why do moms who work look down upon stay at home moms?
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As a working mom, I feel good about myself knowing that I'm contributing to my society. I'm doing something that not only benefits my family, but society as a whole. Also, I feel that women have a lot to offer in the "work world". We are good at many jobs that are dominated by male workers. e.g. engineering, computer science, business management...SAHM send out messages, I feel, that a woman's leadership skills come second to a man's.
Julia - posted on 04/09/2013
I don't think it is an issue of working moms looking down on you. I think it is an issue of the kids ages. Many moms go back to work in some capacity when the kids go to school. Teen and pre teen kids are pretty independent so I think people are genuinely curios why you haven't gone back to work. I think everyone has a right to make the choice that works best for thier family, but I do think sometimes working moms who are cleaning the house, cooking the dinner and taking care of the kids plus working full time outside of the home get a little frustrated when SAHMs say things like well being a mom is a 24/7 job. Because yes it is fir all of us but some of us don't have the luxury of being able to not have a job outside the home. I have done all three for at least 6 months. SAH, work part time, work full time and yes it is easier to be at home. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that being able to stay at home is a luxury and a blessing and acting grateful that you are able to be at home. Afterall I think most mothers would rather be at home and I still do all the things I did when I was at home and work a high stress demanding job outside the home on top of that. I wish I could be home but that isn't in my financial grasp at this time because I'm a single parent now. But having been on both sides I find it a little annoying when SAHMs act like they are just as busy as I am because I've been there done that and yes I am much busier working outside the home because being a mom didn't get easier or less demanding just because I went back to work full time. I just added another dimension of stress. I don't look down on single moms. I think it is a wonderful thing to be home for your family but I would like people to call a spade a spade. Being a mom isn't easy no matter what your choices or situation but I sure would love to go back to just having the job of mom without the outside pressures of the corporate jungle added on top. I read this blog by this organizational guru who is basically a work from home mom. I remember reading one where she talked about how she normally would never schedule 2 meetings in a day and tgen have yo take her daughter to music lessons because it is just too much. I laughed because her so called busy day which she outlined in detail would be like my lightest day.
Angie - posted on 11/01/2010
When I was a SAHM I found that working moms did look down their noses at me. What they didn't realize is that I was the volunteer who gave their children the special attention that they needed. Now I'm a working mom and my life is much easier than it was when I was at home. Keep doing what you're doing. I wouldn't be working if I didn't have to.
April - posted on 08/29/2014
I was a SAHM when my boys were young and enjoyed being there for them and helping at school. I do think SAHM do a lot of hard work and get taken advantaged of in general - they help volunteer at school and help maintain the home. I got tired of doing it all and when my boys were more independent and after 14 years of being at SAHM, I decided to go back to work and get a paid, while my husband helped more with the child care and activities. I enjoy having the extra income for fun spending and get out of the home when the boys are at school to use my education and experience. I see the benefits of both SAHM and working, depending on where you are in life, with a family. I did enjoy being a SAHM, but that gets depressing after a decade of being home and I enjoy working and being a productive member of society, when the kids are at school.
Brontegirl509 - posted on 12/30/2015
I don't think anyone looks down on you. Maybe it is just a reflection of the reality of most families. College is expensive and many moms go back to work to try to earn some money for the kids college, especially by the time they are in high school. If your finances are different, you are very lucky.
Shaila - posted on 05/01/2014
I always feel, my friends who are working are looking down on me, and they also feel that we have plenty of money, so that I don't have to work. In reality, I plan things well enough and cut down on some things which makes it easier for us to have a good life with one income.
Kathy - posted on 10/25/2012
When working moms come down on SAHM moms, it is often because :
1. They are jealous
2. They are bitter about having to work
3. They think SAHM have it easier
4. They think we are not feminists, or some other such thing
I think mommy wars are crap. I think working moms judging SAHM is crap, and SAHM judging working moms is crap. The only time I have an issue is when whatever the person is doing is clearly not working. Then it needs to be switched up. That isn't a judging issue, though, that is about recognizing what is best for your family and making it happen.
