Little Digs to Working Moms That Cut Deep

I recently read a blog post from a blogger I love that was announcing she would be leaving her full-time job to stay at home.  In fact, it seems that recently I’ve had many friends / bloggers / acquaintances make this same announcement of leaving the workforce.  Not unusual for this time of our lives when we have little ones and then start having two, three, four…  Sometimes I feel a tinge of jealousy, and other times I feel a loss that someone else is leaving the “working mom club.”

But back to this particular announcement of staying at home.  The post discussed her reasons, her excitement, and how she would not be one of “those moms” who complains about staying at home or doesn’t get the struggle of the working mom since she herself has been one for over a year.  All was fine and well, her comments section was flooded with a long list of congratulations {which I don’t get…congratulations for what exactly?}, but what got me burning was the image she had at the top of the post.  It read…

“When in doubt, choose the kids.  There will be plenty of time later to choose work.”  – Anna Quindlen

Now I realize that the quote by itself could be referring to any type of work – housework, yardwork, laundry…  But given the context of of her post, I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Work = Working Outside the Home.

The implication that since I’m a working mom, I’m somehow choosing work over my child just didn’t sit well with me.  Maybe I have to work to pay the bills or maybe I have other more personal reasons {that I choose not to share publicly} of why I work.  But how dare anyone insinuate I choose something over my children.  I work for my children and my family, and I am lucky to have found a balance that works for us.  Many don’t have a choice.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I noticed others posting on social media about their decision to stay home.  Maybe I was just hypersensitive to it, but it just kept popping up.  There are  certain phrases that I see or hear over and over that are little digs that cut deep to us working moms.  I don’t think that this blogger, or anyone else for that matter, is trying to be intentionally hurtful.  So I thought I would share some of the phrases that cut me to my core so others would be aware.   {And for the record, I know the same can be said for working moms making little digs at stay at home moms too – but I’ll save that post for another day, to be written by another mom.}

Little Digs to Working Moms that Cut Deep

  • “I just don’t want to miss a minute with my babies!”
  • “My time is best spent at home.”
  • “I don’t want anyone else raising my kids.”
  • “I can work later, they are only this young once, you know.”
  • “God has blessed me with the opportunity to stay home!” {Or similarly, “I’m so blessed to be able to stay home!”}

If I’m being honest, the last one is the one that gets me the most.  Because what they may not realize is by saying they are “blessed” with the opportunity to stay home – they are insinuating that I’m not blessed since I’m working.  {And I’m not sure it’s God who gives SAHMs that opportunity, but other factors like their husband’s salaries.}  And I don’t know one working mom who wants to miss milestones or moments, or wants someone else raising their kiddos.  There are so many misconceptions swirling around working moms, but the truth is that we all do the best we can do.  Even though I work outside the home Monday thru Friday, it doesn’t mean I’m not as involved or that I’m not raising my child.

I have nothing but love for my stay-at-home mom friends, and I make it a point to support them and not say stupid things like – “So, what do you do all day?!”  In fact, I don’t even try to compare and say one is harder than the other.  I truly believe that both are equally hard with equal amounts of pros and cons.

And if you truly believe that your decision is better than someone else’s decision, please heed my advice — keep it to yourself!  That just perpetuates the “Mommy Wars” even further, and I don’t know about you – but ain’t nobody got time for that…working or not!

61 COMMENTS

  1. Great post! I am a working mom of 2 and I so agree with you! I hate being made to feel like I’m “Choosing” work over my kids. That is not it!

  2. I’m a working mom as well. I am able to work from home when needed and have the opportunity to make my own schedule. I also agree with everything you said, but I think the “digs” have more to do with justifying their decision. People need to know the choice they made is right and search for validation. And its always easier to but all the positive reasons as opposed to the negative ones. Like, “I spend more in childcare than I bring home”. Which is a main reason a lot of parents choose to have 1 stay home.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more! I don’t think anyone is intending to say “digs” to the other, but sometimes when we are trying to explain or justify our own decisions it comes out that way. There is no easy answer to this. I was just hoping that by talking about it, it might help people think about what they are saying and how it may affect others. Thanks for reading!

  3. Girl, YES. I have a lot of thoughts about almost all of those statements.

    “I can work later” is a misconception, it can be very hard for some people to just jump back in the work force with a comparable role and salary.

