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Does anyone feel that us working moms do 1,000% more than stay at home moms, but get 1000% less credit, respect, admiration? How do you handle this?? And how to you keep yourself going with this uneasy feeling?”

18 replies so far...

  • I've done SAHM all I wanted to do was go back to work as a FT working mom (out of the home) all I want is to spend more time with my little girl. So your damed if you do, damed if you don't. I feel like "moms" in general are underappreciated. As far as 1000 times more work as a Full time mom...I don't feel any different....still busy and tired.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by TamraB on 13th June 2008

  • There are sacrifices and frustration no matter which path you choose. I've always been a working Mom so I can't claim to speak for those that stay at home. Luckily we have a wonderfully supportive family network and our kids were taken care of by their grandparents until they entered preschool 3 days a week.
    I can honestly say that I have never received any ridicule or condescension from the stay at home moms that I know. Some think it's great I have a fulfilling job and manage to balance out the time with family and kids. My husband and I have sacrificed other areas of our lives to have two incomes and still raise our kids, however. He has passed up several promotions to work a schedule that allows him to be home when the kids get off the bus.
    I agree the workload is more, how can it not be when the laundry needs to get done, food needs to be prepared, chores need to be completed. This is also best handled with a partner that is willing to pitch in. Superhubby takes the kids to Drs Appts, to Karate, to the baseball games, starts the homework and even gets dinner strted. We balance it out.
    There is also the factor of how any given company handles the working mom dynamic. My company is pretty supportive of family needs, again that makes me a fortunate person. If my kid gets sick, I can leave or even do some work from home.
    I'm confident my kids are being raised to the best of my and superhubby's abilities and given all the love, support and guidance we can offer. As for respect and admiration? I'd rather that come from the people whose opinions matter to me the most. Mine, my husbands, my kids. Everyone else takes a backseat to that audience. It has to come from within and you have to believe in the choices you have made, regardless of other peoples viewpoints.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Catootes on 10th June 2008

  • If you were a SAHM mom do you think Laundry would be only thing on your to do list? Laundry is a pain in the A no matter how you slice it and it never ends with kids but that is soooooooo besides the point.

    Can not even believe I am responding to the last response from mom2Rylie, but for some strange reason felt the need to reply to your post and I am honestly trying to find the nicest way to say this is no better than a SAHM mom sounding off about working moms.

    I keep saying it but REALLY who cares what others think?

    You are putting all SAHM in a bucket and yes most do not know or even understand BUT I found the ones that do not understand Working moms outside of the home, are the ones who really never had a career and went from Marriage straight into babyland. Like my sister, She went from home to marriage to kids in like a minute and never really had a career. She is surrounded by SAHMs in her community.
    I am not and have the complete opposite in my community.

    Maybe a new set of friends would help your desired respect.

    Maybe some say it is the hardest job in the world is because they are looking for the respect you are also looking for as a Working mom. Very few pats on the back are handed out through out the day. I give it to myself or I will crack up. Humor saves me.

    WHO GIVES A CRAP WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!!!! FORGET IT!!! Be confident in your choice and you won't give two (you know what) about what others think.

    Are you happy? If yes, then really who cares about the thoughts of others.

    Got to go and throw another load in...

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 6th June 2008

  • Yeah, loaded question. But my true feelings are that the answer to your question is "yes." I am tired of hearing SAHMs say "It's the hardest job in the world." Yeah, whatever. I just don't buy that. If I was a SAHM I would actually have time to do laundry!

    Then they look down on me for working. I understand that some of them feel that they have to defend their decision to stay at home, but I don't understand why. It seems to me like SAHMs are looked on as much "better" mothers than working moms, so I don't get why all the defensiveness. I'm the one who is vilified for working and not "putting my kids first." I'm the one who has to come home to all the housekeeping chores that I didn't have time to get done last night.

    I *wish* I could get REAL respect and support from SAHMs instead of the half-hearted, pretend "Oh I guess I support your decision," and "If you really wanted to, you could live on one income," crap that I hear all the time.

