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Your Circumstance Should Determine Whether You're Stay-at-home Mother or Working Mother

Updated on September 18, 2016

Which do you want; to be a Stay-at-home or Working Mother

The continuing debate about whether it is better for a woman to be a stay-at-home mother or to work outside the home and utilize various terms of childcare is one that may never end. Feelings are strong on both sides, strong enough to cause women to raise their voices in heated disagreement about what is the right thing to do to raise healthy, happy children. Choosing between staying with your children and going to work can be a difficult decision and could ultimately be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make a new mother. Mothers should consider a number of variables in making the decision, weighing the many benefits and drawbacks of each opinion. Remember that both choices require a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. Each person has her own strengths and weaknesses, some choice may be suitable for one mother, but not another.

Individualistic Choice

It is important for you to why you want to work. Consider whether your family would be financially stable without the additional income you would be providing, or whether your financial situation necessitates becoming employed. The idea of being a stay home mother is wholly an individualistic choice. For some, it is a simple decision but for others it is one which involves a lot of thinking being put into it. Perhaps you feel bored at home, or you have specialized certificate in a field, a college degree or previously had a successful career that you don’t want to go by the wayside, but you are undecided about leaving your children. In these instances, you may consider searching for a job that offers flexible working hours or tasks that can be performed at home. If you are up to the challenge, consider starting your own business. Working can fulfill a need in some women that nothing else can.

The advantages of being a stay home mother are numerous. They are priceless and can never be compensated for anything in life. Watching your children grow and learn step by step and word by word is a feeling too high to be explained in words. To be there whenever your child needs you is an overpowering feeling. If you have decided to be a stay home mother, take the decision as a matter of your choice and not compulsion.

For many working mothers the controversy over staying at home or having a career has less to do with fulfillment of hopes and dreams and a lot more to do with financially necessity. Denise says “I didn’t want to work until my children have grown up but my husband lost his job and I am working to support our family; I didn’t have the luxury of time.” Behind every stay home mother is a father who is overburdened by being the sole bread winner. While many men have both the desire and the economic means to have their wives stay at home to raise children, many more harbor a simmering resentment of being left to bear the full financial load. In contemporary treacherous economy trying to raise family with one income can be financially ruinous.

For stay-at-home mother, Eunice, the idea of not being at home full-time for her children is unthinkable. “I firmly believe that first few years are crucial to a child’s nurturing. The child needs her mother around him during the sensitive formative years. Mothering is a full time job.”

In final terms, if you have decided to be stay home mother, be proud of what you are doing because it is the most satisfying feeling which you can give yourself. Enjoy the moment spent with you child and make the quality of your life better. Revel in your decision and work for a better future of your child and your family.

There are women who do work for personal or personal or professional fulfillment. Some work because it is a factor in making their lives happy. Their feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence are enhanced by the challenges of working outside the home. Jean, a working mother with a five year son, went work full time after his first birthday. “I love to work. I need the interaction of other in my field of specialization. I feel my son has benefited from having a mother who feels fulfilled and happy both at home and in the office. My happiness has rubbed off on him; he is a happy, intelligent little boy.

Fulfilling the Role of Mother

Putting the family first means different things to different mothers. Over a period of time, an enormous amount of attention has been paid to the myriad virtues and vices of being either a stay-at-home or working mother. Most women are in love with their families, but they are also well acquainted with the mess and stress that motherhood often present. Whether you have a career or stay-at-home mother, your success in fulfilling your role as mother is accomplished by expressing genuine love for your children, spending quality time with them and building confidence in your relationship with open and honest communication. Every mother, working or not, can strive to improve the quality of the time she spends with her children. A significant portion of a child’s emotional development and influence occurs between birth and age three.

As your child’s primary soother, and caregiver, you will know her better than anyone else, and you’ll be around to chart every developmental milestone – however big or small and to create a warm, nurturing environment. Staying home allows you to be your child’s first teacher, and your time at home can be used to expose her to the things you love: art, music, the outdoors, and cooking. When she is sick you’re available to take her to the doctor.

And there are many perks to working outside the home. You stay in more constant contact with other adults, support your family’s income and remain a vital player in your field. That extra money you’re bringing in can provide your child with great things: a top preschool, interesting family vacations, posh car, good food, you name it. But there is a trade-off. Leaving your baby can be heartbreaking, and once you’re home, your second job begins, with joyful parts such as hugs and kisses; and the more tiring parts such as making baby food and cleaning spit-up.

Social Network

Whether you choose to stay home or work, remember to keep in touch with your friends, especially if they are also enjoying their motherhood like you are doing, as these friendships can be avenue to promote emotional health. Having a healthy social network, whether in the work place or at home, can benefit virtually any mother by providing a sense of identity, value and mutual understanding. Working mothers can find friendship among those with whom they work. Stay-at-home mothers might join a local mothers’ club or community organization, or choose to volunteer at a child’s school or befriend mothers of her children’s friends. Nurturing relationships with friends can improve relationships with your own children and partner.

Days with your children at home could have a downside. Hours can be long and draining – and there are times when you may find yourself counting minutes until someone arrives to help out. Stay-at-home mothers sometimes feel isolated. If you choose to stay home, you’ll want to form a network of mother friends for advice and support.


We will always have differing opinions on the issue of pursuing a career or stay at home. A 2007 article in USA Today said that mothers who work are more likely to use authoritative approach to parenting that relies on reason, encouraging independence in their children that will ultimately be positive. However, the book “The Widening Gap” by Havard School of Public Health researcher Judy Heymann, a study of more than 1,600 children showed that “parental absence between 6 and 9 p.m. was particularly harmful for every hour a parent worked during that interval, a child was 16 percent more likely to score in the bottom quarter of a standardized math test.”

The truth is that no one woman is a better mother because she makes a different choice than the other. Supporting rather than condemning each other is a key factor in understanding each other’s decisions. Whether you go back to work will depend in part on whether you can afford to pay someone to care for your child. Working from home has become an option for many mothers, and more companies are exploring flex-time for their employees. So if you’re torn about your decision, talk to your boss about whether these options could work in your situation

Whether you choose to stay home or go to work is an individual choice. Make your choice and be comfortable with your choice


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    • Chuksm profile image

      Anthony Modungwo 3 years ago from Benin

      Thank you Karen Kay for your comment. It is encouraging.

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I have to say this is an excellent hub - voted up and useful.