I recently heard someone comment "Man, guys with children who's moms stay home with the child instead of working are so lucky!". This was said most innocuously. No malice intended really. But it still irks me to hear this or variations of this comment which are in fact quite patronizing or plain insulting. The latter sorts often in fact come from working women...I have heard this from someone " I don't know how you guys do it, I just can't imagine being cooped up at home with my kid all day". Or "You are so lucky - you get to spend so much time with your child".
So is it luck really? Hardly so. It is a choice we all make. Most of the people who make such comments are not in economically underprivileged situations that they have to work. They just chose to work and have their child be dropped off in day care. What is luck is if they have someone young and able that they absolutely trust that can give them the kind of care they would have given themselves had they stayed home with their child. Some people have the grandmother and father come and take care of the child for the first year while they go to work soon after the maternity leave ends. I am okay with their choice but I find it very annoying if they just make it seem like luck played some role in some of us spending more time with our children. When you spend time taking care of two kids and feel completely exhausted you hardly feel like it is "luck" favoring you. It is a difficult and tiring job to do that all day and it is a choice we make. Yes it is probably a lot more chaotic and challenging when both the mother and father are working especially if they have to leave their child in day care. I don't necessarily feel like I am luckier than them nor do I make such comments to them. Somehow I get this feeling that there are some working women who think it is a failure on our part to have put our career on hold and choose to stay home with the children for the first couple of years. Different strokes for different folks. You have to do what works for you and what you feel comfortable with. But to belittle the amount of work it takes to be a stay at home mom and subtly put it down with these kind of comments is plain rude. But how do you respond to such comments when it is made so subtly!
Well - I could go on and on about this - but I have to get going now - the night duty starts now! Two or three cycles of night time feedings and a little sleep every now and then to look forward to! In the meanwhile squeezed in time for a quick rant in my post!