Jitka - posted on 10/25/2012
I've worked full time from the age of 18 (studied part time) up until (just under) 2 years back due to retrenchments. While my boys love having me at home, i feel so guilty! I can't shake the feeling that staying at home is not "contributing" to society as such :(
Sherree - posted on 12/25/2010
Funny that we get judged by some no matter which situation we are in. Even though I now work part-time, full-time moms still look at me as if I have all the time in the world and make a point of letting me know how busy they are. ..I have a full-time job of MOM and I have three part-time jobs. ..
We are ALL working moms, whether it is within the home, out of the home, or both.
Teresa - posted on 12/22/2010
I feel your pain. My job shut down and I have been home for a year with my children. My friends look down on me because they have to get up to go to work everyday. They think going to school and taking care of four children is not a job. If i could get a job to hire me, I would have been back at work!
I so agree with Barb Spaulding posting on 11/05/2010
in the times today working Moms cant begin to comprehend the idea of staying at home more so with the economy the way it is its all about money. some are envious others are just trying to be helpful and the list goes on of reasons.
Sherree - posted on 12/18/2010
Which ever situation we are in, there is always someone who looks down at us. We need to do our best to surround ourselves with supportive people and try to ignore the misguided who offer only negative comments.
When my children were young, I used to get very upset when people would say to me "Oh you are so lucky you get to stay home with your children." It upset me because it was not luck.
My husband and I both decided that I would be the one to stay home to take care of/raise our children.
In order to stay home with my children I gave up my full-time job, my part-time job, and going to college part-time.
It was my choice. It wasn't luck. it wasn't easy giving up my income and education. But we decided that it was best for our family.
Kari - posted on 12/17/2010
I second Angie. I, too, like many here have been on both sides - used to be a SAHM and am now a working mom (17yo b / 12 yo g).
A few of the comments here, from SAHMs: "we SAHM are running the best corporation around it is call home. We are chiefs,taxi drivers, volunteers, accounts, financial advisors, counselers, pyshologist, and lovers." Ummm, so are we working moms. Working outside the home doesn't mean we come home to all of this magically taken care of, popping our feet up on the couch and grabbing a martini.
" I stay at home because my children need me there, My children are not running amuck, someone else is NOT raising them, and they will turn out well rounded, structured and disciplined." And so my kids are somehow running amok, wreaking havoc on society, completely unstructured and undisciplined? Ummmm, no. Straight As and more compliments than I can count from my junior higher and my son's never so much as had detention and is gearing up to serve our country in the Army.
I appreciate Nelly's situation... she's totally right, there will always be idiots who assume because that you stay at home, you're lazy or somehow not working as hard. But really, the comments from the SAHMs are just as hurtful and disrespectful although they seem to somehow be OK to throw around.
We ALL work. Period.
Angie - posted on 12/16/2010
I agree with Renee. Her comment is here 'I actually think it is the opposite - It has been my experience that stay at home moms tend to look down on us moms who are working outside of the house. I couldn't work outside of the house if I did not have the help of my husband. Before I went back to work we talked and I told him that if he wanted a housewife that I would be more than happy to stay home - but if I was expected to work then he would also have to help with the housework. He does help and does not complain - I appreciate that.'
I respect a womans right to stay home or work. I've been a single, working mother. I don't look down on either,, but it seems that non-working mothers always have to tell us working mothers the damage we are doing to our kids. My kids are good, well adjusted, socially adequate kids. But I feel that non working mothers always have to justify their reasons for not working.
I decided when before I got pregnant with my first 20 years ago that I wanted to work at home and started figuring out some way to do both. I knew I wasn't cut out to be a housewife, hate cleaning and cooking, but also didn't want to have my kids in daycare. I found a legitimate correspondence class on editing for court reporters, didn't start it for another year until when my son arrived, spent a year doing the class on retirement fund money earned, and have been working as a scopist for the past 20 years, now making more than I could have made in a full-time position outside with no college degree. There are ways to do both, if desired, but it takes a lot of determination. It was the very best choice for me and I still love my job even though my boys are now 20 and 15. Plan to do it for another 20 years.
Renee - posted on 11/18/2010
I have been a stay home mom, then worked nights so I would be home during the day for my child, then worked in a office during the day when he was in school and am now a flight attendant, The hardest job I ever had was being a stay at home mom.
