Stay At Home Vs. Working Mom

‘Mother’s Mental Health #1

A silent debate seems to be raging as to which is better being a ‘stay at home’ or a ‘working mother’. A few people consider it their utmost duty to inform you that if you choose to not work you are probably wasting your education and talent. On the contrary some assert that they can be a better mother if they stay at home. Indeed being a ‘sahm’ in recent times to me seems no less than a luxury . It is the easiest way to follow your child’s round the clock developments unless they are school going. Not to forget a house wafting in the smell of elaborately cooked meals, at times done fresh everyday. Those frequent cake or cookie making sessions ,  doing various craft , watch your kids do a jiggle at the tune on the T.V but rarely get to watch anything remotely adult or a simple trip to the park,  library or the mall. The list is endless.

And then there is the other kind of mother who seeks to acquire the best of both worlds. It was my short work-experience which changed my perspectives and expanded my vision about the working mother. Closer home my mother in law had been a working mother all her life and I was well aware of her home management techniques which were a world apart from my mothers’ who always stayed at home cooking warm meals and being there for us when we returned from school. Not to miss on saying all the smart tips and tricks that I learnt from my  mother in law.

It was with my recent venture into the working life that made me realize a few things and look at things from a new perspective. My perspective now has broadened to know a few of this:-

  • It is no mean feat to be a working mother. The basic foundation of her life lie upon her organizing skills.
  • It also depends on your ability to take stress and that is going to be loads. Whoever said that sahm are stress free . Add to that some extra stress loads and put a final cherry on top of meeting deadlines at home and outside. That’s the life of a working mother. If you are lucky you might just get the time to breathe.
  • When you are returning from work in the evening the food is not going to put itself on the table and the dishes are not going to clean themselves. Somebody got to do what needs to be done. Besides unless you have managed to learn a few tips that makes it easier for you to be food-ready every time you are home you must be ready to avail the service from elsewhere.  Their is only so much you can buy from your neighbourhood restaurant especially when you have kids unless you have thrown any concerns of your children’s good health to the winds and McDonald fries and burgers is your staple diet. On the contrary, If you are someone who is probably spending most of your time in the kitchen, this life is not for you.
  • As a working mommy surely you have also tried loads of kitchen and cooking hacks so that you spend the least time cooking.
  • Cooking in bulk becomes  a part of one’s life.
  • In addition while I was working I would always wake up 2 hours earlier than normal so it entailed waking up when the sun was not even up in the sky. Early to bed or earlier to rise or something like that!
  • Mainly  life is all about planning and execution, their is little time to think or relax. You have the time to put your feet up only when you are not a mommy. Imagine mommy’s never get a leave even if their is the weekend she happens to be on duty albeit a 24*7 one. Another feature which plays a huge role in your life is the number of children and most importantly their age and if they are really young ,their temperament. Not all children take to the day-care life really well. Some kids make it turn out real ugly.
  • How easy it is for you to manage your children is also an important factor. Being a mother of two and providing for a baby was a time consuming affair for me. Also it really matters who you leave your children with, it also helps if its family. However not every person in the world today can afford that luxury in this globalized world.
  • Not to forget availing of childcare services is an expensive affair at times. If you are making very little profit then it makes no point to slog at work.
  • Working outside can drain your energy as well and by the time you are back all you can do is sit on your couch, grab some food and stare at the T.V listlessly. Well that was only a fantasy that you can have. Remember ? You are a mother!

I will however say that it is also important to have a self assessment. Knowing myself I would say that I am not ready for work yet . Not now at least. Not till I get a little more organized and able to completely balance my commitments. Nevertheless I enjoy going out with a sense of purpose. At the same time deep inside I know that my one year old kid needs my attention now and I am on two minds on parting from him. As a quote I read somewhere deeply inspired me which states-

When you have to choose between your job or your kids

Remember your kids will grow up!

Hoever sahm are more at the risk of developing mental health issues which is why it is also important for the sahm to have something that she enjoys doing and which is a source of self esteem and self satisfaction for her. This is why a lot of mom are turning towards alternative careers working from the proximity of her home such as blogging , owning a franchisee or a small business, whatever seems to work.

The problem is not the way a mother decides to rear a child -by staying at home or being a career woman. It arises when society starts deciding which is better. The choice should remain with the mother alone to decide what is best for her child .It takes a lot of extra hard work at times in most cases, for the working mom. However if every woman stayed at home we would not have that awesome teacher or doctor or scientist or whatever it is that you do. At the same time the mother’s who choose to stay home for their child deserve all the respect for choosing to do whatever makes them happy. As for me I hope to do whatever little I can do well enough. As for now I am enjoying writing this. So for me the debate ends  when I realize its all about enjoying what you are doing and whatever it is that makes you happy as a woman , chances are that probably you will do it well. I would best conclude that all mothers are the best, no matter how they do it!

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. True George says:

    It would be better if a parent stay home when the kids are young. It is a guaranteed that the kids won’t get abused or neglected if they were to go to day care.
    I know some working mothers who would give their right arm to stay home with their children…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know these days a lot of people are distrustful of leaving their kids behind with strangers , I agree with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True George says:

        The parents have every reason to be distrustful…..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There are recipes called “dump dinners” where you go shopping on your day off and pre-prep dinners to be tossed into the crock-pot, they are a working mom’s savior as well as a stay at home moms lifeline, I’ve found. You can make them as deliciously nutritious as you want, with veggies and meats and such. They’re easy to prepare and if your children are middle school or high school aged, they can “dump dinner” in the crock pot when they get home so it’s already ready come dinner time. Most of them take little to no time to prep and cook within 3-4 hours, or you can do them on low heat and put them in yourself before going to work or on your lunch break if you live close enough! Being a stay at home mom, I’ve taken to home schooling my girls due to the lack luster educational material and $$ requirements for sending them to public school since they require you to buy oodles of stuff that they usually don’t even use all of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dear, I actually wrote this blog months back and I so agree with you over the goodness of the crock pot. I am lately discovering its goodness and wonder why I did not know earlier. Like you said it is such a life saver. Life can be boring when so much time is taken up with cooking.
      I am also intrigued by homeschooling. My daughter is usually crying every morning when I pack her off to school. I agree with what you said about school these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Homeschooling seems to be something that requires both a lot of time and dedication as well as a willingness to take a moment when you become overwhelmed. I’m still adjusting to that last part! I’ve picked up homeschooling mainly for the fact that we can do it at any given time of the day, we can study what we want. Right now we are working on building respect for others, proper table manners, when to say please and thank you, while also doing alphabet tracing, learning to read, colors and shapes, with a touch of potty training thrown in. My girls may only be 2 & 3 years old but they have much to learn!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think it sounds great that you can choose what you are going to teach…manners are all important without a doubt…all the best to you 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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