The very existence of our species is based on the survival of the fittest. The forming of tribes. The pooling of resources. The establishment of hierarchy. Whether in the cave, on the battlefield, in the boardroom, or the classroom, four billion years of evolution has proven one thing–the strong might absorb the week. But none of this nonsense would be possible without dear old mom.
Any mom will tell you (especially those scrunched into an elementary school cafeteria on PTA meeting day) that within the Momfia, there exists three families: the SAHMs, the Working Moms, and then you have the bastard child of the two–the WAHMs. The work at home’s are supposed to be Switzerland. They’re the organized, dependable, neutral third-party who has the best of both worlds. They’re living the dream, earning paychecks while planning class field trips and delegating who’s turn it is to bring snacks to the soccer game. They’ve got. it. all.
One thing is true though. We WAHMs are equally passionate about our careers as we are our families. And unless you want a smooth punch to the gi-gi, here are 10 things never to say to one.
1). You’re so lucky! You get to wear your pajamas ALL DAY!
Are you kidding me? You obviously aren’t familiar with Skype and how you can be in a room without actually being in a room. I will concede that I might not be wearing pants below the desk though.
2). You should be so fit since you can go to the gym anytime you want.
Here’s where I rear back and kick a 60 yarder right into your cake hole.
3). You probably never run out of milk.
Never. But I run out of wine ALL the time.
4). It must be nice to be able to set your own hours.
Many of us WAHMs clock in and clock out just like everyone else. Worse than that, our company computers monitor our every key stroke and our calls are logged. Then there are those of us who do actually set our own hours. But that’s where you’ll find us working longer hours, and weekend hours, sacrificing sleep and family time to finish the project and cash the check.
5). You make breast feeding an infant while running a conference call look like a breeze!
What can I say? It is a finally honed art form.
6). You work from home. Do you really intend to take your full maternity leave?
7). You’re so lucky! If you’re tired at work, you can just take a nap.
Ugh. See #4.
8). Since you’re home anyway, would you mind letting my dog out?
Then can you give him a thirty minute walk, put three antibiotic drops into each ear, massaging gently for 2.5 minutes between each drop? And no worries if he gets nervous and pees on you because you’re only wearing yoga pants anyway. He probably won’t bite. Probably.
Would you like me to clean your house and fold your laundry too? Maybe donate a kidney?
9). I bet your house is spotless since you stay home all day.
My house is always clean because I fling open the windows, throw out a little tune and all the woodland creatures come to save the day.
10). Do you have a real job or is it one of those multi-level marketing companies?
See #2, then once you see number 2, see #6.
I’m not going to shoot smoke up your blow hole by telling you that working from home isn’t pretty cool, but it isn’t perfect and it sure ain’t always pretty. But the cliche is true. The grass is always greener…where you water it.