Monday, May 2, 2011

faux pas

So I was on the receiving end of that Working Mom versus Stay at Home Mom faux pas. It happened so quickly that I had to stop and think about it, let the moment pass, and then get pissed. It was innocent. Unintentional. And a flat out insult.
The day was starting off normal. Saturday afternoon hair appointment. I decided to take my daughter and the baby with me. Evelyn agreed that she'd be my babysitter, and Marcus agreed to be the baby that sat in the stroller having people constantly cooing at him.
Very quickly after sitting in the chair of the substitute hairstylist that I was seeing that day, she burst at the seams and exclaimed she was 11 weeks pregnant. I was very happy for her. She had a huge wedding in August and I being a new bride at getting pregnant with our daughter almost 10 years ago, I think she felt a connection to me.
We spent most of the time while she applied my hair color, and cut my hair talking about pregnancy and kids. She is an ex-special needs teacher so I highly respect her for that. We discussed her future of standing on her feet, touching chemicals, and the simple fact that she is a curvy mama. While she told me about her discussion with the owner of the salon she explained that she had heard after having a baby it takes 6-8 weeks to heal after giving birth. I explained that it depended on what type of birth obviously, and how you heal. I explained that three weeks after having Marcus I was out at the market with all 3 of the kids purchasing ice cream for my husbands birthday celebration.
Her response: "But you don't work a full time job so it's different."
Oh dear girl.
You didn't?
Did you?

I was a bit shocked. Mainly because I hadn't ever experienced such naivety. But also because as a stay at home Mom of 3 kids I forget that there people that do not view my life as working. I assume they also think I get to sit and watch crap like The View as I sip coffee in my fuzzy slippers. Reality is I haven't had a hot cup of coffee while watching TV in my fuzzy slippers in years. And yes I fully admit I have fuzzy slippers.

My first thought was to say "No, my job is 24/7." But I hesitated and instead let it slide. Reality is, I've never been an at-work Mom either. But I have been a Mom. Where she has not. And naturally we all have to grow into motherhood. Learning along the way is the only way to really get it. And by "getting it" I mean the person that has someone depending on them 24/7. Sure I am lucky enough to have a very supportive and involved husband. But reality is, my kids depend on me 24/7. Full time to its fullest. And trying to explain that to a Mom to be can only go so far.
It was pretty insulting to hear a 30 year old scoff at my gumption just three weeks after giving birth to my third child. But at the same time, its probably not going to be the last time either.

I guess after being confronted with the end all be all Stay at Home Mom VS. Working Mom comparison I find that it is best to let a person keep their ideas, because there is little I can do to show both sides of the coin.


  1. Walk a mile in someone's shoes...she'll learn.

  2. I'm sorry about this. :(

    It doesn't excuse her not thinking about it, but she really, really has no idea that you never get to sit down, Kristine. And she won't get to know that until she has 2 children, at least.

    If she had a desk job, I would have pointed out gently that she had paid time to sit down (offset, sadly, by missing time with your kids and having to do laundry and shopping and chores at 10 at night). Because she works on her feet, I'm not sure what I'd say.

    Also, not everyone does parenting as a full contact sport. I'm slacking off on the computer a lot more than you are. ;)