If we take the job of staying home and taking care of our children seriously and do it right then it is the hardest job you will ever do - but also the most rewarding. You will never make as much of a difference as the difference you make in your childs life...so it doesn't matter if you stay home or work outside of the home. Make a difference in your childs life.
We as a collective group need to stop worrying what others think if we choose to stay home or choose to work outside of the home. What ever you and your spouse choose to do in raising your family is up to you and your spouse. We are adult enough to have children - we are adult enough to raise them as we see fit.
Sherree - posted on 11/18/2010
I wrote a very personal, detailed response to you.. ..and then my computer went off-line and my message to you disappeared.. ..
So for now I will just say, try not to let the negative comments get to you (I know that can be challenging.)
Continue to be the proud great Mom that you are.
Perhaps people judge us due to their mixed feelings about choices they have made.
Being a Mom is the hardest, best, most challenging, rewarding, "job" their is.
I wish you all the best,
Sherree - posted on 11/18/2010
Nelly you ask a good question. It is sad that choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom can evoke negative comments and attitudes from working-out-side-of-the-home-moms.
Before children I worked full-time and part-time and went to school part-time. My husband and I equally shared/paid for household expenses. I gave up both my jobs and school because my husband and I decided that we both wanted me to be the primary caretaker of our children; not a daycare program or babysitter.
Now I do work out of the home part-time, and some people still express the same attitude and judgements as when I did not.
People assume you have all the time in the world, and often point out all the time that they put into their jobs.
As a stay-at-home-mom, I never had time for myself. I was always "on"; I didn't get to come home from work and have someone else prepare dinner or take over child-care. When I began working part-time, my home responsibilities did not change at all.
It is sad when someone feels the need to put down, or make less important, your choices in order to (perhaps this is why they do it:) to justify the choices they have made.
We know what is involved with being a Mom; being a Mom is the hardest, best, most important, rewarding, "job" their is.
I have never disrespected a woman for choosing to be an out-of-the-home-working-mom. I expect, and have over the years learned to demand respect for what I do.
Ursula - posted on 11/14/2010
As a SAHM myself I can see that they look down without sometimes realizing that they are doing it. Take the higher road we SAHM are running the best corporation around it is call home. We are chiefs,taxi drivers, volunteers, accounts, financial advisors, counselers, pyshologist, and lovers. So how many women can do this seven days a week three hundred sixty fives a year and still love and care for others with no sick leave or time off.
Karrie - posted on 11/14/2010
I have done both as well, and the only way I would look down on a mom for staying home is if she were living on welfare. I loved staying home with my children, but in order for us to have the things we desire I have to work. I envy moms who can stay home and still be able to give to their kids like they want. Just enjoy your kids, and do what your heart, and your bank account tell you to.
Cyndee - posted on 11/11/2010
As a working mom myself, I admire the stay at home moms out there! I've stayed at home with my kids at certain times of their lives and it just didn't work for me - no energy, motivation, outside activities, etc. That was me at that time of my life though. I love my kids! They are the best things that have happened to me and I spend plenty of time with them doing activities. We moms that work by choice or out of necessity should appreciate what you do for your family, community and us in a pinch when our child needs to be transported to an event while we're working or something else along those lines. In many cases you're the ones who volunteer at our schools and in the community, etc. Technically, we're all working moms but some of us don't get paid for what we do. My youngest is now in high school and I'd love to stay home and volunteer at her school and in the community if I could afford to do it. Instead, I try to volunteer on the days I take off from work, using my vacation time to do so to keep in touch with what's going on at school and in the community.
Suszanne - posted on 11/11/2010
Nelly, I hope that your experience with some tactless moms has not shaped your opinion of us (I work outside the home). I applaud those women who are able (I am currently the major income for our family - my husband has been unemployed for 6 months) to be home for their children during the day. I know it is as much a full-time (plus overtime) job and it is not something every mom can accomplish successfully. The most successful stay-at-home moms are those with certain gifts and I have been blessed with other gifts. =o) Just remember that not all working moms have the desire or the capability to be stay at home moms, and that some of them don't understand yours.
I hope that helps. Have a blessed day.
April - posted on 11/11/2010
I work and would love nothing more than to be able to stay at home so look down upon.. no way, if anything I wish we had the financial stability for me to stay at home and give my child who is 15 the attention and structure needed. I seriously doubt you are bored when you are at home anyways there are always things to do around the house and for the house.
