• Wed, Sep 4 - 3:40 pm ET

3 Back To School Conversations I’ve Had With Annoying Working Moms

toddler sippy cupsToday marked my third time enjoying my kids’ first day of school in Manhattan and I couldn’t help but laugh at “3 Back To School Conversations You’re Already Having With Annoying Moms.” Been there!

Of course SAHMs are the low hanging fruit of the back to school bunch.  They probably stayed up all night crafting pinteresting lunches, neatly folding their child’s emergency outfit, and personalizing their painting smock. And it’s true, they often earn their bad rap for being uber-competitive and snooty, especially in NYC.  But I’ve heard equally appalling things from the mouths of the working moms in the class.  Here’s a sample:

Conversation 1:

Mom (with blackberry glued to her hand): This gradual phase-in schedule is killing me! I’m supposed to take off three mornings this week to help Mygeniusuniqueson get used to his classroom?

Me: They are only two years old so they need some transition time to separate without creating anxiety.

Mom: Well it’s creating anxiety for me at work.

Me: And clearly you matter most.

Conversation 2:

Mom: This is my daughter’s first day, but my son is in the class downstairs.

Me: Both kids in school?

Mom: I know what you’re thinking but I don’t get a break. Ever. I work.

Conversation 3:

Mom (in business attire with huge diamond earrings): You’re only sending her three days a week?

Me: She’s two, she has her whole life to go to school.

Mom: But what will you do with her the other days?

Me: Play with her?

Mom: (mind blown)

(photo:  *superhoop*)

You can reach this post's author, Carinn Jade, on twitter.
What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Kate

    This was a weird one because I think the “working mom” sounds like the sane one in these conversations. The other entry was funnier…..

    • Carinn Jade

      My problem with #1 is the length of time each kid needs to phase in is different.
      My son needs the gradual transition while my daughter does not. But it
      shouldn’t really depend on my work schedule. And we’ve all heard #2 from SAHMs and they get labeled sanctimonious for it.
      #3 is a judgment call, but some people actually enjoy hanging out with
      their young children. It may not be for everyone, but it shouldn’t be beyond the realm of comprehension.

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      #1, maybe she is worried about her job security and needs her paycheck to feed her kids.
      #2, maybe it’s a cry for help and she’s stressed and overwhelmed
      #3, maybe she thought you might have some awesome music or art program lined up for your kid and wanted to hear about it

      Of course, these are all assumptions, but so is your reasoning.

    • once upon a time

      Even if you believe that phase-in time is important, did you honestly not consider that a reluctance to take three mornings off a week might not be a selfish thing but rather an ‘I’m going to piss off my boss’ thing? Your assumption that it’s all about her seem uncharitable.

    • Paul White

      It shouldn’t but you know what? Money fucking matters, and for most of us our job is really important because it does things like pay our bills.

    • Susan

      I completely agree! In the first post, the SAHM was clearly being critical and judgy, and in this post, the author is the one being critical and judgy. While the other post did not need to use the SAHM label, this post does even more to perpetuate the mommy wars, which is the last thing we need.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Wait… didn’t you just reply to me below that you _aren’t_ perpetuating mommy wars? Have I wandered into the twilight zone again?

  • Coby

    I’ll cop to it: I’ve used something similar to Conversation 2 as a means of justifying how “busy” I am. And then I feel like a total jackass for saying it because it implies that SAHM don’t do “real work”.

  • Mystik Spiral

    More perpetuation of the mommy wars bs. Every day I have a new reason to love not having children.

    • Carinn Jade

      Definitely not trying to perpetuate mommy wars. My point was to say that some people lack empathy, understanding and perspective — and it has nothing to do with being either a SAHM or a Working Mom.

    • Mystik Spiral

      OK. But if that was your point, maybe you should have mentioned it somewhere in the article.

      The way it reads as it is with the superfluous mentions of the Blackberry and the “huge diamond earrings” sounds like a jealous SAHM.

    • Lisa

      This. Thank you.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      Hmm, then I think the title of the piece is a problem. It’s called 3 Back To School Conversations I’ve Had With Annoying Working Moms, which makes the ‘working mom’ element of the story pretty central. I’m aware that writers don’t always write their own headlines for these stories, and it sucks if you feel your work is being misrepresented as a result, but I can see why people are responding as if this is a SAHM/working mom stand-off.

    • Momma425

      You percieve making a 2 year old preschool schedule a top priority…and criticize others who make THEIR JOB a priority at all…and other people are the ones lacking perspective?
      I’m not sure how many kids you have, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the things that matter to you when a child is 2 years old are microscopic when your child gets older.
      Just because I don’t get all emotional about preschool and think putting food on the table is important doesn’t mean I don’t make my child a priority and it doesn’t mean I don’t love my child. It doesn’t make me a bad mom if I bring a nanny to preschool (I didn’t have a nanny, but my sister lived with me when I was a SAHM and helped me out and it was glorious). It doesn’t make me a bad mom if I bring my blackberry/iphone to preschool. It doesn’t make me a bad mom if I come to preschool dressed in work slacks and big earrings.

    • j

      If you are so sure you have the empathy, understanding, and empathy your readers fail to see. tell us:
      Will you show this post to the three moms you know so well you wrote about them here?
      What you wrote was rude and inconsiderate
      And if anyone did to you would be crying foul.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Yeah, there’s no job anywhere that might object to someone taking three mornings off in a week. That’s totally not reasonable to get annoyed or worried about. Also, the “she has her whole life to go to school” comes across at least as judgy as anything the working mother said. I work from home. My parents stay with my toddler 3 afternoons a week, and you can be quite sure that I struggle a little to find something to do with her the other two days of the week.

