It is a debate that has left the self-esteem of many a woman in its wake:
Who has it better? Stay at home moms (SAHM) or work outside the home moms (WOHM)?
The answer: Yes.
I have done both, and they are both awesome. Also, they both suck.
If you work outside of the home you have several distinct advantages. Ooh, and notice how I said, “outside of the home,” and not just, “if you work.” It kind of makes my blood boil when people say SAHM’s don’t work. Particularly if you have multiple children. Then your job is like running a daycare. For free. Where your clients scream in your ear and claw at your leg for an appointment. All. Day. Long.
Advantages to the WOHM:
- Usually, your employees don’t throw temper tantrums and scream at decibel levels that could shatter ear drums. And if they do, you can fire them.
- Work clothes. I know this may not always seem like an advantage, but often times that second income lets you shop at stores other than Good Will. And that’s just so awesome. At least, I remember it being that way.
- Money. You get paid for the work you do. And while I know that it’s probably far less than you deserve, there’s still a paycheck. Trust me. I made less working as a full time teacher in a private school than I did at my part time job in high school. Even that minuscule paycheck helped.
This was about the size of my paycheck while I worked full time. It’s bigger than the one I get now, though.
- You can converse with people over the age of 3. Maybe. Or sometimes the people you converse with act like they’re 3, in which case it’s a wash.
- Someone else cleans your office. The vast majority of employers also employ a custodial staff. This means someone else mops the floors. Unless you are the custodial staff. But at least you get paid to mop the floors?
- No. Mommy. Guilt. This is by far the greatest advantage. When I went back to work after having my first daughter, I cried every day for two weeks on the way to work. How could I leave her for 9 hours a day and let someone else raise her? And you know what happened in the end: she loved day care. Her day care was amazing, and given as a bonus from my husband’s company at the time. I mean the name of it was La Petit Academy for crying out loud. It was like the Oxford University of day cares. But I still felt guilty leaving her. SAHM don’t have to deal with that. Win.
- Pajama days are frowned upon much less.
- When the kids are sick, nobody has to use a sick day. Of course, as a SAHM, you don’t get sick days. So let’s call that one a wash, too.
- You have a much better chance of being there for all the firsts: first time crawling, standing, walking, first word, etc. And yes, those moments are absolutely priceless, no matter how many kids you have.
- Your bonuses are much more frequent. Granted, they come in the form of hugs, kisses, and snuggles. But in the end, the effects are long lasting. And they never run out. Last year the Nerd’s Christmas bonus was … drum roll please … a ham. Yeah. I’ll take the endless hugs, thanks. You can keep the pork.
The list goes on, for both. So is it harder to be a SAHM or WOHM? Yes. The timeless debate can now come to a close. Thanks.