Retrieved June 7, 2011 from http://www.momlogic.com/2009/04/stay_at_home_versus_working_mom.php
First, some definitions. For the purposes of this post:
SAHM = stay-at-home mom
SAHD = stay-at-home dad
WAHM = work-away-from-home mom
WAHD = work-away-from-home dad
Other terms like WOHM, work-outside-of-the-home mom, and WOHD, work-outside-of-the-home dad, have also been used. Just to further confuse things, sometimes WAHM and WAHD are used to describe work-at-home moms and dads. I haven't used these terms because they open massive cans of worms like the issue of defining a work-at-home mom or dad only as someone who has a job outside of parenting while being at home with their kids. Some stay-at-home moms and dads would call themselves work-at-home moms and dads since parenting is their job and its definitely work.
Many parents work harder at the job of parenting then they've ever worked at any other job in their lives. It's a double-time (never mind full-time) job with zero pay. (Check out this tool to calculate what mom's paycheck should be!) It's benefits and bonuses come in the form of kisses and hugs.
Retrieved June 7, 2011 from http://mikahaela.wordpress.com/tag/stat-at-home-mom/
According to this highly scientific poll, SAHMs and SAHDs work harder than WAHMs and WHADs. I have worked outside of the home, I have been a stay-at-home mom and a work-AT-home mom (if they are not the same thing). Being a mom is certainly the hardest job I have ever had. It's also the most rewarding job I've ever had.
I have not yet been a work-AWAY-from-home mom, but I imagine, and I hear, that these moms' challenges are significant, and I don't think this highly scientific poll likely represents that group very well. If any of you work-away-from-home moms and dads are reading this, please share your thoughts with us!
One of the things that we stay/work-at-home parents do not have to deal with is any guilt that might come with being away from our kids, and the associated need to make every moment with them precious. Stay-at-home parents may not feel that pressure. I say, may not, because a lot of the time I still do feel that pressure. Stay-at-home parent is a job I want to do exceptionally well, but let's face it: when there are no coffee breaks (let alone pee breaks), no lunch breaks, and eventually no naps, it can be draining and operating at my peak at all times is extremely exhausting if not impossible.
Note that I have a preschooler, so I speak about this job from that perspective. I don't know what being a stay-at-home parent to school-aged children is like. I imagine by the time Jack is in school full-time, I will fill that time with other work and so will be more like a work-away-from-home parent, except that I will likely be working from home... or, as I am doing today, the nearest non-distracting coffee shop.
I care about this job more than any other. The performance pressure is high. The job is highly rewarding, but it's also highly stressful at times - at least, it is for me. How stressful this job is must be as individual as each child, each parent, and each child-parent relationship. In some cases the combination of factors might make for a relatively stress-free stay-at-home experience. In other cases, the challenges may be many.
Ultimately, if there is an answer to this question, to me it comes down to this. We can only know and accept our own challenges and our own choices. They are guaranteed to be different than someone else's. If we criticize another parent for not making the same choice we did, it is because we assume, in myopic fashion, that they face the same set of circumstances and options that we do. Each parent (each child and each parent-child relationship) is unique, so the challenges and choices they are presented with are also going to be unique. A little tolerance and understanding is in order, I think. A little less jumping to the conclusion that we have it harder than others would be helpful. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and criticizing others, we could instead open ourselves up and listen to the stories of other parents, maybe even pick up a few tips to use in our own lives.
Retrieved June 7, 2011 from http://www.waystobecomerich.com/tag/work-from-home-dad/
We all love our children more than we are able to express. We have that in common. But our journeys are different.
And now, to lighten the mood, here's is a test to determine whose job is harder. Please take this with a heaping teaspoon of salt. It's funny and it's all in fun. Stay-At-Home vs. Working Parents
As the parent of an only child with various challenges of my own, I have my own story (perhaps I'll share it one day). Read more stories of WAHMs/SAHMs here.
Here is who I'd like to hear from in order to understand their struggles better: stay-at-home dads, single dads, single moms, moms of multiples, moms with more than one child who work-away-from-home. WHAMs, WAHDs, SAHMs, SAHDs, WOHMs, WOHDs.... whatever you call yourself, will you share your story?