    While I agree that the “SAHM” label could have been omitted from the other post, these are a bit of a stretch to… what were you trying to do again? How does this compare to suggesting that someone’s kid is a slacker because they’re in the Mon/Wed class not the Tue/Thur class, or shaming someone for not valuing the development of their child’s cortex because they have them in daycare?

    • Carinn Jade

      I was actually trying to be funny, but that failure aside, the point was to say that some people lack perspective and it has nothing to do with whether you are a SAHM.
      Some people might have a problem taking 3 mornings off in a week. But there are
      also many people who find it an inconvenience more than a real “food on
      the table” issue. It’s also something schools tell you about 3 months in
      advance. Also, there are schools that place less emphasis on phase-in. Those
      parents that don’t think it’s important for a child’s development should choose
      a school that’s in line with their priorities and life, right? Or should they
      choose a school with a 2 week phase-in and then complain about it the whole
      time?

    • Tinyfaeri

      Maybe the one with the phase in has features the others lack. Maybe it’s in the most convenient location. Maybe it has the most convenient hours. How should we know? And unless you know this person outside the above conversation, you don’t know any better than we do.

      Your post went from funny to judgy because none of the above were insulting you or your child personally. No one was suggesting (ridiculously) that you were neglecting your child’s brain development. Or lamenting that your 13 month old wouldn’t be able to push their 24 month old adequately. Or that they were a slacker because they were in class on a different day or the week.

    • Carinn Jade

      Wow, that’s an interesting perspective. I can assure you there was a whole lot of judging me. Because I have a son who is shy and sensitive and needs transitions. Because I actually enjoy hanging out with my daughter. In the 2nd conversation I didn’t even say anything but repeat back her information. Just because they weren’t as outlandish and farcical as the first post doesn’t mean there wasn’t a whole lot of judgment coming my way.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Strictly based on what’s above, which is all we have to go on, no, they really don’t seem to be. The first one doesn’t criticize your son for needing the phase in time, she complains about having to take off work. The second one is annoying, but I hear the same crap from every parent whether they work or not – litterally, no one on the planet who has ever reproduced ever gets a day off. Ever. The third one, I would have asked you the same things and meant no offense.

      Perhaps you should take video or audio, or provide more of the conversation because apparently I am lacking a huge amount of context.

    • Carinn Jade

      Funny you say “strictly based on above” but everyone made two huge assumptions that were not detailed. First, everyone assumed I am a SAHM I guess because everyone assumes mommy wars. Well I am a working mother – a working mother who demands balance for my kids, who cares about phase-in and who enjoys spending time with her kids. I am not currently a SAHM (though I have been in and out of various jobs since my first was born). Also everyone assumes these mothers work to pay bills or put food on the table. If that is “most” working moms then they aren’t “all” working moms. I know many working moms who work to pay for obscenely expensive schools, vacations and luxuries. I also know moms who work for the sake of their careers. Not every working mother does so just to make ends meet. People assumed that to put me in the wrong. That portrait of a working mom is not accurate based on my actual experience, and it is also not mentioned either way “strictly based on what’s above.”

    • Tinyfaeri

      Where did I say I thought you were a SAHM? I’ve pointed out that your somewhat sanctimonious position that anyone should be able to take off work for their child’s preschool and smile about it isn’t reasonable in all cases. I’ve pointed out that you lack empathy for anyone who doesn’t have a flexible schedule. I’ve pointed out that your comments in the third conversation come across a bit more judgy than the working mother’s (your label, not mine). I’ve hinted at you defensively judging the crap out of women you don’t actually know. That all stands regardless of whether or not you’re employed, and regardless of why anyone else is employed.

    • Carinn Jade

      Isn’t that exactly what you are doing? Judging the crap out of a woman (me) that you don’t actually know? I do know these women well – this is my 3rd year at the school (which is said above). And you are making very personal attacks on me based on assumptions of both me and the women I’m speaking to.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Fair enough. I’ll amend the above. In this public blog post that you posted on a popular site on the internet, and in the comments under it, you come across as incredibly sanctimonious, judgemental, and lacking in empathy for anyone that doesn’t have a flexible work schedule or bitches about having to take time off work. You come across as defensive of just about everything.

      You dumped your purse out on the table (repeatedly), you can’t really get this upset at people for commenting on the contents just because you didn’t pack enough to make them say what you wanted them to say.

      And with that, it’s time for me to get back to my life. I hope you do the same. Maybe have a glass of wine or something.

    • once upon a time

      Carinn, I’m trying to say this as gently as possible – why do you do write for Mommyish? It seems like every article of yours is you making some sort of short-sighted point, then complaining that people are picking on you when everyone disagrees with it. When an entire comments section disagrees with you can you consider that it’s because your position needs more thought, and not because we’ve all decided, through internet osmosis, that you’re our target for the day?

      Earlier you asked why a woman would enrol her children in a school with a phase-in policy and then complain about it. Equally I ask you – why would you publish something to a popular blog that has an open comment policy, then complain when people use that policy to voice their disagreement?

      Reading between the lines of your article and your comments, I wonder if maybe you’ve just chosen the wrong snippets of conversation. You say that you were judged because your son is shy, if you’d used those comments, I’m sure you would have had a different response. But the comments you’ve chosen aren’t an example of clueless working mothers. They’re not even STFU Parents worthy. So perhaps you can use this as a learning moment and think about how you can craft your articles in the future to properly express what you’re trying to express.

    • Véronique Houde

      Dude, we are the same commenters that comment every day on most posts. If you knew us, you would know that we’re clearly not a mob-type crowd. We’re actually pretty fucking sane and awesome. Know your readership. And stop insulting people because they didn’t agree with you and called you out for the blatantly obvious gaps in your storyline.

