It’s the great debate of our time (kidding)! Whether to stay at home with the kids or continue working. What’s the best thing for your family? Is the grass truly greener?
Well, luckily, we tried to get to the bottom of this age old question. Our two situations are very different. One of us works and the other stays at home. Here is our take on our specific situations. Part one of the blog is my view, Lisa, the working mom.
We’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts?
What are the pros and cons of being a working mom/stay at home mom?
For me, money is the obvious pro. Since we both work we don’t have to watch (as much) when we go out or plan that vacation. We’ve done the whole writing down expenses and cost of daycare for two and all that good stuff. When it comes down to it though, both of us working makes the most sense.
Another pro is getting out of the house and talking with adults and having pride in what I do. I love where I work and who I work with. I’ve been there almost 11 years and, to me, it feels almost like a second home.
Ben is the con. I wish (I really do) that I could hang out and be with him 24/7. There are so many things I want to do with him that I just can’t fit into a weekend. With the baby coming I know that I will feel this ten fold.
Leaving your babies is NEVER easy. It really isn’t. It’s a very hard thing to do, but so many people do it. You just do your research, take recommendations and believe that your child is in the best of hands.
Have you been mom-shamed for being a working mother?
The sad thing here is that I’ve mom-shamed myself. No matter what I think you feel guilty one way or the other. Three months to be with your baby is really not enough time. I will 100% agree with that, but it’s what we have and it’s what we take.
I get the question a lot about staying at home, which I think it’s a bit rude if I’m being honest. No one knows each others situation so I think it’s best to just not ask that question – ‘did you want to stay home’ or ‘why’. It’s one thing when a close friend asks you about the decision, but it’s another when someone not so close to you asks.
Best to leave it alone.
Was the this always the plan?
Yes. There was never a conversation otherwise. With our first we knew that we had my parents watching him the majority of his first year. We felt good about that.
The second time around is a bit harder. Two in daycare is super expensive and I completely understand why people sit down and do the math. It makes sense for us and for me to continue working.
Would you change things if you could?
That’s a loaded question. The grass is always greener, right?
I think if I was able to stay at home for the first six months I would be happy. I do think three months is nothing. You and your baby are just getting into the groove of things when you suddenly have to change up the routine.
I will say, especially now that Ben is three, that I am so thankful I did stay working. He is getting what he needs and is stimulated throughout the day. I am not sure I could do that for him 24/7.
Has it impacted your relationship with moms that are in the reverse role?
Honestly, maybe? It’s not that my actual relationship has changed (I love my stay at home mom friends and family).
It’s that I feel a little bit of jealousy. That’s actually a pretty weird feeling for me too. I honestly don’t get super jealous of things. I guess time spent with your child is the thing that does me in!
Does this change your relationship with your significant other?
Honestly, I think that it’s better because we both work. We never think if cleaning/cooking/shopping as one or the others job. We *try* to work as a unit when possible.
I do have a more flexible work schedule so I end up doing more of the shopping and cooking, but it’s never expected.
During dinnertime we both have a lot to talk about because we’ve just been at work and haven’t seen or talked to each other all day. Ben even gets involved in the conversations now (which is awesome).
So what’s better? Staying at home or working?
Ha. Nothing is better than the other. I am sure you will have those moms that tell you that the mother should be at home caring for their child.
I feel like I am teaching Ben something else. I can’t be there for him 24/7, but he is seeing that his mom and dad are equal partners in everything we do. We both go to work at the same time, we cook, we clean, we plan and we see each other as equal partners.
This isn’t to say that staying at home is any different. Staying at home could possibly be the hardest job anyone can have.
Stay at home or working mom? What’s the difference, really? You do what’s best for you and your family. Period.