Being a stay-at-home mom or dad: what to say to critics

If you’re a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or a stay-at-home dad (SAHD), you’re accustomed to the occasional rude comment. I’ve been at the receiving end of hurtful comments (and not just from strangers).

  • “If I were home all day, I’d be sooooo bored.”
  • “I’d go crazy if I were you.”
  • “When are you going back to work?”

For me, a slow and vindictive rage swells with each tactless question or remark.

Here’s some armor to help you parry off inappropriate comments like the Olympic champion fencer you are.

It’s more satisfying to be sassy, but it’s smarter to be savvy!

What to Say to Critics

“What do you do all day?”

Sassy Retort:
“Eat a sleeve of Ritz Crackers and watch shows.” (Well, the first part may be true. OK, both parts are true on some days.)

Savvy Retort:
“I do a lot during the day, from housework to [insert activity] to working on my own career and helping my kids experience the world, and before I know it, it’s the end of the day.”

“That must be nice (AKA easy) to stay at home all day.”

Sassy Retort:
“Must be nice to have a life of your own.”

Savvy Retort:
“We all work really hard. Whether you’re at home or at an office, kids are work and parents work hard.”

“I don’t understand how you didn’t get ‘it’ (e.g. the task) done.”

Sassy Retort:
“I’ll leave you home with a big to-do list and a baby and see how much you get done.’”

Savvy Retort:
“There are a lot of interruptions. I’m doing the best I can.”

“Do you ask your husband/wife for money?”

Sassy Retort:
“No, do you?”

Savvy Retort:
“Our family has made financial decisions that work for us.”

“What did you used to do, when you (actually) worked?”

Sassy Retort:
“I had an easier life.”

Savvy Retort:
“Before I had kids I was a/an [engineer, attorney, teacher, etc.] and I have to tell you, it was a lot easier than the job I do now!”

“Why don’t you ask one of the stay-at-home moms or dads to do it? I work.”

Sassy Retort:
“You’re right, I don’t do actual work.” (sarcastically)

Savvy Retort:
“All of us are very busy in our lives – including stay-at-home parents.”

“You don’t work, so you don’t understand.”

Sassy Retort:
“Really, this again?!?”

Savvy Retort:
“We all work hard for our families and we all want the best for our kids. The best thing we can do is respect people’s choices in how they raise their children.”

“I could never be at home with my kids all day.”

Sassy Retort:
“Yeah, me neither. It blows.” (Sometimes being at home with kids is challenging.)

Savvy Retort:
“I thought that way too until I started doing it. It’s the best thing for my family right now, and I’m glad I can do it.” OR “I’m having the time of my life.”

“When are you going back to work?”

Sassy Retort:
Never, how do you like them apples?!? (gloatingly)

Savvy Retort:
“For now, I’m feeling really lucky to have this time with my children, and I hope they’re benefiting from having me at home too.”

Source: 9 Things Never to Say to a Stay-at-Home Mom

What to Say to Champions

Thank you. Thank you for recognizing that, like most jobs, being a SAHM/SAHD is difficult, but still rewarding.

The truth is on most days, parenthood is exhausting whether you’re at home or away from home.

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

You’re a champion fencer. Parry off rude questions and comments.

So don’t let other people’s words touch you. You deserve more.

If you’re a SAHM or SAHD, what’s the oddest or meanest thing anyone’s ever said to you about staying at home? What did you say back?

6 thoughts on “Being a stay-at-home mom or dad: what to say to critics

Add yours

  1. Before I became a stay at home mom, I used to work 12 hour days in a manufacturing plant. I can promise you that my hardest day in that plant has nothing on my hardest day at home lol. I know now that I used work as a nice little vacation from my home life. Once you’re a stay at home mom, there aren’t any more vacations. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My happiest moments are my moments spent with my kids and I applaud any mom who says the same. Whether we work or not, we’re all great moms!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine working 12 hours a day on a regular basis. You’re a superhero. And your commitment to being a stay-at-home mom makes you a super mom.

      Doing anything (working at the office, shopping at the grocery store, pumping fuel at the gas station, grabbing a drink at the local coffee shop) without kids feels like a mini vacation. You’re so right!!!

      I wish you all the best, mama. Thanks for visiting my little site in the blogosphere.


  2. Good ideas, though I like some of the sassy retorts better. 😇 I’ve been both over the years, but I’ll always cherish the fact that I got to stay home with the kiddos until everyone was in school.

    Liked by 1 person

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