Renee - posted on 11/10/2010
I actually think it is the opposite - It has been my experience that stay at home moms tend to look down on us moms who are working outside of the house. I couldn't work outside of the house if I did not have the help of my husband. Before I went back to work we talked and I told him that if he wanted a housewife that I would be more than happy to stay home - but if I was expected to work then he would also have to help with the housework. He does help and does not complain - I appreciate that.
April - posted on 11/10/2010
I don't know why other moms do this. I don' t think stay at home moms should worry about it though. I always tell the working mom's this...." I stay at home because my children need me there, My children are not running amuck, someone else is NOT raising them, and they will turn out well rounded, structured and disciplined."
Eileen - posted on 11/10/2010
I agree with the 'not bored' part. How can a thinking person be bored? There are always things to do: projects to start/finish, reading, learning, growing, and people for me to help.
Recently, I lost my husband, so now have to find a 'real' job. It is not easy, since I've been out of the business world for almost 20 years. I'd love to be able to 'just stay home' and continue to run this household!
Dawn - posted on 11/10/2010
I love, love, love being a stay at home mom...I have worked most of my kids lives, because I had too...and now I don't...and I love, love, love it...I don't get women who say they get bored...I just laugh it off...I love, love, love it. And so do my kids...they would rather I be here than away from them. I love that too!
Kelly - posted on 11/10/2010
As a working mom, I don't think they are looking down on you. I think they are jealous. I was able to stay home with my son for the first year. I would have loved the chance to stay at home. I believe that the teen years are one of the most important times to "be there" for your kids. Four pre-teens/teens IS WORK!!!
Janice - posted on 11/10/2010
Have done both, and I really do enjoy working BUT, having said that, i wish there was a happier medium for working moms, like more work places, and more jobs that offered more flexi-times for working moms. People seem to think it's easier to work when your kids are older but I'm not finding that. I work a full day and from next year, all my kids will be at school (Grade, 1, 2, 7 and 10). I would loved to have a job where I can work until say 3.30 pm and then be home to help with homework - especially for my younger kids. It's not fair for my older kids to be supervising their homework - they have their own work to do. Am going to have to do some serious thinking about negotiating my work hours next year. In the past though, my workplace hasn't shown the most understanding when it comes to this type of stuff.
Mari - posted on 11/09/2010
I have been on both sides as well and I have to admit part is a tad bit of jealousy. Though I know better than being bored all day. I make sure to use my time wisely as in wake up feed the kiddos, work out, clean up a house after 3 teens and 1 baby 14mnths and of course the non-cleaning or cooking hubby is a full time job, laundry is never ending and finding a hobby and getting really good at it is taking any other free time(which is tiny). I do more at home than I did sitting at a desk all day. My friend and I use to joke and say woman get jobs to get away from the chaos. I think it has a lot to do with women feeling inadequate and feeling a tad guilty and instead of admitting the guilt they bash the women they somewhat envy. But everyone's situation is different. I was single raising 3 girls at 1 point and had to work full time. Now I am remarried with a baby and finding myself a SAHM again. To those woman who say or think it's not a job tell that to the daycare worker you drop your children off as you write out her fat check so she can put food on the table..IT IS A JOB...it's a full time job! If it weren't you wouldn't be paying someone your hard earned cash.
Heidi - posted on 11/09/2010
I have been a SAHM for 14 years and have met people who respect what I do on a daily basis and people who do not. It took me along time to accept and understand that not everyone would agree with my choice. What I learned is that I had to be comfortable with that choice. As a former corporate businesswoman and college grad, it took me a long time to feel confident in what I was doing. But my point is that it was the right choice for our family. Not another family, just ours and in the end that is all that matters. Trust your instincts, you know when another woman is asking a question out of genuine interest or not. Prepare two answers, one that really answers the question for the interested mom and then a pithy reply for the not interested one. I usually say that I sit on the couch eating bon bons and drinking champagne all day. We all have a good laugh and move on to another topic.
Love what you do and then get some attitude!
