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Coworkers and unwanted advice

787 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  LiamnEmma
How do you deal with coworkers who give you unwanted advice? When I had my dd, everyone asked if I was returning to work in the fall (I teach). I said "yes". No one seemed to get their knickers in a knot about it. I felt after my maternity leave was up that I really wanted to stay home, but our finances just wouldn't allow it. I went back and things worked themselves out and we were doing just fine.

Then I got pregnant with the twins and everyone was asking if I was going to return and I answered with "yes" once again. This time I have collegues who don't even talk to me much telling me I'm making a mistake. That I shouldn't come back until the boys are at least 1 year. Well, heck, who the heck made you the keeper of MY finances? I mean, seriously, it's been a strain for us for me to be able to stay home from mid-December (when I was put on modified bedrest) to the end of August when I'll return to work. We're at the point where our savings have been drained and we're living paycheck to paycheck. My dh does fine financially, but I'll be making more $ than he does this year, and there's no way we can afford for me NOT to go back. I get stressed even thinking about not having money in savings, let alone the fact that we DON'T have anything in savings.

What do you say to them? I try to be polite, but honestly, it's getting on my last nerves.
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I always reply with "it's what's best for our family". That lets them know that you are serious and usually ends the conversation.
I second Garrettsmommy's suggested response. It's honest, straightforward and polite, but let's them know it's offlimits for further discussion. After all, it's none of their business and they shouldn't impose their opinions on your personal decisions. You're the only ones who knows what's best for you and your family. Big hugs to you!!
I could go on and on with all the awful things I've had coworkers say to me.

The best was a fellow coworker who had just had a baby, and I asked what his wife was doing - staying home/going back to work, whether he was going to take some time off, etc ( My employer has VERY generous programs for both men and women and it's not unusual for many men to take extended periods of time off for babies ). He said no way... his wife worked in a day care once and she knew what went on there and no way would she be a parent that would put her child in a day care.

As I write this, it still doesn't seem to come off as nasty and pointed as he said it... just one example.. I have many.

I just sit there and nod and smile tne biggest most obviously fake smile and imagine letting myself go crazy on the stupid person.

Unfortunately there's not much else you can do... I now try to avoid any conversations that can even bring uip my status as a workin' mama (except of course around those few trusted individuals who I call friends) so that in no way do I give anyone an excuse to say something stupid. Of course it still happens but at least not as often.

I wish I could give you better advice but even after all this time I still haven't come up with anything brilliant for stupid people -- just do my darndest not to let them get under my skin.
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Well, my reply when anyone asked if I was returning to work (which frankly as a feminist I found insulting) was something to the effect of:

Well, you know that's really an interesting question: Can you tell me, what factors did you consider (if it was a man) or what factors did your husband take into account when you were deciding if HE would return to work? It completely flustered anyone asking :) I only used it twice - once to my boss, a male. Pretty much ended the conversation...

WOHM, BF, CD, sometime slinger and proud-of-it!
Smile, nod, and then come vent your frustrations to all of us!!!
hmmmmm, aren't all these people at work?
Actually, I kind of get it, because when people ask me about staying home (themselves) and they seem at all inclined, I urge them to go for it if they can possibly swing it...two key phrases there--inclined, and swing it. Probably because I would if I could swing it. But I'm the breadwinner baby and so are you. I'm always puzzled though by working people who tell you you should stay home. WTF? They're at work! I'd probably smile and say "yeah, that'd be nice, huh? Not going to happen." with a droll smile and shrug. But I'm snarky. The other advice is probably better.
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