    • Sara610

      But why should it matter if a woman works strictly to put food on the table, or because she loves her work, or because her job is a “safety net” in case her freelance artist/contractor/seasonally employed husband doesn’t pull in any income one month, or because she wants to pay for what you see as “luxuries”? It’s not up to you to judge why a woman might choose to work or not to work. For someone who says she’s not trying to perpetuate the “mommy wars”, you’re doing a pretty good job of it.

      And you can’t possibly know what another mom’s paycheck is going toward unless you make a habit of asking some really personal and inappropriate questions in the pickup line. Maybe the “diamond” earrings aren’t actually diamonds at all. Or maybe they are and they’re a family heirloom from a dead grandmother. Maybe the kids are in the expensive school on scholarship. Maybe they’re NOT there on scholarship, but the parents decided that having the kids in that particular school was worth other sacrifices so they’re giving up a lot of things that you don’t see to scrape together the tuition. The bottom line is that you can’t know that family’s financial situation, or why the woman works, and even if you did know, it’s none of your business and it’s certainly not your place to judge her for it.

    • JLH1986

      1-if she had said “issues” at work v. anxiety would you still have taken it that way? To me, based on how you wrote this exchange she sounds concerned this is going to impact her job. It doesn’t matter WHY she works even if it’s for “vacations and luxuries” (btw that came across super snarky) this could be impacting her job, which would impact her families life (even if it means no vacation this year). I can sort of see 2 (she assumed you were judging her) and maybe 3, though it seems to me that because of her work schedule she can’t process spending that time with her kid, because she might actually need to you know work to feed her kid instead of silly things like schools and vacations. Also diamond earring thing? Pretty shitty. I have (what I consider) huge diamond earrings, that belonged to my now deceased grandma, I wear them occasionally. She had them for 20 years before she passed and they were given to me. Either YOU assumed because she had diamond earrings in she could afford to spend time with her kid or it was superfluous information that didn’t need to be mentioned. Sorry if you felt judged, but this wasn’t written as clearly as the SAHM article that showed how they were being nasty and judgmental.

    • Rachel Sea

      But you didn’t tell us about that, you told us about interactions where you judged other moms.

    • Carinn Jade

      There’s a lot I didn’t say but people sure assumed a whole lot.

    • Rachel Sea

      With these as your examples of annoying working moms, it’s logical to assume that none of them are doing anything more annoying, because if they were, those would have been the anecdotes you would have shared. Since none of these are very annoying, and sound to most of us like basic working parent concerns, it’s logical to assume you don’t share their issues. When you said you’d play with your daughter the days she’s not in school, that makes it sound like you’re free to be home at least 3 non-consecutive days a week, which makes it sound like you don’t work outside the home.

      When you write something, and everyone has the same misconceptions, it’s because that’s the picture the story painted.

    • Carinn Jade

      That is not necessarily true. Herd or mob mentality goes against that conclusion.

    • Rachel Sea

      Hon, this is not a mob thing, this is a not-seeing-things-from-your-perspective thing. I’m sure you have a very vivid picture in your mind when you read what you wrote, and that there are strong emotions attached, but we’re not picking up on your vision, or else we just don’t share your perspective.

    • Sara610

      Very well said!

    • ONJ

      I think I inferred you were a SAHM from the paragraph about pintristing lunches and personalizing painting smocks. It sounded like you identifying with the SAHM crowd, and were a little defensive about it. At least that was how I read it.

    • Carinn Jade

      I do in fact identify with SAH moms. I always have – even in the times I have been a working mom. However, I am not one.

    • Sara610

      Do you work from home, or work part-time? Because if you keep her home two days a week to spend time with her, it seems that you must have some flexibility in your schedule that most full-time employed moms don’t have. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you seem to be judging them pretty harshly considering that you’re in a very different boat. (“Some people actually enjoy spending time with their young children”….”just because I actually enjoy hanging out with my daughter”) Both statements pretty clearly read as “anyone who works five days a week and has her children in FT daycare or preschool must be doing so to escape her children”. Maybe that’s not your intent, but it reads that way.

      For the record, I don’t really care one way or another. I’m secure enough in my choices not to mind what a stranger on the Internet thinks of them, but you seem pretty confused as to why you’re getting the response you are, and you seem to think that everyone is just ganging up on you for no reason.

    • Véronique Houde

      Hun, it’s your job as an author to convey the issue appropriately. Not complain if people didn’t “get” it. I’m sorry to say, but your post DID come off as YOU judging them, not the other way around. Perhaps a rewrite is in order, if it’s really the other way around…

    • Paul White

      We went off what you gave us. Isolated snippets of a conversation without a lot of context. That’s on you as a writer.

    • disqus_WjKIYzni5a

      I really like a lot of your posts and you don’t seem to be some type of evil sancti-mommy but I do think that this one was a bit unforgiving. Working moms do have a lot of stress and I think that they were just expressing that. It wasn’t about them coming first but I see how it could seem that way. Then again, I don’t know the situations pertaining to each conversation so I can’t really make a judgement.

    • Allyson_et_al

      My kids’ preschool had a long phase-in that neither of my kids happened to need, but I chose it for other reasons. I don’t live in a place with infinite preschool options.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      Schools do not always tell you 3 months in advance. My son’s chorus teacher told us last Friday that their first after school rehearsals were going to be on Wednesday. That was only a 5 day notice. I need at least a 3 to 4 week notice to ask for time off. He ended up missing his first chorus practice, which will go against his grade.

