Bashing Your Job -- Good Idea or Not?


"Mommy, do you like going to work? Wouldn't you rather be home with me?"

Warning, for working moms, this is a trick question. For me, the answer is easy. Working and the second income it brings is not an option.

And, I really like my job. So, I tell my children, "Yes, honey, my job makes me happy. And though I hate leaving you and miss you terribly during the day, I think of you the whole time. And it makes the time we are together that much more special."

On the other hand, I have a friend who complains endlessly about her job in front of her toddlers. Every morning she tells them she wishes she didn't have to go, and how playing with them is so much more fun.

Now, I don't know a working mom that doesn't wish for more time with their kids, but bashing your job in front of little toddlers cannot be good. If toddlers learn most if not all behaviors from their parents, how is that going to sculpt a positive attitude toward work and career when they graduate high school and college? I'd worry my kids would grow up viewing work in any shape or form as a drudgery rather than a fulfillment.


Should you (or your husband) put a positive spin on a job you don't like for the sake of the kids, or is honesty the best policy?

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Total Votes: 23

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Do you or your husband complain about your jobs in front of your kids?

child care, language, learning


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Ewadun Ewadun

I've always kept it real with my kids, who are now teenagers. Of course, my philosophy about revealing the downsides of living life on life's terms is that you can's give the baby a pork chop. In other words, I break it down to their comprehension level. I don't believe that you can fully appreciate the beauty of anything without having experienced the ugliness. Also, how else will children learn coping skills? They learn best by what I do rather than what I say.

JPsMo... JPsMommy605

My son is only 3 1/2 and I've always explained to him that I have to go to work - not because it makes me happy or because I love what I do, but because without it, he wouldn't have a roof over his head, a warm bed to sleep in, or food to eat on the table.  So I keep it realistic, but I let him know that school is HIS work, too - so I'm not the only one going "to work" as it were.  And he has so much fun that he's associating school and work with something enjoyable, not something negative.

kelfr25 kelfr25

I do my best to explain to the kids that working is part of life, that without it we wouldn't have the things that we do, and we wouldn't be able to do the things that we get to do. It helps that I have a career that I like, which also lets me show them the importance of studying so that you can do what you want to do in life, because I've worked hard to get where I'm at. They know that I want to spend time with them, but they know the importance of working too.

madam... madamekatekate

I don't think anyone should have to pretend they just loooove going to work but I also think it's not a good idea to complain in front of small children.

They're so impressionable and if they get the idea that work=sucksville early, you may have problems later in life!

If they ask, all you have to do is be honest.."No, Mommy doesn't want to go to work right now but it helps make life better for all of us (throw in your personal examples) so work is a good thing." And then when you get home, be aware of where the kiddos are before you tell your husband what  a jackass everyone at work is!

Kids don't need to know all the adult burdens we have.

scien... science_spot

I voted other because there is a better way - being honest by telling the pros and cons to it!  Nothing in life is perfect, everything has pros and cons and toddlers can comprehend that if you explain it :)

Tammy... TammyMichelle

Kids aren't stupid.  They know when their parents are unhappy.  When my DH and I are bummed about our jobs, we remind the kids how important it is to get an education now (before family) and find something they love to do and get paid for it.  It seems to work, because they ask alot of questions about pay, occupations and such.  I hope they love their life's work and try to introduce them to folks that do...they do exist out there sometimes! lol ~MiChelle

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