Tah - posted on 11/08/2010
as a working mom i must say that i don't feel guilt, stress or jealousy....I think that the war between the sahm and working mom has been waged for years..because like Barb just showed..some people think that working moms feel those things...and the majority don't..some do..but the majority don't....i think that they were asking honest questions...with pre-teens, they are at school all day..so i would get bored....i'm bored now...my homework is done..laundry is going, dinner is being unthawed, house has been cleaned, i've been to the gym, gased the truck, fed and played with the dog, cleaned his room...and i still have to work overnight so i'm trying to fall asleep....my kids are at school right now.i was actually done all of that by 10am....but i just saw your post. So i think their questions were honestly not meant to cause any harm.
I have had, and still have sahms say that daycare raises your kids, they don't get enough attention, when studies show the opposite and i just know different...I love being mom, a wife, student and a nurse, when i go to work it's time for me and it keeps me sane. My children still get my attention, i'm every concert, we do karate as a family, we go on trips, they come lay on my bed and just hang...etc..I think i am a better mom because i work. I know some sahms that are good at it, and some that need to go to work so their child can actually get some interaction, i think you will have some on both sides that look down on each other....but if you want to be at home while your teenagers are in school, thats up to you too....don't feel bad about it...it's your choice...
also..i have been on both sides, and i must say..working it is...
SHAMILLAH - posted on 11/07/2010
I really dnt think they was looking down on u i just think they was just asking a question.. I been on both side of thing i been a stay home mom now for a yr and a half and i have been a working mom for 10 and i can honest say i enjoy working than staying at home...so im going bck to work..
Barb - posted on 11/05/2010
Being on both sides of the fence myself I'm going to suggest that it could be many things all having nothing to do with you but of the person who holds the opinion.
Guilt could be one reason. The working mom feels guilty because she is working and not at home with her kids and therefore has to justify her reasons why she works and why it's best for her and the kids.
Jealousy. Maybe she really enjoyed being a stay at home mom and because of reasons out of her control she no longer can be and is forced to work in a job she may not like as much.
Stress. She may feel the stress of working an 8 hr day and then coming home and having to still try to maintain the full time job that is a SAHM.
Or, it could be for no reason at all. As Stacy pointed out, they may not be intentionally trying to insult you, but maybe just trying to communicate or identify with you.
If you are happy and secure in your decision it really doesn't matter what others think.
Ramona - posted on 11/04/2010
I was home for a long time too. I now work part time out of the house. I wish I was still full time at home, but with dh being laid off more than not (construction) that is not an option now. I do feel that when I was home, I got a lot of "What do you do all day?" stuff. I always say, "You know how your kids do projects, go to scouts, a PTA program, play safely at the park? I do that for my kids and yours! Plus, all the laundry, snacks, cleaning, etc... that comes with it.
Louise - posted on 11/03/2010
I have also been on both sides of this. I made it a point to stay at home until my kids were school age and then I went to work in the schools so that I could be at home when the kids were on holiday. I decided to have another baby when my youngest son was 15 so now I am back to being a say at home mum with no plans to go back to work until my daughter is at school. I can hand on heart say that raising one toddler is so much easier giving me alot of spare time and I am getting bored so I have decided to do an open university degree to fill some of my down time for the next three years. My daughter is catered for all day with craft activities and imaginative play but she also goes to a playgroup and has a day time nap. So I have on adverage 4 hours a day to get my jobs done. There is only so much cleaning I can do and quite frankly I am bored. With my first children I was glad to be home all day every day and that is where I wanted to be but now I am 40 I want to get out more and have some stimulation in my life as well as my beautiful daughter to care for. I can imagine with four teenagers in the house your laundry basket must always be full and the cupboards always empty but there are only two adults and one toddler that live here full time and my youngest son that flits in and out between work and college. You may feel differently when your children start to leave home!
Stacy - posted on 11/01/2010
Aww, please give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not asking as a way of insulting you. I've been on both sides of the field, and sometimes, I do get bored staying at home (all my children are schoolage). People that fill their time with work and have household work as a side job can't imagine that household work can fill up an entire day, let alone 7, but they just don't realize what isn't getting done. Also, sometimes working moms want a separate identity from just "so and so's mom/wife", which is okay. My answer to that question would be, "I do work. I manage a household, and it's a full-time job".
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