18 August 2011

Working vs. SAHM

First, I'm not here to talk about which one is better or that stay-at-home mom's don't "work." Believe me, they do. I simply just wanted to share with you this recent study that was done by Circle of Moms and hear your thoughts about it.

Working and stay at home mom infographic
{via}
So, where do I fall on this chart? I'm obviously a working mom, however I'm 32 and want 3 kids so the whole "who they are" part isn't quite accurate for me. But the rest of it? Is almost right on.

I'm a working mom by choice. I'm not really the "stay at home mom" type, if there is such a thing. It's not that I don't completely adore and love my children with everything that I am {obviously} it's just that I know myself. And I know I would never be happy staying at home all the time. It's just not me. I also know that I'm extremely lucky to have my children with family while I'm at work. That 100% weighs-in on my decision to be a working mom.

But at the same time, as a working mom? I miss my kids dearly. Not a second goes by that I'm not thinking about them. I often look at the time and wonder where they are and what they're doing. "It's 11:30am, Carter's probably yelling about wanting tator tots while "helping" Brynn walk" and "Oh look, it's 2pm and both kiddos are probably snuggled and sleeping...wish I was there to kiss them as they slept." Being a working mom is hard and I do feel like I miss some things that I wish I was there for. But I know that this is where I'm suppose to be and that they are happy where they are as well. With family. I think the time apart is healthy for us and when I see them at the end of every work day? I get the best hugs and kisses ever. This is good for us. It works.

I should also add that my place of employment supports working from home {i.e. 1 day/every other week, and hopefully moving towards 1 day/week} which I think is amazing and ideal for me. It's also an extremely supportive work environment for parents as far as leaving early for appointments or missing work due to an illness, which also factors in to my current status of being a happy working mom.

So, what about you? How do you feel about this? Do you find it to be accurate? Where do you fall on this chart? If you're a working mom, are you doing it by choice, or do you need to work to continue your current lifestyle? Stay-at-home moms... is this something you enjoy doing or do you wish you worked {even part-time} if even just for the social interaction?

I'd love to hear from you!

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38 comments:

Mama G said...

Wow, that is really interesting! Thanks for sharing. I really like the visual that Circle of Moms created.

As of one week from tomorrow I will be a 27 year old SAHM with only one baby, who is as liberal as they come, and can't live without the iPhone.

I sort of enjoy that I don't neccessarily match the "average" SAHM. I'm creating my own mold ;)

curtsgrl said...

I work because like you I don't consider myself the SAH "type". While my son doesn't stay with family I 100% trust is day care provider and she loves him like he's her own. I'm 30 and want 4 kids so that part doesn't really match up but other than that I think it's spot on. I cherish the time I do get with DS and I LIVE for weekends and holidays.

Erica said...

I work full time and have to, as I provide health insurance for my family. Ideally, I'd like to work part time and be home with my son more. I'm almost 30 (yikes) and hope to have another little one in the next year or so. My son is almost 3. But I also know I am not full time stay at home mommy material. Part time work would be perfect for me!!

Olivia's Mommy said...

Love your post! Because this is something I always feel we relate on. I am a Working Mama. I actually was a SAH Mama until she was just over 2. Not by choice though I got laid off and took the package and was paid for the year to be a SAH Mom so honestly that was the best thing that could have happened and I did love it, but I have to say, I am also not the SAH type. I noticed Olivia needed to be with other children, she craved the group activities we did. Prior to me getting laid off I was the breadwinner so I knew at some point I was having to go back to work {might have somethign to do with the fact that I was 33 having my first child and had built up my career for the past 10 years}, but hey that's what happens when you don't meet Prince Charming until 30! I actually felt weird not working I had been working since I was 15, I currently work 4 days and have Friday's off so it gives me a nice balance. Olivia is in a day care situation with 5 other children all girls and she loves it! And on select days with her Nana and my DCP is a family friend, so it really works for us and she loves it!

I will say staying home was great, but I felt like I spent more money and with me not working there wasn't extra! There were way too many opportunities to poke around Target or the Mall!

