Unlike back in 1967, when 49% of mothers stayed home with their kids, being a SAHM is pretty controversial these days. Depending on who you speak to, stay-at-home moms are either making the best decision of their lives or they're nothing but uneducated, free-loading moochers. Pretty harsh, right? It seems that public opinion swings from one extreme to the other, but there are many reasons why women might choose to stay at home that have NOTHING to do with mooching and everything to do with sacrifice.
I was a stay-at-home mom because (believe it or not) I couldn't afford NOT to be. When my daughter was born I was only recently out of college and I had almost zero experience (and a journalism degree, no less). Daycare would have eaten up my paycheck and then some, so I chose to stay home and look after her in the early years while my husband worked. Trust me, I wasn't rolling in the dough like many people assume SAHMs are, I was just doing what worked best for our family.
Staying at home might not be for everyone, but no mother deserves to be judged for her decision to be a SAHM. Unfortunately for many moms, the most hurtful remarks often come straight from the mouths of friends, strangers, and even spouses. Here are 20 rude things dads say to SAHMs all of the time, however unintentionally.
20 "I'm Paying For It"
...so it's your decision? Sorry guys, that's not how it works. Stay-at-home moms don't need to be reminded that you pay for everything, so get off your high horse. Just because you pay the bills in the house doesn't mean that your partner is eliminated from making decisions in the relationship, and to imply that it does is truly hurtful and detrimental. A SAHM is working her butt off every single day without pay and without (many peoples') respect, so don't further deprecate her by assuming that your paycheck puts you in charge. In a healthy relationship, all decisions need to be made as a couple (especially the economic ones).
19 "This Place Is A Mess"
When my husband agreed that I would stay-at-home when my daughter was a baby I don't remember sitting down with him and signing a contract that said the home would remain spotless (because I didn't). Despite the fact that the vast majority of SAHMs never agree to this, many of their partners say these very words the minute they walk through the door anyway.
Guys, the reason the house looks like a war zone when you walk in it is that IT HAS BEEN ONE since the minute you set foot outside the door 8+ hours ago. Moms should not be expected to spend more time cleaning than nurturing the kids (and keeping them alive), so don't be unreasonable.
18 "Why Don't You Go And Buy Yourself Something Nice"
What kind of Leave it to Beaver statement is this?! Guys, just because your wife is staying-at-home with the kids doesn't mean you need to patronize her and treat her like a 1950's trophy wife. SAHMs should be just as involved in the family's finances as the husband is, and if she wants to "buy herself something nice" then she sure as hell shouldn't have to wait for him to "treat" her (or ask for permission). Ladies, if you want to blow some serious cash in Target, then you go right ahead. No grown-ass woman needs to wait for the green light.
17 "I Don't Have To Explain What I Do Or Don't Do With My Money"
Um, yeah you do. Just because you bring home the paycheck doesn't give you the right to go and buy a $5000 mountain bike without telling your spouse anything about it. Regardless of who brings home the dough, a healthy relationship is a partnership, and big purchases should be discussed and made together. Taking advantage of the fact that you make the money and using it to justify your spending and/or behavior is controlling, destructive and blatantly unfair. #SorryNotSorry
16 "What's For (Or When Is) Dinner?"
This comment isn't usually intended to be hurtful or rude, but it still rubs SAHMs the wrong way. When I stayed at home with my daughter I was too exhausted to spend my time flipping through recipe books and worrying about having a meal ready for my husband right when he walked through the door. On particularly rough days I would hand off the baby the minute he came home and walk straight to my bedroom and fall asleep. Again, when SAHMs agree to stay home and watch the kids they are not promising that they'll prepare a warm, delicious meal every night. Manage your expectations.
15 "I'm Going Out With Friends Tonight"
This is the worst kind of text to receive from your spouse or partner, especially when you've been struggling with young children all day and you can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. SAHMs always need advance notice if their partner won't be home on time so they can prepare themselves and adjust their normal routines. Make no mistake, being a SAHM is WORK and some days you're just counting down the hours until you're off-duty.
14 "It Must Be Nice"
I'm sorry, but what exactly do you think is nice? I hate to break it to you, but being a SAHM does not even faintly resemble an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. SAHMs don't get to sleep in, their day begins when their child starts crying at 6 a.m. They're not enjoying a cocktail with their friends, they're too busy changing diapers and getting spit up on. They can't just nap with the baby because they have to take advantage of that time to do basic things like take a shower, do a load of laundry, and remember to feed themselves.
13 "All You Do Is Go On Facebook"
Just because a mom has time to post a cute picture of her kid on Facebook does NOT mean she's hanging out on Facebook all day. Seriously, I can post a picture on my phone and fill up a dishwasher at the same time, it's not that complex. Usually, when men say this they're feeling particularly bitter about the fact that they have to work and their partner doesn't, but it's not fair to make assumptions about someone's day based upon a few posts on social media. If bosses did that then everyone would be fired.
12 "What Did You Do With The Kids Today?"
