SAHMs And Working Moms

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We all know that there is this little “war” going on between working moms and SAHMs. Why? Nobody really knows, right? I mean, honestly, why can we not agree on the fact that certain things work for some and other things for others. As simple as that. But we don’t.

For some reason we have to make our lives more complicated in bitching about what the other mother does wrong. It’s how we dress, how often we wash our hair, if we had that manicure or not, what we eat, the sports we do, how we raise our kids and of course if we work or stay at home.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom. And I love it. But I also love my freelance jobs I take on every now and then. They are blocks of work and when I do them then they are full time over a short amount of time. I usually feel extremely refreshed when I come out of a block of work like that. It energizes me. There is this saying in Switzerland: “Getting the money and the bread-roll.” Which obviously means that you get the good of both sides. I kind of feel that way.

While I can enjoy being with my kids I also get my little piece of work life. Just enough to enjoy it and give my everything but not too much in the sense of feeling I’m missing out on my children.

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Okay, I admit some days are not as easy as others… Still…

I love being with them, seeing them grow up, enjoying every moment of it. It works for me. It works for us. I also see how others feel they could never do it. It does not work for everyone.

We are all different, we are all wired in a different way, we all enjoy different things.

I think it’s so interesting to observe how both sides, working moms and SAHMs, always try to find a reason why the other way is bad. How both sides desperately want to prove that their decision is the only right one. I wonder why? Why can we not agree that both systems work?

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Or push us to our limits…

Don’t you think it’s also interesting, that both sides obviously feel guilt about their decision? Working moms feel guilty for heading out to work instead of staying with their kids. SAHMs might feel guilt for not working and in that sense supporting their families financially. Seems like no matter what we choose, there is no right way… Or is there?

A couple of days I saw a Facebook post of a woman who used to go to school with me. She is a very successful dentist, a wonderful person and I’m sure a great mom and loving wife. She chose to stay in her job after having had her kids. She chose the career and I admire her for doing it. I think it’s great. Honestly. She posted an article about a Harvard Study claiming that working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons

According to a working paper (pdf) published June 19 by the Harvard Business School, daughters of working mothers are more likely to be employed, hold supervisory positions, and earn more money than the daughters of women who don’t work outside the home. The researchers also found a statistically significant effect on the sons of working women, who are likely to spend more time caring for family members and doing household chores than are the sons of stay-at-home mothers.

It irks me. It really does. For days now. I thought I can shake it off… but I didn’t manage.

What I miss in the article is an explanation why this should be the case (I admit I have not read the working paper itself). I can’t shake the feeling that someone just wanted to find proof that the decision made was the right one (or prove that the other decision is the wrong one…).

I don’t think that only working moms can teach their children about the endless possibilities out there. I doubt that only working moms can teach their daughters they can achieve whatever they like to achieve whenever they want it. I doubt that only working moms will manage to turn their sons into caring men.

I think that this study (as many others) don’t prove anything. The only thing it does is making some mothers feel less guilty while others feel worse.

I understand that network is a big thing for making a career. And I’m aware that the network one parent builds over their work life might still be of great use for the children one day. In the end though it all comes down what the children have to offer. It comes down to what their work ethic is, how much they can bring to the plate.

I ask you if you truly believe that only working mothers can provide children with those values? And if so, why?

As a SAHM I make a decision to invest myself into the family on a very personal level. My job is being a mom, looking after everyone, taking care of the chores. My job is a 24/7 position. I don’t get paid money. But I gain other things from it. A SAHM has most likely worked before becoming a SAHM. We might even have had a career and simply given up on it because we felt it was the right thing to do. Like changing jobs for a better option. There is experience. Experience we can share with our children.

If we keep trying to find reasons to put others down just because they do things a different way we do, then we definitely teach our children the wrong thing. The message they receive from behavior as such is that finding tiny little reasons to hang someone up on is the way to go. The message they receive is that finding something to make the other one feel bad or guilty about a decision they made is the way to go. Instead of teaching them that we all should choose a path we are comfortable with and follow that path for as long as it works for us, we teach them to try to establish a norm everyone has to follow. No matter if it makes sense to them or not.