Bottom line, we are all happy with our decisions! I don't think I follow this chart at all.

Also, because of my difficulties with pregnancy/childbirth, we are not expanding our families, if we had to pay for 3 kids in daycare things might be different.

Shannon said...

I work full time and I have 1 child, and I am the primary bread-winner in my family so I don't really have a choice. However, even if I did, I think I would still work part time because I love my career.
However, this whole article annoys me. Why do we have to point out the differences between SAHMS & WMs? We are ALL MOTHERS no matter if you work or not. As long as you are raising responsible and respectful children, who the hell cares if he/she reads earlier or rides their bike earlier, or if you slaved away at a job all day or worked your ass of at home. Articles like that one just deepen the divide between moms and causes more one-upping.

Social said...

This post was soooo good! Thank you so much for posting!!! Wow, too interesting!

Audrey said...

I'm 30. I have 2 boys under 3. And, I work. Long hours. It works for us, but I'd like to work maybe around 20 hours a week. I would probably still send my boys to school just as they go now, just pick them up everyday around noon rather than 5:30 (on a good day) or so. Luckily, they love school as much as my husband and I love their school. Ideally, I'd make the same money working less hours but that's not going to happen!
Interesting stats!

Carrie Lee said...

This post is perfectly timed... I am leaving my job on 9/9 to be a SAHM! I am so lucky to have the opportunity to be at home, but am anxious as to what lies ahead. I have 10 month old twin boys and know that without a doubt it will be harder to be at home than at work!
I fit the mold to a tee... 34, 2 kids, conservative...

Am hoping to eventually do a little freelance consulting to get the balance!
Thanks for posting and love your blog!

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I'm a SAHM and would love a little more social interaction and maybe having a job would provide an opportunity to have something for myself.

That said I was born to be a SAHM. Everyone has their thing whether its at work or in the home and you have to do what personally works for you and your family. If I was working neither me or my husband would be home before 7PM and we just didn't feel that was conducive to what we wanted our family to be like.

If only we could have the best of both worlds right?

Coach Kari said...

I'm a Working Mom, and not by choice. I'm currently growing my business and will be leaving my job within the year. So, I'll be a WAHM! I'm planning on keeping my son in daycare part-time and will eventually move to part-time preschool. The flexibility is what I'm looking forward to!

Brandi said...

I am 30, working Mom of a 10 month old. I hate working and wish I could go part time. But my Mom's situation is what is keeping me working. I work at a college and you are lucky, my college is not as family oriented as yours.

Heather said...

This is a great post and great study/visual by circle of moms.

Myself, I'm a working mom - I honestly have no choice financially - If one parent was to stay home, it would need to be the hubby {which he would love, and wants to, but its just not possible right now}.

I am 27, Working Mom, CANNOT live with out my iPhone.

I am lucky to have found a great daycare - which is actually at someones house with a small group of children {5 of which are her own!!}. They love Lennox to pieces and have helped her grow so well - I feel she is 100% safe there and that they are taking great care of her. I am lucky to have such a great place- I know so many others have to deal w/ the big centers, and i'm not sure what that is like.

I, like you, have the ability to work from home some - it used to be more, but now not as much. I am however able to work from home when I absolutely have to - whether I am sick, Baby is sick, doctor appointments, etc. I also get to leave work at 4 to get to day are by 430/445 and spend the evening with my daughter!

I think I have the best of both words right now - of course i'd love to be with her all the time - but I think I would go a little crazy being home all the time - I would have to find plenty to keep us busy!

Anonymous said...

I'm 37, have a son, 19 mos. and work FT. I am a partner in a small law firm and am a liberal iPhone junkie. I love working, our son goes to the best daycare ever and LOVES it. My partners are good about me taking time off when he's sick but I am terrified of the day when I'm in trial and he is mega sick. I would like to get home about 1.5 hours earlier than I do, but that's just not going to happen. I am a huge believer in quality of time vs. quantity of time.

