The Great Debate: Stay at Home Moms vs. Working Moms
Working moms, have you ever told someone you’re a working mom and gotten the “oh… so you don’t spend a lot of time with your kids” response? Or how about the stay at home moms. Have you ever gotten the “oh… so you don’t have a career” response? Even if you haven’t actually received these responses, I think it’s safe to say we’ve ALL experienced the judgmental looks. But what about our part-time working mamas. In theory, they have the best of both worlds, right? Yet somehow they still get the same look. So, let’s break down the data and we can once and for all squash the great debate!
I reached out to both my working and stay at home mom friends to hear what they view as pros and cons to their mommy statuses.
- Socialization with other adults and therefore less of a struggle with isolation
- Ability to utilize your strengths both in the workplace and home
- Feeling appreciated and receiving feedback for the work you do
- Having “me” time to do something you hopefully love and are passionate about. You have an identity outside of just being a mom
- Having an income and knowing you are contributing to your family financially
- More of an appreciation for the time you get to spend with your child(ren)
- Feeling like you are missing out on big parts of your kid’s lives and milestones
- Feeling like the care provider becomes more of an important person your child’s life
- Balance: managing the stress of work while managing home life at the same time
- Finding daycare for your child along with the financial impact
- Having to actually get ready in the morning and look semi-presentable
- Finding time in the day to get everything done – running errands, cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.
Stay at Home Moms
- Less distractions from evening family time since you can do chores and errands during the day
- You can establish more of a consistent routine with your child based on their natural rhythms
- More time for tedious tasks that can save you money (ex. making your own baby food)
- More time in general! More focus on intentional habits and time for fun activities
- You are present for all the milestones and fun/funny moments throughout the day
- You can get away without showering and getting ready for the day
- Financial sacrifice which creates a much tighter budget and stress. You may feel insecure about not contributing to your family’s income
- Feeling less appreciated and valued for what you do
- Struggle with measuring your success daily
- Boredom. Sometimes it can be hard to fill up the hours in the day and keep everyone entertained
- Loneliness. Even with all of the playdates and activities in the world, being a SAHM can be lonely as you don’t always have the adult interaction you crave
- You feel like you never get a break since your day job never ends
Alright, so what’s the right answer here? Which is better – being a working mom or a stay at home mom? I think the right answer is this: you do what’s best for your family. Not your best friend’s family. Not your cousin’s family. YOUR family. I can tell you that I LOVE being a stay at home mom, but does that mean it’s always perfect? Nope. Does that mean the pros always outweigh the cons? Nope. Does that mean I’m doing what’s right for me and my family? YES.
With that being said, I have SO MUCH respect for working moms. I have SO MUCH respect for stay at home moms. And I have SO MUCH respect for part-time working moms. Momming is hard whether you are doing it while working a job or not. The bottom line: YOU DO YOUR FAMILY and respect, love, and support moms on the other side at the same time!
Are you a stay at home mom or a working mom? Do you feel like it’s a good fit for your family? I would love to hear your thoughts!