Stay Home Mom-versus-The Career Mom

The original title suggested was Stay-Home-Mom versus Working-Mom, which for some reason really sticks in my craw. First and foremost I would like to point out that this article is not a knock at the career Mom. It is only meant to be a glance into choices, a young family has to make, in this day and age.

In my day, the early seventies, when I was a young bride and we decided to start our family it seemed to be a given, I would stay at home and look after the children and the home etc. I don't think it ever entered our minds that it would be any other way. My immediate circle of girlfriends were the same. Don't get me wrong, 'the working out of the house Mom' was an acceptable fact then too but it just didn't seem to be the first and foremost choice. If it had to be, then it was.Today, unfortunately the stay-at-home-Mom seems to have become a minority.

The awesome new subdivision where my daughter and son-in-law chose to put down their roots is mainly filled with the upper twenty to early thirty something couples with young families. After an unofficial survey we realized that less than twenty percent were stay-home-Moms.

My gang made the choice, they were going to be the ones raising their children not the daycare people. As a general manager of a plant my son-in-law makes enough so it's possible for my daughter to stay at home with their two little darlings. Not that it wouldn't be easier with an extra income but... Would it be easier?

Lets peruse that angle. They would need daycare for two. A good car and gas to take the little ones to daycare and to get to work. She'll need a 'working' wardrobe etc. Also fast cooking types of groceries, which cost more. Not to mention, that an extra income would land them in a higher tax bracket too.

A young friend of mine, with a couple of masters degrees, stopped her career to have their family. When the youngest turned three my friend became restless and decided to go back to work. It was quite an eye-opener. She did the calculations, the total breakdown. Naturally having been away from the work force for a little under five years she wouldn't be able to start back with the top wages in her field but still at an above average wage. The bottom line, after all the expenditures etc. she would be working for a whooping five eighty an hour. Time to rehash matters, I think.

For another aspect, my friends daughter had a dilemma. How to select just the right daycare for her young boys? She was not in the position to have a choice, No-matter how little was left at the end of the pay week she needed it. She had to return to work as fast as possible. Yes, there is subsidised daycare but that is not always the best care. A few months ago my friend called all upset. Her eighteen month old grandson had come home with a black eye from daycare. It seems that the subsidized daycare places look after quite a few children of all age groups and the little tyke just got in the way of older kids fighting.... How to choose the right place can get frustrating and naturally every Mom wants the best for their children.

Lets open a different kettle of fish...The stay home Mom faces different challenges. The attitude of the masses, she is at home therefore she doesn't work. I'm sure if any homemakers are reading this article they'd agree these type of comments come their way constantly: "Not to worry, you have all day to do it... You don't work? Must be nice, you can watch soaps all day... Aren't you bored staying home all day? You should volunteer somewhere... You're busy? Doing what? You've got all day... etc. Lets not get into that discussion. Another thought comes to mind. What does the stay-at-home-Mom give up? Her individuality, career, pay, and sometimes sanity etc. To stay at home with the kiddies a Mom surrenders most of herself, but at the same time she gaines so much by being there for the first step, the first word, the first...??? She is also able to give Dad back some of the time, he's missing with his children while at work. My son-in-law loves that. He always says, the next best thing to experiencing every aspect of his girls accomplishments is to at least hear about them at the end of his day. Unfortunately the Career-Mom misses a lot of those firsts, while at work, and then again at the end of the day when she still needs to make dinner, do laundry etc.

It is very hard to decide what to be... The-Stay-Home-Mom versus The-Career-Mom. I'm just glad I don't have to make these choices anymore, who's to know what the right choice is...

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Comments 56 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

nina64, thank you for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


nina64 profile image

nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

Whether to be a SAHM or a working mom is a matter of personal choice. It all depends on the situation of the parents at the time in their lives. Me personally, I'm a working mom. There have been some struggles for me not being at home with my children. But over time, I've come to terms in dealing with these issues. I had a loving support system. My mom & stepdad looked after my children while I worked. I will tell you, no amount of money can take the place of their security. I always knew that my children were safe at all times. Sometimes I'd wonder what it would be like to stay home with my kids; unfortunately that was not an option for me. I don't regret my decision of being a working mom. It all boils down to what works for you and your family.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for checking out the hub and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


rayvenperkins profile image

rayvenperkins 4 years ago from USA

Thanks for post, great jobs


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sophie, I feel for you. As single parent of three I know exactly how hard it is to make ends meet.

