I have decided there are three types of people who will give you crap about being a working mom. For the most part, people don't really care or they don't really make a comment. But these three types will drive you crazy. Let's take a look at them:
I come from a long line of working women. My mom, both grandmas, and at least one great-grandma worked outside of the home. But, obviously, many women raising children in decades past stayed home. So old men and women don't really get the working mom gig and give disapproving looks to the working moms and tell you the only reason your kid is sick is because you put them in that "institution" aka daycare. Because no child with a stay at home mom has ever been sick.
Unfortunately, there is not much to be done with these people. They are old and set in their ways and it's not worth the time or energy to explain your situation to them. It's kinda like when your grandma calls Asian people "Orientals" and you want to explain to her that Oriental is a rug and Asian is a person but it will take 20 minutes of you repeating yourself only for her to keep saying Oriental and then start complaining that she can't open her AOL email to read a forward about puppies that love Jesus. So you just drop it.
We all have our insecurities but some people let these insecurities take hold of their very being and affect they way they interact with the general population in a negative way. The only thing these people are good at is finding the one thing that you are the most vulnerable about and exploiting it to make themselves feel better.
I was recently asked by a male friend, "so when is your husband going to let you quit your job and stay home?" Um, excuse me? I didn't get my husband's permission to become an attorney, to continue being an attorney, and if I ever decide to explore another career I sure as hell won't need his permission. I was so shocked at this question I couldn't even respond. But I quickly realized that question stemmed from his own insecurity about his career and lot in life so I did not fire back with the "I make double what you make" that I so desperately wanted to say. Or the "I am much more educated than you." Or the "why don't you go f*ck yourself."
The best way to deal with the insecure people is to smile and nod, silently pity them for being so insecure, and restrain all desire to retaliate with negative comments. One cannot stoop to their level.
When I say uneducated people I don't necessarily mean those with a lack of formal education. I have met many people with college and/or law degrees who are complete morons. When I say uneducated I mean people are are close-minded or not very worldly. Those who cannot imagine any situation other than their own. People who think that anything different than them must be wrong. These people typically cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be educated. The uneducated is often combined with the insecure for a double whammy of "oh my gawd I can't believe you let someone else raise your kid" bullshit. I choose to just ignore these people.
The common theme running through my three descriptions is that there is not much that you can do about changing their opinions or condescending attitude towards working mothers. Even if there were something that could be done, I would not do it because I choose to focus my time and energy on my family and career, not trying to change the mind set of someone who disagrees with my choices. Identifying these categories has helped me to take less offense when I do get a rude comment about being a working mother. I simply tell myself that their bad attitude is their problem, not mine.