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The SAHM vs Working Mom debate
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moonstone




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 1:54 am
zaq wrote:
Please, let's not go there. This debate has been raging since Betty Friedan had her epiphany and no good ever comes of it. We just read, lehavdil, the useless debate in Kinnot between Oholah and Oholivah about whose fate was harsher. Why can't we just agree that parenthood is tough any way you slice it, we moms have to support each other, and leave it at that without trying to one-up each other?


Amen, Zaq!
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Ema of 4




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 7:05 am
imaima wrote:
They don't have it harder. It's a lie. SAHMs made it up to make themselves feel good.All the memes about them being busy all day long with things are nice and they are true. But working moms have all the same responsibilities but also work. There is just no denying that.

If we take a WM and a SAHM with identical income and family situation, a workinng mom will have it harder.

Well, at least you insulted sahm under your own screen name. No one made up lies to make themselves feel better. There is no comparing, because each situation and each person is different. Staying home for me is much much harder, because I actually can’t get things done during the day, and I end up much more exhausted.
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Ema of 4




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 7:08 am
imaima wrote:
Exactly. You need to have all identical criteria to find out the truth.

I was a SAHM with a 1 y.o. and 2 hours of cleaning help a week and a working mom with the same conditions. Working was much harder.

It was harder FOR YOU. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be harder for everyone.
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amother




Dill
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 7:16 am
amother [ Chestnut ] wrote:
There are women that for them personally, it's harder to be a SAHM. They can't handle being with their kids all day. .

This.
It’s easier to get depressed as a SAHM of pitzalach who bearhug you all day (and night).
It’s easier to get stressed out as a WOHM of pitzalach who needs to do it all.

It’s all about the kids..... whichever way you slice child raising.. it’s a lot.
And still, it’s the most important thing of all.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 12:09 pm
I have been both a SAHM and a p/t working mother (28 hours/wk).

Some pros to being a working mother was getting a break from kids and
able to be with adults.

self-esteem from earning $ and approval from society

more patient and eager to be with kids after having some time away

more $.

I was a SAHM till my kids were almost 3. I believe that daycare/babysitters
are harmful for babies, but bigger kids enjoy preschool rather then staying at home.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 12:15 pm
amother [ Dill ] wrote:
This.
It’s easier to get depressed as a SAHM of pitzalach who bearhug you all day (and night).
It’s easier to get stressed out as a WOHM of pitzalach who needs to do it all.

It’s all about the kids..... whichever way you slice child raising.. it’s a lot.
And still, it’s the most important thing of all.


Wow!
This is me in a nutshell!
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 4:20 pm
imaima wrote:
But working moms have all the same responsibilities but also work. There is just no denying that.

I work, and I think this is completely false.

My kids are in daycare while I work. That's a responsibility that a SAHM version of me would have, but that I don't have.

My kids are being fed by others while I work. That's a responsibility that a SAHM version of me would have, but that I don't have.

My kids are not making a mess of the house while I work. That's a responsibility... you get the point.

Plus, there are all the things that at-home parents do that aren't really "responsibilities" but that still take time. Maybe it's more fun to be helping a kid with reading practice than editing a file, or to be baking cookies with your kids than sitting in a meeting, but it takes the same amount of time. You're still just as tired at the end of the day. You've still spent just as little time on yourself and your own needs.

The only way that a working mom has all the same responsibilities is if the SAHM is less an at-home parent and more just a person whose kids are all in school and who doesn't have a job.
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 4:34 pm
amother [ Lightyellow ] wrote:
All things being equal, being a working mom is harder, but all things are rarely equal.

So much this.

People seem to be comparing working, to being an at-home parent who somehow magically has the same amount of money (despite getting no salary), same general lifestyle including house and helpful appliances (despite getting no salary), the same mental energy (despite getting no breaks, little-to-no praise, and very few opportunities to do something more mentally stimulating than playing with legos), and the same amount of cooking and cleaning to do (despite having kids home all day).

But how often is that the case?

Sure, there are women out there who are SAHMs and still have tons of money, and socialize with friends every day, and have a few hours a day to pursue their creative interests. There are also working moms who have all the cleaning help they need, parents who live down the street and are happy to babysit their kids for free every afternoon, and husbands who love to cook.

But for most of us, being a SAHM means having less money, more housework, and way, way less time spent talking to people who speak in full sentences. And being a working mom means feeling torn in a million directions, using half our 'vacation' time on things like dentist appointments, and missing our kids.

Those are both hard things.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 5:47 pm
ora_43 wrote:
I work, and I think this is completely false.

My kids are in daycare while I work. That's a responsibility that a SAHM version of me would have, but that I don't have.

My kids are being fed by others while I work. That's a responsibility that a SAHM version of me would have, but that I don't have.

My kids are not making a mess of the house while I work. That's a responsibility... you get the point.

Plus, there are all the things that at-home parents do that aren't really "responsibilities" but that still take time. Maybe it's more fun to be helping a kid with reading practice than editing a file, or to be baking cookies with your kids than sitting in a meeting, but it takes the same amount of time. You're still just as tired at the end of the day. You've still spent just as little time on yourself and your own needs.

