Motherhood

Working Moms vs Stay at Home Moms (SAHM): Pros and Cons

It is likely that most moms only get to experience being either a working mom or a stay at home mom in their early motherhood journey. In turn, it leaves many moms wondering if they could in fact switch roles what would be the pros and cons between a working moms vs a stay at home moms.

Well, as I sit on this relaxing hilltop Starbucks’ deck, drinking my delicious white chocolate mocha while breathing in fresh ocean air…………. okay just kidding, a mama can dream though.

Let’s try that again…

As I sit here at my kitchen table pushing down a two-year-old from climbing up my leg, and as I watch my 5-year-old fly off the couch in his attempt to mimic Super Mario, I’m trying to recall how my life turned into this crazy adventure right before my eyes.

I became a stay-at-home mom 2 years ago after my second daughter was born (first child was 3 at the time).

Being a stay at home mom has been an incredible honor and a blessing which I don’t take for granted.

However, it has also been packed with challenges and self re-invention.

Transitioning from a working mom to a stay at home mom has taught me a thing or two about motherhood. The joys and struggles of being a mother, the undeniable rewards and sacrifices of taking care of them full-time, and the ability to adapt to a new reality.

Next, we will cover everything you might be asking yourself regarding pros and cons of working moms vs stays at home moms, along with addressing some of the challenges and personal advice.

Working Moms vs Stay at Home Moms

pros and cons, Working Moms vs Stay at home moms

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My Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom Story

I became a registered nurse at the age of 21 (almost 13 years ago). My profession has always been a huge part of who I am.

Not only was it the source of a good income, but it provided a sense of professional accomplishment and personal satisfaction.

Caring for others and receiving a paycheck for it seemed like a win-win.

When my son was born (first child), my mother offered to watch him since my husband and I had professions to get back to.

Living in a big city, meant that both of us needed to work to provide for our family of three and all of our commodities.

When he turned two-years-old we placed him in daycare. It was the only choice at the time and we felt it would be good for him to start interacting with other children.

It turned out to be a great choice from the social interaction side of things, not so much from the health aspect of it all.

Sickness was imminent. It seemed like every other week there was a new virus to deal with. It broke my heart to see him sick all the time. We knew that as beneficial as the interaction with other children was for him, we also knew that he needed a break from it all.

He attended daycare for a year until the age of three, then our daughter was born.

With my mom unable to take care of her this time around, and my in-laws living out-of-state,  we brainstormed for options.

The big question: “what are we going to do when she turned three months and maternity leave expired?”.

Hiring a daytime nanny to take care of them while we were both at work was something we weren’t comfortable with, and sending them to daycare (especially my three-month-old baby) was almost unbearable for me to even think about.

My goal of exclusively breastfeeding for at least a year would be near impossible (something I wasn’t able to do with my son). So, it came down to instinct, sacrifice, and devotion.

After much thought we finally agreed I would stay home with them both. Initially we talked about 6 months, then a year.

We knew it would be financially challenging to make the decision of cutting our family income by half. However,  in our hearts, we knew it would be the best choice for our children.

As of this writing, my daughter is currently 3 years old, and thanks to having found profitable blogging, I have been able to stay home and watch them grow.

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This journey has come with tears of happiness and tears of exhaustion to say the least. But most of all with a grateful heart for having this incredible chance that many parents wish they had.

In only three years as a stay at home mom, I’ve come to learn a great deal about myself, about my husband, and about our children. I’ve learned about what truly matters, and about the enormous strength of our little nucleus.

Having lived through both experiences as a working mom and a stay at home mom, here is my take on the pros, cons, tips and challenges of this crazy journey!

Related article: 10 Things about Motherhood No One Can Prepare You For

STAY AT HOME MOMS PROS

1. Being present

I believe present parenting is one of main reasons many moms make the drastic decision to stay home with their children.

Being able to be with our children from the early morning hours until they are sound asleep at night is truly an incredible privilege.

Having the opportunity to watch them grow. On an hour by hour basis. Without intermissions. Without meetings, without late night emergency calls from the hospital (in my case, as an Open Heart Surgery Nurse), and without external barriers.

Being able to teach them from a young age everything you intend them to become.

2. Flexibility

One of the many advantages of being a stay at home mom is that it gives us flexibility to fit in our schedules anything that otherwise would have been a struggle.

Things such as doctors appointments, dentist appointments, groceries, and running errands are now much easier to manage.

3. Take a hold of your house

Being a stay at home mom allows you to take care of all household duties without the rush of an overworked schedule.

