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Are you a SAHM or do you work? What makes you jealous of the other side?

Posted by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM
  • 52 Replies

Why I'm Jealous of Stay-at-Home Moms

by Jeanne Sager

little girlAside from the seven weeks I took for maternity leave, I have never been a true stay-at-home mom. I've always worked, be it part-time, freelance, or now full-time. I love my job. It fulfills me in ways that I couldn't begin to describe. But if there's one battle in the mommy wars that baffles me the most, it's the one waged between working moms and stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). In fact, I'm going to come out with a confession that more than a few of my fellow working moms are probably keeping close to the vest: I'm intensely jealous of SAHMs.

If I'm honest with myself, I've felt this way for years, but the realization really hit me in the chest this week as I read an essay on Salon from mom Jessica Stolzberg who feels like she's being bullied for being the stay-at-home mom at her kids' bus stop.

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Stolzberg's "bully" asks her snide questions such as "What do you do all day," and the mother of two kids, ages 8 and 11, offers a long list of activities that keep her on her toes, from house cleaning to dog walking, volunteering in her kids' school to appointments with the children.

I know SAHMs are busy people, and the list is everything I'd expect from a mom who doesn't work outside the home.

It is exhausting.

And for me, the working mom, it's more than a little depressing.

I don't get to volunteer at my daughter's school, much as I'd like to, and my dog doesn't get walked. I open the door to our (fenced in) yard, and she goes outside by herself. Taking my daughter to her doctor's appointments involves such a juggle of my work/personal days that I haven't actually been to my own OB/GYN in longer than I'd like to admit.

As for cleaning?

I'd laugh at the question if I wasn't so close to tears.

Growing up my bedroom was the neatest place in my parents' house, but you wouldn't know it from the pile of dishes currently sitting my sink, the mail piled on my counter, or the folded laundry still sitting in a basket in my living room.

More From The Stir: I Feel Guilty Leaving Work for My Kid

I try to dedicate time every night and weekend to cleaning, but then nights and weekends are also supposed to be time to spend with my husband (who also works) and our school-aged daughter. And when push comes to shove, if it's spending a day at the LEGOLand Discovery Center with the two of them or cleaning decaying mushrooms out of the bottom of the vegetable crisper drawer, I know which one I'm going to choose.

I don't think -- as many, many, many people seem to -- that stay-at-home moms are either lazy or prone to eating bon bons all day long. Nor do I think they live an idyllic existence. There is little bliss to be found in scrubbing your toilet or wiping a toddler's dirty butt.

I waffle between the reality of knowing that stay-at-home-motherhood is a tough gig and the romantic notion that my life could be different, cleaner.

There is much I yearn for that only stay-at-home-motherhood could give me.

Floors that gleam.

Time to pop into my daughter's classroom and see how her teacher operates, how the kids interact with her and and with one another.

Flexibility to go to my own doctor when necessary.

The problem, as we all know, is that the grass is always greener on the other side. I know there are benefits to stay-at-home motherhood that I will never enjoy as a working mom. But I have to remind myself that stay-at-home moms don't always get what I have either.

I get to write for a living, the very thing I told my school guidance counselor I wanted to do way back in the sixth grade. I receive a paycheck that is absolutely necessary to keep our family afloat. I love working, and it's what works for MY family (not someone else's ... mine).

But every one in awhile, the green-eyed monster comes out. And when she does, watch out!

Which side of the coin are you on? What makes you jealous of the other side?

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Courtney610
by Courtney on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm a SAHM. I've been a working mom, also. I think different things work for different people.

My youngest will go to school next year, and I'm looking forward to getting a job in the next few years. :) I love being home, but I also miss working.
RheaF
by Silver Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

 I am a SAHM. I have also been a working Mom, and there are days I miss getting out and being around adults and getting a break from the houseworks and kids.

