Working mom versus stay at home mom, the battle rages on. Most women have found themselves being judgmental of one, if not both of these groups of women. These groups of women tend to judge one another as well.
I have heard mothers who stay home with their kids throw out accusations at working moms; they don't love their children, they aren't strong enough to take care of kids all day, they are selfish, they aren't good parents, etc. In reality I think that these women are a little jealous of some of the freedoms that working moms have, both financially and physically. They don't have to depend on their husbands for everything.
Then, like with any coin, you have the flip side. Working mothers who are quick to judge the stay at home moms; they can't find a good job, they are lazy, they don't want to make a contribution to their family, etc. Again, in reality, these women are jealous of the time these women spend with their children, while the husbands provide for them. Stay at home moms can pull off a miracle without ever taking off their pajamas, something that many working moms wish they could afford to do.
In actuality, both groups of women are strong, hard-working, and love their children fiercely.
15 Your Overall Health
A study published in 2011, in the Journal of Family Psychology looked at more than 1300 mothers across the U.S., and found that working mothers reported fewer symptoms of depression! Working mothers were more likely to rate their health "excellent" as compared with non-employed mothers. One reason for this, is that many women work in jobs that compliment their passions, talents and strengths.
This fulfillment leaves a woman with a sense of worth greater than Motherhood. A woman whose bigger sense of purpose is not met, may feel sad, and even resentful toward those around her. A strong sense of mental health motivates you to maintain good physical health. And we all know, being in good physical shape, works to boost your confidence and mental health in return.
14 Less Financial Stress
While there are stressful days that come with answering to a boss, and working carefully on daily responsibilities, there is that sweet paycheck every week (or every two weeks) that makes it all worthwhile.
Let's face it, no one works for free! Even though you may be deducting the costs of daycare from this weekly income, there is still something left to show for your hard work. This will help to ease the financial burden of your family, making it easier to survive, and even have fun, on two incomes, versus one.
A working woman will feel that she is brining something to the table, which again, increases confidence. Lifting the rain cloud of financial burden will lower the overall stress level in your household, and take some additional strain off your marriage, which may already be stretched
13 Identity Beyond Motherhood
Sure, we all love those angelic eyes that look up at us and smile. They make us feel like the most important person in the world. However, that look comes after hours of diaper changes, crying, feeding and being touched out. At the end of the day, you feel like, just a mom.
Working gives you an identity that extends beyond being someone's Mama. You might also be someone's boss, teammate, or even right-hand woman! The sense of appreciation you feel from someone telling you that you did a terrific job, is something most stay at home moms just don't get. No one comes home and says, "House looks okay, thanks for trying to clean it, while keeping the children alive." But, add a good spin to a project that lands a big client, and you can bet someone will be singing your praises!
12 Social Exposure For Kids
Yes, they will come home with coughs, and colds, and eventually even words that you don't care for, BUT, they will make friends! Your kids will learn some of the most important parts of social norms and daily interaction with one another. They will learn to share, cry, play, love and get their feelings hurt. They will take naps, eat new foods, and experience classroom settings complete with singing songs and learning their ABC's.
Also, your kids will gain a well needed tolerance for other children, an important thing to learn about other human beings, especially in our times. Daycare fosters a sense of independence, as children have no choice but to adapt without their parents. This leads to a sense of self confidence, which is only boosted by their new ability to make friends, and learn new things to share with you at home.
11 Role Model Material
I knew a stay at home mom who was devastated when her daughter came home from kindergarten and said, "I drew a picture of what I want to be when I grow up, a stay at home mom like you." This mother was not letting her dreams slip away to give her daughter the best life, just to watch her NOT take advantage of it.
The next year, she went back to work, and has set an entirely different example for her children. Boys should know their moms are strong enough to hold down a full-time job, and still fit in dinner, soccer practice and bedtime stories. Girls should learn that while taking care of their baby dolls is fun, they can be doctors or lawyers just the same as a boy, if this is what they choose. Parents are the nearest life examples children see, and the ones they spend the most time examining. It's great to let them know, "You can do anything!"
10 Hot Mama Appeal
In a recent study, men claim to find working moms much sexier than their stay at home counterparts. "There is something about a woman who can command herself at the office, and then check the bags at the door, and assume the job of taking care of an entire family, that is just so sexy!" said one of the men surveyed. His wife works full time and is a mother of three.
On the flip side, being a working mom tends to make women feel a little sexier too. Slipping into your dress pants, and polishing yourself off with some fresh make-up is another good way to turn up your confidence. It also increases the enjoyment of coming home, and dressing down into your comfy clothes, hair in the messy bun, and making dinner for a hectic household.
9 Alone Time
After a crazy morning of running the kids to their various morning locations; school, daycare, and football practice, you get something a little special, something I think all mothers need. You get alone time. Dads get it when they "use the bathroom" for 45 minutes (code for playing on their phones) but moms don't get it very often. That simple 10-20 minute drive, drinking your warm coffee, and being alone with your thoughts, there is nothing quite like it.
Some days we rock out to a song on the radio, or let our minds wander off to something from the night before. And yet other times, I find that I don't even turn the radio on, and I simply enjoy the total peace and quiet of being alone! Shhh! One of my favorite times of day...
