Why do we compare career and stay-at-home moms?

Becoming a mother made me realize that all mothers are superheroes, whether she’s a stay-at-home mom or a career mom. Each one of these women are unique and make great sacrifices for their families.

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and the call for persons – including mothers – to work from home, I’ve been seeing a number of posts comparing stay-at-home moms (SAHM) to mothers who work outside the home, always to do with who does more work. 

One that caught my attention was a post that saluted stay-at-home moms and housewives because their jobs still continue, were they supposed to stop working? Additionally, what can we say for career moms who are now working from home, have to keep many deadlines, tend to the children and manage the household? Clearly, the post (or poster) didn’t consider those mothers. 

I’ve had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom for almost a year and I’ve also had the privilege of being a career mom, working outside of the home and away from my family. So from my experience… and the work, we honestly need to stop the comparison between these amazing women. Women are one or the other for a number of reasons, whichever one it is, your job as a mother continues. However, they both deserve praise and a tap on the back, because “momming ain’t easy!”

Different Circumstances 

Women choose to be a stay-at-home mom, or to return to work for a number of different reasons. Not all women have partners that are financially stable enough for them to  decide, ‘I will stay home until the baby is ready for preschool’. Some women are single parents, and to ensure that she can provide for herself and baby, she returns to work. For me, I could have stayed at home for the first year because my husband was able to provide for us comfortably; I was also able to work from home as much as possible allowing me to add financially to our pot. Some women are forced to become a stay-at-home mom because of the additional expense for childcare, while some women can afford to keep their job and cover the additional expenses that come with being a mother. The reasons are many and vary from person to person. But they both put in the work. 

Passion 

While some women enjoy staying at home and caring for her family, others are driven by an additional passion to pursue their dream job or to advance in their career.  Some have gifts that they want to share with the world. For me, it was hard to be at home and not engage in activities that allowed me to utilize my skills and talents; I needed to be able to work and to continue to do the things that I was passionate about. After attending to chores, and while the baby napped or played, I had to find ways to keep feeding my personal growth – the ins and outs of motherhood can cause you to lose yourself. I wanted to remain active and an integral part of the organisations I lent my time and talent to. Oftentimes, you get so caught up trying to be the perfect wife and mother to your humans, that you often forget about yourself. I didn’t want to forget about me. 

Conversely, some women are passionate about taking care of their families. In ensuring that they’re there to cater to the needs of their child/ren. They dream of ensuring that all needs are met and that everyone is provided for. That’s all passion, once it’s fulfilling for them. 

Comparisons between the two are not necessary. You don’t need to make one feel smaller than the other or validate one over the other. They are both putting in the work to be the best mother to their babies, and they don’t need anyone trying to make them feel less. Also, the people comparing are women/mothers themselves. Let’s just all be great, especially now, since there are really no days off. 

 Featured image by Rawpixel 

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Environmentalist || Sports Fanatic || Youth Development Work || Dabbling in Communications

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