There are fewer phrases in the English language that strike panic, fear, and possibly even loathing in the hearts of stay-at-home moms (and dads) more than, “I’m going to be late.”
A particularly stabbing follow-up phrase is “I don’t know when I’ll be home.”
These words are especially brutal when heard at 6 PM while one child is sitting in her high chair screaming because OH MY GOD SHE’S NEVER BEEN FED and the other child has completely emptied the formerly pristine pantry for the 833rd time that day and there are goldfish crackers spilled on the floor and the oven timer is beeping non-stop and the water is boiling over on the stove and you still haven’t showered despite the fact that it’s 6 PM.
It’s of little comfort that the reason for lateness isn’t happy hour, but rather issues at work. The stay-at-home parent ALWAYS has “issues at work.”