      My son’s IEP teacher. In case you are not aware of this the IEP teacher is head of writing the detail educational plan that will be in place this year–he is disabled and without this IEP in place he will not have the funding needed for his special placement. This is critical for his success in school. For the first attempt at the IEP she gave me a 3 day notice. Then got all judgey on me when I could not mis work for that. So then she e-mailed me telling me she rescheduled for a date that was 10 days away. I brought the e-mail in to work, and they said, ok, they will work it out. But yesterday next week’s schedule was put and and they have me working 8 to 5 on that day. I reminded them that I was told I would have the morning off, but now my boss is telling me that they can not give me that time off. So i am super pissed right now. Plus I have to deal with my son’s teachers acting as if I care more about my job than my son.

    • Momma425

      Let’s pretend that you are right- the mom #1 doesn’t work because she “needs” the money and is just barely scraping by. I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with feeling inconvenienced- especially because there are very few work enviornments that I can think of in which SOMEONE isn’t going to say SOMETHING to her about taking time off. Just because someone chooses to work and doesn’t say, “My boss dared to get a little miffed that I am trying to take mornings off for my kid, so I’m quitting. We don’t really need the money anyway, let’s cancel our vacation and trade in the beemer because Johnny’s 2year old preschool schedule is the most important thing on the planet.” Some moms work because they WANT TO. And that is okay. There is nothing wrong with a mother thinking about herself sometimes, and it is judgy and snarky to criticize her for it.
      Seriously- I took my daughter to 2 year old preschool. I love my daughter and she is EXTREMELY important in my life AND I was a stay at home mom at the time. But I also had the awareness that she was 2. Her preschool schedule was important- but it was not my entire world. Things came up, etc… and it was okay. My daughter is 4 and a half now, and is doing just fine. I could have done with or without preschool for her at 2 years old.

  • Lisa

    I don’t get the statement about her earrings…

    • Elle

      It was a judgmental comment meant to imply that this particular mom has money and doesn’t have to work and can’t possibly fathom not wanting to spend your days watching Dora and playing with play-doh. More likely the mother was assuming the preschool was being used for child care and wondered what arrangement was being made for the other days of the week.

  • Momma425

    I totally side with the mom that has the blackberry.
    SOME kids benefit from phase-in transitions. My daughter did not need them. It was really rough for me to have to take multiple mornings off of work and get sneers and glares from my child-less coworkers for being late for 3 weeks in a row for what? For my daughter’s well being? She ditched me, took off running, and never looked back the second she walked into the preschool doors and saw other kids her age. Not that we don’t love our stay at home days, but she did NOT need that time to adjust, and it created a giant issue for me at work.
    And no…I know it wasn’t about me…but I would say that putting dinner on the table is pretty much a damn necessity.

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      My step-daughter was exactly the same “LOOK, THERE’S *next door neighbour child*, WOAH THEY HAVE A PLAY DOUGH TABLE! BYE! *zoom*” while I was standing there going “Goodbye? Hug? No? Okay.”

  • Rachel Sea

    Um, if taking off three days to get your kid adapted to preschool leads to missing deadlines, and being perceived as undedicated, so that you risk being passed over for promotion, or losing your job, that matters. It’s not about the parent it’s about being an adult.

    You do not sound like the hero of these conversations.

    • Carinn Jade

      If you’re getting passed over for a promotion or perceived as undedicated because you are active and involved in your child’s life, I’d say that’s a pretty hostile work environment. I’m for work-life balance in all its forms and if an employer can’t accommodate a few hours known months in advance, I’d say that’s a bigger problem than your child’s preschool policies.

    • Tea

      It’s sadly not uncommon, we’re trying to beg plead and negotiate a whole weekend off for a surgery date, and it’s still pulling teeth.

    • Carinn Jade

      Why are you so reasonable and fair? :) Again, I think that’s a workplace issue and not necessarily one with the school. And that totally sucks.

    • Tea

      Reasonable is unfortunately my main trait, it makes me a crappy person for my friends to whine at XD

      But yeah, my whole point was just that some workplaces suck for getting time off, even for really dire reasons (Like “Pre-cancerous tissue” D: )

    • Sara610

      Sure, it does suck. But mocking moms who are stuck in a tough position while trying to be good parents and also provide for their kids isn’t really the answer.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Jobs being so easy to find these days… and there are some jobs where things will always come up unexpectedly like new contracts starting, new cases, the effects of a recent round of layoffs that no one was told about months ago when the time off may have been scheduled, etc. You want sanctimony and a lack of empathy, here’s your sign.

    • Momma425

      The problem with back to school time of year is that EVERYONE has kids, EVERYONE is fighting for the same hours off, and for many work places, it also happenes to be one of the most slammed times of the year. Seeing as jobs aren’t easy to comeby these days… it is tough to balance.
      Criticizing a mom and implying that she is selfish and doesn’t care about her kids because she doesn’t want to get written up for missing too much work (or because she wants to save her PTO for when her child is sick) and valuing putting food on the table and a roof over her child’s head over a 2 year old’s all important preschool class is judgy and ridiculous.

    • Carinn Jade

      Not all working moms are the same. Just like not all SAHMs are the same. The people you describe are so far from the people I saw/heard. Can’t that be true/recognized?

    • Rachel Sea

      Maybe, but your descriptions don’t show us that these moms want to drop the kids and go because they’re selfish or lazy, they just show us that you have a different set of priorities, and maybe not very much perspective on what it is to be a mom trying to hold a job in a climate where workers are seen as being highly replaceable, and then come home to do second shift.

    • Carinn Jade

      What DO my descriptions show you? My descriptions show women who are working to make ends meet? To provide basic needs or a little more? My descriptions depict women that don’t have housekeepers or high powered jobs? Do they depict women who think of their children as inconveniences? These are all assumptions, but I don’t see one over the other.

