I can’t be the only person out there that has had someone inquire about their plans post-delivery. I’d say that it’s pretty normal to be curious. But sometimes the reactions people have about those plans are down right rude.
Just to give a little background. My husband and I have a two year old daughter and baby boy will be arriving in late May. My daughter goes to her grandparents house three days per week and a toddler-wrangling facility the other two. Recently – on Christmas day to be specific – I had someone ask me about my post-delivery plans and the conversation went like this.
Tactless individual: So what are you going to do after the baby arrives?
Me: What do you mean?
Tactless individual: Well, will Stella still go to school or will you keep her home with you and the baby?
Me: She’ll definitely still be attending school since I’ll take my maternity leave and then go back to work.
Tactless Individual: (Over-exaggerated shocked face) Oh my gosh you’re going back to work? With two? I couldn’t leave my babies like that.
Me inside my head: Well that must be nice for you, bitch. Some of us actually have to work. It’s wonderful that you had the luxury to be home with your children but if I had to go back to work after the first one it’s not like it’s going to get any cheaper having a second one so yeah I’m going back to work.
What I actually said: That’s nice you were able to be home with them so much. I however, don’t really have much choice in the matter. (said with the sweetest smile I could muster at the time)
First off, can we all appreciate how fucking absurd the “I couldn’t leave my babies like that” comment is. I’m not leaving my children with hobos off the street. And no one really wants to leave their kids to go to work … I mean sure, sometimes kids can drive you up the wall and you need a couple hours to yourself but I don’t know a single person that’s like, “YES! It’s Monday morning and I get to go to work for 8 hours to escape those demon hell spawns I created.” If that’s how you feel … maybe you should rethink your parenting strategies, clearly your actions or lack thereof have transformed your once angelic children into tiny monsters. Secondly, I’d like to set the record straight by saying I enjoy going to work. Would I like to work less? Yeah, who wouldn’t? Would I also like to be home with my children? You bet! In an ideal world I would have my own portrait photography business and answer to no one but lovely clients. I could work my own schedule, have all the time in the world with my children, workout more and generally do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want. (Don’t worry, I WILL get there one day.) But for now the world is not ideal and mama needs a steady paycheck; that way we (meaning myself and my husband, who works his ass off by the way) can buy things … you know, like diapers and wipes and pay bills.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay home with your children, that’s awesome! It would seem you have stumbled across a lucky horseshoe and secured it firmly up your ass. I don’t judge stay-at-home-parents. And for the love of god, don’t judge me or other people because they want to or have to work. Yes, I am a mom but that is not the whole of my identity. I have ambitions and goals and ideas and not only do I need to work, financially speaking but I want to work … just not necessarily 40+ hours per week.
Keep your judgement to yourself. Live and let live.