Stay at home moms vs working dads

Jenni - posted on 08/24/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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So basically let's get down to the nitty gritty here...
Who's job is really harder?
Currently I'm a stay at home mom and care for my son (2 yrs old), my daughter (3 months old) and half the time we have my step-daughter (3 yrs old). My husband works a hard job; physical labour and 12 hour shifts; 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 3 off. Confusing i know. He also works swing shifts midnights/days. He helps out tons on his days off and is just as busy as me. He takes the kids out to play in the afternoon to give me a break with the baby. Does all the laundry and runs errands with me. I don't expect him to do a thing other than get himself ready on days he works. Anyways, i think things are fair now but i didn't always see it that way. I didn't feel he was pulling his load on his days off and after talking to him about it failed I went with a little forced empthy. Shortly after our daughter was born I told him I was going to get my hair done and he would have to watch the kids. ALONE! teehee. I told him i'd be about 2 hours at the salon. Well, turned out it took about 4 hours. 3 hours into it my husband shows up at the salon with 2 toddlers and a baby all in tears. And ummm, one grown man close to tears. "You're not done yet?!?!" Poor guy looked so drained and pale. He can handle the 3 and 2 year old on his own but throwing the baby into the mix just pushed him over the edge. Before that he would always tell me how staying at home is so easy and he would give anything to trade places with me. I don't hear that anymore! And any time he does give me a hard time I threaten to go get my hair done!
I'm just tired of the social stigma that goes with stay-at-home moms. I mean sure, it's a very rewarding job and can be a lot of fun! But as we all know it aint all glamour! I do know both sides of the coin too. I worked a similar job to my husband's, at a warehouse. I lifted 20-30lbs boxes 8 hours a day while I was pregnant with my daughter. I still had to wake up with my son at 6am and head to work for 8am. Come home at 4pm and make dinner while taking care of a one year old (And on occasions a 2 year old). And guess what? I hate to admit it but there were days I looked forward to going to work to take a break from the mental/emotional stress. I mean for 8 hours straight I could actually hear my own thoughts!! Not that I don't love being a mom but hey, sometimes with so many little ones you forget how enjoyable peace and quiet can be ;)

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[deleted account]

In our family, my husband definitely has the harder job. His job is not physically demanding, but it is very demanding mentally and socially (he works in Computer Sciences). It gets physical some days, he has to walk through production plants and such regularly, but for the most part, he sits in front of a computer writing code, or in front of a client trying to understand what they need.

I get up when he does, but I get a lot of free time during the day, while J is at taekwondo, playing at the park, swimming, story times--I spend a lot of time chatting with other mom's and reading, both of which I enjoy. Our house is small, I can keep it spotless if I clean about an hour and a half each day. Most of the activities I do in a day, I enjoy--ride our bikes, who doesn't love that? Shopping--fun! Watch him play in the sprinklers in the back yard--relaxing. Nothing I do during a typical day is really difficult, especially when compared to his job. I think the most difficult thing I do in a given day is vacuum, and I would have to say that is much easier than writing computer codes or designing operating systems for some spoiled exec who wants more tech than he's willing to pay for.
Granted, my son is out of diapers, but I remember those days....and I only have one, but that is really a choice.

Lindsay - posted on 08/25/2010

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I'm going to have to say in all honesty, that he's got it harder job than me, though he'll never know I said that! lol I am home with the kids everyday but I am also a full time student at night. So 3 days a week, he works all day to come home and take over for me. The rest of the time, when he gets home, he showers and then jumps right in on helping me out. If I had someone that didn't respect the hard work I put in or just didn't try to help, I may feel that my role was the harder of the 2. But neither one of us get much of a break until bedtime.