    • Rachel Sea

      The first sounds like someone who can’t afford to take 3 days off but is doing it anyway because it’s required, not necessarily because her kid needs it. The second sounds like someone who is sick of being told that she must have it easy now both kids are in school. The third sounds like someone who relies on preschool as part of her childcare.

      That’s everything I picture. I don’t know if this is an expensive preschool, or a public one, I don’t know if it’s in a posh neighborhood, or a poor one, I don’t know if the mom’s noted accessories are because they are rich or busy, or what, I just know that those snippets of dialog sounded average, and not annoying. I have to imagine what you perceived to be annoying about those conversations, because it wasn’t obvious, and you didn’t say.

    • once upon a time

      It might have been a different story if the woman in the first one had said ‘inconvenience’ or ‘pain in the arse’ or ‘interfering with my mani-pedi-facial’, but the use of the word ‘anxiety’ suggests to me that it is indeed a fear of getting in trouble at work.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      My husband’s job impacts other people directly. Before I lost my job, my job impacted other people directly. If one of us had to take days off during the week for a set period of time, we would be letting down other people and changing other people’s schedules. As previous people have stated, everyone starts school about the same time. I don’t think my former or my husband’s workplaces were hostile, we were just depended on.

    • Rachel Sea

      People whose workplaces would be fine with this are in the minority. Most people, across the country, are expected to punch the clock, on time, every day, all year, many without paid time off.

    • once upon a time

      To quote someone who said this in some other Mommyish post, in Pollyanna mommy-blogging world you can make statements like that but in the real world, employers don’t give a shit that Precious is starting school, they just want you to do the job that they’re paying you to do. Perhaps you have the luxury of saying, “Oh my employer won’t let me take time off for my kids so I’ll take a moral stand and just get another,” but for the majority of the population, that’s not the case. For some people, just making enough money to pay the rent/mortgage, get food on the table and maybe have a few bucks left over for some treats is a bigger problem than not being able to get off work to ‘ease’ your child into school three mornings a week.

    • Sara610

      I was going to say something similar, but you said it so much better.

    • BubbleyToes

      This!

    • Persistent Cat

      Are you serious? Have you ever had a job with regular hours and you were required to leave the house? My husband’s job wouldn’t allow him that flexibility but he loves his job and doesn’t find it hostile.

      If you’re a writer, you should really try to expand your incredibly narrow mindset.

    • Jessie

      Wow. Come live in the real world for a little bit why don’t you?

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Tell that to the waitress who is working two jobs to support her family because her husband is in Afghanistan. Tell that to the woman in an office where everyone has kids and is fighting for the same narrow margin of time off to be there for their kids. Must be nice to live in this world.

    • Annie

      For most people, taking three days off is a *huge* deal. Like a losing your job big deal, because most parents probably work some kind of shift job. Most *people* do.

    • Paul White

      I get 18 days of sick leave and vacation a year. 3 days is 16% of my total PTO for the year. For something my kid may not even need? Yes that would piss me the fuck off.

  • sameoldstory

    If she is a good working mom, she would have known ahead of time what days school started and planned her schedule/calendar/business accordingly and been able to flow with it just fine and not miss a beat. Maybe she’s not a very good at working and being a mom at the same time. In that case, yes, she deserves and eye-roll.

    • aliceblue

      If you were a good mom you’d be composing lullabies or crafting organic bento box lunches for your spawn and not wasting time here with all us failures.

    • Jessie

      Yes, because all jobs let mothers take off 3 mornings a week without penalizing them.

  • IHopeYourBeingSarcastic

    Yea! Those bitchy working moms are so selfish. It’s appalling that a woman would not want to miss work! Doesn’t she realize how sensitive litle Braxxtynn is and how if she doesn’t hover over him for the first week of school that he will he scarred for life?! I mean he might even feel something other than total happiness and comfort for a few minutes! How utterly selfish. She must not love her kids. And diamond earrings AND a business suit?!! Who does she think she is?! And don’t get me started on the selfish lazy child-hater who sent not one but two of her kids to school AND has a job!

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      Are you… drunk right now or something? What are you on about?

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      Umm… Carinn, are you changing your posts from your disqus name to anon names? Because this had your name on it when it first appeared… also the one Mystik Spiral commented on where the name is Susan?

    • TngldBlue

      That happens sometimes with Disqus, I’ll be reading comments with the same name but polar opposite opinions until I refresh and the correct names show.

    • Mystik Spiral

      I really thought I lost my mind after I replied and came back later to discover I’d replied to “Susan”. :)

    • disqus_WjKIYzni5a

      BRAXXTYNN lol

  • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

    Well this was just nasty. Way to be judgemental.

  • ratiomom

    Because all working moms have jobs that involve blackberries and huge diamond earrings. Also, they all just work because they want to buy neat outfits to make the SAHMs feel bad. It’s not like our families need the money or anything, and we don’t actually LOVE our children either.
    The author is clearly projecting her own uncertainty about SAHM-hood and it’s financial consequences on the working moms she meets. None of the conversations are outrageous or even entertaining. If you’re unhappy being a SAHM, just get a job while your kids are in school. Buy some nice earrings with your first wages. That’s a way more positive approach than all this bitterness over other mothers choices.

  • momjones

    If I wanted to perpetuate a stereotype, I would rely on the Lululemom wearing, David Yurman adorned, Escalade driving SAHMs I saw dropping their kids off at the private school complex where I worked. But, I’m not going to do that.

    • CW

      Who can afford Lululemon, an Escalade, or private school tuition on a single income these days?

