Mommy Wars: Working Moms versus Stay at Home Moms

Ever since becoming a mama and being in mommy spaces, I’ve witnessed contentious disputes about various topics; such as the one involving working moms versus stay at home moms. While we can explore in depth the reasons that this discourse exists to begin with, that is best reserved for a dissertation. For the purpose of this blog, we will keep it short and concise. 

By: Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA

Firstly, I want to let it be known that ALL moms work. If you want to differentiate between mothers who work outside of the home and get paid for their labor versus mothers who work within their homes and who don’t get paid for their labor, that’s a different discussion. However, I want to make it abundantly clear that we are ALL working. All moms are constantly laboring whether that is: 

The aforementioned are only a few of the MANY things that we are responsible for. Let’s not forget that in addition to doing these things (and more) for our families, we must also care for ourselves as we are still individuals who have our own interests, hobbies, goals, dreams, and desires. So who has it worse and who has it better; moms who work outside of the home or stay at home moms (SAHMs)? Let’s get into it. 

There’s a misconception that stay at home moms are lazy, sit around all day, and don’t work. Here’s an alternative perspective to consider: stay at home moms start working from the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they close them at night. Some nights, they may even be awakened due to their child(ren) having a nightmare or they may be up throughout the night if their child(ren) get(s) sick, or hungry (breastfeeding). Something to reflect upon is that one of the reasons that the labor that SAHMs do is undervalued and thereby not recognized as work is because they are not being paid for it. Babysitters, nannies, daycare providers, house cleaners, chefs, chauffeurs, and the numerous other professions that SAHMs undertake get paid for their labor. People don’t question them, they acknowledge and accept this is their job; however, SAHMs (often) get asked what they do all day.

Another misconception is that working moms don’t love their children because they send them to daycare and have strangers raise their children. An alternative perspective to consider is that they love their children, but may not have the (financial) resources to live as a single income family or they may be able to afford it, but choose to work (for various reasons). This doesn’t mean that they love their child(ren) less, don’t feel like they’re missing out on milestones, or don’t think about tasks they need to do for their families during their day. Here’s what I know as a SAHM, unless we are intentional about taking breaks and interacting with other adults, it doesn't happen for us. Whereas when you’re working outside of the home, you get a break away from (watching) your child(ren). Yes, you may be thinking about them and associated tasks while at your job, but they are in somebody else’s care allowing you to (focus on your) work. You are also able to socialize with other adults and take (lunch) breaks at your job. There is a difference between working what is called the second shift and a continuous shift. Before we conclude, I want to offer you this: if you are a mother that works outside of the home and you are triggered by SAHMs or if you are a SAHM who is triggered by moms who work outside of the home; I invite you to take some deep breaths, step back, and get curious about why you are having this reaction.

In closing, whatever situation you choose has its benefits and drawbacks and should be taken into account when deciding which path to pursue. What is best for a mama and her family may not be what’s best for another family. Or what works best for a mama and her family in one season, may not be the best choice for them in another season and that’s OKAY! One mom doesn’t have it easier or better than another mom; as each path has its own rewards, challenges, sacrifices, etc. Regardless of what they choose, it’s what’s best for them and their families and has no bearing on another family's choice. We have more than enough on our proverbial plates and that’s a problem. Modern day life has taken away the villages from many of us in a time when we need them now more than ever. Let’s be the solution rather than the problem. We can do so by redirecting our energies on cultivating community and supporting one another instead of shaming mothers for their decisions. We can all benefit from practicing more gentleness, patience, love, and grace with ourselves and each other.

Much love, health, happiness, peace, and prosperity mama.

Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA

Certified Transformational Coach | Certified Essential Oil Specialist |

Certified ARōMATOUCH Practitioner | 200 YTT , Wholesome Mind Health Coaching