working moms versus stay-at-home moms

Working moms versus stay-at-home moms is a continuous debate which challenges the various roles of men and women as they operate within their work and family life.

Personally, I've been in both places at various intervals of my life, and I can say that truly, as a wife and a mother, there are both positive and negative aspects of working outside the home as well as staying in the home; hence the debate.

If you are not yet married, but thinking about doing so, this should probably be a topic of deep concern and careful discussion for you and your future spouse before tying the knot in holy matrimony because there are so many factors involved here that require prayerful and thoughtful consideration.

You see, as a single woman, you probably have no problem with this subject, and, most likely, you are already working or looking for employment. Perhaps you are working for future goals of marriage, career, a home, or car, or for savings, etc. Whatever reasons or goals you may have for work; they are your's solely.

If you are a man, looking for a future wife, then perhaps you will want or expect her to work while married, or at least contribute something financially to the marriage. This is happening more with our "millennial population groups, who are those people born from early 1980's through the early 2000's", according to

Some cultures have arranged marriages, in which cases certain religious and cultural standards are attributed first and held in high regard even before exchanging vows. Some include that of providing a dowry from the bride's family to the groom and family. These types of cultures may reflect on how the prospective bride and groom are to view their future married lives together, how they raise their children, and how they place each other's role of work and career within their family life as well.

single working moms/single stay-at-home moms do all the work!

This is a sad fact, but true nonetheless. Single moms usually do not have many of the same resources or backup plans as do the married working moms or stay-at home moms have.

I've experience this dilemma in my life as well, and as a single working mom I have really never had much of an opportunity to become a stay-at-home mom as I would have liked to have had.

During those trying years of my life I worked with other single working-moms who had jobs/careers outside the home also, and they reported to me how they too found it extremely difficult to stay at home with their kids even if they wanted to. We all expressed concerns and complaints along these lines of having:

  • None or very little help with running errands (grocery shopping, car maintenance, taking kids to school, being "taxi mom" to the kids for ball games, daycare, music lessons, etc.)
  • None or very little help in paying bills (dental bills for kids, rent, mortgage, car payment, medical bills, etc.)
  • None or very little help with homework
  • None or very little help with housework, organizing, yardwork, etc.
  • None or very little help in getting kids ready for school, church, social events
  • None or very little help when I am sick or kids are sick and have to stay home from school, church, work, etc.

So these are some of the everyday chores that a working-mom has to deal with, and for her children besides the challenge of working long hours at a job/career as well. If she should want to be a stay-at-home mom, the task remains extremely difficult to do so, especially for a single-mom. In some cases, it is not even a possibility, especially if there is not a father/husband, or even grandparents along to help pick up the slack in the home.

pros of working moms and stay-at-home moms

Well if you are a married working mom or even a stay-at-home mom, then the majority of times you may have some help and support along the way when raising your kids and taking care of household responsibilities. 

There are a few pros and benefits I find with many mothers who work outside the home. These may include outside daty-entry type or factory jobs/positions, or a high-end, corporate position. Or you may be an entrepreneur or CEO of your own company but work in an office somewhere outside the home. Some of the pros to this manner of working are:

  • Earning more money for home necessities and a few wants of the family,
  • You are able to use your talents, skills, and education to further your job position/career goals, as well as being in a position to command more money,
  • You are able to organize yourself and your household more efficiently, even if that means hiring nannies, babysitters, tutors, housekeepers, maintenance help, etc., in order to do those things,
  • You may seem happier in some respects because you may be progressing in your career and personal goals,
  • Perhaps your children are happier knowing that you feel happier in accomplishing your goals and dreams as a working mom.

There are some pros and benefits to being a stay-at-home mom as well. You may be a working mom in this position as one who has her own business, an entrepreneur, whose office base is at home where she can be close to her children; or, you may want to home school your children and wish to remain in your own home; or, you may be in the position, whether financially, or by sheer motherly desire, to be at home with your kids during their pre-school years, and then perhaps go to work after they are in school.

