5 Differences Between Working or Staying Home as a Mom


Our son turned two just a few days ago! His birthday not only marked the blessing of his birth, but also the one year mark of getting to be a stay at home mom.

It’s funny the things that come to mind when we look back.

When I was working outside the home, I remember thinking that life as a mom would be easier if I was able to stay home with my son full time.  Even with knowing that staying home would be a challenge, I really did think that my life would be less complicated and easier then it was when I worked outside the home.

Now that I have done it for a while I am realizing that it isn’t easier.

It’s just different.

There are positives and negatives to both options. Either way, it is challenging in both good and bad ways.

If you are one that perhaps hasn’t experienced both and are curious what some of those differences are well look no further! I made a list of the top five differences I have experienced in my own life.

Alone Time

Outside the home – One of my biggest misses of being in the workforce is the opportunity for me time. When I worked I had two breaks and a lunch all to myself. There were no children trying to help me eat my food. No need for carseat buckling or child carrying during break errands. I was even able to take bathroom breaks without a toddler informing me that I was on the potty.

Inside the home – I actually get the blessing of experiencing most every moment of my kids’ lives with them. I get to kiss booboos and gather hugs at nap time. Also, I get to see and experience their excitement over the day to day. I am the biggest constant, ever present, reliable and trustworthy person in their lives because I am there all day, every day.

Getting things done

Outside the home –  Focus became a crucial part of my evenings and weekends when I worked outside the home. Because I knew I was short of time to complete necessary things my attention was usually glued to a task until it was completed. Knowing I didn’t have extra time to spare actually in some ways enhanced my productivity at home.

Inside the home – I now have more time to work with. While this allows for more leniency on deadlines for things like laundry it also opens doors to add more in. Volunteering, serving in the church, handcrafting birthday and Christmas gifts, etc all became more plausible once I became a stay at home mom.

Kids’ Education

Outside the home – Because I worked for about 8 months of my son’s first year, he actually learned a lot in that year from other people. Most were adults and a few were other kids, but by my not always being there his range of learning was expanded.

Inside the home – I view homeschooling, even before the actual book learning begins, as one of the highest forms of education a person can be given.  Learning within the home allows for a safe environment where the focus can be completely on learning.  There is also the option of tailoring the lessons to each individual student when done at home.

Finances and Budget

Outside the home – Having a second paycheck allowed for a little extra cash and adding to a 401k plan. It also helped with things like big purchases such as getting a car because we could lean on whoever had the better credit score when making the purchase.

Inside the home – We do not have to pay others to watch our children. With less going and doing money is saved on work clothes, gas, even food.  We are also more easily able to budget with only one person leaving the house daily.

Social Aspect

Outside the home – Another thing I miss about working outside the home is having conversations. I had daily, uninterrupted, adult conversations when I worked outside the home. The topics ranged beyond the topics of motherhood and wifeydome.  And while I do not miss the work itself, I do miss doing what felt more like adult accomplishments. Successfully meeting a deadline for a client or writing a well worded training manual. It felt like I had accomplished something of worth within my days.

Inside the home – I have the opportunity to be more in touch with people during the daylight hours. Because I am not held to a company’s work schedule, I can decide to go to a friend’s house on a day I need it.  Week day morning events have suddenly become possible to me. I also get to help mold my kids’ way of communicating by making them some of my most talked to people on the planet.

The choice to be a stay at home mom is not one I regret. In fact even with the positives that would come with working outside the home, I firmly believe my being a stay at home mom is what is best for our family.  Just like some other moms have found that their working outside the home is best for their family.

Whatever the case may be, both or hard. Both are challenging. And they both have positives and negatives.

Have you done both while being a mom? What were some of the differences you saw? Please comment below!



This entry was posted in Family.

One comment

  1. Laura Railing says:

    I have done both! The best of both worlds has probably been finding ways to make extra money using skills I have, like you’ve done, and having a little time away whether with that, Bible studies, or social things. Having a good routine is a lifesaver since having kids and being at home. Some days are for rest and recharging, but overall, I don’t long for days to just be at home doing relaxing & unhurried tasks like I thought I would long for. Small encouraging things seem to the the place of breaks like setting up worship music, a quiet time, or time to do something I enjoy like baking during their nap/rest time.

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