For many years, women have been the heart of the home, taking care of the children, keeping up with the house work, and cooking all of the meals. However, most women now find it best to work outside of the home. The stay at home mom vs. the working mom, one of the most infamous wars of motherhood. Who says there is only one way to do things? What works for one family does not necessarily work for the other. I have been both a stay home mom as well as a working mom and neither is an easy job. One mom is not better than the other mom. There are pro’s and con’s for both. The key is finding what works best for your family.
I have recently become a stay at home mom again. I was a stay at home mom for about 3 years once Kylie made her grand entrance into our lives, but decided to return to work and send her to an early learning facility once she was old enough to talk and communicate. My husband and I wanted her to have that classroom setting before starting regular school. I know, some may think it’s a little silly that I am stay at home mom again, considering my only child is in school full time with the exception of summers. However, we came to the decision for me to stay home again so that I can be more available to Kylie. Plus, we eventually plan to expand our family and give Kylie a little brother or sister. Having been both a stay at home mom and a working mom, I have experienced the perks and the struggles of both.
- I am able to be more involved with Kylie’s school during the school year. This includes chaperoning field trips, attending award ceremonies, taking her to and from school , and being available in the event she becomes ill. I also do not have to feel guilty that someone else is raising my child.
- I have more time to tackle household chores. While my husband is at work and my daughter is at school I can accomplish more than I would if I were still working outside of the home.
- More time during the day to do household chores means more family time in the evenings. Instead of rushing home from work and trying to cram everything in in the evenings, I can actually relax and enjoy those few hours with my family. Same goes for weekends.
- I am saving my family money by being home. I use less gas considering I had to commute to work everyday. We also do not need child care anymore. Even though Kylie is in school all day, we were paying for before and after school care. Not to mention summer rates if I were still working outside of the home. Anyone who has or had a child in daycare knows how pricey it can be.
- I am able to have lunch dates with my husband. I can meet him during his lunch break and have time away from Kylie without having to find a sitter.
- An added bonus is I am able to help the working moms who are in need of help.
- No income on my end. My husband has a little more added stress in that department. His income is our only source of money for the time being.
- Being home vs. actually going to work every day allows me to become easily distracted since I am at home. I’m not in an actual work environment so it is a little easier to get caught up playing around online, talking on the phone, or watching TV.
- I don’t get to leave work. Home is where my work is.
- Being home, I am some what isolated from people. I’m not around other adults on a daily basis aside from my husband.
- I may not always feel valued or appreciated. Granted this can also happen working outside of the home, sometimes as a mom and or wife, we may not feel that sense of appreciation. This does not mean we are not appreciated for all that we do, it just means that sometimes our loved ones may not always express it. As to where working outside of the home, we can feel that sense of appreciation through raises or promotions.
The Working Mom
- Working outside of the home, I earn a paycheck and I am able to contribute to to paying bills so that it does not fall all on my husbands shoulders. We also have a little extra money vs. living pay check to pay check.
- I am able to leave my place of work. I have that balance of home life and work.
- Every stay at home mom knows how mentally draining it can be to only interact with your children. Of course we love them but going to work allows us to have that adult interaction on a daily basis that we may not get with constantly being home.
- This may not apply to all but as a working mom, you tend to cherish the time you get with your family a little more vs. when you are home and constantly around them.
- You won’t lose yourself. As a stay at home mom, being in that role, it becomes us. Even though being a mom is one of the best gifts we are given, we tend to forget that we are more than just moms when we do not work outside of the home.
- When working outside of the home, I am less available to my child. I may not be able to take off of work to go on field trips or I may not always be able to leave work early to pick her up if she is sick.
- Evenings are rushed. What I mean by that is, I have to rush home from work and picking Kylie up only to start dinner and to do any daily household chores like dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc. Kylie takes dance classes as well, so on nights that she has dance, things can feel extremely rushed.
- All of that rushing around and doing things that I am unable to get done during the day if I were a stay at home mom, leaves little family time in the evenings and/or on the weekends. This in return makes me feel guilty for not being able to spend as much time with my family. It also adds more stress.
- Missing important milestones in your children’s life. Let’s face it, as moms we do not want to miss a thing. We want to be there for every important moment in our children’s lives.
- Worn out constantly. Taking on multiple roles can be exhausting and finding time for yourself can be a bit more challenging.
I’m sure there are a million other pros and cons for each and to each their own. Being a mom is hard enough without the added stress of constantly feeling judged or criticized for the choices we make as parents. As human beings, we can be quick to judge others. The way they do things may not be how we chose to do things. In the sisterhood of motherhood and as women as a whole, we can be extremely harsh on one another. We make it harder on one another and instead of lifting one another up or lending a helping hand to our fellow moms.. I myself have been guilty of it. I am more aware of it now than I have been in the past. We all have the same goal. To raise happy, healthy, successful children. Maybe it’s time we start to lift one another up and not be so quick to judge. There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one.