more than you know.
1. Can’t you afford to stay home?
Let’s assume for a minute that I can’t. Let’s imagine I work to help pay the mortgage and buy groceries and send our kids to college. Where does this conversation go now? Awkward, right? Next thing you know, I’m going to be asking you how much your husband earns so you can stay home. Let’s agree not to go there.
Then let’s say I can afford to stay home. The question assumes the reason I work is entirely financial. Which is part of it, to be sure. If I could make money watching bad reality TV and doing yoga all day, I would. Since I can’t, I work at a more traditional job — but it’s not all about the money. I value my education and the years I’ve devoted to my career. I think it is good for our boys to see me working outside our home so they know that a woman isn’t confined to being a wife and a mother.