As a working mom laundry would pile, leaving the weekends for the dreaded chore.

As you can imagine, at the time, working anywhere from an 8-20 hour s a shift at the hospital and then coming home to a 2 years old was exhausting.

Lets just say that survival activities took priority (eating, sleeping, bathing, and spending time as a family).

Which reminds me… whether you are a full-time working mom or a stay-at-home mom you have to check out the Ultimate Home Management Binder (Printable Bundle)!

It will change the way you go about your day to day for the better. Trust me when I tell you, you are going to want to  see this.

Home Management Binder Printables, category images

STAY AT HOME MOM CONS 

1. Social isolation

Spending all day at home can feel lonely, especially if you have your hands full with small children.

Some women are introverts by nature, so this wouldn’t be a big disadvantage.

On the other hand, many women feel that being stuck in the house all day for multiple days at a time can start to take a mental and emotional toll.

2. Losing your identity

This is especially true for moms who make the transition from a working mom to a stay at home mom.

As women, having our own goals, plans, visions, and income feels empowering and satisfying.

When children come into the picture, and our day becomes oversaturated with meeting their needs, it might often feel as if we are losing our identity.

3. Possible financial strain 

Sometimes being a stay at home mom means living on one income. Although not the case for every stay at home mom, it requires planning, budgeting, and creativity to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, many working moms aren’t able to transition to stay at home moms because of financial reasons.

working moms vs stay at home mom

WORKING MOMS PROS

1. Financial Independence

Having your own bank account with your hard-earned money is a pretty good feeling.

Being a working mom usually means that you have full control of your finances and that you don’t depend on anyone for financial support.

That’s a pretty good feeling in my opinion.

2. Social Interaction

Stepping out of the house and being able to interact with other adults (even if it is while working) helps to balance the motherhood overload.

Stepping away from your mom role (even in a work setting) avoids mom burnout and can even help with mom anxiety.

3. Lead by example

Showing our children the value of working to earn a living is really important.

In addition, it teaches them the importance of contributing to their community.

Even more so, working moms can lead by example and teach their daughters the significance of being financially independent.

WORKING MOMS CONS

1. Unable to stay home with your children

Obviously, the biggest disadvantage of a working mom is the inability to raise their children on full-time basis.

2. No flexibility

The sad truth of a working mom is that most of the time they are at the mercy of their employers. Of course, with the exception of self-employed moms.

There is usually no flexibility in the schedule of a working mom. Therefore, missing school events, sporting event, family outings, and even holidays is not unusual.

3. Exhaustion

Okay, let me say this first… EVERY SINGLE MOM suffers from exhaustion one way or another.

However, working moms tend to have a bigger physical demand. Despite of the nature of their job, working moms are required to not just perform at work (mentally and physically), but also tend to her mom duties after work.

Although let’s face it, motherhood is exhausting. Period.

TRASITIONING FROM WORKING MOMS TO SAHM: CHALLANGES

Having done the transition myself from a working mom to a stay at home mom, here are the challenges from a personal standpoint.

Financially

Having always relied on two paychecks have allowed my husband and I to live comfortably.

Therefore, only having had to depend on one income at the time (and our savings) wasn’t something I was comfortable with.

It’s was really challenging for me not to be able to contribute financially to our family.

Professionally

I loved my career.

Being a registered nurse allowed me to do what I’m passionate about. Teach, inform, educate, motivate, encourage and comfort others.

Not being able to educate my patients, collaborate with co-workers, and put my skills to work is something I really miss.

Heck, having a normal adult conversation I really miss, haha.

Thankfully, through blogging, I have been able to fulfill two of my biggest passions: stay home with my kids and continue to motivate and educate others. Plus, earning a living while I do it is the cherry on top.

Emotionally

It feels pretty lonely at times, and it can definitely be overwhelming to take everything on my own while my husband is at work.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had to go through before.

Time for myself is non-existent. Even while using the restroom I have a 5-year old sitting in front of me playing with his toys and a 2-years old emptying the bathroom cabinets.

Working from home

I love what I do now. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

However, managing two blogs, two kids under five, the house, and everything else can prove to be a struggle some days.

Juggling everything

When house chores, two kids, two blogs, and other responsibilities collide, an inevitable sense of overload takes over. It’s been undeniably challenging finding a balance. The Home Management Binder has been a key factor is managing all aspects of my daily life successfully and efficiently.

Related article: 15 Productivity Hacks for Moms 

So, which is better? Being Working Mom or Stay at Home Mom?

For most moms, this isn’t something they can decide. From a finances point of view, most moms have to work for a living!