The worst part of being a working mom is that I have major guilt if I even think about "me time." I know I need it, but I feel like the little time that I do have should be spent with my son since I only have 3-4 hours a day with him Monday through Friday. I am doing my best to overcome it and have plans o go away with the girls for 2 nights next month. I imagine I'll cry for at least the entire trip to our destination.

Lastly, DH and I are really struggling with the decision to have another child. Given my age, 37, and his, 40, we have to decide soon. I'm a little concerned about the cost of having 2 in daycare, but am more concerned about having to divide my already limited time between 2 children AND tehe logistics of getting out of the house in the morning on time and not looking like a homeless person. DH has to leave for work at 6, so he's not able to help. I am incredibly saddened by the thought of not having another. I want one more child so badly, but I don't know if it would be fair to either of them. We've given ourselves until next spring to decide.

Thanks for letting me vent. Most of my friends are SAH's and just don't understand.

Kristal said...

This if fascinating! I'm a SAHM, 28, with one child but we want at least 4. I'm married, conservative, love my iPhone...what a neat comparison chart!!

Melissa @ Filling Our Bucket said...

Very interesting stats! The only part of it I don't like is the comparison about who reads earlier, who swims earlier, etc. I think that is silly and really has nothing to do with the rest of the article, which is just straight demographic info.

I'm 33, have one 8 month old son (who will likely be my only) and work full time. It is partially out of necessity - I'm the main breadwinner and health insurance provider - but also partially out of choice. While I loved being home on maternity leave, I lost my mind toward the end. I know, it would be totally different now, and as he grew older, but I really don't think I'm cut out to be a SAHM. Plus, I love working in the higher education field and I don't think I would want to give that up.

My son is with my parents while we work, which is a huge blessing - for us, him and them - and after a few months of me being back in the office, and finally dealing with my PPD in a proactive way, we've struck a really good routine and I think everyone is happy. Would I love a shorter commute so that I could have maybe an extra hour a day with my son? Sure. But for now, this works for us.

The one gripe I have (sorry, I'm taking up a LOT of space on this comment wall aren't I?)is that so many of the "mommy and me" type activities in my area for my son's age are during the week, during the day! This is not helpful! I've heard the classes offered through Gymboree are really fun, but the only one for him are on Thursday's at 10am! Don't they think a working mom wants to take her baby to tumble around with other babies too? Drives me crazy. And makes me sad.

Sarah said...

I definitely don't judge or bash people who do, but I could NEVER be a SAHM! I worked really hard to get my nursing degree, LOVE my job, and truly value that "me" time where I get to interact with other adults. I talk about my son all the time and have moments like you too, where I look at the clock and wish I could be tucking him into bed...but I also feel I have the best of both worlds. My hubby does our child care during his off/less busy season and then I get to be a SAHM when it's his busyy season and I can't work as much! Great post, I'll probably borrow the idea in the next little while too! :)

Nurse Loves Farmer

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

I am a stay at home/work at home mom. But at the end of the day, I consider myself to be a stay at home mom, even though I do work. (being a photographer, I get to make my own schedule). It's fun to compare myself to this chart! It's somewhat accurate for me. Being 28 y/o, I'm a bit younger than the average SAHM. Although, I am conservative - that that is accurate. :)

kacy said...

ha! that was cool to read. since i'm not a mom (holla!) and a total career gal i have noticed things as i get older and friends, co-workers, etc have babies. i have not come in contact with a stay at home mom that i can have a conversation with that lasts longer then 13 seconds. i'm not trying to be mean, believe me. i guess i just have absolutely nothing in common with a stay at home mom- and the last thing they want to hear about is my shitty commute and the last thing i want to hear about is how long their baby slept last night and how many ounces they are eating- huh? smile and nod, smile and nod.

so yeah, at this point in my life i could never imagine being a stay at home mom. from my experience, there is a definite benefit to being a working momma. but to each their own!

Mary said...

I'm not sure where I fall in here - I don't work 9-5, but I don't stay home either - I work part time evenings (like 3 nights a week, from about 4-11.)