    If we *shouldn't* judge, and we *should* support, why don't SAHMs do that? Why does it matter so much to them that I work that they have to put me down for it?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mom2Rylie on 3rd June 2008

  • i respect SAHMs and working moms. I work FT from home (i go into the office 1x / week) and do my best to spend time with my Daughter who is almost 2.5yrs old. I had her home with me FT until she turned 27 months and then she started Pre-school 3x/week until 3pm. I get really frustrated with the SAHMs (FT) who have their kids in daycare or preschool 2-4 days/wk FT (9-5) or something similar and say that their job is harder. I have done both and I think if you are TRULY a SAHM, and take full care of your kids (not have a nanny or au pair or send your kids to daycare) then you have my full respect as it is a hard job but i really get frustrated at the SAHMs who say their job is harder than mine ( i work FT and take care of my kid) when they have their kid taken care of by someone else. Don't get me wrong, we all need a break and taking care of a kid 24/7 is tiring but if you stick your kid in daycare and don't work and use that time to socialize with your friends/hair/nails - which I see a lot, it makes me frustrated that they say life is soooo hard. Most of the SAHMs that i know have nannies/au pairs/daycare and don't work.

    Also- I think anyone who says that they can have it all is not connected with reality. Something has to give and its up to the person who lives that life to decide what they want to give up and not be judged. If you choose to work FT outside the home and have someone else care for your child, YOur child will pick up their values/beliefs and you will definitely miss out on some important parts of your child's life but if that makes you a better mom, then you should do what fits you best. I have a friend who just had her second child and cannot wait to get back to work....she hates being home FT and taking care of her kids. She finds she is happier and a better mom when she gets out of the home and works. That is not for me as I love being around my kids but each person should be able to do what works best for them and their kids but just realize something will always give. If you choose your kids first, your career will definitely suffer or lapse and vise versa....its just a choice you make. I have personally chosen to let my career lapse by working from home and spending time with my kid. If i didn't have to work...I would have taken off time until she turned 5 but that is my choice as I have had a fulfilling career so far. Others are not ready to take that step and this fine for them. Let's try to be open minded and realize that people make choices for what works best for their family just not be niaeve in thinking that whatever decision we make doesn't affect something. Sorry for the long response but this has been a topic that has really been a sore spot for me.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sofiaone on 27th May 2008

  • Yikes, this is a loaded question. So here goes: NOPE, I don't think we get more or less credit. It depends on who you interact with and how you let it get to you. No matter what we do, we need to be confident in what we are doing. Otherwise, who are we to stick up for ourselves?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 24th May 2008

  • Oceans Mom...That is so horrible that you had to deal with that. I always tell my husband that it is in his best interest to stand by my side as I will stand by his in the company of others. Out of respect - we talk about things privately. Doesn't always work out that way but....I am sorry your inlaws made you feel that way.

    Stay working. It is your duty as a mother to be the best loving mom and the way you choose to be is your decision. His smile everyday tells you that you are being that kind of mom.

    It drives me nuts when people give their unsolicited opinions and try to put their beliefs on another person.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 22nd May 2008

  • It would be ideal if everyone could stop judging us. I certainly don't judge stay at home moms and realize that the job is one of the hardest. However, they do always seem to judge me. The same way that the other moms have pointed out. They say things like "Oh, it's too bad that you have to work" or "I'm so lucky that I can be home for my kids" or "Your poor son, he's rather be home with his mom", etc. It's ridiculous. My son loves his daycare as he sqeals with joy and laughs everyday when I drop him off. He gives the same squeal when I pick him up. The absolute worst judgement came from my husbands side of the family. The sister-in-law, more specifically. She asked me why I was not staying home when my husband had a decent paying job, his job is decent but nowhere near enough I'd feel comfortable staying home. I also like my job and don't want to lose this particular place that I work at. The entire trip to see his family, she spent throwing in "We don't believe in daycare" into any conversation that she could. Instread of defending me, he started telling me that I should stay home as it's my duty as a woman, which of course, started the largest fight in the history of fights. Of course, now that we are away from his family and he knows how much Ocean loves daycare, his tune has completely changed. That was my last trip to see his family, ever. I should never have to put up with that kind of disrespect. So, I guess to actually answer the question, I prefer to stay away from people that think badly of me for working.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by oceans mom on 21st May 2008

  • I agree with the people who say that both working and stay at home moms have tough jobs. I find that on the weekends, and the one day at work that I work from home, I am more physically exhausted at the end of the day - it really is tough being in charge of a kid all day, especially one that is increasingly "on the go" as she gets older. I love it, but it IS hard work, it's just different than the hard work I do at my full-time job. Both are tough - let's be supportive of each other.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amanda on 20th May 2008

  • WHOA...where's the toss up??. Moms need to support not judge one another. You do what you need/have to do and want to do.

