Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The secrets WMs and SAHMs keep

Posted by Anonymous
  • 40 Replies



Question: Do you agree with this article?




IDK. Didn't want to read it.

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 22

View Results

I saw this. Thought it was cool and it says EXACTLY what I always say on here but, you know, no one likes to admit to it when it is true a better portion of the time.


The Secret No Mom Likes to Admit

The Secret No Mom Likes to Admit

Photo by Corbis

I quit my last full-time job in April of 2007 when my first child was three months old. I’ve always known that it was the best decision for my family, but since then, there’s rarely been a day when I haven’t questioned it. 

As a director at a pharmaceutical company, my husband’s job pays significantly better than mine as a writer so it’s only practical that I cover the childcare. We now have two more children and two things have stayed consistent: I have always worked from home and I have always longed to be the breadwinner and for my husband to stay home with the kids. Rare, I know, but I find more tangible success through writing.  

STORY: State of Working Moms Today

The grass is always greener, right? 

I am not alone in thinking that way. It seems that many moms, regardless of their choices,  wish they were doing something different. Forget the mommy wars — this is the real secret moms are keeping: Stay-at-home moms want to be working. And working moms want to be at home.

The problem, of course, is that either role is often not a choice. “The most important factors contributing to a mom’s happiness and life satisfaction aren’t really about whether  they are at home or in an office,” Erin Olivo, PhD, author of Wise Mind Living, tells Yahoo Parenting. “Its about whether or not they have made a mindful choice.”

STORY: The ‘Working Mom Penalty’ Hurts Us All

Paola Cruz, a working mom-of-two in Massachusetts is exhausted and overwhelmed and feels increasing guilt about her daughters’ long days. “They leave for school at 8:30 a.m., they’re in aftercare until 6:00 p.m. and sometimes, if I have to run an errand, we don’t get home until 7:00 p.m,” she tells Yahoo Parenting.  

Staying home was never an option for Cruz, who puts in long hours helping run her husband’s car business. She returned to work soon after her first daughter, now 8-years-old, was born. Cruz often wishes she could be a stay-at-home mom and to that end, is encouraging her husband to hire more help. 

The life of a working mother can feel incredibly hectic and insane, says Katrina Alcorn, whose book Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink described her own working mom meltdown. One day, Alcorn found herself sobbing on the side of the road after realizing that she couldn’t do it all. “Most days it felt as though our lives were being held together by Band-Aids and Elmer’s glue,” she wrote. Alcorn eventually quit her job to briefly stay home with her kids before scaling back to a more manageable job.

Of course, working moms aren’t the only ones harboring secret desires for a different life. Jael Gorham, a stay-at-home-mother of three who lives in Massachusetts, says her life is one she chose by default and she often fantasizes about returning to work. 

STORY: My Biggest Parenting Regret

Her SAHM life is very different from the one she envisioned when she quit her job after the birth of her third child. Gorham describes her existence as a series of tasks that go unfinished or get immediately undone after completing them. Wash the dishes, dirty them, wash, rinse repeat. “It’s less Zen and far more hamster wheel,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. 

Choices are a good thing. But not when we feel confused about whether we’ve made the right ones. That’s why psychologists suggest we focus less on finding that unicorn called “balance” and more on finding peace.

“Right now I feel like I’m doing everything and none of it well,” Stephanie Branly, a working mother-of-two in Georgia, tells Yahoo Parenting. She says that family time interrupts her job and her job interrupts family time. “I am stressed about not being my best professional self and sacrificing time at home in order to be this mediocre employee,” she says. 

Los Angeles based psychologist Katherine Schafler counsels many working moms like Branly. She says the answer isn’t being 100 percent certain with all of your choices. It’s in finding your own “happiness ratio.”

Any big lifestyle decision comes with its share of concerns: Am I doing the right thing for my children? For my life? For my marriage? But the amount of questioning is what really needs to be examined. If your ratio is 75 percent doubt/25 percent happiness, it’s time to explore some changes. “Questioning doesn’t signal anything except that you made a big lifestyle decision,” Schafler tells Yahoo Parenting. 

Sometimes it is not even our own questioning that confuses us — it’s that of others. 

Amy Kelley is a stay-at-home mom-of-three living outside Cleveland, Ohio. She quit her hectic job in social work seven years ago after the birth of her twins. It made sense because, as a social worker, she didn’t earn enough to cover childcare. 