  • CW

    Okay, these were too harsh. #1 especially is a legitimate concern given the inflexibility of many workplaces. If you want to pick on obnoxious employed moms, you need to have the mom at the wheel of her Mercedes/Lexus/BMW/etc. SUV sipping on her overpriced Starbuck latte, and yakking away on her Bluetooth while not paying the slightest bit of attention to her kids. She treats dropping off her kids the same as dropping off her drycleaning. I used to be an employed mom, but I never in a million years acted as self-absorbed and completely oblivious to my kids as I see these Type A yuppies do day in and day out.

  • Sara610

    These don’t seem that bad to me.

    #1: Not all kids need the transition. My daughter was off like a shot her first day of day care, and transitions in and out of it when we take her out for the summer, etc. with no problems. She doesn’t NEED her parents to stay and “help” her with the transition. And I’m lucky to work for an employer that gives me some flexibility, but even with that, taking three mornings off in one week would be a stretch. It wouldn’t lose me my job, but I would have some explaining to do. I would have a REAL problem on my hands if I didn’t have that flexibility at work and taking three mornings off in a week would mean getting fired, so I don’t blame this mom at all for being worried about it. And for a mom who works to, you know, put food on the table and clothes on her kids’ backs, things like that DO matter. They matter a lot, because if you don’t have an income it’s a lot harder to do the most basic job as a parent, which is to keep your kids safe and provide for their material needs.

    #3: You seem to be assuming a lot about this. The mom’s mind probably wasn’t “blown”, as you think, and honestly, that was a really snarky response. I would think the mom was asking about what you do with your child on her days home, as in, genuinely wanting to know. Your response comes off as snotty and I think you’re assuming a hostile intent or a level of sheer idiocy that isn’t likely to be there. And what do the earrings have to do with anything? And how do you even know they’re diamonds? Did you ask her?

  • Annona

    Wow. The other article was funny because the annoying moms were obviously divorced from reality. This one says way more negative about the writer than the “annoying” moms she’s interacting with.

    What, you mean we don’t all live in a magical land where everyone’s children come first all the time, and all jobs just automatically offer unlimited time off to do whatever? Say it isn’t so! I get it, kids are important and parenting is important, but who knows what the job of mom #1 might be, or what she might be dealing with having to take excessive time off to transition her kid into daycare? I don’t think her concern about her job and missing time is “annoying” or ridiculous; I think it sounds like reality.

    The second mom sounds like a knee-jerk reaction of “don’t judge me, Sanctimommy!” and guess what…her fears were well founded because here she is being mocked on the internet by a Sanctimommy.

    And the third one…who the fuck cares what earrings she was wearing? I’ve got my great Grandma’s studs in right now, and I wear them most all the time…am I missing something important? Am I somehow telegraphing to the world that I’m some kind of asshole who needs to be judged by my jewelry choices? Have a nice cool glass of grape Hateraide and calm the hell down.

    Lame, Mommyish. Probably going to get lots of clicks though, so win I guess.

  • once upon a time

    I’m sorry, phase-in what? Am I the only one who finds that utterly ridiculous? Am I the only one who hung around until the tears dried and then walked away? Am I the only one whose parents did the same thing? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?

    • Anonymous

      I had the same thought. I’m a teacher (pre-k) and I’ve never heard of this. We have a one hour meet the teacher day the week before school starts and that’s it. The younger classes do the same thing. Parents are supposed to leave the kids at the classroom door. Most parents don’t even wait until the tears dry. Frankly, in my experience, the kids whose parents don’t stay and hover fair much better.

    • Allyson_et_al

      Some preschools require a slow phase-in period, whether the kids need it or not. My kids were both the kind who said goodbye and never looked back, so the phase-in at their school drove me nuts. It had absolutely nothing to do with me hanging around and hovering. We parents were not allowed to leave.

    • once upon a time

      Oh I’m not trashing parents for taking part, I’m just amazing that it’s even a thing!

    • Allyson_et_al

      Oh, ok. No worries. I just didn’t want you to think that this long phase-in was something parents always choose to do; in my experience, the school told us when to leave. Left to my own devices, I would have left as quickly as possible, because I was lucky enough to have kids with zero separation anxiety. Of course, it’s also possible that they’ve just never liked me.

  • DMH

    Work issued Blacakberry that never. stops. ringing? Check. Taking three mornings off work equates to a stress-induced anxiety attack and ticks off the boss? Check. Diamond earrings (although I can’t wear them in ACUs)? Check, thanks to my husband.

    Well this is awkward.

    • DMH

      *Blackberry. Ugh.

  • Kelly

    If a working mom has had her children in day care since infancy, without ever having an issue with the child transitioning from one room to the next, why would that phasing in be necessary or even beneficial to the child? I do not see that as the working mom putting her own needs first. I see it as the working mom genuinely not understanding why people believe children need the phasing in because her day care (like mine) has transitioned children from one room to the next every six months or so and never needed the phasing in. Unnecessary strain on her job, with no real benefit to her child.

    For the second, I have heard plenty of SAHMs lately complain about the comments they receive about their youngest starting school. WOHMs receive the same comments from people who do not realize they WOH, and it is just as annoying for the WOHM to hear as it is the SAHM. I’m not sure why her comment was annoying to you. She was probably just trying to nip *that* conversation in the bud.

    As for the third, her mind being blown was very likely your interpretation. Any confusion you saw on her face probably had more to do with her believing you worked full-time, asking the question because she was curious about other childcare alternatives during working hours, and your “play with her” instead of “I don’t work those two days” probably sounded a bit snotty, given the way you indicate here you interpreted her comment.

  • Aimee Beff

    In the comments you mention knowing these women for several years which maybe gives you some context that is lacking to someone who just comes along and reads this post. As someone who’s only pregnant I’ve had the “well, it’s not really about YOU, is it?” thrown at me when I say I’ll be going back to work after my FMLA time is up and that my working is what works best for my family. Without context, all we can see is Mom 1 saying, “Missing work is causing me problems!” and you saying “Geez! Don’t you care about your kid?” Maybe not your intention and maybe not at all the way the situation happened, but again: context. A lot of us have heard the same thing from other women and without more information, reading it here is going to come off to us the same way we’ve heard it before.

