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Working Moms vs. Stay-at-Home Moms
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
A new study says working moms tend to be both healthier and happier than those who don't work outside the home.

Do you think that is true? Why or why not?

Share your own experience.
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iocasta responded:
For me most definitely, I work mostly for my insanity. I need something more than staying at home to feel fulfilled. I am fortunate in that I can practise my profession part-time and be there for my son. I am sure that there are plenty of SAHMs that feel completely fulfilled by being at home. As I'm sure there are prefectly stressed out and miserable working moms and SAHMs. The thing I know is a happy mom means a happy home and happy children.
 
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brcansur responded:
I feel it depends on the mother and what she feels is right for her. If the mother really wants to be a stay at home mom then I feel she would be just as happy and healthy as a mother that decides to be a working mom.
But that said, If the mother has to saty home but would like to be a working mom I feel that would make a difference. I was a stay at home mom the first 3 years I loved being home but then I wished I could go back to work. I was getting very tired of the same old thing day in and day out never getting out of the house and when I did it was only to run errands with my son with me. So no a lone time, I didn't get time with other adults without children.
So I feel if had been working away from home or without my son with me 24/7 for at least 2 or 3 days out of the week I would have been less stressed out. I would have had less stress headaches, slept better and had me time and time with other adults. I think it would have made a difference in my health at that time and I would have been happier for sure.
I did go back to work but not till my son was 4 and it did make a big difference and I was much happier and so was everyone else in the house lol. A happy mom is a happy family
Because if mom is happy she sleeps well and spends a lot more time doing fun things with the family without being stressed.
 
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ShannonMomof3 responded:
There is no correct answer to this question and women cannot ever completely 'have it all' when it comes to work life balance. Working moms always feel like they're missing important milestones with their kids and Stay-at-home moms always feel like they're not contributing enough. As a mother of three that has tried both roles, I think I am happier overall now that I am at home with my children. However, I did not feel truly fullfilled until I found a way to contribute financially as well and also carved out time for personal growth and maintenance. Now that I make a little (and I mean VERY LITTLE money) and work out at the gym for 2 hours everyday during the week, I have a renewed sense of self worth. Best of luck to all of the working and non-working mothers out there.
 
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sarah0323 responded:
I am a working mom who would love to be able to stay home with my kids but for me that isn't going to ever be a reality. My SO stays home with our LO's and I envy him. I think every person is different. For me working outside the home is my reality. I still juggle sick kids, dr. apts and school activities. I don't get to do everything that I want but I do the best that I can. I know for me when I'm at work I'm usually worrying about something at home and when I'm home I'm usually worrying about something at work. For me I also have an elderly grandparent that lives with us who I care for. I do get adult conversation and me time. I have to make sure of it. I also have to stop and think when my SO calls he is needing that adult conversation.

I think with either decision you have to make sure that there is a balance. You can only do what you can do and sometimes we have to do things that we don't want to do but to take care of our families we will do it.
 
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proverbs31woman2 responded:
This study, uh I mean ARTICLE, because I haven't seen the ACTUAL study has many holes in it and their sampling population is skewed. It also appears to be qualitative research which can be very subjective. It's not even a proper longitudinal study from what I read in the article. And the real question, why is such a study even needed?! The decision to work or stay home is a family decision. It is also based on your belief system, faith or philosophy if you will.

I was a working Mom for the first four years of my eldest daughter's life. I've been home for two years now and she is now six and a half. I have three more children who are five and under. I cannot begin to express the joy I have with being with them everyday. I get to be there for all of the milestones and developments. I don't have to miss a thing. It is truly a blessing and I feel called to be a Mom. It is the hardest job I've ever had!

Not only do I stay home, but I homeschool. So, I do not have to get up and shuffle my children off to school or to a school bus and I would never want to do that. It is a joy to go through our day together learning and playing. Although society makes you feel like it's a crime to want to spend all of your time with your precious little offspring and you need to get them out of the house as soon as possible.

It is difficult to make this decision and I don't condemn anyone who cannot do it or does not want to do it because the truth is you cannot have it all. If you want to stay home you have to be willing to sacrifice. I gave up a lot by the world's standards in order to be home. I gave up a six figure Pharmaceutical/Lab sales career (I made more money than my hubby), we lost two homes (now we happily rent), I gave up a car (we only have one), lunch out everyday with friends, shopping for clothes, shopping for other items that I don't really need. But I gained so much more and I have a lot of support. I found a group of women like me and we get together with our children, we get together for tea one-on-one, we see each other at Church.