Chin up... you can only do so much, it will get easier...

Good luck to you

regards Zsuzsy


Sophie 5 years ago

I am reallygoing through it now, my daughters five and struggles without me, my partner is in the construction industry in and out of work so my income is the only stable one abd even with me working we are facing the worth of being warm this winter, we dint gave nice things and haven't been on holiday, I work full tine which means a childminder collects my child from school til 6pm every night of the week, the guilt I feel on a daily basis is painful, I can either live on the bread and water line not bring able to provide for the basic living expenses and work part time or commit to not only full time but 3 years of studying as an accountant to secure our future financially, the decision pains me, I wish I could be a stay at home mum :-(


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Rachel for checking out the hub and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


rachelsholiday profile image

rachelsholiday 5 years ago

I can see from a lot of the comments that this hub was written quite a while ago. But thank you for writing this. Motherhood has been on my mind a lot lately (I've even written a couple of hubs about it myself.) Either way, I think that how you parent your children is a very personal choice and you deserve respect and support regardless of what that choice is.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

rayvenperkins, thank you for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


rayvenperkins profile image

rayvenperkins 5 years ago from USA

Thanks for sharing


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

I'm not so sure I agree with you SharkFuel, yes the modern world is changing, however with prices of everything on a constant rise it is very hard for an average 'one income' family to make a go of things. And as far as the freelance job opportunities that are offered on-line goes... well those are still far and far in-between and most do not have a 'count-on-the-pay-check' ability yet.

Maybe in a few more years. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


SharkFuel profile image

SharkFuel 5 years ago

It is the main problem of so many women to choose between children and a career. However, I would like to say that the modern world has changed the situation for the better. So, the modern moms can stay at home with kids and work from home successfully at the same time. Fortunately, a great deal of job opportunities and works for freelancers are available today. So, it is easy to be a mom now.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Stacy Kjelland, I find it very sad that so many families now-a-days need to have two working partners to make ends meet and that they have to rely so heavily on babysitters.

thanks for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


Stacy Kjelland profile image

Stacy Kjelland 5 years ago from St. Paul, MN

Thank you for sticking up for us SAHMs. I just posted a hub about this very topic. It is a very difficult decision for many, but I am sure glad that I can be at home with my kids.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

carolp, thank you for reading and commenting. It's a hard choice that most Mom's have to make. I'm just glad that my children are all grown up and I do not have to make the choice anymore...

regards Zsuzsy


carolp profile image

carolp 5 years ago from Switzerland

I prefer to stay at home most of the time and personally take care of my children. Everyday with them is surprising how they develop and learn to do something...one may offer her carrier but it is worth to be with the children, although i started working 20% from 70% after the birth of my second child,i feel good having a bit of my profession.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

ggenda, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I find it a terrible shame that so many Moms can't stay at home and enjoy their children. Life is hard when you don't have a choice and you have to juggle work, home life and the well being of your children...

regards Zsuzsy


ggenda profile image

ggenda 5 years ago from USA

Very insightful. As a stay-at-home-mom to 3 kids (all ages 5 and under) I can certainly confirm both the ups and downs. I will say though, I wouldn't trade it for the world! :) I'm very blessed that I have the choice to be home with my children, and it's worth the sacrifice to be able to be with them all day.

I also have tremendous respect for career moms - I don't know how they do it! My hat's off to them - its an impressive balance.