8 Dads Help Out
It's amazing how much a Dad tends to lend a hand to his working wife. Maybe the sense of sharing in the bread winning makes them feel as if they should share in the chores? Husband and wife walking through the house, focused on various evening tasks, dishes, laundry, bath time, and then suddenly you realize, your husband is doing almost as much work as you are! Another upside to him digging in and helping out, is the extra time he will be spending with the kids.
My husband drops off our daughter in the morning, but then picks up two of our three kids on the way home. He gets the smiles, great day stories, bad day stories, and gives out the "it'll be okay" hugs, before he even makes it home. It's good for the kids, but it's even better for him. Makes him see how much he is loved and needed.
7 Doing It Alone
This word is a little taboo when associated with women. In the views of some, it can quickly turn from a strong word, into a dirty one. The line is fine, and there is very little direction when you are getting close to crossing it. I say, the hell with that, jump over it!
Independence is incredible. I need my husband, and I love him, and I respect everything he does for our family. However, as a woman, it's a fantastic feeling to know, that if everything ever fell apart, you are capable of taking care of things yourself. To know you could provide for your children, both financially and emotionally, to know that you are something other than just someone's mom. It's part of a movement women have been fighting to achieve for as long as we have been able to dream.
6 Your Kids Will Be Alright
Yes, they may fall, and get hurt. You may come to pick them up, and someone has a Band-Aid on, or their feelings have been hurt. Those things will happen, but think about it, they happen to you too. Yet you survive, and so will your kids. They will be stronger for learning to cope with certain things on their own, and even more aware of your love and appreciative of your words when they get to tell you about their day, the good and the bad.
They will appreciate your support and love and as they grow older, they will even appreciate the sacrifice you made, to ensure they were well taken care of. All the while, maybe never knowing that you didn't sacrifice quite as much as they think. You were keeping yourself healthy too, and making it all look pretty easy!
And....The 5 Reasons To Feel Guilty About It
5 Missing The First Steps
Parents want to see and hear every first! The first smile, first laugh, the first word. We can't wait to see the first time they roll over, and sit up. Each of these milestones tell us our children are growing. They are the heartfelt moments that make the tears and diapers worth the fuss!
Few moments are more precious than the first steps. It is in this moment your entire world changes - your mini-me is now mobile, and able to explore the world without your help. Many working moms miss these. A woman at my daughter's daycare asked, "Would you want to know if she had taken steps, or wait and see it on your own?" I answered without thinking, "I would want to know!" She informed me that my daughter had taken 3 steps that day. Tears filled my eyes, tears of joy, but also of sadness and guilt. How could I have missed this?
4 The Morning Meltdown
Few parents dread anything as much as the morning meltdown. That moment when you sit your little one in their chair, or in front of their favorite toy at daycare, and the lower lip starts to quiver. This is followed by alligator sized tears flowing down their cheeks and outright screams of, "Mommy! No! Don't leave me!" In a tone that makes you certain they are being tortured while you are not around! You silently curse yourself for being a working parent, as you hug them tightly telling them you will be back after work.
Of course, this does nothing to help the situation, and you end up prying their arms off of your legs, and sneaking out the door, giving the daycare worker a sympathetic look. You then spend half your day considering quitting your job.
3 Not The Class Mom
Something else you won't get to do while working; fields trips, class parties, award ceremonies and PTA meetings. The worst is when you don't find out about the event until that morning. Sure, you can attend some of them, if you know in advance and plan the time off with your boss. However, there will be plenty of field days that will start and end without you in the crowd. Your son or daughter may tell you its not that big of a deal, but it is. Especially when their friend's mom attends every event, and even bakes homemade cookies for the bake sale. It's something to think about, you probably won't be president of the PTA while being a working mom. If you are, then Hats Off to you!
2 Your House Looks Like A Train Wreck
Yes, I mean literally. While a stay at home mom might clean her house all day, and it will still be cluttered with toys, at least it is clean! However, for a working mom, it is much harder to pick up kids, sneak in the door, make dinner, bath-time, story-time, and phew! I am exhausted already. Is 10pm the new timeframe for mopping, cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry? It might as well be.
Otherwise, your dust will sit high on your shelves, dishes will pile up in your sink, and you will literally find that you need a weeks notice before someone comes over to your house! While a clean house might be the sign of a job well done, the cluttered dirty mess can quickly make you feel like you are failing at life. You sit down just long enough to scroll through Facebook, and see that your stay at home mom took 2 kids to the park and baked a pie today.
1 You Enjoy Your Professional Work More Than "Mommy" Work
This sounds horrible, and taboo, and forbidden! Hush, I cant believe I even typed it. But come on, you can understand why it would cross someone's mind, right? Getting dressed up nice, to go and spend 8 hours solving problems in an adult world where are you thought of as an equal, can seem pretty glamorous. Especially when the alternative involves spending the entire at trying to please a whiny toddler who just wants to throw a temper tantrum when they don't get their way.
Does this make you a bad person? Does this mean you should never of have kids? No, relax, it just means you enjoy a little balance in your life. There is nothing wrong with either selection, working mom versus stay at home mom. Both are equally strong and important, and right!
Sources: Babble.com, Workingmother.com, Theguardian.com