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Being a working mom vs a stay at home mom

Before I jump into this post, let me preface it by saying two things.
1. This is a very controversial topic, I am just referencing my personal.experience, so facts not opinions.

2. This is something I could write volumes about (as is the case with a lot of my topics) but for now I am just testing the water.

Recently, I have been reading a lot about the issue on the internet so I had to weigh in since I have been both. I was off for eight months after I had Sawyer and then went back to work full time (by the time he was over a year many weeks I was working 50+ hours). Now I have been off with the kids since December and I don’t plan on returning until the beginning of January when my mat leave runs out. My partner also works full time.

Do I think one is harder that the other? Good question. I think they are different. Pardon the cliche but it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Which would I be if I had the choice? Not sure. I often think I’d try for the best of both worlds and work part time :-p

Being a working mom:

Workload:

Yes, it is difficult. You spend all day working at your job and all night being a mother. Luckily I have a husband to help with that because I can’t imagine doing it alone. It’s tough. You miss out on time with your kids. You are always busy. You have to take short cuts sometimes, which can be hard if you are a perfectionist.

Workplace Sacrifices:

It’s tough to be a worker when you are a mother as well (and I will probably post about this separately). You can’t just work late when you need to because you have to get home for the baby sitter. You would work through the plague but if your child is sick you have to call in sick to take care of them. Maintaining a work/life balance is a lot harder than you would think.

More Money:

An obvious bonus is you have a lot more money. There are costs associated with working and I don’t have as much time for couponing, but that extra salary is really helpful. This is only because in my case we do not pay for baby sitting, if we did it would be a whole different story.

Work as Me Time:

Work can be great for several reasons. It gets you out of the house. You get to interact with other adults. You get to eat proper meals and go pee without an audience. You get to wear nice clothes.
You also really appreciate your family because it isn’t until you are away from them that you can miss them. And no matter how crappy a day you have at work, when you come home and see their smiling faces it all melts away.

You Miss Out:

Since you are busy working you will probably not be there for many milestones. Personally, that doesn’t bother me. Whether I see my baby’s first steps or second or third, the point is they can walk.

Being a SAHM

Say goodbye to alarm clocks, you get to wake up to the coos of your babies or the greeting of your son. The catch is that could be at any time, even 5 am! It is a lot less stressful not to be a slave to the clock and calendar, although I will admit I still am at times when I am exhausted and I count down the minutes until Jeff gets home.

Less Money but More Time:

So you may not have that income but you have more time to save money and less expenses. I am always looking for sales, couponing, collecting bonus points etc. And other than going to Tims, most of my favourite activities are free (walking the dogs, going to the playground etc.)

You Get Time with Your Kids:

I live in a pretty posh area and usually when I would be out with Sawyer it would be us and a bunch of kids with their (usually Filipino nannies). I get this, I mean people have to work. But when I see the kids with the mom and the nanny at the park and the mom is sitting there reading a book while the nanny plays with the kids it BOGGLES my mind! What is the point of having kids?! Every minute with them is special amd not working lets you spend it with them instead of someone else. Lucky for me my parents are the ones who cover three days a week, I don’t think I could trust anyone else.

You Get to Take Care of You:

When you are working and caring for a family the only thing you cam sacrifice is yourself. Your sleep time, bath time, doctor time, dentist time. When you are a SAHM.you have more flexibility to make time for yourself. I am not saying it’s easy, but I still find it more doable than when I am working. And let’s face it, you are no good to your kids if you are a physical and mental wreck.

It Gets Lonely:

By no means would I call myself a social butterfly, but I do enjoy the company of others. Staying at home alone all day can be tough. All your social interaction comes from Facebook or the nice old ladies at the store who comment on your kids. I am always looking forward to the days when family and friends come to visit.

You Have Time for Extended Family:

When I am working there is no room in the schedule for weddings, parties, family get togethers etc. It sucks for me and for the kids. They have a big family who lives them (they are the only grandkids on both sides) but they have to miss out because mommy has to work.

WYSIWYG:

When you aren’t working you don’t have to worry about hair and makeup. You can wear whatever is comfortable, or the bell bottom jeans you love that aren’t I’m style anymore. I do find though, that sometimes getting a little gussied up helps me feel a bit better when I am down.

These are just a few of the observations I have made, and they come from my experience of working with only one child. I am sure now with three things would be different. I’d like to hear what you think. Feel free to add on your own pros and cons. Hopefully this post can become a resource for moms who are trying to decide whether to work or not. It started because I was angry about that article, but now it can become something meaningful.

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

14 thoughts on “Being a working mom vs a stay at home mom

  1. I enjoyed reading this post because you gave an honest account of both. πŸ™‚
    My mom stayed home with my sisters and me when I was growing up. I loved that she was there when we got home from school and that she fixed home-cooked meals every night. She wasn’t rushed in the morning or at night. I had plenty of friends whose mothers worked full time and they didn’t like it (the kids, I mean). The mothers tended to be more stressed out and didn’t have as much time for them because they had to make up for the fact that they hadn’t been home to take care of the house all day.
    My honest feeling about it is that SOMEONE needs to be at home to take care of the house and the children. If that means the mom, so be it. If the father is most suited to stay home, then that works too!
    To me, the money wouldn’t be worth it. And with the internet, I think the days of SAHM’s being lonely aren’t as often as they used to be. When my daughter (now 13) was a baby, I definitely needed to get out of the house often but now I don’t feel that need. We DO go out, but not like I used to. And I worked part time until she was three, but it was only on the weekends when her daddy was home. I missed that time with them SO much! Our family time was really lost. When I became a full time SAHM, I got to enjoy the weekends with my hubby again.
    And now, as a homeschooling mom, I am both a SAHM and a working mom because I’m teaching and planning, etc! πŸ˜‰ I just don’t get a paycheck…

    Posted by Valerie | April 29, 2013, 9:12 pm
    • Thanks for the compliment! I also appreciate that you added your perspective on the topic πŸ™‚

      Wouldn’t it be great if SAHMs did get paid? It’s not like they don’t earn it!

      Cheers, Shannon

      Sent from my mobile.

      Posted by secaulfield | April 29, 2013, 9:56 pm
  2. I am contemplating working full time next year and I’m really worried about missing the time spent with the kids. I currently work part time and have found this to be a great mix of workingmum and SAHM. It’s the best of both worlds.

    Posted by linbritt | May 3, 2013, 9:58 pm
  3. Would love the social interaction! Being a stay at home mom though is wonderful, except for sometimes it gets hard asking for something I want, as I feel guilty that I don’t contribute to our household income, so why should I be able to spend all my husband’s hard earned money??…which I always seem to do, lol. I wish I could work part time, serving at nights for extra cash, but we can’t do this as then I would never see my husband and that would be too straining on our relationship. Maybe when my mom retires, this will become an option.

    Posted by Sarah | June 5, 2013, 1:43 pm
  4. Am o loosing my mind?? I cant see anything?! I really wanted to see b/c I stay home…sometimes I want to work. Then I freak out at thought thought of not being home!!!

    Posted by McCrazy Daily Lessons | July 5, 2013, 9:05 pm

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