Thanks for the hub!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

dawnangelicgreen, thank you for reading and commenting. It definitely is a hard choice to make...

regards Zsuzsy


dawnangelicgreen profile image

dawnangelicgreen 5 years ago from Boise, ID

Great job on a controversial topic. I have been both and no matter where I was the grass was always greener on the other side. When I was at work I missed my kids and when I work from home I miss the money of having an outside job. It has been difficult either way, but always worth it. I really enjoy your articles.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Giselle, thank you for reading and commenting. It is a hard choice to make...

regards Zsuzsy


Giselle Maine 5 years ago

I liked your article. I am a SAHM & find it fulfilling, but I also know many people who are working moms and find that very fulfilling. I think both situations have their own difficulties and dilemmas. Thanks again for the interesting article, I liked the honest and personal perspective you gave.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

breathe2travel, I whole heartedly agree with the choices of children come first, my daughter and son-in-law made the same choices and no matter how hard it gets at times in this economy they work it out that she can stay at home and raise my granddaughters. It definitely makes for relaxed and well balanced children.

cheers


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 6 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

Zsuzsy -- I wouldn't say that! I sincerely hope I didn't come across as miss perfection bc I am far from it! I just knew at a young age that I wanted to be with my kids if I had children, and that was my goal. I've done all I can to obtain & maintain it. :) But, definitely don't "have it all under control" -- face challenges daily! :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

breathe2travel, you have it all under control from the sounds of it.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 6 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

I worked as director of marketing/pr for a chamber of commerce while going to school full time. Staying at home required MUCH more of me than having a FT career & FT education. Raising children takes effort, energy & perseverance.

My husband & I agreed before we married we would do whatever it took to keep our children home and out of daycare. There have been times we only had one car, and didn't go out to eat often. Our perspective is as an INVESTMENT into our children, not a sacrifice. The sacrifice would be our children's well-being in trade for what, money? material things? No, thank you.

Thankfully, our perseverance has brought us a successful business we run from home. I have five children. I just got to the point where I can bring someone into my home two days a week to help me with the littlest two, and one day a week to help catch up on laundry, etc., while i work.

Good hub. Useful, up.

I hope parents and parents-to-be are challenged to reflect on the committment raising a family is...on many levels.

warmest regards~


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

It's a hard choice to make. I didn't have a choice I had to work because I was a single parent to three, however I was luckier then most as I was self employed. I always made sure that at each of my tailor shops I had a spot for my children, where there was enough room for them to play, a cot for them if they were sick, TV etc. They were either with me or at school... that was the only way I was able to work the 70 hours+/week I needed, to have enough money to pay all the bills etc. We made it through and each of my children have become fabulous adults. My daughter and son-in-law decided that she would stay at home to raise their children... which makes her at this day&age a minority... which is a very sad sad thing as far as I'm concerned.


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

Most women now a days want to try and do both, and they want a career as well as raise a family of children, sometimes more than one child. Those who have a husband have some help but many are single working mothers and I really admire their ambitious hard work.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Amy, naturally it has to be you who makes up your mind which it's going to be a career or the stay at home and raise the children.

good luck to you

regards Zsuzsy


Amy 6 years ago

As a mommy to be I can see both sides. However I think it comes down to what the mom wants to do. If mom is happy then the kids are happy as well. Personally, I don't see myself as a stay at home mom as I think I would go crazy. While I want to be there for my kids, at the same time I don't feel ready to put my life on hold. So as I embark on this journey of becoming a mom I am blogging about it. You can check it out at: www.courageousmommies.com. I will be a great mom but also continue to further my career, as that is important to me as well.


Brodi profile image

Brodi 7 years ago

Agreed. Basic necessities aside, it is a struggle to live on one income, but well worth it. The payoff is greater than income of any range. THanks for the compelling subject read.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Brodi! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

