Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom

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A friend asked me to describe my perspective on stay-at-home mom versus working-away-from-home mom. That’s a really big topic and I need to actually structure some thoughtful responses before I jump on that bandwagon.


(It’s a stretch, I know. Thoughtful and me… whelp, they don’t always go hand-in-hand!)


In the meantime I thought I’d mention a few things I never experienced in my working world I now have the pleasure of dealing with every day – or maybe every week.


10 Comparisons Between Working Mom and Home Mom


1. When you say, “Right now that purchase is just not in the budget,” your co-workers rarely fall to the ground, howling like professional mourners, and tell you it is the worst day of their life.


2. While on occasion you may be inconvenienced by a colleague needing quality time in the bathroom, it’s not considered proper to ask your boss to check your behind for poop at the 9-to-5.


3. Even in my most stressful work environments, I never had to hug the very person that was causing my eyes to cross and blood to pound in my ears. Nor did I tuck them in that night and worry incessantly about their character development.


4. As a professional, when we went out for a group lunch and there were conflicting preferences for restaurants, no one cried as part of their plea bargaining or tried to hide unwanted food bits in the seams of the restaurant booth.


5. Strangers visiting my workplace never criticized my desk, told me how to accomplish my tasks faster or let me know they could do my job better than me with their eyes closed.


6. No one ever mentioned how hard it must be not to have a “real job” or quizzically ask “What on Earth do you do with your time all day?”


7. Quiet time communing with my computer was necessary productivity, not an invitation for interruption since I couldn’t be doing anything important, anyway.


8. People never asked me if I felt my work was an effective use of the student loan I still pay off every month or told me I’m not the only one who wasted a college and advanced discipline degree to do this job.


9. When working I had much less exposure to bodily fluids. Turns out it’s not that common you have to ask a co-worker to blow their nose into your Kleenex-holding hand, nor do they often take a drink of coffee, go cross-eyed, and spew projectile vomit across your shirt. Go figure.


10. I never worked in a place that wouldn’t give a “needs improvement” score if I showed up for work four days in a row without a shower and sporting a classy case of bed head.


What are some of the changes you notice between being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom?

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5 thoughts on “Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom

  • December 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I love the question of: “Well what do you do all day?” Suppose I actually had time to think about what I would like to do with my day, I might have a great answer, but all I usually come up with is “Hang out with Jordan.” As if to say the house cleans itself, food ends up in the cupboards, and cooks itself. I don’t think I have ever asked a stay-at-home Mom, or a out-of-home working Mom that question, but people are funny. Good post!

  • December 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Once when we were looking at a house to buy we stumbled upon one with a big jetted tub. The career woman who was showing it to me told me I would have TONS of time to use it – though she never would – because I was just a mom.

    I told my husband I didn’t care how great that house was, I was NOT buying anything from that woman.

    Great post, though – super fun way to be honest without hurting anyone’s feelings!

  • December 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Number 6 has always been something that makes me really frustrated and I’m not even a mom let alone a stay at home mom. I know plenty of them however, and know the last thing they have is free time and if they sit down for more than 3 seconds it’s a miracle. Especially after visiting you and witnessing your day to day life, I can say with crrtainty that you are one of the most hard-working people I know so if someone has something else to say about it, I’ll lay the smack down. Not gonna lie.

  • December 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I remember seeing a humorous video clip at church on Mother’s Day: The dad came home from work to a house in complete disarray inside and out, kids in front of the TV and stuffing themselves with candy, etc. He went upstairs to find his wife laying in bed reading a book. Incredulous, he demanded, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” She smirked and quietly replied, “You know how you always ask me what I did all day? Well…today I didn’t do it.” 🙂

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