    “I don’t want other people raising my kids” – well, they aren’t. And i want my kid to be able to socialize with other children and not have a ton of separation anxiety. So.

    I also think comments like this look over the fact that some people enjoy their work. Sometimes I fantasize about having enough money to never have to work, but let’s be real, who doesn’t? I think for me, it’s healthy to have something else to focus my energy and brain power in to.

    I feel like there are a lot more things written defending the STAHM crowd than the working moms, but we are all in it together. Like the brilliant Amy Poehler once said “Good for her, not for me”.

    • Thanks for reading and leaving a comment Roxanne! Love that quote by Amy Poehler! I don’t think either decision to stay home vs. work is an easy one…hopefully we can all be aware of what we say so we don’t put down the others.

      • Yes to this. I often hear how it is so much easier just to stay at home while they are young and then get a job once they start school. But it is quite rare to be able to enter your same field and can be a struggle as well as a crush to one’s ego. My decision to work is quite easy. I have a college degree (and more), so why would I have done that if not to use them? I like work. I don’t think the opposite decision is actually a hard one to come to either. I understand that there are societal and monetary factors that push women to one decision or the other, but (and this is probably just me not know many SAHM) no one I know agonized over it. Hmm… Just lots of thoughts coming out in a rambling manner….

        • Thanks for reading and commenting Allyn! That is a great point – it’s hard to leave the workforce after earning your place in in through education and hard work leading up to having babies. I have a masters degree so it’s nice to be able to use it and feel like that hard work is being put to good use. Not saying that’s the ONLY way, but you bring up a good point. Hope you had a great Monday!

    • “I don’t want other people raising my kids” – well, they aren’t. And i want my kid to be able to socialize with other children and not have a ton of separation anxiety. So.”

      hmmmm… now that doesn’t sound judge-y at all. I am a SAHM to 4 kids, and I homeschool them all. They are some of the most social children I have met and the only time we have EVER experienced separation anxiety was around 18 months old, with each child… because that is a NORMAL psychological development.

      So…

      • I didn’t mean to imply that kids of SAHMs are not social, just that this is one way that my son gets to socialize. He’s also an only child so there aren’t other kids at home. Def did not mean to sound judgey!

  4. Great post! It’s like a knife to my heart when someone says, “I’m just blessed to stay at home.” I guess that means I’m not blessed and God doesn’t like me?

    I choose to think that God has a plan for everyone, and my plan involves being with children besides my own. As a reading specialist who helps children who are struggling to read, I’m pretty sure I’m blessed, too, even when I’m away from my own children.

    It’s all about perspective!

    • Hey Lindsay! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! I’m so happy someone “gets” my blessed statement. I handful of people I think took it the wrong way and that was not my intention. Sounds like you are super *blessed* and doing great things, both in your career and as a mom. Way to go!!!

  5. So love this! I make no apologies for working. I’m good at it, I went to school for a long time to do it, and my sons need to know strong, intelligent women are normal. Plus, I am contributing significantly to my childrens’ wellbeing by helping to pay their tuition, insurance, and extracurricular activities. And nobody but my husband and me are “raising” them, though trusted caregivers do spend some time with them, which is also to my childrens’ benefit, since they speak fluent Spanish with my boys and I can’t. I’m really tired of seeing stay at home moms post “My family is my why.” Well, my family is my why I work! I help provide for them, I help them be more self sufficient, and I teach them women can have professional and family lives. Big win! And yes, I am also personally fulfilled by both work and motherhood, and I make no apologies for that either.

    • Thanks for reading Nancy! Great point of view and attitude! “My family is my why” should just be a slogan for moms in general, not SAHM vs. working moms. I think we all do what we do because of our family…it just all looks different for every situation. Thanks again for stopping by!

    • I’ll point out that your post suggests SAHMs are not strong and intelligent because you insuinute working for an income is what shows those traits. Most SAHMs are well educated and had a career track before kids, then they made a different choice that works for their families. Still strong. Still very intelligent. There are so many ways to demonstrate these traits to children whether you’re working for income or staying home.

