Over the past two years I’ve been debating the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom or stay at work mom and have picked the brains of countless other working moms who have already waded through this dilemma or are currently struggling with it themselves.
Here’s what working moms had to say (based on my formal interviews of moms-at-large and casual chats with friends), including the good, the bad and unfortunately, even the ugly:
SAHMs have it the best.
- “She’s so lucky she can spend time with her kids.”
- “She’s so lucky she can afford to stay at home.”
- “She has the best life and doesn’t even have to work.”
SAHMs are the true working moms.
- “I don’t know how she can stay at home with the kids 24/7.”
- “I couldn’t stay home with my kids – I’d go insane.”
- “I don’t want to stay at home. I like working and I need a break from my kids.”
SAHMs should be doing more since they have so much free time.
- “She’s a stay-at-home-mom so of course she has the time to exercise.”
- “Let’s have the stay-at-home-mom do the research for our group trip. The rest of us are working and don’t have the time.”
- “Why wouldn’t she do [X]? She doesn’t work.”
SAHMs are cop outs.
- “I can’t believe she wasted her [X] degree to be a stay-at-home-mom.”
- “She’s just a stay-at-home-mom.”
SAHMs don’t have the right to complain.
- “She has no idea what it’s like to manage a family and a life: she’s a stay-at-home mom.”
- “Why does she have problems with [X]? She doesn’t have anything to worry about except playdates.”
- “Her kids should be better behaved. I mean, she spends all that time with them.”
- “Why is she so unhappy? She doesn’t have to work. Her life is so easy.”
Today’s Verdict: Hung jury. Staying at home or staying at work, having kids is a full time job.