Working Moms vs. Stay-At-Home Moms

United States
January 4, 2007 2:01am CST
I am a working mom. I used to be a stay-at-home mom. Right now, I am working out of necessity. My husband is back in school to obtain his master's degree. While he is doing this, he is playing the role of stay-at-home dad. This isn't a discussion about which is better. I certainly like to get that paycheck. And sometimes I look at my job as a get-away of sorts. I do feel as though I'm accomplishing something by going to work everyday. But I miss being a stay-at-home mom. I miss taking care of the kids and the house. There are times I find I have no idea what is going on at my children's school. I no longer have the time I used to with them. I can't volunteer with the PTA or in my son's classes. I can't make cookies with them on the spur of the moment. It seems I'm always saying "Mama's got to go to work". And when I'm not at work, I'm getting calls at home from work. Most nights I get home in time for dinner and bedtime stories. Then I'm up the next morning and out the door before the kids wake up. My husband and I hardly have time for a single conversation anymore. Sometimes we stay up late after the kids go to bed just to talk to each other. He told me recently that it worked better when I was taking care of the house and the kids. Bless his heart, he's trying...and he has more patience than I do. Though he feels bad because he's not the one "bringing home the bacon" which he feels is his job. I won't argue with that ('cause I want to be back home with the kids and I don't bring home nearly as much as he did). Sometimes I feel so guilty when he knows more than me about the kids and school and homework, etc. Then I get angry for feeling guilty. Then I feel guilty for feeling angry, etc, etc. We've only been doing this for about 7 months now. I'll be a working mom for about 3 more years when my husband is scheduled to complete his masters. I can't wait. I may be too stressed out by then to enjoy it. Are there any working mom's out there who have found some sort of balance? Is it possible to do your job properly and still feel you've given a good amount of quality time to your kids and your husband? Any single mom's out there who have this figured out? Are there any stay-at-home moms who have been in this situation?
10 people like this
54 responses
• United States
4 Jan 07
I've been on both sides of the fence too and as mentally and physically exhausting as being an at-home mom is, and as much as I would like to "escape" and make some money (and friends), I would hate to give up my freedom and my time with my family. It's a no-win situation, my friend, but it's one you have to make the best of for the time being if you and your husband have certain goals in mind. Kudos to you for agreeing to take on the huge responsibility of outside work AND full-time motherhood while your husband finishes his degree. It sounds as though you both are feeling a huge amount of guilt, mainly because you both feel as though you aren't doing enough - he's not contributing financially and you feel like you are missing out. I had this same problem when I was going to nursing school and working nights at the hospital (I had just two children at the time, as opposed to three now). My husband assumed his normal "work" duties but also cared for the kids while I could get a few hours shut-eye in the mornings before he went off to work. I would be left for the rest of the day, caring for kids on very little sleep. There was A LOT of disconnect going on between me and my kids, and me and my husband. It wasn't until things really started to go downhill that I quit nursing school and my job. We decided we ultimately wanted another baby, and things pretty much went back to how they had been, with me being a full-time mom. I think you and your husband should have a heart to heart and really discuss your short and long-term goals. Is there a way for your husband to work AND go to school? I know many companies will even foot the bill for education, and most schools offer flexible scheduling to accomodate families. I have no idea what you do for a living, but would your job allow you to work from home or job share? Maybe you and your husband could both work part-time as opposed to one of you working full time?My sister, who is expecting her third baby in a few weeks, has made the decision to quit work. They are taking about a $70K decrease in pay, not to mention some really great benefits. She had a GREAT job and was a really important part of the company, which meant she worked some LONG hours. Her kids have been in daycare since six weeks old. But they are a VERY loving family. When she was working, every extra moment spent together was important and counted. She found time when no time was to be had. She had no regrets about working because she felt like she had given a lot to her family as well. I think it's a difficult juggling act, but it can be done. Just . . . don't be too hard on yourself. Give your family extra hugs and kisses. They know you love them, even if and when you are working away from them. Best wishes, BusyMomOf3 http://www.LittleWoolgatherings.com
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jan 07
I can't tell you enough how pleased I was with your post! I have a 13 year old son, a 7 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I am currently working as a manager of a pet boarding and grooming facility so weekends and holidays are pretty much taken up by work. I was lucky enough to get Christmas morning at home, but yes, I worked Christmas Day...and Thanksgiving...and New Years...and everyday of the kid's school vacations. My job has no monetary benefits. No insurance, no bonuses, no 401k program. The only benefits I have are the relationships I have with the pets. I love my job, but it doesn't help out the home situation. My family is very close and my husband very supportive. If I can home tomorrow and announced I was quitting my job and starting up a business, he would worry, but he would stand by me. That's how wonderful he is. In fact, that's how we got into this situation. He was teaching high school when he came home one day and told me he wasn't happy in that position and he wanted to teach on the collegiate level. He needed a masters degree to do it. In the end I can stay at home all I want with the kids. He'll be able to work fewer hours for more money, and the kids will be so sick of us being around so much :) I just need to hold it together until that time comes. Thanks so much for your wonderful post!