      Overall I celebrate your post, you sound happy and confident – how awesome for your sons to have such a mama! But I want speak up here because I’m frustrated with the sensitivity between working moms and SAHMS. The replies I see to the original blog make judgemental statements insinuating SAHMs are not making the best choice for their kids because working and daycare provide better social interaction or extra money to pay for tuition or lessons. It seems hypocritical to make these comments while complaining about SAHMs not being sensitive about your choices. We all worry about how our choices impact our kiddos. We need to be less sensitive about how we are choosing to live ours lives and raise our kids versus someone else’s choices. There are obviously pros and cons to these different paths and we need to support each other by agreeing that there are different ways to be a happy family and raise kids to be happy, healthy, and capablle, and who see that “normal” women can be strong and intelligent while serving a variety of roles in life.

  6. I really love this post Chelsea! I’m starting a flexible work consulting firm called Work Muse specializing in job sharing in Austin working with businesses and people who want to job share (2 who share a large role part-time – ideally with benefits for both!) I’ve been thinking about women and the judgement we struggle not to have against one another as I research and develop this business. I myself have been a full-time working mom and also had the unique and rare opportunity to job share in the radio industry for years. I was squarely in the middle, reaping the financial and intrinsic benefits from my job and spending 4 days a week with my small children. And, I watched my friends struggle on both sides. I think the judgement we have for one another (as strong as we try to fight it) comes mainly from two areas. For working moms, IF a mom would rather spend part of the time with her kids or not work, often due to finances, there is not a choice in the matter, two incomes are a necessity. I think this is a major factor and stay at home moms often say these things that can be hurtful to working moms out of their own struggles with their identity apart from their children. The other area is all of the mixed messages we receive as girls growing up. We are told to be independent but make sure to keep our options open, find the right guy, look and dress the right way like a “just in case” that brain thing doesn’t work out. Better to marry well so life’s not so hard. If we had much more focus on our total beings – what we do, how we think, where our talents lie, and what impassions us, I think we would all be much much much less judgmental against one another. Little boys never are subconsciously told by adults that they need a back-up plan in case their careers don’t work out or they aren’t able to reach their dreams. It’s not even that we women are outwardly judgmental but, somehow it’s always lying just beneath. I think if we all were able to work at life and our careers in the way that worked best for our self-care and our families, whether it be part-time, full-time, stay-at-home, job share, work-from-home – whatever, we would feel less anxious about our roles and less likely to judge one another in this thing called being a mom 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Melissa and sharing your experience! I think your comments were better said than mine in this post! I totally agree that so much of these “digs” or issues is trying to be okay with our own situation. It’s easy to compare and easy to question our own decisions. Love your points too about the mixed messages that girls/women receive these days. Go to college, be independent, support yourself, have a successful career…but then just as quickly stay at home and raise your children. This is a whole other blog post for another day, but I so agree and thank you for bringing that up!

  7. “her comments section was flooded with a long list of congratulations {which I don’t get…congratulations for what exactly?}”

    They were congratulating her for doing what she wanted to do.

    You yourself state that you work Monday though Friday to keep up with your online shopping and Starbucks addiction. Congratulations!

    My husband’s salary isn’t huge, but since I wanted to stay home, I chose to limit the online shopping and Starbucks so that I didn’t have to sacrifice time with my child to pay for those things.

    If you are truly secure in your decision, the little “digs” shouldn’t bother you.

    • Thanks for reading CN and sharing your perspective! I totally understand what you are saying about the congratulations statement. I definitely don’t work full-time to actually support my Starbucks and shopping trips…just being tongue and cheek and have a bit of a laugh, but again, I totally understand you taking it that way. I agree that for everyone who is 100% secure in their decisions, little digs shouldn’t bother you. What I’ve found though is that the majority of us moms – both SAHM, working, part-time…all situations – are never totally secure. All decisions have negative and positive sides. More power to those who are secure and unphased by these comments! Hopefully the point of my post wasn’t lost on you or anyone else. Really my point (whether stated wonderfully or not) is that we all need to respect and try to understand every situation and just be aware (not perfect) of things we say and how it affects others. Thanks again for reading and hope you are having a great day!

  8. I am a stay at home and all of these comments about working moms have always made me crazy, especially the one about other people raising their kids. it’s just so ridiculous. I think moms who stay at home, like I do, really struggle with feeling inadequate and like we aren’t “doing enough” with our lives. most of the time judgement of others comes from insecurity.

    good article!

    • Thanks for reading and leaving a comment Jen! You have a great perspective – I think we all tend to feel inadequate at times in our decisions. Working moms feel they aren’t with their family enough. SAHM’s may feel they aren’t “doing enough” like you said. I think it’s important for everyone to share their story and feelings so we not only can see many perspectives, but also feel better knowing that there isn’t one perfect solution. Hope you are having a great day!