“I miss making a difference in people’s lives (other than my kid’s). I miss having a life outside the home,” Kelley tells Yahoo Parenting. Also, she feels ashamed. “I feel like I’m judged by others for not having a job and for my reasons why I don’t.” Others often make offhand comments that her life “must be nice.” Kelley would love to work, but at this point, their family is accustomed to having one parent at home. 

Schafler cautions against listening to other people. “Mantras can help,” she says. Things like: ‘There is no perfect’ or ‘I am doing enough.’ “You don’t eradicate the fears and insecurities,” she says. “You have to manage them. Say to yourself: ‘OK, this is part of that dynamic you are always going to encounter as a parent.’” 

Gorham likens her SAHM struggle to the one she experienced while looking for a life partner and wondering whether she would ever have kids. “If someone could tell me with certainty that I will be able to go back to work, I could probably relax and enjoy the present a bit more,” she says. “But as it is, I end up thinking a lot about the things I should be doing differently.” 

It comes down to managing emotions and perspective. That means calming the mind and body by using writing or relaxation techniques and focusing on what is positive in your life. Olivo recommends a gratitude journal to focus one’s thoughts. “The key is to remember that you have a choice about where you place your attention,” she said.  

Exactly. As for me, I appreciate the flexibility that allows me to maximize both time with my children and writing, even though I sometimes worry. And when the doubts creep in, I will practice my mantra: “Choices are a blessing.”

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 14, 2015 at 1:56 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Gold Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 1:59 PM
I read this on Yahoo earlier while I was taking a break from work. I won't agree that every mom feels this way but it's inevitable that some mom's have a "the grass is greener on the other side" thought now and then.
by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 1:59 PM
1 mom liked this

I went back to work when DS was 11 weeks old. I have never had the desire to be a SAHM. I didn't cry my first day back to work. Maternity leave almost drove me criminally insane

by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:03 PM
4 moms liked this
I'm a SAHM. I don't secretly wish I was working...
by Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:03 PM

I have always wanted to be a SAHM and I was for a little over a year. But, due to finances and the distance from my house to the school I had no choice but to go back to work. I go crazy sitting at home with the kids and then I work and miss them like crazy. There is really no happy medium. I just do what I know I have to do. Not everyone feels this way, but I bet there are plenty that do.

by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:06 PM

I would think mostly this is true. I hear so mucha bout women going back to work and dreading putting their kids in daycare. 

But then SAHMs get flack for not having a job.

When the woman says that it would be impractical or even impossible for her to work then she's told to get a job.

WHen she can't find one..

They all are like go back to school.. UH.. that costs money!

by ~Tammie~ on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:08 PM
1 mom liked this

 I don't feel this way. I'm very comfortable with the decisions I have made and never once have I looked back.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:11 PM

It's not true across the board. Many women have no desire to try or go back to the other side. 

I completely enjoy my life as a homemaker/SAHM. To me there aren't any negatives to the staying home part and the downsides come with parenting in general, like having to change icky diapers. Sure I'd change less if I were working but it's the concept not the quantity that bothers me. 

by *Claire-Bear* on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:13 PM

It is NOT true for me. I'm a SAHM and have no desire to go back to work. I love the fact that I'm able to do what I want when I wish to do it... I don't have to adhere to a work schedule to get it all done in a reasonable time frame. If I want to sweep the floor tomorrow, I have the option of doing so...I love being home with the girls all day since we Dh works from home, so we're together 99% of the time. It works for us. 


" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 

by Anonymous 2 on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:14 PM
I don't enjoy staying at home. I've always worked my kids are older. Now they go to two different schools with different start times.

Dh convinced me to stay home last year. We were both tired of paying sky high daycare prices. I want to enjoy it more but when both kids are in school all day it sucks.
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 14, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Have you thought about just getting a part time job while the kids are in school? When my LO goes to school I plan on going back to work at fast food just because their schedules tend to be really laid back and if you miss a few days here and there it isn't a big deal. I just want to get out and make some grown up friends and have grown up conversations  every so often you know?!

Quoting Anonymous 2: I don't enjoy staying at home. I've always worked my kids are older. Now they go to two different schools with different start times. Dh convinced me to stay home last year. We were both tired of paying sky high daycare prices. I want to enjoy it more but when both kids are in school all day it sucks.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)