• Saint Kitts And Nevis
4 Jan 07
Hi CrabbyPatty,I am Cheryl from the Caribbean and I can identify with what you are saying. Your situation somewhat relates to mine. But I encourage you to hang in there. Though it may be hard now it will be worth it in the end. Every thing in life that worth something have sacrifices to them. Like the elders say all thing good come with one sacrifice or another. Better it is like this now. That way you have more to contribute to your children's future. I stuck it out and have just about six more months to go. If i did it I know you can. All the best and keep the faith.
@nuttmeg (441)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I'm not a mom, but I do work at home. I think what you're doing is great and will pay off in the longrun, not just financially but for your kids as well, though I can imagine it would be difficult to make such a change and have time with your kids taken away. My guess is that you husband and your kids will look back on this and be more thank thankful, and the effort will pay off. You should be proud of yourself. Just focus on how things will be in the future and try not to check the days off the calendar too much. I definitely think switching to daytime shifts would do wonders for the time you can spend with your family.
2 people like this
@lafavorito (2964)
• Philippines
4 Jan 07
money - money.. a necessity to live..
I'm a stay-at-home mom now but I used to work full time for 3 months, I decided to quit because I want to take care of our baby who was only 6 months then. Now I just work part-time as a Real Estate Agent, on days that I go out I can't help but miss my baby but I need some time for myself too and I can do it when I'm out with a client. It's really hard to leave the stay-at-home mom life especially when you like it, but try to understand your husband, now he's having a hard time taking care of your kids and studying but you'll get through it. Stop counting the days and you'll see that the 3 years is already over. Don't worry too much, your husband and kids love you. Take Care!
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I am a working mom who works from home. I guess that actually makes me a work at home mom. Although, I am still a stay at home mom. It is kind of weird, but I rarely work, although today is an exception because I am backed up, when my daughter is home. Right now she is sitting at the kitchen table with me doing some crafts. For the most part, I only work at night. I try and do that, so I can spend as much time with her. I work as a freelance writer. Personally, I am lucky that I have found something tht doesn't require me to be on the phone with someone half of the day or something that really doesn't have a set scheule. Aside from trying to work from home, I really don't know what else I can suggest. To me, it sounds as if you are trying to make the best out of the situtation and that is really all that you can do.
@Ashida (1370)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I think it's wonderful that you are doing this for your family. It sounds like this is only a temporary situation, albiet a loooong temporary situaton. so hang in there!
@Soniasony (1827)
• India
5 Jan 07
It is said that children growin with stay-at-home gets more love and less responsible..and others ie workin moms get more independent and responsible..this is just a rough case..ultimately it all depends on the mother..
1 person likes this
• India
5 Jan 07
yeah ..i agree with you here, i was the first born of my mom at a time when she was at the peak of her career, my dad used to wirk late hours too....a nursery where you could drop off your kids for a day was found as a solution for me. now that my mum stays at home most of the time ,i see that my bro whos in 7th grade is far more irresponsible, childish, and generally ignorant. children if given a bit of exposure to the outside world and a bit of lone time in their early years tend to become much more mature and responsible as adults. i love my mum!!...lol
• United States
5 Jan 07
I can not say that I have exactly been in this situation, but I can say that I feel for you and understand. I was a working mom and now I am a stay at home mom. I know what you mean, missing being involved in all of the daily doings at home. Just remember everyday that you get up and go to work, and come back home, you are just one more day closer to being able to stay at home again. It will all be worth it in the end. You know this deep inside. Every morning before you leave for work, sneak a peek at those babies and your husband, you'll have an easier time making it through the day. Now you are another day down. Good Luck keep your chin up your still the mom.
