As a mum there are lots of things that make my blood boil: non-parents parking in parent and child parking spaces, Topsy and Tim’s smug mum and Piers Morgan talking about the ‘pushchair brigade’ to name but a few.
But nothing makes my blood boil more than some of the assumptions made about work-at-home mums.
What never fails to amaze – and annoy – me is how differently some people view those of us who work from home to those of us who work in more ‘official’ environments.
There are certain presumptions I hear time and time again – and if I had £1 for every time I heard them I’d be significantly richer than I am now. So, in no particular order, here are 10 things you should never say to a work-at-home mum – or indeed any parent who works from home!
10 things you should never say to a work-at-home mum!
1. “I thought I’d pop in for a cup of tea and a catch up”.
Did you? Why did you think that? Would you ‘pop in’ to an office, hospital, shop (insert workplace here) uninvited in the middle of the working day?
2. “Why do you send the children to nursery when you work from home?”
Er, because I’m working.
3. “You can help with the school trip/fair/cake sale, seeing as you work from home.”
Er, I’m working.
4. “What do you do all day?”
The same thing someone working in an office, hospital, shop (insert workplace here) is doing. It’s called work.
5. “Can you just pick this up/run this errand/drop this into the dry cleaners for me?”
No I can’t. For the same reason you can’t do it: I’m working.
6. “Why do you need a cleaner?”
For the same reason someone who works full time in an office, hospital, shop (insert workplace here) needs a cleaner.
7. “You must have so much extra time, what with not having to commute.”
Actually, working from home around family life means you don’t have set start and stop times, and – especially if you work for yourself – you can find that you never stop working. You’re always ‘catching up’ in evenings and at weekends in a way you simply wouldn’t if your work was carried out elsewhere.
8. “It’s not like having a proper job though, is it?”
Working from home doesn’t make your job any less legitimate than a job in an office, hospital, shop (insert workplace here). But it’s surprising the number of people who think it is.
9. “It must be so nice to work at home with no distractions.”
If only they knew what you’d sometimes give to work somewhere without a child, soggy cornflake or pile of laundry in sight.
10. “When the kids are all at school will you get a real job?”
*Bangs head against desk* There are just no words.
Are you a work-at-home mum or dad? Can you relate to any of the above? I’d love to hear about your experience!