    This is something that bothers me any time and any place I see it: Criticizing other people’s clothing and jewelry choices also doesn’t look good on anyone. I’m lucky enough to have a diamond engagement ring … do I have to stop working five days a week now, or will it be okay if I pawn the ring? If I have to go in late to work to drop my kids off at preschool, should I dress in yoga pants first and then change en route to business casual so I don’t put off anybody who isn’t dressed up?

    More general comments …
    I’m seeing a lot of other people in the comments saying that maybe the woman who’s concerned about missing work is worried about putting food on the table. OK, and you know what? Even if that’s not the case she’s allowed to be concerned about missing work. We could borderline get by if I did choose not to go back, but I have a job that I really, really like and I wouldn’t want to give it up unless I had to. It’s not all about me, but you know what? It IS partly about me. There is nothing wrong with a woman having a career that she is proud of even if it means her kids (horrors!) spend five days a week at daycare or preschool. And, funny thing … no one ever seems to suggest that maybe Daddy should give up his career and stay home with the kids.

    • Sara610

      I couldn’t agree more. I work full-time, and at this particular moment we really need my salary while my husband finishes grad school and we pay off a mountain of student loans. Hopefully at some point in the not-too-distant future, he’ll be pulling in the kind of salary that COULD support a whole family if needed. But even if that happens, I have absolutely no intention of quitting my job. I love my work. I love being financially self-sufficient and the sense of professional accomplishment and personal fulfillment that my work brings me. I’m happier when I’m working outside the home, and because I’m happy, I’m a better wife and mother. And yes, I like being able to give my daughter things that may not be strictly essential for survival, but will enrich her existence and make her life easier. I’m not out there buying her $150 shorts and packing her lunches in a gold-plated lunchbox, but being able to send her to summer camp when she’s old enough, and help with her college education, and eventually buy a home in a nice, safe area with good schools, is important to me. I’m not going to apologize for that, even if the things I just mentioned technically are “extras”.

      My husband comes from a family where the women are pretty much expected to stop working once they have kids, and I field a lot of questions about “So once Jimmy Joe (not my husband’s real name) finishes, will you stay home with the kids?” And it took me a long time to be able to start saying “no” without any guilt or feeling like I have to justify that choice.

  • Ginny

    Eh, the other ones were funnier.

  • Katie L.

    I’d say working moms are low hanging fruit, too. Actually, just being a mom pretty much makes you low hanging fruit. Oh you stay at home? You must be a helicopter santcimommy who still breastfeeds her 10 year old. You work? You’re an uninvolved, selfish harpy who lets others raise her children. No one wins the mommy wars. We all know this.

    That said, I can’t imagine it being easy for the vast majority of working parents to take three mornings off work to help their kid transition to preschool. It would stress me out too. And if that mom’s income is helping to pay for her family’s expenses (and the daycare) then yes, it is important.

  • Emma

    This article could have been so much better written to no bash working moms. I was raised by a working mom and if I have kids I plan to continue to work. Staying home with your kids is a PRIVILEGE. One that not everyone has.
    For these moms, it could be that the dad is the one who steps in and spends the most time with the kids. If the roles were reversed, you maybe wouldn’t be so judgmental.

  • Edify

    You kind of sound more like the mothers who were the punch line in the other article than the sane one.

  • Amy

    I didn’t even know that phasing was a thing people did. My parents never needed to do that for me or my siblings. Taking that much time off work seems a bit much. Also is there a father version of this? Why is it the mothers that need to take time off work?

  • Gangle

    A working mum with a business suit and diamond earrings?? The horror! She must be a child-hating bitch. (ps: sounds like you may be a wee bit jealous).

  • Sara610

    This is an excerpt from another Carinn Jade article from awhile back, about being a “recovering sanctimommy”:

    “I have learned not to judge anyone for their choices. I might not agree with your point of view (I said I was open-minded, not an angel), but I respect your right to parent as you see fit. I still have a strong position on many parenting topics, but I don’t pretend they are the only or the best options. I see very clearly that we are all just trying to do the best we can.

    …My freelance writing gives me an outlet and a voice that lowers both my blood pressure and my sanctimoniousness (and when it creeps back in, the comments keep me in check). I admit that having work to do, deadlines to meet, and income of my own, makes me a much better parent……

    I feel extremely lucky to have unearthed a balance that works for me, because it wasn’t easy for the first couple of years. And I know there aren’t a lot of flexible choices out there for moms. I always remind myself of that when I encounter a sanctimommy online or at the park. I usually just click to the next article or smile and move on, cutting hera little slack. She’s probably wrestling her own demons, just like the rest of us.”

    The article above draws a pretty stark contrast to your self-professed views. I like this version a lot better. Especially the part about recognizing that your position as a freelance writer who works from home is unique and enviable (kind of like my position as a full-time employed mom with some flexibility and a workplace that’s two minutes away from my daughter’s day care), and that a lot of working mothers can only dream of having the same flexibility so maybe we should cut them a little slack while they try to figure out how to balance their two very important jobs.

