This is the time of year when stress kicks into high gear for working mothers. The end of the school year frenzy begins (as noted on The Juggle)...there's band concerts, field trips, graduation parties, class parties, baseball playoffs, recitals, etc. All that needs to fit in with our kids' school schedule and work demands. The celebrations are fun and they mean a lot to the kids. But keeping our jobs is important, too.
Tread carefully when you blurt things out to a working mother. As Sam Wilson writes on her Women24 blog: "We working mothers live close to breaking point, and it doesn't take much to send us over the edge."
One of the features I love about Diversity Inc is its lists of what not to say to a female executive, Latin executive, black executive, younger co-worker, etc. So, I've compiled my own list of 10 things NEVER to say to a working mother (particularly this time of year).
- What is your child bringing to the end-of-year class party? (by the way it's tomorrow)
- Is your child going to that amazing summer camp again this year? Did you know sign-up was last week?
- Did I mention our camp doesn't have aftercare?
- Want to carpool to the school for the class field trip to Epcot? Drop off is 5 a.m. pick up is 9 p.m. I'll pick up, okay?
- Is your child ready for the recital? Mine has been practicing for weeks.
- What do you do for a living that you can't get away for just a few hours?
- You just missed your kid's solo.
- I just figured you'd be working and couldn't make it.
- I'm sure little Johnny won't even realize you're not there.
- You look tired.
Let me know if I've missed any.