Whatever position you find yourself in by way of staying at home with your kids, here are a few pros to doing so:

  • You are able to be with your children all or perhaps most of the day, in which they can learn, grow, and develop their young characters and personalities from you, their parent, instead of through the childcare/daycare system. You may be in a position of home schooling your kids, in which case, is also beneficial as you teach them about the things of God, pointing them to Christ for salvation,
  • You may have more time to do the things at home that you would not be able to tackle if you were working outside the home; things like organizing your closets, pantries, doing food storage/preparation, saving money by doing things or using what you already have at home, etc.,
  • You tend to spend less money because of fewer work expenses, such as for work clothes, lunches/dinners, shoes, transportation costs, babysitting/daycare costs, etc., and, 
  • Your children may be happier to have mommy at home, rather than waiting for her to come home, or dividing her attention between work duties and home duties. 

cons of working moms and stay-at-home moms

Just like there are benefits and pros of being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, indeed there are cons as well. It may depend on your principles and standards, but the cons seem to be the most stressful within the family unit.

As our society has become more technical, digital, less connected, and less family-oriented, you, as a Christian parent, may need to become more creative in keeping your family together and bonded more regardless of working outside or inside the home. Furthermore, you and your spouse may want to re-visit this subject and re-think your family priorities.

Ways in which being a working mom becomes a con, and not beneficial to you and your family are when:

  • There is much arguing, fighting, or strife in the family because of disorganization, priorities not being met, broken promises, deadlines past and not met, or any other kind of insults and bad feelings toward other family members because of your working outside or inside the home too much,
  • Too much money being spent because of work expenses, transportation costs, childcare/daycare expenses, food expenses, clothing expenses. Yes, this can really add up!
  • Too much time being spent on outside work projects; not home with the family or kids very often because of work,
  • Your children may be needing much needed help with homework, or need tutors, or perhaps your child is being bullied at school and you may not have the time to attend to it, or to other needs of your family because of work, or
  • You do not have time to spend with your spouse, or time for church, or other family members. Work can take up a lot of one's time and energy.

There are also a few cons that can arise for the stay-at-home mom, who may or may not be working for money at home. Consider these points:

  • As a stay-at-home mom, whether you are home schooling, or just having that motherly desire to be at home with your young tots, you may at times feel that life is going extremely slow for you, and that your skills, talents, and education are all for naught for being stuck at home, or not feeling very useful or profitable by contributing to the family monetarily. I have felt this way before as a young mother and a stay-at-home mom for a time. It is a much different feeling in comparison to that of a working mom outside the home, and,
  • You may feel that you are always cleaning or picking up behind others at home because you have all day to do those things, or so it would seem. That can truly be a drag! Also,
  • Money may be tight if there is only one spouse working outside the home, and you may have to become more creative with meals, home furnishings, home maintenance, or other DIY projects; Furthermore,
  • Perhaps you are going through a tough time of anxiety or depression with all the responsibilities of taking care of the children, your spouse, and keeping up with the chores and housework that comes with it. You may secretly envy your neighbor next door who is a working mom and seemingly has her life in order. However, it is here that you must lay these troubles at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to direct your life and thought processes by reading His Word, praying and trusting God for His grace, protection, and provision toward you and your family.

Whatever you and your family decide you should or want to do, make sure you are doing so in love, honor, and obedience to God; then do it for your family's sake.

There may be times in your life when you are a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, but at different intervals of life, and for various reasons. There is no shame in working to help support your husband and the rest of your family, if that is a decision you both make together prayerfully. The same goes with staying at home with the kids. Let there be peace and order in your home.

Yes, the debate will go on and on regarding what's the best choice to make on this issue-being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Regardless of what friends or family may say, or behave towards you about your decision, remember; you are the one working or staying at home, not them.

It is ultimately your decision and your life. As long as you are following God's commands and principles in the Bible and obeying the Holy Spirit, then who cares what others think, right? Allow what God is telling you and your spouse to be the deciding factor on this issue, and then you will know that decision is the right one for you. When you give Him the honor and precedence over all areas of your life, you will then experience the joy, grace, and peace, in your home that cannot be obtained from any other way. God bless you as you fulfill His purpose for you in your life.

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