1 person likes this
• Bangladesh
5 Jan 07
thanks for response.
• United States
4 Jan 07
I forgot with my last discussion to tell you somthing. Just focus on love of your family and don't give up!! Trust me I have felt very frustrated for long periods of time, and exausted you will find a way to make it work!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
Congratulations! I don't know many women your age that would have things as together as you seem to. Way to go and keep it up! Thanks for the great response!
• India
4 Jan 07
yeah i know my aunt who was in this situaltion.. as far as you are doing this for your family.. its perfectly ok..
1 person likes this
@flakom (87)
• Ireland
4 Jan 07
Yea, it's not easy but you are doing this for your family because when your husband finishes his master programme, he can get a better job and then you can decide to stay at home and take care of the kids if you desire. Then, you won't need to worry about bills or paying the minder.
@reeadeli (55)
• Indonesia
5 Jan 07
i havent been a mom yet, but i always dream to be a good mom for my child and a good wife to my husband even i am a working woman.although just by thinking it,i have thought that it will be difficult to make it balance.. well..i think if the conditions of your family need you to have more money, it doesnt matter if you work hard..but if not, why dont u try to find another job which can give u personality time?i agree if woman become a working woman,but taking care of child and husband is more important for woman..we cannot forget that..i just can hope that u can face this..your problem has given me input before marrying
1 person likes this
@ssnaqvi (283)
5 Jan 07
IT DEPENDS ON THE WOMEN WHETHER TO WORK OR NOT AND YET WORKING ITS TOTALLY HER TECHNIQUES HOW TO HANDLE HIS HOUSE AND CHILDRENS. SO I MUST SAY THAT WOMEN WHO ARE WORKING CAN PRODUCE BETTER YOUTH/GENERATION.
1 person likes this
@nhtpscd (1418)
• Australia
5 Jan 07
Each mum has to work out what is best for her family. I support both types as long as the kids do not suffer.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
I worked from the time I was 16 to 2004. I am 31 now. I hurt my knee and unfortunately cant work. The small amount I get from comp sucks. cant touch my regular pay. I love being home with the kids. the only thing I dont like is that the longer I am home and not working, there is no security for me. I am a step mom to two kids, and I have two of my own. IF i were to ever get divorced, what would I do? I would have to try to get a job to keep my kids. I definately dont like loosing my security that I once I had.
1 person likes this
@anne_143god (5390)
• Philippines
5 Jan 07
I think this is just temporary as what you said. Of course I will give my time for the benefit of my kids even it will suffer my wants and interest.
• United States
5 Jan 07
I'm a SAHM and though I haven't had to deal with the work thing yet.. I'm pretty sure it's going to come up sometime for us. I don't have any advice, but your post almost made me cry (yay for postpardum hormones!) because I know I'd feel the same way.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
I have been on both sides of the fence working and staying at home but I have to tell you with 4 kids and a husband I am a more balanced person staying at home I dont feel as rushed. I was working and the kids were getting sick I had to call off ,doctors appointments etc. I was pretty much forced to stay at home and i tell you if you dont have subsidized daycare today you can almost bet you will be forced to stay at home too.unless hubby has alot of $$$$$$$$$$.
1 person likes this
@selina0625 (1383)
• Philippines
5 Jan 07
I'm a working my too, like you i'm having problems with time. I do not have enough time for work and for my son/family. I don't think you can serve two masters at the same time, if you know what I mean, so my answer is that ou have to give up one.So in my case, i chose my son. i quit my job and choose to stay at home.Now Ii just do a little bit work at home's like this. i'm happy with my decision.
• Philippines
5 Jan 07
its a matter of proper time management. in today's world and pace, it is imperative for women to be in the workforce to make both ends meet. i suggest that u dont feel guilty about anything. just do what you're supposed to do, that is, earn mmoney then exert effort also to spend quality time with your kids, meaning, the time u spend with them may not be that long compared to before but try to make it as substantial as you can. i know thats easier said than done, its not easy to become a working mom especially if in your heart u also want to stay at home and be ur kids but as they say, "nothing is impossible"..."if there's a will, there's a way.." and as what the NIKE commercial always say -- "JUST DO IT!"
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 07
life must be very challenging for those who work as well as take care of their children. it is painful as u r not close to ur children whom u love the most.
1 person likes this