Things you should never say to working mums

Recently, we published an article on Things You Should Never Say To Stay At Home Mums (And Dads). In the interest of continuing etiquette education, here are some phrases that should never leave your mouth and land on a working mom.

Your husband makes you work? But he makes plenty of money!

Your husband lets you say presumptuous things to other people? Hey Mister – control your woman!

Can you completely trust your nanny/babysitter/day care provider?

Of course! I went onto Gumtree and just looked for the cheapest person I could find.

Snark aside, I trust our day care provider more than I trust myself. They have their hard-earned diplomas and ‘working with children’ checks that I don’t have. And, to my knowledge, they’ve never whacked my kid’s head on a door jamb.

What’s the point of having children if you’re just going to let someone else raise them?

I provide food and shelter, help them with homework, eat meals with them, read to them, sing to them, take them to birthday parties and make major decisions about their lives like where they’ll go to school… But I guess I’m not really ‘raising’ them unless we are together 24/7, right?

Have you heard about [scary day care story/research showing that children who have a working mother end up being juvenile delinquents who punch grannies]?

Have you heard about [scary study showing that kids raised by stay-at-home mothers continue to breastfeed and wet their beds until they are 40]?


Did you have a relaxing maternity leave?

So relaxing. In fact, for your next Christmas present, why don’t I give you a voucher to that magical spa retreat where you get woken up 15 times a night, contract excruciating mastitis, have to change nappies all day and occasionally have to change entire pieces of furniture after a particularly vivid poo-nami?

You’re so lucky you get to finish work at 3pm on the dot while the rest of us have to stay back till at least 5.30.

Um, you do realise I only get paid for the hours I work, right? Also, I wouldn’t call picking the kids up from school and then having to deal with them for the rest of the evening ‘relaxing’.

[Any phone call from school] Can you pick up your sick child?/You forgot to sign this permission slip/Little Johnny has been in a fight.

My husband and I keep telling you to ring him first as he works 5 minutes from the school and actually wants to be the parent who is called in a school emergency. But by all means, keep calling me!

(From boss) You have to pick your sick kid up from school AGAIN? Didn’t you leave early just the other day?

Actually that happened over three weeks ago. I apologised profusely then worked twice as many hours at home to make up for it. While also trying to care for a sick kid. And using up some sick pay. But thanks for the guilt trip.

You’re lucky your job lets you have flexible hours

Nope. They’re lucky to have me!

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