There have been many battles regarding the differences between a stay at home mom vs. working mom. Moms on either side of the fence may think they have it better or worse, and some even have pity and condescension for the other. I have been on both sides of the fence, and I’ve also been a “work at home mom.”
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Learn what the pros and cons of both are, and why this argument is pointless.
Why do people even question stay at home mom vs. working mom?
Some people question everything. It’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes what they are questioning doesn’t make much sense.
Some people feel that stay at home moms have it easy because they stay home doing nothing but playing with children all day.
There are advantages to being a stay at home mom, for sure. But that doesn’t mean that it is always easy. Sometimes it can be downright difficult and for some, depressing.
Why I am a happy stay at home mom
For me, staying at home has always been easier because I’m a homebody. I love to be at home. I love to avoid the morning rush and horrible traffic when heading into work. I love to have control over my day rather than listening to orders (even if silent) all day and waiting for the clock to strike 5.
I don’t miss that evening traffic heading home at all. I especially don’t miss rushing my son off to before care and picking him up at dinnertime from aftercare.
I don’t miss asking a boss for time off to attend important school events, or not being able to volunteer for field trips because my job needs me. I don’t miss having to call into work when my son is sick and I need to stay home with him, or when I am sick and don’t even feel like talking yet alone explaining that I cannot come in to a disappointed voice.
If you haven’t had the experience of working outside the home with young children, you might not understand.
If you’re struggling to enjoy life as a stay at home mom, you can check out these tips to be a happy stay at home mom.
It’s OK to feel however you feel. But you must allow others to feel however they feel as well.
Sometimes it just comes down to personality. Some people much prefer working away from their children, and having at least 9-10 hours 5 days a week not mommying. Some people prefer to be around their children all day even if they have bouts of loneliness or question their own judgment.
Let them be… both of them!
Stay at home mom vs. working dad
Working dads also love to judge stay at home moms. Stay at home moms really get flack from all angles.
One of the main reasons is that mothering children is not appreciated for the wonderful job that it is. It isn’t a job in the traditional sense, just something mothers should do. As such, many often don’t recognize or appreciate how much a mom does.
Stay at home moms are doing meaningful things throughout the day.
Working dads are doing meaningful work throughout the day.
Both are doing their best to provide everything their child needs.
Children cannot live by money alone. Just providing their basic needs like food, water, shelter and clothing is not enough.
Children have a wide range of emotional, mental and physical needs that only a loving caretaker can provide. In the absence of mom, this important job is outsourced to the wonderful daycare providers, babysitters, nanny’s, mother’s helpers, grandparents, aunties, friends, and teachers.
Somone has to provide the care if mom is missing. So when mom has the possibility to do so herself, allow her to feel proud and accomplished! She deserves it! Get her a stay at home mom gift she’ll love instead of arguing about who is doing the most!
Stay at home mom with kids in school
What about once the kids are in school? Do stay at home moms then have it easier than working moms?
Maybe, and maybe not. It all depends.
Stay at home moms come in all different varieties. Even if there’s no child at home all day, they may still have a million and one things to do. They may work at home (I do). They may be working hard at home trying to get a business off the ground even if they are not getting any monetary compensation (yet). They may be helping with their husband’s business behind the scenes.
They may volunteer helping others (I have). They may have church obligations or school obligations or help care for a sick parent, or, or, or.
They may be running around town all day with this errand and that errand while a working mom has a peaceful routine typing away at the computer for 8 hours. A working mom may be doing work that she really loves and doesn’t ever feel like work. It may leave her feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the kiddo(s) once she gets home. She may literally feel alive because she has a job that she loves and that pays her well.
But there are also moms who have to work at jobs they don’t love, who feel sadness all day and struggle throughout the work day. This could be because the job sucks, the boss sucks, the coworkers suck, or it could be because all she wants is to be home with her child(ren). For these working moms, it can be more difficult to work.
You don’t know anyone’s story unless they tell you.
So my judgment to you is…. don’t judge!
What are the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom?
|The ability to devote as much time as you want to mothering
|Limited adult interaction
|Not having to miss any of your baby’s firsts
|Depending on spouse financially
|The opportunity to attend class field trips
|Feeling a loss of identity
|Not having to worry about childcare
|Not being able to get a break from your child(ren)
|Not having to miss your child
|Potential feelings of not being appreciated
|Being able to homeschool if you desire to
|Not having to rush to and from work
|Breastfeeding can be easier as you can nurse on demand or pump in the convenience of yoru own home
What are the pros and cons of being a working mom?
|Getting regular time away from children
|Interact with adults, maintain social bonds
|May miss baby’s firsts and have to pick and choose which school functions are worth missing time at work. You may actually miss your child(ren) all day!
|More control over finances,
|May feel rushed and like you’re driving on autopilot
|Children get to experience different care styles and exercise resiliency
|You might be stuck at job you don’t love but really need the money
|Ability to advance career
|Breastfeeding might seem like more work than it is worth, especially if you have trouble pumping, baby begins to reject breast, etc.
|More likely to feel productive and accomplished
Are there happy working moms?
There are many happy working moms! Although I am much happier being a work at home mom as I currently am, there were benefits to solely staying at home and there were benefits to being a mom that works outside the home.
Although I’ve worked pretty much all throughout my son’s life, there were times I worked much less than others. When he was much younger, not having any dedicated times that I needed to work allowed me to breastfeed on demand and tend to his needs without worrying about “spoiling him,” issues taking a bottle, etc.
But I also found working away from him liberating. I didn’t start doing that until he was 4 years old. By that time, he had a budding independence and would practically beg me NOT to pick him up from daycare because the other children got to stay longer.
He is a total ham and a big social butterfly. He absolutely loved interacting with other adults and children all day! Because of that, I never had any guilt about being away from him.
I was able to be happy that I’m doing work that I enjoy, and making friends that I could have lunch with without him. I felt blessed that I was making money we could use to have fun experiences and that I had health insurance fully paid for.
I also loved that I could get things done during my 2 15-minute breaks and lunch hour that were difficult with him at home. I could devote that time to school work, making phone calls, and even going grocery shopping! My job had plenty of fridges in the lunch room, so grocery shopping in peace was actually something I did often!
I can see why people get the urge to compare being a stay at home mom vs. a working mom, but having experienced both, I can say with confidence that neither one necessarily “moms” better. Each mom is just doing her very best!
There are pros and cons to being both a stay at home mom and a working mom. And whether a specific factor falls on the pro list or the con list for either choice will vary mom to mom and family to family. In addition, there are ways around many of those pros and cons.
Not every mom places the same importance on every little thing. Not every family has the same needs.
The most important thing is to be a good parent to our children. We can do this effectively whether we stay at home, work at home, work outside the home, work part-time, own a business, have degrees, have a high school education, have no education, etc.
Love and connection. Love and connection is what our children need the most.
Remember that instead of worrying about who is better when it comes to stay at home moms vs. working moms!