When one finally becomes a mother, one is faced with the decision of whether to be a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home. Should mothers work outside the home?
On one end of the spectrum, stay-at-home moms are seen as living a luxurious life, not having to worry about work or finances since all they have to worry about is taking care of their children.
While working moms are often considered stressed out with having to juggle work and children, many will argue that they contribute to the economy as well.
The majority of mothers believe there is a better side to the “work” fence. Those who are stay-at-home moms say that they would feel less restricted and freer if they were outside every day. Those who work in an office or similar workplace may feel overwhelmed and wonder if they should find a way to be at home.
Moms in either situation begin searching for a reason to change their work status the moment they are stressed, bored, or frustrated.
There is a lot of guilt mothers feel in the US when it comes to choosing between career and family.
American Working Moms Face a Challenge
Is it easier to be a working mother in other western industrialized countries than in the United States? The United States is one of only two countries on Earth that doesn’t pay for maternity leave, the other being Papua New Guinea
Working Moms in the United States Face High Costs
When it comes to gender and work, we have different family policy supports and cultural attitudes. Compared to the United States, Sweden has 480 days of paid parental leave, and it\’s paid at 80% wage.
Women in the US are Exhausted and Stressed
As a mother, what does it mean to be a good one? Each person has their own idea of what it means to be a good parent.
Most working mothers find this question extremely emotional because they feel like they are failing their children because being a good mother is so far away from them.
Why do American Mothers Experience This?
Individualism and personal responsibility are central to the way our country is run.
It is one of the few countries on the planet that does not have a federal standard for vacations and sick days. In addition, there is no universal social insurance entitlement to healthcare.
Childcare in the US
We in the United States think of caregiving as a private and personal responsibility. Thus, when women have difficulty finding suitable childcare or balancing work and family life, they tend to blame themselves.
In a country where it’s your job to do everything yourself, it’s not surprising to me that mothers who experience difficulties tend to blame it on not being well organized or not having a good schedule for their family, which leads to stress in working moms.
Social Problems Can’t be Solved by Individual Solutions
With individual solutions such as being more organized, efficient, or having a schedule. The changes would certainly prove helpful, but unfortunately, they won’t result in the types of social change all women need and deserve here in the US.
Germany, Sweden, Italy, and many other western wealthy countries have come to the collective consensus that caregiving is again a public responsibility.
The cost and burden should be shared by all citizens. The reason for this is that children are the future workforce, taxpayers, and citizens. As a result of this action, workers in these countries are less stressed about childcare.
Where Change Should Occur
Change must occur at the national or cultural level, but managers in workplaces can help by taking the following steps:
1. Encourage employees to take advantage of the benefits provided
2. Demonstrate parental leave as a manager
3. Find out what policies the company has for parents
What Organizations Can do to Help Working Mothers
It is possible for organizations to help mothers balance having a kid and working simultaneously. It can go a long way toward making working parents feel supported.
Employers can implement gender-neutral policies such as paid parental leave and encourage employees to take it. Managers in these companies can model how to talk about your family.
The dialogue and discourse will shift when someone in a leading position shows that it can be done in a different way. This will not diminish their capabilities in the workplace.
Managers can act as role models by taking vacation days and sick days, and they can also educate themselves about policies that already exist.
Mothers Should Familiarize Themselves with Company Policies for Parents
Women should take the time to learn about the policies in place before they become pregnant. This will enable them to better prepare themselves in beginning to navigate how to make this work for themselves.
Should mothers work outside the home? Which one should you choose as a mother? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Pros of Being a Working Mom
Children are More Independent
Working moms need to teach their children how to do things on their own. After all, it becomes extremely difficult for the working mom to do everything. As a result, children are more independent from an early age.
Working Moms Can be Role Models
Working moms prove to young women and society at large that women can manage both a career and a home. This can help instill hard work values in young women. There are no gender roles when it comes to taking care of and providing for your family.
Working moms can attend social outings such as office parties or have lunch with their colleagues during their lunch breaks. This can be a great time for moms to talk about nonwork-related topics and have a great laugh outside the office, which is a great form of self-care
Less Prone to Depression
Studies have proven that it is not the working mom that is more likely to become depressed but the stay-at-home mom.
Parenting is a challenging job. Stay-at-home moms may experience emotional drain, physical exhaustion, monotony, and isolation, all of which can contribute to low morale. It is common for stay-at-home moms to feel resentful of being viewed as lazy or irrelevant and, therefore, take offense at being viewed as such. Despite their contributions, including volunteering at schools, they are often overlooked or even derided.
The lack of recognition and stimulation from outside is a major factor that affects the mental health of all moms, regardless of their income levels.
Cons of Being a Working Mom
More Prone to Stress
Working moms may be less likely to suffer from depression but they are also more prone to becoming stressed. After a long day at work, trying to beat traffic, they also have to deal with children who require their attention.
Miss Kids’ Milestones
Because working moms are away from their kids for most of the time, they are likely to miss some important milestones such as your baby taking their first steps, or saying their first words.
Working Mom Burnout
Working moms who are exhausted, despite getting enough sleep, can lead to burnout. As a result of stress, a working mom\’s immune system is weak, which puts her at risk for health issues. The importance of self-care and stress management for working moms should not be underestimated.
Not Enough Time to Spend with Family
Since working moms are busy all the time, they may not have enough time to spend with the rest of the family. They are more likely to dedicate their free time to their careers.
Pros of Stay-at-Home Moms
Spend More Time with Your Kids
The stay-at-home mom can provide the best care and attention for their kids. They are always around their kids, so will not miss out on important milestones such as the baby taking their first step or saying their first word.
Can be More Economical
Working moms will need to pay for child care, a babysitter, or house help. This can add financial strain. Stay-at-home moms get to overcome this problem and save money by using it for other tasks such as paying bills.
You Keep Your House in Order
Even with raising your kids, you always ensure that the house is in order. The bills are paid, everything is clean, and everything is ready for your family when you need it. This is not a luxury you may have if you worked outside the home, which would result in you having limited time.
Not Worried About Work-Related Issues
Raising kids can indeed be thought of as a different type of work, however, stay-at-home moms are not worried about completing tasks or staying ahead of deadlines. They can devote their time to raising their children.
Can Help Relieve stress?
Granted stay at home moms has to deal with a different kind of stress when they are trying to keep up with their kids and house duties. That said, it can also be a stress-relieving job when you see your baby smile back at you or is sleeping soundly and contently.
Sharing Your Experience with Other Stay-at-Home Moms
You can organize meet-ups with other stay-at-home moms and share your experiences. This can help you see that you are not the only stay-at-home mom which can motivate you to become an even better mother to your kids.
The Cons of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
Creating an Employment Gap
When you finally decide to go back to work, you will have created an employment gap. The people you will be competing with may even be younger than you and have more recent work experience. This may put you at a disadvantage with your employers.
Adhering to a Routine
You will need to follow a routine every day. This can result in boredom and can contribute to depression.
Can be Stressful
Even while raising kids by yourself full time, there will be moments when you will feel overwhelmed as you try and keep up. Especially if you have multiple kids.
No Social Life
Now that you are a stay-at-home mom dedicated to raising your kids, you will find that you no longer attend social gatherings such as business meetings and outings, or office parties, so in turn, you tend to miss out on socializing with people your own age.
Should mothers work outside the home? As you can probably tell, there are pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom as well as being a career mom. The most important thing is to evaluate your situation and decide for yourself what the best course of action is.
Working moms should know that work-family conflicts, stress, and guilt are not their fault.