Why Are Working Mothers & Stay At Home Mothers On Opposing Teams?

I recently contributed to a discussion titled “Working Moms vs Stay at Home Moms.”

It apparently wasn’t suppose be bashing the role of SAHM but the vibe I got from the postee and her comments it certainly seemed to be the case.  To be honest I  think she was just trying to validate her position of being a working mother and make herself feel better about her position.  I am by no means trying to point fingers and play the blame game.  That’s not me but it really touched home and I felt the need to discuss it.  Regardless, everyone is entitled to their own feelings and opinions. 

But with that being said, let’s face it ladies. There are opposing teams and a lot of judgement when it comes to this topic. I just don’t understand this at all.  Unfortunately women will be women and with that comes jealousy, envy, cattiness, and many mothers tend to be very judgemental of each other. I would really love to see more women supporting each other regardless of the role they play.

Working, staying at home, or doing both from home all have their moments. I can say this with confidence because I have done it all. Our job as mothers does change and can become more challenging with each additional child. We all have similar and different challenges depending upon our own particular circumstance.  Every mother and child is different. And some moms can handle more or less before reaching their breaking point compared to others. You can’t just put a label on someone and say they do or don’t have it easy.  It simply isn’t fair.

I read through all the comments to the initial discussion post. Even though people said they weren’t posing judgements, they were, and I’m sure many were being formed. I myself tend to hear more judgement of the role of SAHM.  But I know it definitely goes both ways.  It is a bit frustrating to me in the end and the questions come up of “Why is it such a debate?” and “Why does the role you play matter so much?”  We all have the overall similar goal to be the best mothers we can be. 

I am for certain staying home is no easy task. For those of you who say it so easy and you get bored BLESS YOU!!! I am a mom to three boys under 5 and there is never a day that goes by that I am bored. Now that I also work from home, time management can be even more challenging.

But when I worked (both full and part time) I still had challenges to.  They were just different. I never looked down upon SAHM, nor did I think it was easy, and I certain didn’t envy their role. And now that I stay at home/work from home I don’t envy mothers who work outside the home either.

It is a choice. Your choice!  And women need to be happy with their decisions and stop judging others. Really all in all, I don’t think any position is easy or without some type of sacrifice. You just do the very best you can, regardless of the role you play.

(CLARIFICATION – I think really the choice is more of whether you can be happy and secure within yourself and your specific situation. Not every mother has the actual choice to stay home or work outside the home.)

Why is it such a debate?
Why does the role you play matter so much?
What are your thoughts?

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8 Responses to Why Are Working Mothers & Stay At Home Mothers On Opposing Teams?

  1. Shell says:

    I wish I knew why moms make this such a big issue. Working or staying-at-home, breastfeed or bottlefeed, on and on the sides go.I must be the biggest freak ever because it doesn't make a difference to me. I just assume that you do what is best for you and your family. And hope that people can think of what I do in the same way.

  2. mom2anutball says:

    Every time I have ever been in a forum where there was a topic about WAHM's and SAHM's I back away. It always gets heated. I don't understand it either, it would be awesome if moms could support each other no matter what. I applaud both sides, and I see pros and cons to both sides. I've been on both ends, and each comes with different challenges. Did you see that Dr. Phil show that was about the WAHM's and SAHM's? It was crazy, I got so annoyed that I had to quit watching lol! I just wanted to yell at the chicks! "Ladies… SUPPORT EACH OTHER!! It's not hard!" Great post!

  3. I guess I am freak too! Because I could care less whether a mom works outside the home or is a stay at home mom. Everyone does what is best for their family and situation.I think when moms are secure in their decision it really doesn't matter what the rude people have to say because it doesn't even enter on their radar.Plus I am so busy with my own crazy life I don't have time to worry about what everyone else is doing and why they made this decision or not.Live and let live…I guess the only thing I may not agree with is choice. I think it is a choice (to work or stay home) for some but not all. I think a lot of factors go into this decision and again I feel and trust that mommy's and daddy's are making the decision they feel is best for their family.I totally agree with moms coming together. If we all would unite we would be a force to be reckon with.great post lady!