  • J

    The author of this article is the one that sounds clueless in these conversations. Judgmental and unable to fathom a mother juggling multiple responsibilities.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    The first conversations really pisses me all. A lot of working moms, myself included would love to be able to accommodate the school’s schedule and come in when requested–but we also have to work. I do not have a glamorous, well paying, high power job. I’m just a lowly baker in a grocery store who makes barely above minimum wage. But I do enjoy my job and it helps pay the bills. We could get by if I did not work, but it would be a HUGE blow to my family and to the life-style my kids enjoy. And but life-style I do not mean upper middle class. I mean upper blue-collar style life. Me working helps keep us off food-stamps, we can have two cars, and go to the movies every now and then.
    But working in a many of my children’s teachers do not seem to understand that I can not drop what I am doing and accommodate their schedule. School has only been in session for a few weeks and already I have had trouble with the teachers who want to speak with me, but we are having scheduling issues. For example, yesterday was my son’s first chorus practice. It is after school and is required. It is part of their grade. It was right after school until 4 pm. But I had to work the closing shift last night. Which meant 3 to 10 pm. My husband works way across town and does not get off until 5 pm. I tried calling friends and family, but I just could not get someone who could pick him up from chorus. So he missed and and it will go against his grade. But according to this writer I must be a horrid, selfish mother who puts her job above her children. But that could not be further from the truth. Believe me, I would love to have been home last night and picked him up from his first ever chorus practice and be on good standing with the teacher. But now I have a chorus teacher who thinks I don’t care about my son’s grade and now he has to play catch-up in a class that is very difficult for him.

  • chickadee

    I guess I would be the villain-working-mom here as well, since I wouldn’t be able to take off time to acclimate my child to school. When you teach at any level, school/class starting times aren’t negotiable. And getting a sub right off the bat sends a pretty poor message to the students and the institution for which you work.

    If you changed the venue to day care instead of school and would you still feel the same hostility to the working mother?

  • Shelly Lloyd

    All this other Judgey stuff aside. Is this phase in transition new? I have high school age kids now so I’m not up on all the new pre-school/day care stuff. But 9 or 10 years ago when my children were attending pre-school there were no “phase in transition” thing. Heck, the school didn’t even want you parking and getting out and walking you pre-k child to their classroom. It was stay in the drop off line and let the older 5th grade hall monitor walk your pre-school child to the classroom sort of thing.

  • workingMom

    I relate to the working mothers that you are judging. I complained bitterly about the slow integration of kindergarten. My daughter was 5 years old, was in daycare since she was 9 months, and had already done a full year of pre-school so it was really silly for her. She asked me, why did I only go to school for such a short time today? Plus they told us daycare would be offered from the first day of school, but that was a misprint. It was only offered for grade 1 and up. Luckily my daughter was still in summer camp, so I only had to take an hour off to drive her from school to summer camp, I used my lunch break for that and still got in trouble. The other days my nephew was able to watch her because the universities had gone on strike and his program started later. The next year the province changed the slow integration from one week of progressively longer days, to a couple of days. This will ease things up for my daughter.

    I adore playing with my kids. I get off work early so I have an hour to play with them. I totally enjoy the days when my daycare closes and I have to stay home with my kids. Then I go back to work and deal with the negative comments and try and make up for the missed deadlines.

    If I could afford to stay at home with my kids I would, but I can’t. Reading your entire article, it felt like you were talking about me and I was offended. I could have been the working mother in each and every conversation. I was so happy to read the comments and find out that the other mommies didn’t agree with you, because after just bitching to other mommies about having to take a morning off for my daughters first day of grade one, and totally bitching last year to the other mommies about the slow integration to kindergarten, I was wondering if the other mommies were judging me.

    By the way, my kids go to public school. The province doesn’t start them until they are 5 on Sep 30. At least we get subsidized daycare though. I know some parents are basically paying another mortgage payment in daycare fees. We are so lucky from that respect. So I guess I can catch a break.

    • Véronique Houde

      AAAH someone else from quebec!!! :)

    • Shea

      Alors on est trois! :-)

    • Véronique Houde

      En fait non, on est 4!! :)

  • C.J.

    Having a phase in transition time where a parent has to be there for three mornings seems a little unfair. Not everyone can just get time off work. When I still worked we were only allowed to have 10% of a department booked off. Depending on the department it was between 1 and 3 people. If someone else already had the day off there would be no way to get it off unless it was for something like surgery/specialist appt or an emergency. I totally understand why my workplace had that rule, having too many people off at once is very costly.

    • SDA

      Phase in time seems odd to me too. Especially for children of working parents who would already be used to spending time away from their parent – an optional period seems better.

  • Maddi

    My mum never did any of those SAHM mum things and now I’m feeling deprived of precious smocks. Oh the woes of being the 3rd child.

    • Shea

      I’m an only child and I never had a personalized smock either. I didn’t know those were a thing. I distinctly recall wearing my dad’s old button-down shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Maybe I should be in therapy or something.

  • Jessie

    Sounds like you were pissed at Koa’s original article talking about SAHMs, so you decided to write one about WOHMs. Sadly, your article went over like a lead balloon.

  • val97

    The first one bothers me the most. So this woman has to take 3 mornings off of work for a “transition period” (I have 2 kids and have never even heard of this), and has very understandable anxiety about it. First she gets judged by the SAHMs because she vocalizes that she thinks the transition thing is BS (and it is, especially if her child doesn’t need it). Then the school teachers probably judge her on top of that because she’s not fully participating or whatever. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when she gets to work. Her coworkers, clients, boss, and anyone else relying on her to do the job she was hired for are all irritated. Not only that, she probably had to use precious vacation time in order to accommodate the school’s schedule. But you know who comes away from this with no judgment? The father of this kid. No mommy bloggers would be chastising the father if he were the one who took his mornings off. He’d be a hero. If dad works late or has his “blackberry glued to his hand” (blackberry? Is the writer in 2005?), nobody blinks an eye.
    I don’t understand the other two conversations. It sounds like the writer is reading an awful lot into some snippets.

  • Mehiella Satchi

    why would a two year old be in school??