The difference.

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It would be so nice to stay home all day.
I wish my husband was able to pay for everything and I could just sit at home.
People that stay at home with their kids and complain drive me crazy- that would be such a blessing to me.
I would much rather stay home than have a boss.
My husband should pay all the bills and I can stay home with the kids and shop whenever I want.
Ughh I wish I could sleep past my 5:30 am alarm for work.

Those were all thoughts of mine as a working mother. Boy was I naïve.

As a working mother, I had family that was able to watch my son. My day would typically run like this…

Wake up and get ready for work. Drop my son off at my parents house. Drive to work with music deafeningly loud (as it helped me to get in the zone). Spend 8 hours at work conversing with adults, working, answering to a boss, etc. Leave work. Pick up child. Go home to throw a quick dinner together. Try and get a load of laundry done. Muster up SOME energy to play with my toddler. Lay on the floor half dead because I was so tired. Bathe toddler. Kiss him and send him off to la-la-land.

My house was typically clean because in between waiting for the noodles to boil and the chicken to be done, I was picking things up. In between washing my hair and shaving my legs, I was wiping down the shower walls. I had to multitask at every level of the day. My thoughts before I fell asleep were how I could organize better. The days all blended together.

Eleven and a half months ago, I left work for my maternity leave with the intention of never returning. We were moving away for my husband’s job. We had no longer had childcare available, and day care wasn’t an option. I could not wait to spend my days doing as I pleased.

Since that time, I have adjusted into my role as a stay at home mom and wife. It was a very big change as I was always working full time, and I was the breadwinner. I worked in mills. I worked hard, doing physical labor next to all the men. I loved getting paid, being around adults, and feeling accomplished. I felt like I contributed a lot in our family.

Today, I have days that I miss my old job and my old routine.

I have an energetic and humorous almost-4 year old that chases and plays with our 1-year old Old English Bulldog pup. I have a crazy, loud, needy 10-month old that gives mommy a run for her money when she is trying to finish the simplest task. I don’t get to shower most days until 9pm, when the house is asleep and I count the grocery store clerk as much needed adult time. I look forward to the mailman’s quick stop, the spam emails and a random bill collector’s call. They are all signs of the adult world, which I often forget I am a part of.

Some days I drop the ball on dinner, and we’re stuck eating a quickie pizza or some boxed dinner. I run clothes through the dryer two and four times when I REALLY don’t feel prepared to handle a load of laundry.

But, I do get to wake up with the tiny faces full of love that I created. I get to watch my 10-month old learning how to feed himself, and his lap, and the dog. I do get to pay dinosaurs and trucks with my almost-4 year old. I do get to teach him how to write letters and how to sound out words.

While I have days that I feel like I don’t get very much done, and I feel a pang of guilt in knowing I don’t bring home a paycheck, I know I am doing a lot. I am raising humans. I am teaching them about life. I am taking care of my husband’s every need. I am balancing our money out between bills and food so there is something extra my husband can have (because although I thought my day would be filled with shopping sprees, it isn’t, and I wouldn’t want it to be).

Working mothers don't have fairies that clean their house and make their days easier, while stay at home mothers aren't sitting around all day reeling in the benefits.They have entirely different responsibilities, but each is equally important and misunderstood.

Are you a working mom or a stay at home mom? Would you prefer something else?

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3 Comments
Mommy to B&B May 9th '14

I've been a stay at home mom since 2011 when my daughter was almost 1 now I have a 3 year old daughter and a 18 month old son and have absolutely no adult interaction my husband works 14 hr days so I'm taking care of everything at home all day long...it gets so tiring I often want to go to work but we can't afford daycare right now but then I think about it and I love being able to stay with my babies and teach them and watch them learn new things. I guess I'm happy with how things are :)

Stacey Higlett May 12th '14

It's surprising how incredibly accurate you are on this one. I was working 8-9 hour days before I got pregnant with my now 2yo, and that was full time work. Yes I enjoyed it (to a degree) but after I went back to work I missed being at home with my LO, I never got to see my hubby, as I was working the graveyard shift. I ended up quitting my job for these reasons. I do have days where I wished I was still working as I miss my old coworkers and the customers that I'd gotten to know over the years, but nothing is worth not seeing your child crawl for the first time or reaching other milestones in their tiny lives. Wouldn't change it for the world :) You nailed this one in the head perfectly

moon. May 15th '14

There are pros and cons to each position. I'm sure in the future I'll be proud to have had so much time with my children, and I wont remember the chores I didnt get to. It sure is different seeing it from both sides!