At Home Moms vs. Working Moms

22 Mar

As a dad, I don’t get the disconnect between working moms and at home moms. Can I call it a rivalry?

ConnecticutWorkingMoms is one of the best parenting blogs in Connecticut.

The MOMS Club, with chapters in Enfield, Manchester/East Hartford, Middletown and Wethersfield, says on its web site: “We are a support group designed just for you, the at-home mother of today!”

When my wife was home after having Reid, suffering from postpartum depression, I searched the web for a group of moms she could join in town. The Wethersfield MOMS Club came up. But she couldn’t join. She would return to work after a 16-week maternity leave.

I totally get that at home moms can have challenges with socializing with adults and how hectic their lives are.

You only have to read a ‘Day In The Life’ feature on ConnecticutWorkingMoms to appreciate how difficult it is for moms to juggle a job outside the home, child care and family life.

Truth is, my wife would love to be an at home mom. From the time we started dating in our teens, she said she’d like to not have a job outside the home when our children were  young.

In our late 20s, I supported her taking three years off from work to go to grad school full-time.

I talked to our landlord about buying the duplex in Old Wethersfield that we lived in and continuing to live upstairs while renting out the first floor apartment.  Then he rented to some less than desirable neighbors who trashed the place.  So we decided not to buy it, and bought our house.

After we found out we both carried the CF gene, we accepted we’d be spending tens-of-thousands on IVF to try and have a second child.

For better or worse, grad school paid off. My wife makes a lot more money than I do.

If life played out differently, my wife would be an at home mom. I have some guilt that I can’t see a way to make that happen for our family.

Now that we are in the toddler stage, I’d be happy being a stay at home dad — I didn’t love the infant stage. My best friend was an at home dad when his kids were younger.

We all have our story about why we do or do not work outside the home. Maybe you can help me understand the divide between working moms and at home moms. More importantly, maybe we all can help bridge that gap.


7 Responses to “At Home Moms vs. Working Moms”

  1. Liz Putnam Paulsen March 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Stay-at-home moms often long for adult conversation that doesn’t pertain to children, a chance to break away from the non-stop diapers, feeding, napping cycles. As a stay-at-home mom myself, I feel that often times many people, including some working moms, think a SAHM has it easy, with no worries of the politics of a work life. Yet often they are sacrificing a career and added income. On the flip side, – and I can only assume – working moms’ ability to juggle two different worlds is overwhelming, no doubt difficutl and often riddled with guilt about not being able to stay home. Obviously, every situation is different.

    There is a definite divide between SAHMs and working moms. But the goal for each of raising a healthy and happy child is the same. How do we bridge the gap, though? That’s a tough one. Often we see that the grass is always greener on the other side….

    • CTdad March 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      Thanks so much for the comment Liz. I tired to be careful to point out the plight of the working mom and the at home mom. I’m real happy to get a voice of an at home mom.

  2. The Amazing Races March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with all of the divides between parents…working vs. stay at home, breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, private school vs. public school. There is no one right answer. There is no solution that is going to fit every single parent out there. What I just wish is that people would be more supportive of other choices. As long as the child is not suffering documented physical or psychological harm (I say documented because I don’t want to get into the argument that kids put in daycare are somehow psychologically scarred), people should respect other people’s choices…even if it’s not the one they’d make for their own family. Parenting is hard, whether you’re at home full time with your kids or working, whether you have support of extended family or not. If we all truly adopted the “it takes a village” approach, maybe all of us, kids and parents alike would be a lot happier.

    • Claudia May 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Well put. There should be no “debate” about choices, just open conversation to understand why each woman/man makes the choices they do!

  3. Michelle March 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I totally agree with Kris-Ann. I feel the same way, I wish that women were more supportive of other women’s choices, and a LOT less judgemental. While caters more towards women who are in the workforce, we support stay-at-home moms.

    I recently had someone email me after finding my website who wanted me to know what a relief it was to find a website where moms are happy about being working parents and there’s no judgement about it. How sad that so many people judge mother’s choices!!

  4. CT-Moms March 31, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    We see this kind of SAHM/WOHM divide come up all of the time and it’s sad, but true. Mothers are moms regardless of where they spend their 9-5. Equally as hard, equally as tiring, every bit at rewarding!!

  5. jessie June 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    i’m a work at home/stay at home mom of a 2 y/o and the bread winner in the family. if i could not work and just be with my daughter i’d be in heaven but alas it will not be that way. noone but other working moms will ever understand what it is like with the constant guilt we feel but we get by.

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