But here's the thing - why do people think that stay at home moms have to STAY AT HOME??? Because I'm with my kid from the time he wakes up around 7:30 til 3:30 when I have to leave, and as you can probably tell from my FB, we almost NEVER stay home. We're at the beach most days in the summer, and in the off season we do trips to the zoo, aquarium, library, etc. It annoys me that ANYONE would just sit in the house all day long!!

So yeah - I think I have the best of both worlds... and I'm also an iPhone addict :)

Mary said...

And I agree with a previous poster - who cares who reads earlier or rides a bike first? There are SO many variables there - I'm with my kid all day, but there are so many damn potholes in my street that who the hell knows when he'll learn how to ride this awesome Radio Flyer bike :)

I

Heather said...

Very cool! I'm a 34 year old, conservative, white, working mother. I live in Philadelphia, been married for 13 years and just had my second child (my first is 11 years old) - would like one more ;^) Oh, and don't touch my droid!!

Now, my husband is a SAHD (p/t WAHD) - I'd be curious to see a nifty little report like this on dads ;^)

Dani said...

Interesting...

I'm a working, 27 year old, white momma,one baby, iphone lovin, on paper married...but in my real life its complicated...we're working on it..ha

Kristin said...

Very interesting! I am a SAHM and love it- it's actually what I wanted to do with my life- stay at home and raise lots of babies :) So I am very fulfilled with our circumstances. I couldn't imagine being away from my baby during the day- I'm definitely not cut out to be a working mom and am grateful we can afford for me to be at home with James. I have a degree in Biology and want to put it to use in the future as a lactation consultant. We get plenty of social interaction. Monday is Kindermusik, tuesdays are quiet down days (which I love and need too), Wednesday I hang out with my other SAHM friend and we drink coffee and talk for hours while the kids play, thursday is a down day, Friday is Bible study, Sat we go out as a fam or with another couple, Sun is church. It works for us and that's how it has to be with everyone. You just do what works for you and your family. I personally feel that a mom should be at home with her kids but I also realize that I would have prob been better off in the 1950's too ;) but like I said, that's what is right for us and our values- different ppl have different ones and that's okay:)

Anonymous said...

You are lying to yourself if you say "I wish I were there to kiss them good night" while choosing not to be there to kiss them. Classic working mom line. Sure, if you need to support your family financially, I completely believe you would rather be home. But you reiterated several times that it's your choice. You don't want to kiss them at nap. You say you do so that you feel better about choosing a career over your kids.

It'd be like me sitting on the couch, my son coming over and asking me to play with him and me saying that "Gosh, I wish I could, but i have to stay here on this couch. Sorry!"

I call BS.

jenni said...

Oh how I love when people make comments like that anonymously. You're right, I don't want to kiss my kids at nap. You know me {and apparently all working moms} too well.

Megan said...

Very interesting. I was a SAHM for her first 6 months (thank you generous maternity leave!) and then worked PT (3 days/week) for the next year. In two weeks I go back FT by my choice. I have loved being home with her but aside from practical things like getting paid more would help, I also just feel like it's the right decision now for our family. I am up for a promotion which will be much easier to get FT. I also plan to have another baby and this way I have set a precedent with my boss that I will take a long leave, work PT for a while, etc. There are pros/cons to each side.

Samantha said...

Thanks for sharing, that's really interesting. I think moms have to make tough choices because neither option is earlier. I'm on a one year mat leave but I do not plan to go back to work (I'm a lawyer) once it's done. I feel like it will be a luxury to be able to stay home while my twins are little. I do plan to reenter the workforce at some point though.

I don't know how those other SAHMs manage without an iphone. My iphone is my lifeline to the outside world!

cherrypietwins.blogspot.com

Molly said...

Hey, not a mom -- Jenni I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon your blog :) I am a third year, 24 year law student, so I'm not sure I fit the mold of your average reader haha but Brynn and Carter are just TOO CUTE (and you're of course hilarious!!). Anyways, I felt I needed to comment after reading the comment by anonymous. My parents both worked (still do) while I grew up. They were lawyers, and while only one needed to work to sustain our family of four, because they both CHOSE to work, they saved enough so that my brother and I -- throughout both undergrad and graduate school (me law school and him his MBA) -- have not had to take a dime of loans. All because my wonderful parents sacrificed to give us this amazing gift. Furthermore, we both have an amazing relationship with our parents and never once felt slighted by either of them.