  9. Enjoyed yoyr post and I must admit I have said some of those things mysef. Honestly, I struggle with knowing what is the right thing to say? As a stay at home Mom now, I have friends who are still working but desperately want to stay home and tell me how lucky I am. How do you suggest I respond? I really want to be conscious of the thjngs I say because the last thing I want to do is hurt someone for being grateful for my situation. Thank you,
    Casey

    • Thanks for reading Casey and sharing your awesome perspective! I don’t think there is ever a perfect response or perfect dialogue. I was just hoping to get wheels turning (on both sides). When someone says to me “I wish I could work” I always respond with something like “there is no perfect situation…all options are hard work with both positive and negative sides.” Then usually give examples… preferably funny ones because I think humor is the best way to bond in motherhood. So if I had friends who were complaining about wanting to stay at home like in your situation, I might say, “yes, there are great benefits like xyx, but there are also lots of downsides like abc…” It just helps show that we are all in this together and all doing the best we can with every situation. Again, thanks for stopping by!!!

  10. Great post!!

    I am a fulltime working Mom! I have one 9 month old little girl. The things people say or post is horrible. I onetime got an “I’m sorry”. Well, I’m not sorry. My husband is going back to school for his doctorate and not working so I have to. I also have taken on a new business adventure with Usborne Books and More to bring in a little more income. If I didn’t work, we wouldn’t eat. Do I want to stay home, yes but that is not the life God chose for us and all I can do is make the best life for our daughter.

    Thanks again for posting this and helping feel less alone!

    Lindsay Hutchins

    • Hey Lindsay! Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective! While I like to believe that most people say things with the best of intentions, sometimes people are just dumb, like when someone told you they were sorry you were working. Someone recently told me they were sorry that I’m having another boy. I just have to laugh those comments off! Sounds like you are your family are doing awesome!

    • You are awesome for supporting your family and your husband this way! One thing I’m learning about our journey as a young family is that we will keep passing through phases in life and what feels like a “forever” situation now will change someday. You’re building a great foundation and future for your family with your career and your husband’s education – just wanted to say you are doing an awesome job!

  11. I am a mother of a 2 year old. I work part time 2 days a week, and am super thankful I get to stay home the rest of the time. When I made this decision, we cut off our home Internet (we have enough data on our cell phones) and we cut cable. We made several other cuts as well. We live very simply, and yes, we slowly pay those unexpected bills, such as doctor bills. I read your article, and I thought “I understand because I have told my husband time and again, when it becomes necessary for me to work full time, that’s what I will do. But then I saw your bio. “Working full time… to keep up with her online shopping and Starbucks addiction.” I know I’m going to be slammed in the comments for judging… but believing that raising my daughter is one of the most important things has meant sacrificing some things. Expensive coffee and a shopping addiction is worth the sacrifice to me.

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective! I’m really sad though for a number of reasons. Number one, I’m sad that my attempt at a little humor about having a Starbucks and online shopping addiction is being taken so seriously. To think I would really work full-time just to pay for expensive coffee and shopping is ludicrous. I am a silly, sarcastic person and I’m sad that my attempt at jazzing up a blog bio gave you negative thoughts about me. Not that I need to justify or explain, but I work to pay the mortgage, bills, preschool tuition, save and give myself and my family stability. What I’m maybe more sad about is that you are judging me and yet again, another “dig” about how I’m not sacrificing enough to stay home like you are. Just because you were able to sacrifice certain things to stay home doesn’t mean I’m able to. Neither one of us made a “wrong” decision. We all make the best decisions for our current situation and family. The whole point of the post is to stop the judgment and mean comments to one another. I did not say anything negative in my post or comments about any type of mom. Again, I’m thankful that you read the post and took the time to share your story.

  12. Great post! Why do we waste any time judging another person’s decision? We’re all doing the best thing that we can work out for our families.

    • Thanks for reading Lori! Totally agree with you. Motherhood is HARD – no matter what your situation is. Let’s all just get along and show support!

