Debating Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom? Here’s What You Need to Consider

Are you deciding between being a working mom vs a stay at home mom? If so, you’re probably realizing there are a lot of factors to consider! 

This is a very individual and personal decision, and no one can make it for you. 

Debating Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom? Here's What You Need to ConsiderWe encourage you to take your time, think about all the factors, and carefully weigh the different options. The decision to continue working or stay at home after children is a tough one and largely depends on the individual situation as well as personal preferences.   

And we should know, we’ve got one of each. Rachel made the decision to stay at home while Jo wanted to keep working. Together we’ve come up with this list of thinking points. 

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Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom Considerations

Here are some critical items you need to consider on the subject:

Job Circumstances

  • Do you love your job?  How much would you miss your job?
  • If you leave the field, are you able to easily return to your career?  If not, are you willing to start over in a lower position?
  • How many hours (and what times) will you be away from your child during the day?  Consider your work schedule, breaks, commute times, etc.
  • Are flexible hours or part-time options available to you?
  • Does your partner have flexibility in their schedule or career? Would they be able to stay at home as needed or move to another position that pays more?

Finances

  • Does your partner make enough money to cover the bills?
  • What about the “extras” (ie, vacations or going out to eat)?  Are you okay limiting these or giving them up entirely?  
  • Do you plan to start a college savings fund for your child? 
  • Will you have enough money to save for retirement?
  • Do you currently receive health insurance from your employer?  If so, have you thoroughly researched other options?  
  • Have you looked into additional ways to supplement family income?

Breastfeeding Plans

  • Is your job conducive to pumping?
  • Will you be expected to clock-out for pump breaks?
  • Is there a private area you can use? Access to a sink or fridge?
  • Will you have ample time to pump at regular hours throughout the day?
  • Are your coworkers and boss supportive of your breastfeeding decision?

Childcare 

  • What options are available to you?  Both financially and physically.
  • Daycare center?  Au pair? Family?  In-home daycare? Nanny sharing?   

Happiness

  • Where do you feel joy?
  • What aspects of your life make you feel fulfilled?

Partner 

  • Does your partner expect you to stay home or work? 
  • How involved is your partner in household chores?
  • How involved is your partner in childcare duties?

Support

  • What kind of support options are available to you?  Other stay-at-home moms? Family? Facebook groups?
  • What kind of socialization options are available for your children?  Neighborhood children? Cousins?  

Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom - the Points You Need to Consider

Wrapping Up

Like we said, deciding between working mom vs stay at home mom is a HUGE decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Talk about all of these areas out loud. Discuss them with your partner, friends, parents, or even a stranger on the bus. 

Channel your inner organizer and write out the pros/cons of each decision. Make a chart, graph, or list to help you visualize all the factors.

If you have your heart set on one decision but it’s just not feasible, don’t give up. Open your mind to other options and possibilities. Remember that even though it was Rachel’s dream to stay home, it took her years until she was able to make it work

On the other hand, if you’re looking for support on how to make it work as a working mom, you can check out some of Jo’s articles about how she balances family, cleaning, and even laundry.

Debating Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom? Here's What You Need to Consider

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About Author

Jo & Rachel

Jo and Rachel first had the idea for 'The Moms At Odds' in 2016 when our babies were turning 2 and we realized that we were very different parents.

As a mom, Rachel immediately felt this strong connection to her son and instantly decided she wanted to become a stay-at-home mom. Though Jo obviously loved her son as well, she counted the days until she could go back to work and interact with other adults.

They both struggled over getting their babies to sleep and while Jo believed in sleep training, Rachel looked for alternatives like dream feeding and no cry methods. As time passed and their children grew older the differences started to really add up – pacifier use, drinking during breastfeeding, organic foods, screen time, diaper brands, and on and on.

During this day and age, it’s so easy to look at our parenting differences as a bad thing. After all, we’ve all seen jokes and articles about “Mommy Wars” over one subject or another. Instead, we choose to embrace our differences and show you that in many areas there is no wrong answer. What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s perfectly fine. We can still all get along and raise perfectly healthy, beautiful children.

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