    I worked for a 1 1/2 when my son was first born. I commuted 1 1/2 each way, each day. I traveled 4 x a year. 2 xs to hong kong and the balance in US. I came home at 7:30 practically every night and cooked, bathed my kids and slept with my blackberry by my bedside. I understand the pressures of a working mother and NO it is not easy.

    Being that I have experienced both and now a STAY AT HOME WORKING MOM. I do not think there is a toss up of which one is harder and which one gives 1000% or 1010%. They both have stresses. I miss working outside the home and probably would do it again if I loved what I did.

    Being home is hard work as is going to work. Before I had a nanny, house cleaner and time to myself and peed in peace! Now I do everything and I am friggin' tired all the time as are ALL working mothers. MOTHERHOOD IS HARD WORK NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT.

    I think there is judgement that being home is easy. It's not. I actually tell friends to stay working. You get to keep a sense of yourself, and maintain financial independence. Sometimes it is more about the mental than physical. I didn't have two toddlers crying on my lap. It was a little more stimulating on an intellectual level. THere are many days I wish I was working but like I said I was very unhappy in my career.

    It's not like my salary was chump change. I made a six figure income and made the decision to change my lifestyle. I traded in a luxury SUV, slowed down dinners out, shopped different places. I no longer buy shoes from Saks...I go to Target or DSW. We relied on my salary quite a bit too.

    It was a choice I made for personal reasons as my son was born sick. He is a thriving healthy boy today but I still WANT to stay home. Funny enough, i do not miss all the nonsense of buying beautiful things at beautiful places. I think just by virtue of being in fashion it made me realize those things are soooooo NOT a necessity in my life and then having a child born sick changes your perspective on what's necessary in general. I am not going to complain because it is my choice to stay home.

    The only time I felt disrespected was by the "older" generation of women. My mother had no idea what I did and how important my income was. She didn't understand how I could get on a plane. Most men have no idea how hard it is at home and outside of the home. Very few could do what we do every day as moms.

    I am the one that tortured myself more than anyone else.

    How do you handle the lack of respect??? You don't and can't handle the opinions of others. You just go with what you need to do for you and know deep inside you feel good with your decision and if you working is a NEED in your family than that's what you need to do and forget what people think.

    Sometimes my husband will say "DO you understand the pressure I am under?" and I give hime a look like "yes..I have been there too"

    We shouldn't judge - we should support. Being a mom is hard loving work. We want the best for our kids in every way shape and form and how each one of us decides to do that is entirely up to the individual.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 19th May 2008

  • I am a WOHSAHWAH (woe-sa-wa)
    I work outside the home MTW and telecommute from home when needed. I stay at home on Thursdays and Fridays. I also work at home as a writer and also run my own business. I honestly do not know any stay at home moms that just stay home and do babies. Even my SAH moms have some sort of home business going. I have never had a negative comment about my working outside the home (but then again it is not FT outside the home). Usually I hear "wow, that is a great schedule". Often times, however, I hear "you have too much going on, you need to take better care of yourself".
    I have to say one thing though. Even though I am tired MTW and it is hectic and crazy- I am WAY more exhausted on the days when I stay home with kids.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Earthmama on 19th May 2008

  • I think that society really doesn't want women to work. There are huge barriers. Social, financial, reasonably priced childcare.

    SAHMs I know look at work in disgust and say, "Well if you have to..." When in reality, I don't. Society puts pressure on working mothers to "Do it all." Afterall, if you don't, what kind of mother are you? Better call DSS. Remember growing up and hearing about latchkey kids? Are there really any of those around anymore? I'd be afraid my kids would be taken away if they were. My mother and mother-in-law worked to have spending money, or save, or just find something interesting to do, but they didn't have careers. They also discourage me from getting too career focused, "...remember your children." They also didn't really work when my husband and I were growing up. That came later.

    So, my perspective is that you can work, but if it looks like more than a hobby, then you're a bad mother in our society's eye. I don't think working mother's really do get credit. Kind of cynical and down, but I haven't experienced a supportive and positive perspective for me to have a career as a mother.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Michele on 19th May 2008