When is all set and done, the answer to that question is a very personal one! It all comes down to you family dynamic, parenting goals, and financial stability.

Some would argue that being a stay at home mom is a better option, as you are able to raise their children full time. However, that isn’t the best choice for every family. Some moms feel that when they are able to have an successful professional live, that emotional fulfillment can positively impact the way they parent.

Fact is, when we are happy, we parent better.

So, again, take all of the pros and cons we have discussed here today, put them in a balance, and make the best choice for you and your family.

STAY AT HOME MOM ADVICE 

If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM), here’s what I’ve learned so far and what you can take away from it as well.

Embrace change

Understanding that life itself changes can give you a better outlook on things. Everything comes in phases.

Adapting to your new reality and finding ways to cope and enjoy the ride is the way to go.

This too shall pass.

Invest time in what matters

My children and husband are what matter to me most, so what better investment of my time than that.

Granted, there are many other things that are “necessary”, but prioritizing and focusing on things that “matter” will give you a bigger return.

Be grateful

I’ve learned to be grateful for so many things.

For my children’s existence, their health, our health, their love, their joy, the opportunity to be constantly present, and grateful to the people who lend me a hand from time to time (my mother and my mother-in-law in particular).

They won’t be little for ever

I recently read a quote on Pinterest that read “Motherhood: where the days are long and the years are short”.

That is so true!

Before we know it they are off to college and living their own lives. It is my personal goal every single day, despite the craziness of my routine, that I get to enjoy them and be in the moment.

Granted, easier said than done. That’s why it takes a daily effort and intentional commitment.

Practicing mindful parenting has taught me a lot to slow down and be present.

That sweet baby smell of my daughter’s skin, and the gentle touch of my son’s embrace as he whispers “I love you, mommy” sporadically through the day, is something I want to engrave in my mind and my heart forever.

It’s okay to cry

Many see it as a sign of weakness, but motherhood is definitely an emotional rollercoaster. A “good” cry helps to relieve the load at times.

Things don’t have to be perfect

As a perfectionist, checklist enthusiast, and organization freak of nature, this has to be one of my biggest takeaways.

Prioritize, and do what’s important first. I promise you the dirty dishes aren’t going anywhere.

Learning about ways you can be more efficient and productive with your time can help keep you organized and well, sane!

Find a creative outlet

Blogging for me has been crucial for my sanity! Not only as a creative outlet but as a much-needed distraction. Find something you love to do and designate a little time for it.

Take time for yourself. Even if you can’t go anywhere, find places to think clearly and reboot.

I can’t stress enough the importance of detaching from our kids from time to time.

Allowing you body and mind to recharge and refocus allow you to be in a better mental state to meet the constant demands of motherhood.

Find support

Connecting with other moms helps a ton.

No one else will be able to relate to you more than, well, other moms.

Find a mommy tribe, and stick to it.

Family and friends with kids, local mommy meetup groups, community groups, church, and Facebook Groups for moms are great places to start.

Knowing that your household isn’t the only kid crazy circus running around town is very refreshing. 

★ More on Motherhood:

In summary

You are stronger than you think!

Whether a working mom or a stay at home mom, embrace your motherhood journey and make it the very best that you can.

Never in a million years did I think parenting would be this hard and this rewarding at the same time.

I am amazed sometimes at the things I can do and at all I’ve accomplished through God-given strength.

Everyday we face new challenges as we find a way to make it through another day, and we do. We do it over and over again. All for the love for children and our immense responsibility to provide for them in every sense of the word.

The truth is that although sitting on the deck at that seaside Starbucks, drinking my favorite coffee, and writing without interruptions sounds lovely… when it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t change this view, in this very moment, from my kitchen table, for anything in the world.

What is your take on the pros and cons of working moms vs stay at home moms?

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2 Comments

  1. Hi! Nataly…this is exactly what I needed to read. I have a beautiful 2 y/o daughter and I’m currently a Stay at home mom and I was a Healthcare worker until last year when I decided to quit. It was a difficult decision to make because exactly all the reasons you mentioned. Recently I was debating whether come back to work or to continue to be at home and I think you just cleared my mind. I just simply wanted to Thank you so much and God bless you and your family.

    Ps: I decided to stay at home and work from home.

    1. Hey D, your comment just made my day! 😊 The sole purpose of this site is to do just that, help and inspire other moms to navigate motherhood with full confidence in themselves despite where they are in their motherhood journey.

      It is an honor and blessing to have been able to help you through this transition.
      The best of luck to you my friend.
      Good bless. 🙂

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