The only way that a working mom has all the same responsibilities is if the SAHM is less an at-home parent and more just a person whose kids are all in school and who doesn't have a job.


I work full time and I can take the argument that I have the same responsibilities as a sahm, BUT there is no question that a sahm has more time in her day to do the responsibilities. I am accountant at work and at home I am mommy. Mommy makes supper does laundry etc. For the hours I am accountant sahm is sahm making lunch, playing with toddler cleaning up his messes etc. BUT during the time sahm is sahm she can also sneak in mommy responsibilities and she starts supper throws in a load of laundry etc. I walk in the door at 420 and only then can I become mommy and make dinner laundry etc.
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amother




Babypink
 

Post Tue, Jul 20 2021, 6:13 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I work full time and I can take the argument that I have the same responsibilities as a sahm, BUT there is no question that a sahm has more time in her day to do the responsibilities. I am accountant at work and at home I am mommy. Mommy makes supper does laundry etc. For the hours I am accountant sahm is sahm making lunch, playing with toddler cleaning up his messes etc. BUT during the time sahm is sahm she can also sneak in mommy responsibilities and she starts supper throws in a load of laundry etc. I walk in the door at 420 and only then can I become mommy and make dinner laundry etc.

OP you are so much better than I am. I should bow to you. I am a lowly SAHM. Honestly, I have no worth. I shouldn’t be allowed to exist. You work so much harder than I do and what you do is so much more valuable. Maybe I should clean your house and cook your dinner. I definitely should defer everything to you as you are just a much better person than I am. I am lazy and way too privileged. Please accept my apologies for how hard you work.

Are you happy now?
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 1:03 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I work full time and I can take the argument that I have the same responsibilities as a sahm, BUT there is no question that a sahm has more time in her day to do the responsibilities. I am accountant at work and at home I am mommy. Mommy makes supper does laundry etc. For the hours I am accountant sahm is sahm making lunch, playing with toddler cleaning up his messes etc. BUT during the time sahm is sahm she can also sneak in mommy responsibilities and she starts supper throws in a load of laundry etc. I walk in the door at 420 and only then can I become mommy and make dinner laundry etc.

When, exactly?

Maybe if she has one child, and her child takes an hour+ nap every day. Or plays quietly.

But realistically, someone's at home all day with multiple small kids - how many total minutes per day do they need so little supervision/interaction that she can go do housework? 30 minutes? 60?

Remember, she also has extra housework to do. More snacks to make, more messes to clean. And she might even want to take a 5-minute coffee break once or twice a day. So subtract that from any quiet time she has when housework could happen.

I think you're right that the average SAHM has a little more time to do things like throw in a load of laundry. I just don't think that makes as big a difference as you're suggesting. OK, so she can maybe get in 30 minutes of (non-extra) housework during the 8 hours that a working mom is at work. 30 extra minutes in the day would be amazing, but it's still not 'SAHMs have it soooo much easier' levels of time.

Especially since she has to spend those 30 minutes actually doing housework. I can't be the only one who'd prefer working at my actual job for 3 hours and doing 1 hour of housework, to doing 3 hours of housework. (And no, I'm not saying I love my job.)
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 1:10 am
When my older kids were really young, I mostly worked evening shifts and was home with them during the day. It was amazing in a lot of ways (hard in others), and I'm glad I had that time - but I remember doing the actual calculations on this (because I'm that kind of nerd) and figuring out that I managed about 40 minutes of housework per 8am-4pm 'shift' with the kids. And believe me, I was trying.

(That's 40 minutes of things that would have had to happen even if I wasn't at home during the day - shopping, bathing kids, laundry, etc.)

And OTOH, did not have money for cleaning help or even a dishwasher. Although to be fair, in my case that was because my and dh's salaries were terrible, not because of a deliberate sacrifice for the sake of SAHM-ing.
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amother




Midnight
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 10:39 am
It sounds like some working mothers imagine staying at home to be like my sister's life. My sister works from home as an accountant in a big firm. She goes into the office twice a month or so. In her downtime, throughout the day, she does her laundry and cooks her food.

She also has no kids. So obviously, her apartment stays clean, she uses the bathroom alone, etc.
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amother




Pear
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 11:30 am
Why does everyone think that SAHM have a lot of money? I stopped working cuz it was just not worth it to pay babysitting and shlep out every day (and as much as I tried not to I used to buy lunch often…) I don’t have a degree and came home with less than $1000 after babysitting Meiser and all other related expenses and I was so exhausted (pregnant) so I had no energy to deal with my kids once I got home… my boss was also very inflexible appointments out sick days
It just made no sense anymore.
It’s not magic to stop working it’sa while Diffrent life, I hardly use my brains and I’m trying to keep my little ones entertained (sitting on the floor and building with them…)
It’s currently 11:26 am and I swept my floor 3 times already (from breakfast, snack and the container of oats that my little one spilled)
Bh I’m happy and grateful that I’m doing this just putting another perspective out there
Both WM and SAHM have pros and cons and the grass is always greener on the other side…
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