  13. I am a very part-time work at home mom (and college grad) to one LO under 1 and one on the way. I just want to add my thoughts. First, I appreciate your article and the insight it gives me. Second, in defense of “blessed to stay home”: I admit I’ve said this sparingly (but have NOT posted those words on social media! Yuck!) and it’s because of something I don’t really broadcast: I had major health issues and honestly didn’t think I’d be able to conceive. Two pregnancies in one year later, it’s everything about my life that’s a blessing, not that I work and others don’t. My gratitude is not a comparison to other people, it’s to my “old” life. Second, I’m in awe of mothers who work full-time out of the home. My best SAHM friend and I regularly discuss that we’re not sure we could do it with any grace. (We actually could, of course. I think.) There are comparisons and fear and feelings of inadequacy on both “sides”, it seems. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than!

    • Haha I love your comment! I feel the same way! On a daily basis I think about how happy and blessed I am to be in the situation I’m in. I’m able to stay home with my daughter after a hugely stressful time where I was working a high stress job, my husband traveled constantly, my daughter didn’t (and doesn’t) sleep, and I was miserable. Now that I’m on the other side of that situation, I feel so joyful and want to be conscious of my blessings and celebrate! But totally not in a public social media hashtag blessed kind of way. 😉

  14. As a mom who is a teacher, I can’t thank you enough for writing this post. I work to pay for preschool, insurance, and medical bills. I also work because I love my job. Of course, I miss my boys while I am at school, but I think I am also teaching them the value of hard work. It seems that so many people tell me to just cut back on expenses so that I can afford to stay home. My husband and I both chose careers in education. We both went into that knowing that we were not going to be rich. We don’t have cable, we don’t live in an expensive house, we don’t drive expensive cars, and we don’t buy expensive clothes. We do the best we can. We love our boys. We both have to work.

  15. As a SAHM I try to be very aware of things that I say to working moms because I don’t want to accidentally offend. I do struggled with the “blessed” one though. I do feel like I’m blessed/grateful/whatever that I’ve been able to stay home with my son when there are many women who would like to but don’t have that option. I know I’ve made that statement (or something similar) before and it’s never meant as a dig against working moms. 🙁 I am truly grateful but that doesn’t mean working moms aren’t blessed. We are all blessed for having our wonderful (and sometimes not-so-wonderful lol) kids.

    • I so agree with your comments! I feel blessed to be in my situation (not in a publicly showing off kind of way) and that certainly doesn’t mean I think you aren’t blessed if your situation is different and you’re happy with it.

      It’s okay if all of us to celebrate the good things in our SAHM or working mom lifestyle! I am so happy for the benefits that make my working moms feel blessed in their lives – the adult interaction, flexing their professional skills, additional income, job perks, more money for extras, the opportunity to drink hot coffee and drive alone in the car with any music they choose, picking up the kiddos and hearing about the new art project they got to do, etc.

  16. I have stayed at home and been a working mom. I find that when one of these comments gets to me, it’s often because I am the one who’s struggling with my own choices and her comment strikes a nerve. Perhaps, I’m so paranoid I’m making bad choices that I take the statement the mom makes ABOUT HER LIFE as if it’s a jab at MY LIFE when, in fact, many times it is not intended as such at all. Sometimes we make something out of nothing. We need to have confidence in our decisions and extend grace when others may say something that hurts a bit. Self-evaluation and forgiveness go a long way.

  17. Great read. Just curious to know what you’d prefer SAHM’s say instead of “I’m blessed to stay home” or “they’re only young once” etc? What could a SAHM say differently as not to make a working mom feel guilty?

    • Hi Jen! I’m not saying that you should never say these statements. I think everyone should speak what they feel and what’s in their heart. I think so much of our words really depend on the context of the conversation and how it’s said – that’s really my point. So I say – keep on saying it if that’s how you feel! Life’s too short. I just wanted to point out how certain things affected me. Thanks for reading!!!

  18. Thanks for writing this- I’m a working mom and finishing up my masters now. It seems, like you said, that all moms question their choices sometimes… Whether it’s working at home with their children or working outside the home, what diapers to use, food to feed their children, schools, all of it- we all love our children until our hearts burst, want the best for them, and do what we feel is best (or necessary) for our families, marriages and partnerships. We just have to own our choices and respect choices others make in the interest of their families! My husband encouraged our son when going to preschool that we all spend our days working for the benefit of our family… He and I go to work, son works hard at school for the family, daughter works hard at playing with grandma all day… We’re all in it for each other. Like you said, I have many reasons I work, many of which revolve around what my husband and I feel is best for our children.