Amy said...

I am a 33 year old wife and FT working mom to our 2 year old. We would like 2-3 kids. Financially I have to work, plus I carry our health insurance. My son is with family during the week, which I love and it benefits everyone, my son included.

Although I would love to work PT, my job does not offer PT. Hopefully in a couple years, my husband's job will allow me to be a SAHM. I would love to be able to SAH with them until they are in school.

Sarah Helfinstine said...

Very interesting. I completely don't fit into either...28 year old working mom, 1 baby girl (want 2-4 kids). White, married, MN. Conservative, love my Droid Incredible. Pretty sure I switch back and forth on each item!
I work because I have to (mainly for insurance/benefits, since my take-home after taxes, benefits, and the cost of daycare are taken out is very minimal), and although I would love to stay home, I also don't think of myself as the stay-at-home type, maybe because I know so many who are, and I know I'm not like them??

Kari said...

The chart was half right. It was wrong on the getting to know them part. I'm 27 and only have one at the moment but I love to stay at home. My husband and I agreed from the very beginning that I would stay at home and we have even decided on homeschooling because it's what is right for us and our family. I think that every family needs to decide what is right for them and remember that. I work for a company called Heritage Makers (www.buildingstoriesonline.com) and help people preserve their memories for their families. I love what I do and I love that I help other families be able to be close even if they are choosing something different.
I also want to just add that I think that the anonymous person that commented above give other SAHM's a bad name. I don't think that anybody should feel bad about what their families choose. Good luck to you in your working adventures!

Lisa said...

Whatev Anonymous! Bitter party of 1! Anyways, I'm a 31 year old mother of a 2 year old son, and I work full time. I could probably stay at home if I wanted to but financially things are much easier for us if I work too. I love my son dearly and miss him during the day but I work b/c I don't want to worry about money ever, not b/c I don't want to see my son every day! Just b/c I choose to work and have a successful career does not mean that I don't want to kiss my son at nap time. I call BS on you!

Christina said...

I am a working mom of 2. I am 32, with 2 little boys, almost 3 and 3 months. I am currently on extended maternity leave (we get 6 months job guaranteed, unpaid). I am liberal and love my iPhone! I work because I have to, financially it would be tough. Also, I think I would work PT even if I didn't have to financially. I love what I do and need to get away to be with adults. My boys go to daycare (3 month old will start in Nov) and I think the center is great. My 3 year old has gone there since he was 6 months. My job is very flexible. I work from home twice a week and can leave whenever for a sick baby. They also have a room for pumping and never say anything about taking that time needed. It's great. I don't judge stay at home moms at all and hope they don't judge me.

Mandy said...

I saw this when they emailed it out and thought it was very interesting. I am a Working Mom, and love it. There is no way I coudl stay home with my twin toddlers all day long. PLus, I don't think I can teach them all them are dying to learn. I feel like I would be cutting them short in some way. I actually work with a non-profit and work with schools though, so I haved a pretty awesome working schedule.

kacy said...

anonymous- way to call bs- you are so right! she told me just yesterday she hates kissing her kids before they go to bed!

classic stay at home mom bitterness. how about next time you leave your name.

Tiffany Booth said...

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torie@twentyfivedesign said...

Well I became a SAHM after I was laid off from work so I had no choice. The only thing is, I've always wanted to stay home. BUT I also need things to do. That is why I started twenty five design :) Gives me something to do, makes me a little extra money and its a creative outlet. But I definitely see myself going back to work once the kids are in school. I would go crazy home alone everyday of the week!

Mel said...

Love the graphic, but didn't find that it matched with me too much. I'm a working mom, 33, with two kids {that they got right!}. I'm happily married and conservative which seems to be the minority over there on the working mom side. I do have a Smartphone and would die without it cause it has EVERYTHING on it. Very interesting stats. Thanks for sharing!

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