I agree with you 100%, the children will have a long list of memories of day to day life with Mom if she can stay at home with them. As I said in the hub my granddaughters get that type of attention daily because my daughter and son-in-law decided to raise their children instead of a babysitter or daycare service. Even though I was a single parent for the most part of my childrens life they had it too because I was self-employed so I was able to gear my life around them a bit. Unfortunately a lot of parents are not able to afford this oh-so-sweet luxuary. And if one pay check doesn't cover all the nessecities then what is a mom to do....if it's a matter of not being able to feed the kids or going out to work what is she going to do? ....and again I'm just glad I do not to make those decissions anymore

glad you came by

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Brodi profile image

Brodi 7 years ago

I think that we are all forgetting who we are talking about here.... All the comments about the husband / wife / daycare / expenses / what makes the mom feel good.... What about the kids? That is one aspect that has not really been broached here. Who of all of you remembers mom at home waiting when you came home from school? Or mom or dad being there to catch you when you first started walking? I remember. Our family (6 kids) struggled financially and ate a LOT of casseroles (cream of mushroom soup anyone?), but nothing could replace mom being there when I fell off the slide at school or threw up after the flouride treatment and had to come home in the middle of the day. And the mornings when all of my older siblings went to school and it was just me and her, sitting at the kitchen table, while I ate my cheerios and she read to me. Hmmmm. I remember that. Any long-lasting memories from a babysitter? Are you still in touch with your daycare person from when you were 4? Didn't think so....

Sorry to sound negative, but I was an executive prior to having my (now 8 year old) twin daughters, and we've lived from paycheck to paycheck for all of these years, but who cares? I don't need anything fancier than the smiling faces I get to see every day. No amount of income can replace those.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

StudioN. Sorry its taken so long for my reply to your comment but I was away and there was no internet connections up north.

It's the toughest job to figure out which the right choices are for a Mom.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


StudioN profile image

StudioN 7 years ago from Southwest Florida

Neither option works if the mother is unhappy about it. Her mood is subconsciously transmitted to the child/children and then they either feel that they are a burden or unworthy.

No one should criticize another's choice in this matter as everyone's situation is different.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mighty Mom! Always glad when you come for a visit. I love that my daughter and son-in-law decided to make the sacrifice. My granddaughters are lucky and they're being raised with their Mom at their beck and call. Exposed to all the extras that only a stay-at-home Mom has time for. Unfortunately its not feasable for all Moms to stay at home... again as I said before a very tough choice to make.

greetings Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

RGraf! Thanks for taking a look. I think it has to be one of the hardest choices that a young woman has to make. Staying home to raise the children in literally putting her life on hold.

Glad you came for a visit , greetings Zsuzsy


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall hearing or reading somewhere that the concept of a stay-at-home mom only became widespread in the post-WWII 50s, when we had prosperity. Prior to that, women did work.

I agree with RGraf. It's wrong for either side to throw stones at the other. It's a personal choice and not cut and dried. There are many, many factors that go into the decision. Going back to work may or may not be financially motivated. I've known SAH moms who were there physically but as far as emotionally engaged, might just as well have been working for all the attention the kids got.

So hopefully, we can all "live and let live" and accept and respect each other's choices.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I've been a career mother for 11 years. I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to work from home. It is hard either decision you make and each one deserves respect. I live now near many stay at home moms that even homeschool. Actually, I get more bad comments from the stay at home ones to the career ones about how cruel they are to be working outside the home. Very frustrating.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lady Guinevere! Thank you for taking a look and commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

I wrote a hub on this subject too and would like to have the thoughts that I brought up included here.....I don't know how to do that, but the hub address for mine is here: http://hubpages.com/hub/It-is-time


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Christine! Always glad when you come for a visit. It seems to become a juggling act I'd say, trying to be all you have to and want to be when you have children. I was a single parent and self-employed. Each location that I set up for my Tailor shop had to have room enough for a kiddy-corner (they called it their office) it including a cot for sick days and a kitchenette. My three practicaly lived there, came there after school. Did their homework and planned everything from there, as I needed to work at least 60-70 hour a week. When they became too crabby (oops I meant to say) tired, I packed up all the handsewing and we went home. It was never ideal but it worked for us.  (And you're too right that they grow up too fast, my "baby" just finished her first year of College) All in all I miss those busy struggling days, but I don't think I'd change much if I'd have to redo it... maybe just charge more for my work.

Thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

SirDent! You are tooooo right. The companies of today really demand more of each worker... and if you're not willing or able... their opinion 'we'll find someone that is...'

it's a hard being a parents today (not that it was ever easy, just different hard I'd say)

thank for coming by and the great comment regards Zsuzsy 


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington

Nice hub Zsuzsy! Gives career mom's something to think about and absolutely, stay at mom mom's are also working moms! I've been fortunate in that yes, even though our family does require two incomes, prior to real estate I was in Food and Beverage. My husband is a chef and we'd work opposite hours to minimize daycare (I'd start at 5am, working the breakfast shift and be done by noon and he'd start at noon and be done by 10pm at the latest). Didn't give us much time for one another, but it's a temporary sacrafice. There is some flexibility with my schedule now and I do a lot from home. Our boys 9 and 12 are at an age where they'd just as soon hang with their friends. I have to say, even though I like their being more independent, I miss those baby/dependent years! They go by sooo fast!


SirDent 8 years ago

No idea why I read this but glad I did now. I just heard something on the radio a little over a half hour ago about working moms. They were talking about how companies will give small pay raises to keep the mom working while their kids are at home starving for a relationship with Mom. The question was, "Where do you draw the line?" What would it take to make a Mom quit her job to take care of her children?

I am in now way pointing a finger at anyone who is a working mom. Just saying that comapnies this day and time demand much more than the 40 hours a week everyone used to work.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CV! thank you for taking a look. This is a very hot topic around our neck of the woods. The stay-home-Mom is fast becoming a minority. The way life is right now I don't see that it will change any time soon.

regards Zsuzsy


C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 8 years ago from Kerala, India

Hi Zsuzsy,

Your last line is very pragmatic. Sometimes lack of choice works out better. Once we have an option to make a choice, we are at times burdened with our decision, the need to justify it, the inebility to come out of it etc.

This is one of the ever-going hot topic in India. It is nice to see that it exists in some form in developed countries too!

CVR


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Cailin! I hear you. It's a tough choice to make. So many things have to be thrown into the equation.

thanks for taking a look regards Zsuzsy


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 8 years ago from New England

A topic that has interested me since I've been staying home with my younger two children. Staying at home is the only option if you are under a certain income and you can't afford the childcare for more than one child. But, the stress on the working parent can be extreme also. Just seems that having children in this country is not an easy path financially for mid to low-income families.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Patty, Iðunn, livelonger I agree with you all. It's a hard choice todays parents have to make. Thanks for taking a look

regards Zsuzsy


Iðunn 8 years ago

well, I agree with you livelonger that it's fine either way, just better if one parent stays home, either way.

a lot of people aren't given the benefit of choice on this either, considering the economy.  for some families and for divorced/single parents, there is no choice.

still, in a perfect world, one working parent and one stay at home parent is best for the child and the social fabric generally. 


livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

I don't think people realize how much work is involved in really taking care of children right. I have several female friends who were high-achievers in their career that have told me that being a parent was far more work than they had ever expected, and that they weren't prepared for the workload and stresses.

I think the fact that women used to be consigned to the role of raising children by default in the past is what some women (naturally) bristle about. Its as if their career choice were already chosen for them based on their gender.

Having and raising children is an enormous amount of work, but it doesn't necessarily have to be shared solely by the mother (well, at least after pregnancy, childbirth and infancy!) I know a couple of stay-home dads whose wives/partners/girlfriends are the breadwinners. It works great for them. A few have said they would switch-off after a few years, allowing each the pleasures (and responsibilities) of both developing their career, and raising their children.


Iðunn 8 years ago

such a wonderful gender, women. :)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Iouun and Zsuzsy for Co-Presidents!


Iðunn 8 years ago

what patty said.  it's a personal choice and both choices deserve respect.  SAHM is vastly undervalued.  what a mom who stays home and parents does is infinitely more valuable than being one more mid-level manager. 

a society which does not value parenting and motherhood is ultimately a society which will incur the social and financial expenses of that state of mind.  we are seeing that now.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Stay-at-home parents as a profession deserves repsect. It seems that many people do not see it as a profession.

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