    • So well said KJ! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like your family has a great handle on things – love your attitude. Good luck finishing your masters…get it momma!

  19. It is all so fraught with the potential of hurt feelings. I am another one who uses a variation of the blessed comment. I will reconsider in the future. I am fortunate to have the option to work or stay at home. Not everyone is in a position to have a choice. When staying home or working comes up with friends or acquaintances I feel like we are tiptoeing around the topic of money which is just as awkward or more awkward as the stay at home versus working subject.

    • Great points Ann! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Don’t worry about saying “blessed.” It’s just my opinion – and based on the comments, a lot of people don’t understand what I’m saying so keep on using it I say!

  20. This is the first time i have responded directly to one of these kind of posts (SAHM vs working mom), so I hope that gives at least some credibility to my response and that you don’t think I’m just a troll. I’m a firm believer in every mom doing what is right for her and her family/situation (be it in regards to working, formula/breastfeeding, juice, pacifiers, etc). What works for one mom may not work well for another. In this vein, it’s disappointing to see so many posts surrounding this issue of being a working mom versus stay at home mom. I understand that you’re coming from the perspective of having felt slighted by the words of some stay at home moms (at least that what it sounds like), but in writing a post like this, in some ways you yourself are perpetuating the “mommy wars”. Your post comes off as quite defensive (starting with the sentence where you say you don’t understand people congratulating the blogger in her decision to leave work and stay at home. If you were to leave your job and start another, wouldn’t people congratulate you? If you made a major life decision that seemed to be positive for you, wouldn’t people congratulate you?). Also, some of these phrases that have cut you emotionally really speak to the person putting their feelings on themselves, not on you, particularly the last one that seems to bother you the most. If I was a stay at home mom and said that God blessed me with that opportunity, that says nothing about your situation or what you do/should consider a blessing. It says that for me, it’s a blessing to be able to stay home and I’m lucky enough that I have the opportunity. Maybe your blessing is being able to have children and maintain the job that you love and have worked hard to get. Just because our “blessings” are different doesn’t mean I think mine is better. In that situation, I would consider us both very fortunate to get to do what we want to!

    Rather than ruminating on what other people are doing/saying that hurts us, I feel like we all need to put our feelings on ourselves (rather than thinking that people are making digs at us, think about why we take it that way). It would be great to see a post on what you love about being a working mom as well as the things you think would be nice about being a stay at home mom. All over the internet you can find lists “10 Things You Should Never Say To _____” (fill in the blank with any situation: working moms, stay at home moms, people struggling with infertility, women who have suffered a miscarriage, etc). No one can memorize all the things they “shouldn’t” say (and those lists are probably drastically different for two people in similar situations). Rather than focusing on perceived slights or hurts, let’s try to give people the benefit of the doubt that they don’t mean to be hurtful.

    • Hi Rin! Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. My post was in no way meant to perpetuate the “mommy wars” and for all of those who think that is what it’s doing, I wish I could delete it. However, I really didn’t intend for it to pin one group against the other. I encourage you to read some of my other posts both on Houston Moms Blog and my personal blog http://www.theperfectcatchblog.com where I do discuss a multitude of positive things. I’ve said reasons why I love working, but also don’t want to come off as bragging. I’ve talked about benefits on SAH and why sometimes I wish I did. My best friend is a SAHM and I was raised by a SAHM. I am a huge feminist and supporter of women, moms and all of their choices. I’m sad this post makes others view me as anything other than that, but I understand and respect everyone’s opinion and how they took the post. As you can see if you look at my work on Houston Moms Blog and my blog, I’ve written hundreds of posts – not all can be the perfect, most positive post in everyone’s eyes. Just sharing my heart – something I love and look for in other posts and articles. Thanks again for reading! Hope you are having a great week!

  21. I just wanted to say thank you for this article. It is not surprising to me at all that a lot of the backlash seems to come from the opposite perspective – SAHM – that is just the way it works. You are not perpetuating the mommy wars, but rather presenting your side of the story.

    I think we are guilty of saying things offensive to SAHMs but I want to know what offends them because I really don’t mean to. It’s just part of trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. I think some people don’t want to understand, and that’s fine, but I struggle to see what they are doing on a Moms Blog website, if not trying to find common ground with other moms.