I don’t believe it’s the right thing to teach our kids. It will lead to less empathy, less kindness, less people skills, less tolerance, less respect.

I find that people function best if they do what they love. It’s when they give their all and go even further then they ever thought they would be capable of. You can only love what you do if you feel comfortable with it. And you can only feel comfortable with it if the decision doing it is yours and not someone else’s. If there is no judgment involved…

Bottom line is we are all fantastic, fierce moms. And we should see ourselves that way.

But then, of course, this is only my view of things…




33 thoughts on “SAHMs And Working Moms

  1. I think you’re absolutely right that it makes working moms feel less guilty…at least it does in my case. It’s hard to leave your children in the care of others. You miss out on a lot, and you worry your kids suffer for it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The thing about juggling though is that sometimes, you drop a ball. And when you do it makes you feel like a failure. It’s never a little ball – it’s missing a deadline at work because you were preoccupied making sure your kid got that girl scout badge or science project done, or your kid missed an important meet because you got stuck finishing a huge project at work they didn’t bring you on until the last minute. It’s a constant feeling of being a day late and a dollar short. I’m envious of the sahm.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s such a personal/individual choice. My own mom, in the 50’s, was forced to be a SAHM. I often thought she’d have been happier, our home would have been less toxic, if she could have lived out her dream. As a mother of 6, she started out working, helped to buy their first home, seemed to find her joy. She died young, never got it back. So many “What if’s”.

    Many young moms feel the financial burden today to keep that job, and any story/stat that helps them deal with the very natural guilt of turning over those babies to another….well, it only helps. ☺ As for me, I gave up a profession, stayed home for 17 years with my kids. No regrets. πŸ’˜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know why there would be a war such as this. I mean, it’s all about where you put your priorities and my priorities are hardly ever going to match someone else’s priorities. and in my experience it’s not a matter of whether or not you are a working Mom or a SAHM rather it’s a matter of what values you teach your child.

    oh well. my two cents worth at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You know sometimes I think all human beings are hardwired to experience guilt. We all find something to feel guilty about. Maybe there’s truth in the Adam and Eve story… maybe we are hardwired to feel guilty for the original sin. I mean, what evolutionary purpose does guilt have…..?????

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I firmly believe that a mother’s care is still the best for any child especially on the early & crucial years of development. I personally have to take care of my daughter on her early months since she had a situation that needs attention & for a fact that I am an Expat mother, without any relatives living close by and can’t rely on any support system.It is a personal choice I have made that time because I know it’s the best for my child. It’s not a written law or mandated by government or out of pressure from media. It’s an instinct for motherhood. But then there are certain situations where in this can’t be possible, either for financial or personal reasons. But it doesn’t mean that it could make you feel less as a mother & as a woman. I think this is an issue of inner security.
    If we care enough of what others might say, then this “war between Working moms & SAHM” will continue to get a grip on all of us.

    Leave this “war”to idle minds. We’ve got work to do, both SAHM & Working Moms and we both need sleep badly! πŸ™‚


  6. This topic often starts catfights on FB groups. I am part of several groups on FB and they always brag how being one is better than the other. Let’s just celebrate motherhood and enjoy what others moms can teach us. At the end of the day, it’s still our family’s well being that we need to prioritize. Spread mommy love 😍


  7. Pingback: Why Do We Always Feel Guilty? | A Momma's View

  8. I don’t understand these “wars” either. At the end of the day, shouldn’t we women support each other? SAHM or Working Mom, being either have their benefits and cons. A privileged choice for some, and not for others and we would never know the real situation unless we walk in their shoes. The intrinsic value of a child comes from the family values right from the young age – SAHM or not. There are daughters/sons of working mothers who are just a-holes while holding supervisory positions w/higher pay and boys who are just as caring as with a SAHM. The study is likely to be flawed. (sharing your irk here!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Shunday Share | All In A Dad's Work

  10. It was much better for everyone in my family when I was working. You are lucky as I was for a time in that we didn’t/don’t have to work full time every day, for either financial or sanity reasons!😎


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