Work Out of the Home/ Work in the Home?

I was a stay at home mom until my kids were four and five years old. It wasn’t easy, but we really felt like they needed the security of a parent at home with them. Plus, with the cost of childcare, we didn’t end up with that much more money if I worked out of the home. My husband had the better salary, so I stayed with the children. I have just started back to work full time, which I love. Being around other adults and the new challenges of my position just feels great. My problem is that I still feel guilty at times and wonder if my husband and I have made the “right” decision.

Chances are that if you are feeling fulfilled at your new job and the children are in quality daycare, you have made the most “right” decision, at least for this time in your lives. Staying at home with children is very challenging, in some different ways than working out of the home. It comes down to what you are more suited for, what the financial situation requires and the amount of emotional and task support you get from your spouse. Sometimes you just have to put yourself in different situations and see how everything goes. Allow for plenty of time for everyone to adjust.

It’s not uncommon for me to meet a career mom who tried staying home with children and discovered she was miserable. Boredom, loneliness and even depression can set in if long hours of childcare and home management are not your thing. For these women, it’s important to avoid feeling guilty about not enjoying staying at home and accept that they are better parents when they have a work role outside the home. Feeling more fulfilled and content means when they are parenting their children, they will be a more positive presence, especially if they have the support of their spouse.

For women who embrace full-time parenting, all family members usually benefit from their child and home management efforts.

Your question made me wonder what some family members thought about having a parent working in the home or both parents working away from the home. It’s a very unscientific poll, but see what you think. My hope is you will connect with some of these family members and experience the sense of peace that comes from knowing you are not alone in your family worries, struggles and even successes. If we keep doing our best with the gifts we are given, things usually work out well!

Moms Working Inside the Home

Q: Three Benefits to being a mom working in the home.

A: Mom 1:
Easier to monitor kid’s activities
Less Stressful
More organized
More support to spouse

A: Mom 2:
Don’t have to call in sick
Get more time with kids
Not so stressed with time crunch

A: Mom 3:
Involved daily and non-stop with kids
More open schedule
Not as stressful

A: Mom 4:
Not getting dressed
Flexible schedule
Don’t like being in a closed-in office space

A: Mom 5:
Not as much rushing around
Can make your own schedule
More in touch with what’s going on with the kids and their friends

Q: Three most difficult things working in the home

A: Mom 1:
Bored moments, monotonous
Tend to get stuck running more errands for working family members

A: Mom 2:
Too much flexibility; more confused and fee chaotic
People fee you do nothing so they volunteer you to do errands
Don’t have your own money
Don’t have a feeling of completion

A: Mom 3:
Less money
Tedious
Stressful: you feel like even if you clean the house, you could have done it better or accomplished more

A: Mom 4:
Not enough money
Not getting out with adults as much
It takes self-discipline to get things done

A: Mom 5:
Can be lonely
Some days it’s hard to stay motivated
Feeling guilty because you don’t get enough done

Q: Do you feel the kids have benefited from you staying home?

A: Mom 1: Yes

A: Mom 2: Yes, although they might benefit from more structure

A: Mom 3: Yes, overall, my son had a predictable schedule and the security of me being there.

A: Mom 4: Yes, I am physically present if they need me. Can talk anytime and have the flexibility to get them where they need to go.

A: Mom 5: Yes, for the most part, although some days I was pretty down and not the best of company.

Q: Do you feel like your spouse has benefited from you staying home?

A: Mom 1: Yes

A: Mom 2: Yes, takes the household and kid stress off him

A: Mom 3: We divorced so I don’t know about that answer

A: Mom 4: Yes, no childcare expenses, can get home stuff done, he doesn’t have to worry about the kids and he has peace of mind

A: Mom 5: Yes, it really enabled him to focus on his work/career

Q: Would you have done things differently with what you know now?

A: Mom 1: Yes, I would have gotten a career going first, then family.

A: Mom 2: Yes, I would have spaced out the children more (Mother of 5)

A: Mom 3: No

A: Mom 4: No

A: Mom 4: No

Moms Working Outside the Home

Q: Three benefits to working outside the home.

A: Mom 1:
Health insurance
Income
Interaction with adults

A: Mom 2
Income
Health Insurance
Interaction with adults

A: Mom 3
Income
Socializing
Being active

A: Mom 4:
Income
Benefits
Using skills and talents

A: Mom 5:
Income

A: Mom 6:
Income and independence
Feeling of more security
Accomplishments

A: Mom 7:
More money
Others to talk to, adult stimulation
Feelings of accomplishment

Q: Three most difficult things about working outside the home.