    In defense of working moms, I can say that for a lot of us we are the minority. My family members stay home with their children and I have been asked several times when I will stop working, whether I am comfortable with strangers raising my children, and also I hate the “I am so blessed to stay home.” At work, I am surrounded by male peers who have wives who stay home. They are often very curious as to how I make it all work since their wives do so much – and they are constantly saying PC things like “my wife has the hardest job”. We absorb that, not because we are weak or insecure, but because the message is consistent across family, friends, and coworkers that as working moms we are choosing the easy way out (SAHM is the hardest job), we aren’t sacrificing (Starbucks, Cable, Time), and we are definitely not doing what is best for the kids (only mom can love the kids like they deserve).

    I also want to say, because it is just absurd that it was said, that you buying Starbucks and/or making blatant statements about not sacrificing enough for your child is just ridiculous. 1. I actually know MORE SAHMs who drink Starbucks than working moms mostly due to the fact that if I have TIME to stop at Starbucks on my way to work I am really doing a good job with my time management skills ( I drink a lot of Keurigs at my desk) and rarely make it to work on time, and 2. SACRIFICE?! I could argue just the opposite, that I am the one sacrificing time with my kids in order to give them a better life or to set my family up for success. Here it is: if I were to stay at home now, without any of the luxuries that were described above (i.e. starbucks), I would be able to spend time with my children for the next 5-10 years until they were all in school, but we would be behind financially. We would be struggling to pay for college, we would be hard pressed to help them join teams/clubs, and we probably wouldn’t be retiring at a decent age. Maybe that makes me selfish, and every family is different, but I came from a family that sacrificed finances to have my mom stay home and in return when I turned 18 I was on my own without anything to my name. I took out student loans and in a twisted turn of fate I am not able to stay home like my mom did. I am choosing to sacrifice the time with my children now in order to provide a future of financial stability. That is the legacy I wish to give to my kids. My sister would argue the sacrifice she is making financially (by staying home) is the right one for their family. And we are both right because that is what we have decided for our kids – and both sets of our children are thriving. So there you go!

    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts on this topic Patricia! I think you should have written the post – as you said many things better than I did. I do think it’s interesting how our parents decisions affect us. You saying that because your mom SAH, then you took on loans, etc. making it harder for you to SAH. My mom was raised by a working mom and grew up wanting to SAH since she always saw how her mom struggled to balance it all. So I was raised by a SAHM, but saw some struggles my mom faced when she was ready to re-enter the workforce after being out of it for so long. Now I’m the working mom. It will be interesting to hear my kiddo’s thoughts years down the road! I love your last statement that you and your sister are BOTH right because you are both making the best decision for your particular family – not anyone else. Great statement for all to read! thanks again.

    • Patricia,

      “…and they are constantly saying PC things like ‘my wife has the hardest job.'”

      I feel like you’re hitting on a big part of the issue here. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. What I see a LOT among other stay-at-home moms, or homeschooling moms, is this feeling of pressure that since we’ve chosen to be at home with our kids, everything we do has to be about them all the time. I see it in comments about staying home being the hardest job, or in trying to add up the monetary “value” of all the things we do. I see it in comments from other moms saying they never have any time to themselves or never do anything for themselves (or “this season is all about the kids, I’ll have time for me later.”) And this is said like it’s a badge of honor rather than a complaint. And I see it in the backlash where people actually feel like they have to justify spending any time or energy that isn’t 100% spent on their kids, where they have to create special “me time” to make it ok.

      I think part of it is a feeling of needing to “justify” staying at home, like we need to make it worthwhile. And part of it is competitiveness, of trying to prove that they are just the best, most dedicated mom, who just really appreciates every single moment of their kids’ lives. And part of it is just not realizing that parenting doesn’t have to be like that, and that there’s even another option.

      I really think that working full time and being a parent (especially if you don’t have another parent staying home all day taking care of all the little daily tasks that have to be done), that has to be the hardest job. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that working moms do everything stay-at-home-moms do plus a full-time job — I mean, really, I know there are things that I am able to do that I’d have to either give up or delegate if I also worked. But one of those things is a daily nap with my 2yo. 😛 My husband doesn’t get to do that!

      Maybe if we all — stay-at-home-moms and working moms — gave up the idea that we need to prove that we’re the hardest working, most dedicated, most attentive moms who do everything possible for our kids, maybe then we’d feel less guilty about other moms doing things differently.

