If you have made the choice to stay home and raise your children rather than returning to work, you have more than likely heard your share of rude comments about being a stay at home mom. This article is not about being a stay at home mom or a working mom. I have been both so therefore I see both sides of that coin and know the love of a mother and her care of her children is equal, regardless of whether she chooses to stay at home or work. But I do know that you get a lot of rude comments about being a stay at home mom and I have learned several wise ways of dealing with them that I want to share with you.
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One of the best solutions to dealing with rude comments about being a stay at home mom is to ignore them. Much of the time, it is not worth my time to try to defend myself. I do not owe an explanation to anyone for the way our family has chosen to operate. Additionally, silence is an answer in and of itself. It says that you are not going to dignify the comments made with a reply.
Tell the Truth
Another way to deal with rude comments about your decision to stay home with your children is to tell the truth. You do work. Very hard, as a matter of fact. It is not as if you are sitting home eating bon-bons all day. Most stay at home moms work very hard at taking care of their children and their homes. This is a very worthy occupation and there is no reason to allow others' ignorance to make you feel ashamed.
Many times these comments come from people who have absolutely no idea how challenging it can be to be a stay at home mom or they would never make that comment. It is fine to ask them if they have they ever spent an extended period of time with a toddler, a preschooler or teenager. If they haven’t then they really don’t know what they are saying and you can point that out to them. If they have pulled an extended full time parenting experience then you can remind them that it is not a walk in the park. Either way, this handles the situation.
Explain Your Heart
The explanation I would offer definitely depends on who is making the comment. If it is someone that I value the opinion of then I may tell them my reasons for my decision. I may attempt to softly explain that I want to be with my children all of the time or why this is the best decision for my family. But don’t allow others make you feel you have to explain; you don’t. You don’t owe anyone any explanation. Your decision is nothing to them.
Tell Them to Mind Their Own Business
I don’t advocate rudeness in return for rudeness. I tend to err on the classier option of handling problem people. However, there comes a point when you have hit your limit. I usually don’t use the phrase of telling someone to mind their own business but you certainly can. I usually choose to say that this is a decision that is between my husband and I.
Look for the Hidden Heart Message
Many times you receive these rude comments and there is a hidden heart message behind them. I try to see that. Maybe it is a working mom who doesn’t have the option of staying home. Maybe it is a family member concerned about our finances. Perhaps it is a friend who is feeling very conflicted over if being a stay at home mom would be right for her. When I hear a heart message, I try to address that by saying something to the effect of understanding how fortunate I am or that we cut corners to manage; oftentimes this will diffuse the comment.
Let Your Husband Run Interference
This way of handling rude comments works wonderfully. There have been occasions where my husband has clearly told people in a straightforward manner that he doesn’t want his wife to work. This is always something I am thankful for because I don’t have to handle the rude comment. If you are blessed enough to have a husband on board with you being a stay at home mom and willing to defend that, be grateful. Many women are not that lucky.
Being a stay at home mom is a very personal decision that draws criticism from some individuals at times. Has this happened to you? How do you handle it?
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