As working mom, I am no stranger to backhanded compliments. Surely, you have heard them, too. Another mom, your mother-in-law or a co-worker (who doesn't even have kids) pays you a compliment, but under the surface of what was said is an insult of some kind.
If you are responsible for caring for your family and you also have something else on the side—like a career or a hobby, people seem to take notice. And if they don't agree with the way you are living your life, or that your children aren't getting 100 percent of your attention 100 percent of the time, they can't help themselves, they have to say something.
Here's the thing, most of us moms simply don't have time for drama. So, when another adult offers criticism disguised as a well-meaning compliment, it is particularly difficult to shake it off. Women everywhere are being held to a double-standard when it comes to their careers or having a life outside of their family, and that isn't OK.
We have enough on our plate without having to field questions and comments oozing with disdain or sarcasm. So do us a favor and retire these 5 backhanded compliments, OK?
Working moms have the pleasure of hearing this all of the time. The last time I checked, working moms everywhere are still the ones packing lunches, spending hours of their work day attached to a breast pump, putting dinner on the table and getting up throughout the night with sick or fussy babies. Not to mention, this comment minimizes the importance of work and how bringing home a paycheck can play a huge part in raising children.
2. I admire you for prioritizing your career, I would miss my kids too much if I worked all day.
Hey, working moms aren't heartless robots who turn off their emotions when we walk out the door for work. We do miss our kids, but we also know that being a working mom is the best thing for our family. It isn't for every mom, but those of us who work do it because we are paying the bills, we want our daughters to believe they can be whatever they want to be, we know we contribute something important to our workplace, or we know pursuing our passions make us a better parent.
3. You're so lucky! I wish I could take a break from kids everyday.
The last time I heard this one, I had just finished a 12 hour shift where I spent most of my time trying to keep a mentally ill patient from swallowing batteries and pens. Motherhood IS hard work, but for most working moms, their jobs are hard, too. It is weird that so many seem to think that working is simply a break from being a mom.
Does anyone ever say this to men? I doubt it. The assumption behind this is that dads are paying the bills and moms are working so they can splurge on skinny mochas with extra whip and new shoes. The truth is, most working moms are working so they can pay for groceries or the mortgage.
5. You look great! I wish I had time to workout but my kids are my first priority.
Last time I checked, an hour at the gym each day isn't exactly child neglect. Moms who workout do it because they understand how important is to take care for themselves so they can do a good job taking care of their children.
Working moms aren't the only ones who regularly get hit by a backhanded compliment; stay-at-home moms get it, too. Staying home with kids is hard work, but it is wildly fun and rewarding. Just because it isn't what you would choose, doesn't mean that stay-at-home moms don't love what they do.