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Which do you think is HARDER: CHOOSING to stay home with the kids or CHOOSING to work??

I'm referring to kids under school age and this question EXCLUDES single moms (they have it the hardest by far).

One mom put it perfectly: being a working mom is physically exhausting and you miss out on time with the kids, BUT you come home refreshed and actually miss them. When you're a SAHM, you never get a break and you have to be the entertainer, the referee, the cook, and teacher so it is very emotionally taxing.

***When answering this question, keep in mind some moms choose to work because they don't like being a SAHM
some mom's whole paycheck would be paying for daycare so they choose to be SAHMs instead

so the issue is not always black and white.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:52 PM on Oct. 2, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (14)
  • well, if you can't afford daycare to work then where is the choice in that?

    I think people do what's right for them, OR they do what they have to do...
    for us- I worked different hours than hubby, so someone was always home with the kids and we both got a paycheck...yes- it kind of sucked, especially when he worked nights

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:00 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I think that's a personal thing. For me, it would be harder to work outside the home. Staying home was the easy choice, really the only choice for me. But you do what works best for your family.

    Answer by missanc at 2:00 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I don't think either choice is easy. I've known people that quit their jobs because they wanted to be home with their kids and being apart from them at a demanding job all day just wasn't worth missing time with their kids. I know people that tried to stay home after their babies were born and decided that staying at home wasn't for them. They went back to work.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:04 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I have done both, and I will tell you that being a working full time mother is the hardest. It depends on the person, now my job is on and off, and sometimes I wish they were here during the day, but when my job is in full swing, I barely have time to breathe, let alone take care of them properly.
    When they were young I worked all of the time, it wasn't an issue about paying for daycare, my husband was in school, and I was the sole provider for our home, it was awful pressure all of the time, now he gets it :)

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 2:09 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I think the choice is equally hard unless you are rolling in dough.
    If you stay home you have the time to give to your children. (Some people find this maddening)
    The down side is that you do not have them money to do extra things and sometimes even have to put off the necessary things. This often means mom does without because DH has to look decent for work and the kids inconsiderately just keep growing. You may lose the ability to speak in adult language (for a while) LOL
    On the flip side I think it is hard to leave your baby(s) You want to stay with them (at least in theory) You feel like you are missing... the first step etc. and you are. You do not have the time to do the things you would like to do BUT
    You can pay the bills with a little more ease and possibly have a few more things. You feel less deprived of things because you would also need to look decent for work.

    It is not any easy choice for anyone

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:23 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I am in a position as a constantly moving military spouse where staying home is really the only option I have. I would rather work but employers don't like that I am always temporary. I've held 3 jobs since getting out of the military 8 years ago and I have had to quit each one because we PCSed. When we get to our new location, my priority is getting the house set up, getting them settled in school, familiarizing myself with the area, etc. Usually we do not feel settled until about 6 months into it. I did not actively seek employment this time because he was only going to be here 2 years. He got extended another year but at this point, I just don't feel like looking. Not with less than a year left. We can afford for me to stay home with his pay and what I get from the VA. It's not what I want to do, but it is the most practical.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 2:29 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • depends on the woman. i half chose half had to (day care costs). i thought being a SAHM would be great and i was pretty shocked how much i hate it. i feel useless (mostly b/c i find cleaning to be a waste of time) and my kids have each other, they dont really need me to entertain them, nor do i want to raise them to need me to do that. its the main reason i went back to me something to do and i feel like i have a purpose besides baby sitting my own kids. thats just how i feel, not a judgement on other SAHMs. i wish i enjoyed will be an easy choice to start working next fall.

    but some women, like my mom, thrive as a SAHM. neither choice is easy to make...but you do what you think it best.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:52 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • It depends on the person. My mom stayed home with us because that was expected of her in the seventies, but she was miserable. We all would have been a lot better off if she'd pursued her interest in becoming an accountant years earlier than she did. I work from home and feel privileged to spend as much time with my daughter as I do, but it would be much harder for me if I were dependent on someone else for financial support. I don't think I could handle that. Being the full-time entertainer does get hard, but I wouldn't have missed my daughter's young years for the world.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:48 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I don't think one can even speculate because it is very much a personal, individual, case by case decision. No two situations are alike, therefore you cannot even begin to speculate which decisions are difficult, and which are not.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 4:37 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • I've done both. I think it's harder to stay home. At work I relaxed. Had a nice coffee and a good lunch everyday and chatted with grown ups. But working outside the home is hard too. There is a lot of guilt and pressure to get home on time. It was very stressful when I worked but I got more "me"time.

    Answer by mompam at 6:43 PM on Oct. 2, 2013

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