Becky - posted on 08/24/2010

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I think being a stay at home mom is harder. I don't deny that my husband's job can be draining. He gets up early in the morning, sometimes he works long hours, and he has to deal with all those office politics, which thankfully, I am spared! And he does help out around the house and with the boys when he's home. But let's face it, I deal with the majority of the shit around here! Literally and figuratively! he doesn't do poopy diapers, lol! If the kids are sick, I clean up the puke (unless he's home) and deal with them whining and clinging to me all day. I deal with the tantrums and the sibling fights, the food thrown on the floor, the jealousy when they both want mommy at the same time. I kiss the booboos. I get up in the night when the baby wakes up or my toddler has a bad dream. I deal with the fights to get my 2 1/2 year old to nap.... I'm pretty willing to bet that he doesn't deal with any of that at work! (well, except maybe tantrums, lol!)
On the other hand, my boys are both total mommy's boys. When they're sick, tired, sad, hurt, scared... they want me. They're both so lovey and affectionate and they're complete joys. I get to see all their "firsts" and he gets to hear about them second-hand or see pictures. So, yeah, I do think my job is harder, but I also think it's far more rewarding. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

[deleted account]

At the moment we only have one extremely well behaved, content, happy, easy-going, EASY lil' almost-two-year-old, so IMO, being a SAHM is the best job in the world. I definitely wouldn't want to be Chad working 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week just so we can barely scratch by. His job is physically more demanding so he comes home exhausted and STILL helps out with Roxanne because he enjoys it. His job is definitely more stressful on top of the added stress of supporting his family.....right now, in our current situation, HIS job is harder from where I'm sitting.



I do realize that I am extremely fortunate and I cherish my job. BOTH our jobs are extremely rewarding and it works for us. Things might change and I might feel differently IF Roxanne wasn't such an easy baby/toddler or we had a second or third child.

Carolee - posted on 08/24/2010

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Both jobs are hard, but, honestly, my husband cannot handle both kids for more than an hour or two... even on his days off. He does let me get my nails done every two weeks, though... and every four weeks I get a pedicure! That's his "thank you" to me for doing what I do without "actual pay".

Katherine - posted on 08/24/2010

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I argue with my husband about this all th time. Although it's not a competition I try to explain that he can pee, eat and do what he wants when he wants in private. Being a SAHM is 24/7 whereas a "job" is 9-5 and then you go home. I tell him I woul LOVE to work just to get some respite. It just isn't feasible for us.
At work, you take care of yourself, at home you take care of you AND the LO's.
My husband didn;t ever seem to think he had to help because he worked all day. I guess if you have a partner that helps it's a different story.

[deleted account]

I generally agree with both of you. Both jobs are equally as important for a family to function. Unfortunately, many people and many husbands don't see it that way, as frequently evidenced on the Welcome page and Stay at Home Moms page. I count my blessings every time my sweet husband volunteers to clear away the dishes, or takes our daughter with him on errands, or lets her fix his hair, so that I can have a moment to clear my head or get something done. I try not to complain about my work at home or my daughter, because I'd rather not be anywhere else. And I don't have it bad at all. =)

Sharon - posted on 08/24/2010

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Both are hard. At home you only need to please yourself really. If you set your standards to high or set them to someone elses height - then that is on you.

Working outside the home. ..... whole different set of stresses.

For me - being a stayathomemom was the hardest job I ever had. Working in the corporate world sucks ass but I find my own rewards. Same as being a stayathomemom.

Tara - posted on 08/24/2010

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To make a generalization I would have to say that sahms have it harder. The hours are longer, there is no day off, there are no holidays, no stat days, no long weekends, no sick leave, no mental health days, you are not excused from work to attend doctors appt.s etc. you simply take your work with you.
Even if dad is hauling his share of ass around the house, doing things that need to be done but also not hiding in the garage, basement whatever, but doing things with the kids, with you, and together, it's still rarely an even split. They work hard, they do hard work our work is different, it's ongoing, non stop.
Our hubby's are doing what they need to do to make the family function. It's not equal but that's just cause it's different. I see no need to have him make appointments for the kids, organize family functions, birthday parties etc. he doesn't make sure the linens are changed, he doesn't take in or pick up any parcels etc. that need to be mailed. These are things we do, our brains are always working, constantly.
We are managers of our homes, they go outside to work and when they are home they contribute but ultimately we do more. Some of us thanklessly some of us with great men who appreciate all we do just as us great women appreciate all they do. :)

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