Um...kept them alive? Again, this question isn't usually intended to be rude but it can still ruffle a few feathers. As much as SAHMs do for their children, they often feel guilty that they're not doing enough (particularly when they're exhausted or defeated). Asking "what did you do with the kids today," however innocently, can often feel like a personal attack. Of course, we'd love to be able to say that we read with them for an hour and took them to the Natural History Museum, but sometimes it's all you can do to make it through the day.
11 "You Couldn't Possibly Understand"
Please stop assuming that stay-at-home moms "don't understand" because they don't work a 9-5 job. It's demeaning, condescending, and puts them in a little box. Given that more and more women are having children in their thirties, many SAHMs have years of experience in the workforce and could offer up some pretty damn good advice if their partners would give them a chance. Not only that but when you've spent over eight hours looking after babies or toddlers, it's nice to finally speak with another adult.
10 "You're Spoiled"
I once told my husband that I felt like I couldn't really relax and he laughed and told me that I was spoiled because he "took me to the beach all the time." Yeah, you best believe he got an ear full after I heard that. Guys, a SAHM is NOT your child and you do NOT "spoil" her. Trust me, most moms are pretty touchy about being seen as nothing more than dependents. If you tell a grown woman that she's spoiled then be aware that you're talking down to her and she's not going to appreciate it.
9 "It Can't Be That Hard"
Dads, unless you have lived in her shoes for at least a week and still think it's easy, then please (for the love of God) stop saying this. Trust me, having been both a SAHM and a working mom, staying at home is hard as hell. SAHMs are constantly on call and there's no such thing as a "sick day" or a "lunch break." After a couple of days, the cabin fever is REAL and you start fantasizing about getting through an entire day without someone crying and the opportunity to wear real pants. Don't underestimate what she does every day unless you've done it yourself.
8 "Where Is My Shirt/Tie/Etc?"
Dads, we agreed to stay home and take care of the CHILDREN, not you. It's hard enough for a SAHM to take care of herself, much less another fully grown human. Just because we've been home all day doesn't mean we've ironed and packed all of your clothes for your next business trip. It's a struggle to find clean underwear and accessories for ourselves, for God's sake, so don't you dare go on vacation and ask where your swimsuit is. Don't confuse SAHMs with your personal assistant.
7 "What Do You Need Fancy Clothes For?"
Just because most stay-at-home moms rock athleisure-wear all day does NOT mean that they don't enjoy dressing up on occasion. Asking a SAHM why she would need "fancy clothes" is nothing but a slap in the face! Just because they're getting pooped on or spit up on all day doesn't mean they don't care about their appearance. Babysitters are a thing and (GASP!) she might actually want to utilize one at some point. If anyone deserves some "fancy clothes," it's a SAHM.
6 "What Did You Do All Day?"
SAHMs are no stranger to hearing this from literally everyone, but it's even worse when it's coming from their partner. Why do people always assume that SAHMs are bored and just sitting around all day? Would you ask a full-time childcare worker to list every single thing she did over the course of one day? Of course not, because the responsibilities of full-time childcare ARE OBVIOUS. But, if you really must know, a SAHM fed the kids, washed the kids, entertained the kids, cleaned the house during nap time, and dealt with tantrums both in public and at home all without making a single dime. There you have it.
5 "I Buy You Things All The Time"
Please stop saying things to your wife that you would say to a child. "I buy you things all the time" assumes that she has an inability to buy her OWN things and that's simply not true (and if it IS true then it shouldn't be). "I buy you things all the time" also implies that she shouldn't need anything else, but who are you to determine how much she needs or doesn't need? You are not her father so stop acting like one.
4 "That's Not How My Mother Did It"
This has got to be the most eye-roll-worthy thing on this list, right? I once knew someone whose husband told her that she needed to get on her "hands and knees to scrub the floor" because that's what his mother used to do. Nope, I'm not kidding. Yes, it's just as cringe-worthy as it sounds. Needless to say, that marriage lasted less than two years. Guys, no one gives a flying crap how your mother did it back in 1979, so don't even go there unless you want to be served some papers.
3 "Why Don't You Join A Gym?"
Remember, the ONLY time a man needs to talk to his wife about a gym membership is when SHE brings it up all by herself. Not many moms look exactly the same as they did before having kids, and that's okay, but if she wants to commit to changing her physical appearance then that should be up to her. Not only that, but not many SAHMs have the time to join a gym. It's kind of hard to think about "GAINS" when you're still trying to find time for a shower.
2 "All The Baby Does Is Sleep"
Just because the baby was sleeping when you left for work and arrived home in the evening does NOT mean the baby has been sleeping all day, so don't kid yourselves. Anyone who's watched a baby for an entire day knows how many dirty diapers they fill, how many (unexplained) crying spells they have, and how dead your arm feels after bouncing them for 45 minutes in the hopes that they'll finally calm down and let you (both) take a much-needed nap.
1 "You're Welcome"
No, YOU are welcome, Dad! You're welcome for SAHMs being your babysitter, housekeeper, chef, accountant, interior designer, planner, chauffeur, nurse, therapist, playmate, educator, etc. You should thank God that she's willing to raise and nurture your kids every day while enduring rude and smug comments from pompous jerks who assume that she's doing nothing but sitting around the house and being lazy. She's only sacrificing her time every single day for the benefit of the family. You are SO welcome, don't even mention it.