Working Moms Vs. the Stay at Home Moms

I am hearing so much about a particular debate lately, that I really wanted to give my two cents. This seems to have been going on for quite some time now, and I can honestly say that I just don’t get it.

What is going on with the Working Moms Vs. the Stay at Home Moms?

What is the point of this?

There is so much open hostility when this comes up, it is shocking to me. I don’t understand why we can’t support each other, as women, in whatever our choice may be.

Not every woman dreams of a career. Not every woman wants to be at home all day with children. Would we criticize a man who has children and goes to work? Never! Then why assume a woman should stay home with her kids? Or that she even has a choice whether or not to work? Many families need the second income.

Maybe momma has a dream job that she loves. Why can’t she be a fulfilled woman and a loving mother? Maybe she hates her job, but it provides for her family. Either way, and any way- that is her life.

Maybe mom has always wanted to stay home and raise her children, and she is in a position that she is able to do that. Does that mean she is lazy? No. Raising kids is hard, whether you do it all day or not. Does it mean that she didn’t get an education? Many educated women choose to stay home. Wasted her education? Educated women make educated mothers. And again- maybe it is not her choice. Maybe it is better financially for her to stay home. Maybe childcare is too expensive. Maybe she was laid off. Don’t judge.

That’s pretty much what I am saying here. Why must we judge each other so harshly? Yes, when it comes down to it, we each feel that we know what is best. That is why we did what we did. But we all have our own opinions, and there is no need to push one opinion down another’s throat, or say mean and hurtful things. We are blessed to live in a country and at a time where women can choose what to do with their lives. Many of our sisters around the world can’t do that. We need to share the love, show some solidarity. Whatever else we are, we are women. Breast or bottle, working or SAHM, natural or epidural, biological or adoptive- we are mothers. We are women. We love our children. Can’t we show just a bit of love to each other, as well?

Samantha is an adoptive and biological mother, writer, and teacher.A recent grad student, lover of books, travel, yoga, animals, children, and fun. Always on the lookout for adventure, we have sippy, and will travel. Visit her site Have Sippy Will Travel


  1. says

    I saw a spot about this on TV this morning. I pretty much side with you. This is a non-issue. You have to be what is right for you and your family, that is it. As a mom that has been on both sides of the fence – both have their pros and cons – and both roles are difficult, but have their rewards. I just understand why it is even a debate.

  2. says

    As a SAHM the thought of going to work sounds pretty good to me some days. But I like to be at home. i have no idea why women judge others, I think it makes them feel better about their choice.

  3. says

    Completely agree. Great post. (This can be applied to so many “mommy wars”: vaccine vs no vaccine, circumcision vs no circumcision, cosleep vs crib, breast vs bottle, etc)

  4. says

    Yes, this debate has been going on for at least 25 years now. Being a stay at home mom is work too. Either choice is not easy. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side.

  5. says

    Indeed. And some of us are past the time when this issue really means anything. I might be a homemaker…or a stay at home grandma…but I’m past the mom thing…except kids never really seem to completely grow up…I still need my mommy! My mom was both…she stayed at home for a while and then she worked for a bit…then she was at home again…I don’t remember her changing at all…I just had to help with the dinner when she worked…that’s the only change I remember.

    I think the real problem is that both sets of mothers feel guilty…the ones who work think they are depriving their kids of Mom and the ones who stay home think they are depriving their kids of what money can buy…both are right! And wrong.

  6. says

    Here, here! This non-debate is so wearying, particularly as it seems reserved for women of First World countries. Let us all just give thanks that we have *so* many choices of how and where to live and raise our children, and so many resources to help us along the way. I suspect women in wartorn and impoverished countries would be baffled to think that women in the US are so quick to cut one another down. Creating a war where there is no need for conflict. It’s absurd!

  7. says

    The other thing to consider is that some times a Working Mom or a SAHM really doesn’t have a choice. I have always been the primary bread winner and our circumstances coupled with the economy don’t really give me a choice. I have to work to pay the mortgage; period. I imagine that some SAHM also do so because their choices are limited. So we all do the BEST we can. Why would we denigrate each other when in the end we ALL do the very best we can for our little ones. You’re dead on Sam in that we would ALL be much better by supporting one another than tearing one another down.

  8. says

    WELL SAID STACIE! I have experienced both. I was a school teacher for 10 years…3 years ago, I gave birth to my 4th baby & my husband & I decided that it would be best that I stay home with our children. The cost of childcare is ridiculous & we didn’t feel the need to waste money for someone else to keep our children when I can stay home with them. I have been accused of being lazy and my husband has been accused of being “stuck in the 50’s” for allowing me to stay home. Staying home was the best thing I could have ever done. Now that all of my children are in school, I focus on my new career as an stylist, but I am home by the time they get home from school. I do not want to be away from them. Plus, my kids think it is comforting to have me home.

  9. says

    Well put, Sam! My experience is mixed, having been able to stay home with my first for the first three years, but not fortunate enough to do so with my second. No matter one’s personal circumstances, the important focus is on the quality of the time we have, the message we present by example to our children and the ability of everyone in the family being able to reach for and attain personal goals and growth. While all mothers likely wish, upon occasion, that there were 2 more days in each week and they were blessed with an extra set of hands, there are significantly more important issues that need our attention and support than this weary debate.

  10. says

    If there’s one thing I’ve *hopefully* learned, it’s to not judge another person. We can’t climb inside their brain and know what’s going on so why try and judge them. As for me, I’ve enjoyed being a stay-at-home- Mom. Raising my children and watching them grow-up and been my joy! I tried several times to work during this time, but it was never right fro me…on the other hand, my neighbor is so high strung that she is a better mother after working outside the home all day.

  11. says

    Awesome post. I agree it is a personal choice and one as a woman you shouldn’t be judged for. I worked outside the home when my kids were little. I missed some things-but feel I am not here for them now that they are older. Whether you work outside the home or inside the home that is your choice. Thank you for writing this post.

  12. says

    I agree that we all know what is best, BUT we know what is best for OUR family. That doesn’t mean that it’s best for everyone’s family. I am currently a stay at home mom, because I lost my job. I think being a stay at home mom is far harder than going to work every day. IO miss my job and continue to pray I will find my classroom (I am a teacher). I have seen both sides of the fence and I completely agree with you. We are all mothers and whether we stay home or not motherhood is difficult. We should support one another.

  13. says

    With my first daughter I had no choice but to work. My husband left me when she was 4 days old after draining my bank account, maxing out all 4 credit cards and refusing to pay child support for the first year. I was fortunate enough that my parents let me stay with them but I still had other bills and her expenses to pay.

    This time around I have no choice but to stay home. Daycare with 2 month old twins and a 3yo is over 2500 a month before considering the extra expenses of diapers, gas to take them there, snacks for school etc. In the end it would actually cost us for me to work. SO works 2 jobs and goes to school while I stay home with 3 kids. I prefer staying home but being able to afford things besides the basics and not having to stay with family to save money for a few months would be very nice but you do what you have to.

  14. says

    I completely agree with you on this. Because I’m a teacher, I sort of get to see both sides – working for 9 months and then staying at home for 3 months out of the year. Neither is easy. Both have their positives and negatives. I never understood the judging by other woman. You’re a stay at home mom and it works really well for you? Great! You’re a working mom and it works really well for you? Awesome! What works for one doesn’t work for another. Some people like chocolate ice cream and some like vanilla. Some people choose to breastfeed, some don’t. My theory has all been this: Are your choices hurting me or other people? No? Then choose as you please!

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