I am also healthier because I now have the time to figure out all of my allergy issues and so I started cooking from scratch. No time to do that when I was working my lucrative, yet demanding travel sales job. I also get up at 5am and workout while everyone is sleep so I can stay healthy.

If you want to stay home then, do it! Realize you will have to sacrifice, but you will come to realize that it is actually a gift.

If you can't stay home or don't want to then, don't do it! You are the only one who truly knows your situation. Don't let anyone guilt you into it. And don't listen to a study that tells you you will be healthy or not healthy whichever way you choose.
 
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nursingbug replied to proverbs31woman2's response:
I agree with you, proverbs31, about the 'study', it isn't enough to base a decision on, or to really get a sense of what is really going on with all women.
This is a complicated issue. There are women out there, (my mother in law is one) that really feel fulfilled by staying at home with their kids, and that is great. Others would prefer work. I am one of the latter. It was hard for me because it was a finacial decision, and I needed to go back 6 weeks after delivering my daughter. I was very upset at first and really felt like I was missing out. Now she is 3 and I feel like I have a better balance, I work 30 hours a week, and feel like I am a better mom when I work. Times when I have had to stay with her for several days in a row alone have taught me this. The monotony stresses me out, and I miss other people. Now when I am off I can really focus on my child, and enjoy our time together.
Everyone needs different things.
 
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peachyisthelife responded:
I didn't make my choice based on what made me the happiest but what I felt would make my children the happiest. Does it make me perfectly happy being at home with them? No, it's mega hard, but nobody is perfectly happy whether they're at home or working.
 
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iocasta responded:
I am curious to know if there are any studies on who is more likely to take anti-depressants: women who stay at home or women who work outside the home. My anecdotal experience is women that stay at home, which sort of fits hand and glove to the original premise of the study. Assuming there is any validity to this, I wonder how that cuts is it women who take anti-depressants are more likely to stay at home because of their mental health issues or is it because they stay-at-home. Again my anecdotal experience says the former rather than the latter but it is hard to erase the 50s and 60s image of women at home popping valium and its ilk.
 
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nursingbug replied to iocasta's response:
I wonder if it would be about the same. Other things can contribute to needing antidepressants, previous history, predisposition, etc.
The other issue being that many do not have a choice to stay home or work. Someone may have mental health issues, but that does not mean they cannot work.
As a nurse I can say that I know a lot of employed nurses that are on anti-depressants... but that doesn't really mean anything
that would be an interesting study though...
 
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chatley64 replied to sarah0323's response:
I agree with you, not all moms have the option to stay at home with their children. I do believe that if at all possible if one parent can stay home with the children, the better. No one takes care of your children like you do. Not to mention, when you leave your children in the care of others, you are entrusting them to teach your children values and morals. Not everyone may have the same morals and values as you do. Another thing, you don't always know how your children are being treated by the folks at the daycare. When my children were small, I had them in a day care. The day care told me they didn't spank children. I found out later when my children no longer attended the day care, that they were spanked. This day care was used by many families that I knew. My point is...you never know what truly goes on when you are not around.
 
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missashley1010 responded:
I think it can be true depending on the person. Some moms are okay with being home and then there is moms like me who dont like to be home all the time. I for sure need sanity breaks and my job offers that, plus I dont have the option not to work, in are small town there are not very many job oppertunities and my BF cant seem to land a job so I must be are bread winner and he is a stay at home dad. I tend to go stir crazy if im trapped in my house for too long! Sometimes I wish i could stay home and watch my son grow but I do see him everyday regardless and my and my BF just bought a video camera just incase he wants to do a first word, walk,crawl, ect. ect.
 
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ewcollins responded:
My son's mom stayed at home with him until he could walk, talk, drink from a cup and go to the bathroom by himself. It took less than a year. Then he was off to day care and she was back to work. She even got promoted while she was on maternity leave. It did my son good to have to deal with other children and adults from an early age.
 
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MrsUtterback responded:
I don't think it's that they're happier, but less stressed out. I think it depends on the person, the way they were raised, and how much they want to be involved with their children. I personally don't want to be a working mom when I have children, at least not until they go to school. I want to be the one teaching my children manners, I want to teach them wrong from right, and I want to make sure they know I love them. I want to be the one to influence them and I wont be able to do that if I leave them with a babysitter or day care, they would be the people raising my children while I'm at work, not me.


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