However, I would never go back if we can help it. DH and I both feel that the home is where I need to be, and through everything I have been able to stay at home.

k9l1c5
by Ruby Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I am a stay at home mom. I worked as an Assistant Manager before having my daughter, and do miss going to work and making money that would pay the bills. But I also love being able to stay home with my little one for the time being. I also currently take college classes online though, and have a couple of small things I do from home to make money that take up my time as well. I don't have all the time in the world to clean my house either with everything else I have going on...

cupcake_mom
by KT on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM
I'm a sahm. I love it and don't want to be anything different. Maybe i will work when both are in school but then i wouldn't be able to volunteer as much. But i do miss having an adult conversation without a child interrupting me every 5 secs. I also miss peeing alone lol. And being able to eat my OWN food without little hands in it lol
judyneufeld
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:42 AM
I'm a stay and work at home mom and loving it! Yes I miss working outside the home. And getting away from the house and kids is nice every once in a while. With my work, I have a complete group of support and I never feel like I'm in it alone. I wouldn't trade either of my jobs for anything else!
Callaly
by Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Im a working mom and single as well, when I was with my ex I was a SAHM, and I miss the freedom/having nothing but time to do what needed to be done.

As a working mom, I basically have a schedule, and everything I was doing as a SAHM has to be done and Im working 40 hours a week, so time is my enemy.

tabby21
by Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM

thats exactly how i feel...i love being home but i also miss working...i have only been out of work for 2 months!! i cant wait til my babies can talk and are potty trained so i can go back to work!!

Quoting Courtney610:

I'm a SAHM. I've been a working mom, also. I think different things work for different people.

My youngest will go to school next year, and I'm looking forward to getting a job in the next few years. :) I love being home, but I also miss working.


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MidwestMama55
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I started out as a working outside the home mom (all moms are working moms). Now i'm a SAHM/Home Manager. And my kids are all in school.  I'm just as busy, sometimes more so.  I'm not jealous of working moms, but I do miss the adult problem solving/interaction sometimes. Then again, a good friend who just went back to work had to go in today even though her daughter is sick and running a fever.  Dad stayed home, but i'd never want to have to leave a sick child.  So, not jealous.  I respect those who need to work outside the home to make ends meet.  I plan to stay home until youngest leaves for college, with some transitioning during the last few years (not full time).

katrina.0822
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM
4 moms liked this

 I'm not jealous of SAHM's because I would kill myself if I had to be home all the time. But I am resentful. I went back to work after having my son and most of my friends didn't because their men stuck around and got their shit together and provide a good living for their families. My ex didn't. He bailed. So now my friends are all these co-sleeping, baby wearing, organic vegetarian, breastfeed till 3 moms and I didn't do any of the above. I BF for 6 months (with formula when I was actually at work) until it became too difficult with my schedule and pumping only worked when the kid was on the other side. I wish some days I could stay home but after 3 days I get antsy.

NOW they all post non-stop about how shitty it is to not co-sleep, I didn't co-sleep because my child is half octopus so I wouldn't sleep at night when he was in the bed with me. He prefers to sleep alone. How baby wearing is the only way to mobilize your child and strollers are the devil, I'm sorry I couldn't afford an 80 dollar ergonomic sling. I pay MY OWN bills. Breastmilk is making their babies smarter than mine even though (not even bias, this is truth) my son is LEAPS and BOUNDS more intelligent than theirs. We do learning activities every night and these women just rely on the "power of breastmilk" to make their child magically smart. Theirs all have RIDICULOUS seperation issues. Like screaming until the point they pass out when mommy leaves them alone. My son is perfectly fine going to daycare, he loves his babysitter. I work during the times of the farmers markets, ya know, since they're like 8am to 2 pm on a freaking Tuesday. So I don't get the organic food they can. It's just so incredibly frustrating.

I'm a good fucking mom, and my child is perfect. And I resent every one of them for trying to belittle me because I am the mom and the dad. I always have been and I always will be.

cnx143
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

im a working mom and love and hate it at the same time. I love the independence of earning my own money and connecting with people at work and with customers but the hours suck!

jealous of how much more time sahm can spend with their children and get more things done around the house and errands that need to be ran. sahm keep the home together and in working order. they rock!!

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