A: Mom 1:
Missing out on the children’s activities
Drive time lost
Cost of benefits

A: Mom 2:
Childcare
Juggling home and work life
Drive time

A: Mom 3:
Leaving kids
Cost of lunches, gas
Too busy and never enough time

A: Mom 4:
Not being available for children
Can’t take care of home properly
Less freedom

A: Mom 5:
Juggling home and work
Being everything to everyone

A: Mom 6:
Miss children very much
At times don’t feel like you’re doing either role well
Don’t have enough time for enriching activities with kids, time stress

A: Mom 7:
Not seeing my son enough
Stressful if child sick, you don’t want to let down child or employer
Always pulled in a million directions

Q: Do you feel the children have benefited from you working outside the home?

A: Mom 1: Yes

A: Mom 2: Yes

A: Mom 3: No

A: Mom 4: No

A: Mom 5: Yes, better socialization and my daughter pretend-plays she is working and organizing a daycare. This seems empowering for her.

A: Mom 6: Yes, I think they are more independent and responsible because of it but it has not been easy for them at times, they miss me when I have to be away.

A: Mom 7: Yes, my son has become more independent, more social, knows he is one of many instead of the center of the universe.

Q: Do you feel your spouse has benefited from you working outside the home? How?

A: Mom 1: Yes

A: Mom 2: Yes

A: Mom 3: Yes

A: Mom 4: No

A: Mom 5: Yes. It has made him take more of an active role in parenting and the household and this seems to have benefited everyone. He is a wonderful father!

A: Mom 6: Yes, it takes a huge amount of financial stress off of him and he is a real them player because he is so needed to help with kids, house and cooking.

A: Mom 7: Yes, less money stress; we have more of a partnership in getting everything done.

Q: Would you have done things differently with what you know now?

A: Mom 1: Yes

A: Mom 2: No

A: Mom 3: Yes

A: Mom 4: Absolutely, yes

A: Mom 5: Maybe would have liked to work part-time for a while but other than that, no.

A: Mom 6: No, not really. I tried staying home when the kids were babies and I wasn’t happy. I would work part-time now though, to be around my older children.

A: Mom 7: No, but if I have another child. I will have a nanny who can bring me the child sometime during the workday.

Husbands of Wives Working in the Home /With Children

Q: Three benefits you have experienced from your wife working in the home.

A: Dad 1:
Wife bonds with kids
Kids get sick less often
No daycare costs

A: Dad 2
Mom with kids more
Cleaner house
Home-cooked meals

A: Dad 3
Better quality time when I come home
Kids benefit
House is in better shape

A: Dad 4:
No benefits. We have problems with kids and she doesn’t do anything

A: Dad 5: Kids
House
Better quality time when I get home

A:Dad 6:
No daycare costs
Having someone manage the household
She picks up the slack of what I can’t get done

A:Dad 7:
Here for the kids
Never had to deal with daycare
If something needs to be done, like a plumber, she is there

Q: Three difficulties with your wife staying home

A: Dad 1:
Wife consumed with kids and house
No time away for herself
Less cash flow

A: Dad 2:
Less money

A: Dad 3:
Money worries

A: Dad 4:
Money stress

A: Dad 5:
Less money and less time for me

A: Dad 6:
No extra income

A:Dad 7:
No

Q:Do you feel like you and your children have benefited from her staying home? How?

A: Dad 1: Yes

A: Dad 2: Yes

A: Dad 3: The children have. I feel ripped off because the kids are more attached to her and have no appreciation for why I am not around

A: Dad 4: No benefit

A: Dad 5: Yes for children and no for me

A:Dad 6: Yes, always having someone here and she helps them with homework

A:Dad 7: Never had to go to daycare, not sick as often, they feel more secure

Q: Do you feel like the marriage has benefited from her staying home? How?

A: Dad 1: No

A: Dad 2: Yes

A: Dad 3: No benefit

A:Dad 4: Went downhill

A: Dad 5: No benefit

A: Dad 6: Yes. Having wife here builds morale and the kids hear good things about their Dad, even when I’m not here.

A:Dad 7: Not the stresses about whose career is more important

Q:With what you know now, would you have done anything differently?