  22. I don’t necessarily think all of these things are said to make working moms feel bad– rather they are defenses a SAHM has to put up (in her own mind and to others) in a society where mothers are undervalued. Our world is fraught with institutionalized bigotry.
    I know of two SAHMs-including myself- that tried to return to the workplace, only to be told we “weren’t serious about our career”(s), evidenced by our taking a few years at home. For me, this particularly stings as my child is special needs, and my husband bravely fought cancer right after his birth– I never felt I had a choice in staying at home. His salary certainly wasn’t a factor. Now, I am being denied gainful employment since I took time to heal my family.
    So, you’ll have to excuse me if I consider your “hurt feelings” a first world problem.

    • Totally agree with you Amelia that my “hurt feelings” are a first world problem. I never said they were anything otherwise. It’s just a blog post about how I feel on a particular topic. And I 100% agree with you that these statements are not said to make working moms feel bad. I even said that in the post. The whole point was just to point out that sometimes the things we say hurt others. Just like I might say something about working to a SAHM like you that wasn’t meant to hurt, but did. It’s all about respecting others and being aware of what we say. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts!

  23. Great Post! I agree completely and am grateful that you wrote it. Let’s just all get along and support each other. I am never choosing anything over my children, this is just the situation that we face. Thank you for saying so!

  24. Notice how all of those statements are value judgements about an individual’s own life? “MY time is best spent at home.” “I feel that/want/don’t want…” Everyone has the right to make value judgements about what’s important to them. It’s not indicative of the choices you choose for your own life. How about we not allow every little thing to offend us and just support whatever choices moms make.

  25. I choose to work outside the home so I can be the best mom possible. SAHMs are the most grossly underpaid people in the world. They aren’t appreciated enough. I’m fortunate to know many who volunteer at my school. They are a valuable addition, but equally so is the working professional team I have who love their children just as much.
    My husband just dropped the bomb on me and asked for a divorce last year. Without a profession to get me and my children through, I would have been devestated and likely depressed. I thank God for making me a strong woman who can provide to my kids with or without a man.

  26. THANK YOU! There isn’t a work day that goes by where I wish I could be home with my daughter. As far as milestones, my daycare told me they would t tell me if she does something so then when it happens at home, it will be “the first time”. That works for us. I’m proud of being a working mom and feel like I’m setting a good example for her.
    IF she chooses to work for a living. I am also a stay at home mom…on the weekends and after work…I focus my time and attention on my family. I’d like to think its quality and not quantity that matters. There are days I envy my SAHM friends but my reality is different from theirs and it’s not my place to judge.

  27. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, one thing that REALLY gets under my skin is hearing moms “like me” talking about “other moms” (working, or non-homeschoolers) and saying, “Why even have kids if you’re going to…?” UGH. I think that is just the worst. Yes, I spend almost my whole day pretty much every day with my kids. But, first of all, I don’t see why any of us should feel guilty or bad for doing things that aren’t 100% about our kids. I spend plenty of time when I’m “at home with my kids” doing things that aren’t for them at all. Like right now, I’m hanging out in my bedroom with my husband, watching TV and browsing the internet. Nothing wrong with that! Secondly, dads don’t get this BS. My husband goes to work every day, and he loves his kids just as much, and is just as much a parent as I am. Nobody asks why he would even bother having kids if he isn’t going to spend the whole day with them. They realize someone has to actually earn the money to put a roof over our heads!!

    The only quibble I would take with this article is the “why congratulate them?” and the bit about moms feeling blessed. You congratulate someone who is making a change in their life that they are happy about. If she was getting a great new job, you’d congratulate her, right? Similarly, you wouldn’t be upset with someone saying they were “blessed” to have a job that they love, would you? (Unless you specifically object to people saying they are blessed? In which case, could you maybe choose to hear that they feel lucky instead?) It’s a wonderful thing to be doing what you want to do with your life, whatever that is. Personally, I HATED working. I have Social Anxiety Disorder, so I hated it more than most people who hate their jobs. Just being around all of those other people was awful for me. I developed a nervous tic of applying hand lotion over and over again. So I feel very lucky that I have the option to not work, and to do something with my life that I enjoy doing. And I think everybody who has that choice is fortunate, lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it. Whether the choice is a job they love, volunteer work they are passionate about, staying home and loving it, or whatever.

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