  4. shell – your not a freak – you are very normal! mom2anutball – No, I didn't see that episode of Dr. Phil. I would have probably gotten a bit annoyed myself. I really think the judgement stems from insecurities within oneself. This Mama Works it! – You are absolutely correct not everyone has a choice when it comes a mother being able to stay home if they really wanted to. Many cant afford not to work. Heck that was the case for me until I had 3 and my entire paycheck would have gone to daycare. I kind of threw myself into staying home. But usually the mothers who would really love to stay home arent the one going around posing judgment. I think really the choice is more of whether you can be happy within yourself and your specific situation. Not having to look at someone's else position and compare and judge them. Thank you all for your input!

  5. Well said Mama, well said!I don't really see the difference between the two TBH? At the end of the day we're all mothers, we all have our responsibilites and our priorities. I totally agree we should all be uniting and supporting one another!

  6. Melissa B. says:

    I work 'cause I gotta…but I also get quite a bit of fulfillment from the ol' job-a-roo

  7. I had to answer this question. I apologize if it's long, but as a working mom who wants to SAH but knows she'd go nuts if she did, I think about this a LOT.Yes, a rivalry/jealousy/animousity exists. If not on a conscious level, than on a subconscious one, particularly among women who don't feel 100% comfortable in the roles they're currently in. I am in awe of some of the sacrifices some of my SAHM friends make to not work; I have friends who have seen their homes go INTO FORECLOSURE rather than get a job. To me, that is wrong; you do not put your own personal preferences over your family's security and stability, no matter what. And saying, "It's best to stay home for the kids" is ludicris. It's a personal preference to work or not to work, and moms who choose to keep a career shouldn't be made to feel bad for our decisions with the added pressure of "we're not doing what's best for our kids."That said, I know I couldn't stay at home with my daughter because, quite franky, MY JOB IS LESS TIRING THAN MY DAUGHTER! Yup, it's true! Running around all day after a 15 month old leaves me more exhausted than my high-stress job in a TV newsroom, and there are Sunday nights where, even though I detest my job at times, I actually look forward to going in the next day just so I can relax and sit down on my rear end for more than 5 minutes at a time.So am I jealous of SAHMs? YES.Could I be one? NO.~ElizabethConfessions From A Working Mom

  8. I think this issue is a bit more complicated than jealousy and cattiness, though they're obviously a part of it 🙂 I find it interesting someone would say that to stay at home or not stay at home does not ultimately effect your kid.I was a live in nanny for 2 years. The child was in my care about 40 hours a week. Mom was with him for about 1 hour in the morning and around 3 in the evening and I was with him 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. Because mom worked through out the week days she spent her evenings and weekeneds making meals, doing shopping, visiting with friends/family, doing laundry etc everything everyone else does. She is an excellant mother but I know I spent far more focused time with her son than she did.Does this mean her son suffered? No, but it did mean he was learning more about life and his value system from me than from her. Many parents do not mind this. I believe those who are passionate about staying home are so because they truly believe it is they their children should learn about life from and it is their values they want their children to carry with them the most. This does NOT excuse critical judgement. However, if you believe it is right for you to stay at home, it is best for your children to learn primarily from their families, then you will believe that there is a wrong. I think I can speak for most stay at home moms or even WAH that they do not judge those who cannot SAH. So let's follow that line of thought to the end. You are a SAHM who believes it is right for a child to learn about life primarly from their families and they should be the ones spending the most quality, focused, time with their children. If you believe that and you see a woman who could stay with her children but chooses not to, it can be very tempting to label that as wrong or selfish. Again, condemnation helps nothing, but it is very easy for me to see where the judgment from SAHM's can come from.Coming from a community that values simplicity, community, and quality time without hurriedness- I see a lot of judgement toward working moms and have to rebuke it with in myself at times.

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