The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: What Working Moms Really Think About Stay-At-Home-Moms

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:

The Good

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.”

The Bad

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.”

The Ugly

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.

8 responses to “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: What Working Moms Really Think About Stay-At-Home-Moms

  1. I was a working, single mom for years. Now I have the opportunity to be a stay at home…..tell ya, it’s easier to go to work ! Being home, I do not have the mindset to put things off or let things slide like before. (But looking back, I’m not sure I slept for about a 5 year span!)

    • Oh great, I have another 2.5 more years of sleeplessness?! Oh no. :-) Well, if you noticed, my last post here was 4 months ago and there’s a reason . . . I’ve moved from my firm to in-house: as in, in-my-house. It is a lot harder than working for many reasons that I’ll have to start posting about now that I sort of have the hang of the stay at home thing! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Pingback: {Live} What Do Stay At Home Moms Do All Day | The Outlaw Mom (TM) Blog

  3. Pingback: The Mommy Wars | Think Inside The Box

  4. This sounds about right. I’m thinking abour reblogging this on my series “On Being a Woman.” Do I have your permission?
    Being a working mom is a two-edged sword. Satisfactions of work and satisfactions of having children. Hassles of work and hassles of children. And then there’s the housework that’s never done. Ever. Regardless.
    Wrote a short story on this dilemma. It’s at:

    • I agree that it’s such a double-edged sword. I’ve now been a working mom, a SAHM, and back at work again and the whole process has been really eye-opening. There’s misery in both and happiness to be found, too, but it’s definitely not an easy thing to swing. I’ll definitely be writing a post on that soon (well, as soon as I have the time!). Oh, and I forgot about housework ages ago:-) Luckily, I have an understanding partner!

      And thanks for asking about reblogging: I would love for you to share this if you think your readers would like it – but I’d ask that you just excerpt it with attribution and a link to the post, if you would.

      Thanks for visiting and looking forward to reading your short story!

  5. I was a stay at home mom for 16 years. Then when I got divorced I could not find a job in my previously successful carreer.
    Keep your finger in the work pie or you can get screwed really badly 20 years later.

    • Oh, that is good practical advice. I am actually trying to do that with limited, flexible hours at my last workplace because I am a little fearful of the same thing. I haven’t updated the blog recently and need to do a couple of posts on how it has all been working out. Thanks for visiting and leaving a useful comment.

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