A: Dad 1: Yes, would rather wife worked

A:Dad 2: Yes, would rather wife worked

A: Dad 3: No

A: Dad 4: Yes, would rather she worked

A: Dad 5: No

A: Dad 6: No, would do it the same

A: Dad 7: No

Husbands of Wives Working Outside the Home/With Children

Q: Three benefits you have experienced from your wife working outside the home.

A: Dad 1:
Income
Mom getting out more, so she is happier

A: Dad 2:
Income

A: Dad 3:
More money for family vacations
More choices and opportunities away from work

A:Dad 4:
Income; less money stress

A: Dad 5:
Money

Q: Three difficulties with your wife working outside the home.

A: Dad 1:
Kids get sick more often
Getting kids to and from school

A: Dad 2:
At night my wife is too tired
Kids are less supervised
Less time for me

A:Dad 3:
Less time with my wife; have to rely on phone conversations
Too busy in the evenings getting household tasks done and the kid stuff to get to talk

A: Dad 4:
More household work for me
She’s more stressed and irritable

A: Dad 5:
We don’t see each other enough

Q: Do you feel like the children benefit from your wife working outside the home? How?

A: Dad 1: Yes

A: Dad 2: No

A: Dad 3: Yes, more independent, more helpful with family chores, they feel needed in family

A: Dad 4: No. We have one child who needs more supervision than he’s getting

A: Dad 5: Yes. My daughters seem more career minded and that’s good for their future independence.

Q: Do you feel the marriage has benefited from her staying home?

A: Dad 1: Yes

A: Dad 2: No

A: Dad 3: Yes, we can do more now and the kids are getting to see teamwork in a marriage

A: Dad 4: No, I think we are both just so tired all the time so more irritability between us

A: Dad 5: Overall, yes, she is happier and feels more self-confident

Q: With what you know now, would you have done anything differently?

A: Dad 1: No

A:Dad 2: Yes

A: Dad 3: Yes, I would have blocked more family vacation time instead of taking a day here or a day there

A: Dad 4: Yes, saved more money early on

A: Dad 5: No

Children with Moms Working Inside the Home

Q:What are the best things about your mom staying home?

A: Male 12:
Always get to see her
If you need her, she’s there

A: Female 10:
She cooks good meals
When my dad’s busy, she lets us go swimming
We get to garden and run errands with her

A: Male 14:
Able to take me to sports
Don’t have to go to a babysitter or daycare
Get to hang out with parents more and I like that

A: Male 11:
If something bad happens, they are there and you can spend more time with them

A: Male 13:
Not being home alone as much
Get to talk with her more

Q: What is the most challenging thing about your mom being home with you?

A: Male 12: You get in trouble more

A: Female 10: Sometimes we run out of money

A: Male 14: None

A: Male 11: None

A: Male 13: Having her around all the time

Q: If you decide to have a family, what will you want the mom to do?

A: Male 12: It will be up to her if she works or not

A: Female 10: Stay at home with the kids and live out in the country, not in a neighborhood like we do

A: Male 14: I will be a stay at home Dad and my wife will be a doctor

A: Male 11: I will want my wife to stay at home

A: Male 13: The mom will work; I’m not having kids

Q: Do you feel like you are a better person because your mom stayed home

A: Male 12: Yes, better.

A: Female 10: Yes

A: Male 14: Yes

A: Male 11: Maybe just a little

A: Male 13: Yes

Children With Moms Working Outside the Home

Q: What are the best things about your mom having a job away from home?

A: Male 15:
Less worry about money
Feel more secure about our financial situation

A: Male 12:
Brings more money in

A: Male 12:
Don’t have to worry about money

A: Female 9: I can get more stuff
She doesn’t get mad as much

Q: What are the worst things about your mom having a job away from home?

A: Male 15: Don’t see her as often

A: Male 12: She’s not at home

A: Male 12: We don’t get to see her when we get home from school and we don’t get to have friends over as often in the summer

A: Female 9: She is always in a hurry

Q: If you decide to have a family, what will you want the mom to do?

A: Male 15: I want my wife to stay home

A: Male 12: The man will work. I want to bring the money in for the family

A: Male 12: I will make enough money so my wife has a choice

A: Female 9: I will work a job

Q: Do you feel like you are a better person because your mom worked outside the home?

A: Male 15: No

A: Male 12: Yes. We appreciate our mom more when we do get to see her

A: Male 12: Yes, better

A: Female 9: Yes



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