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SAHM v/s Working Mom

Posted: June 21, 2013

The decision to be a Stay-At-Home Mom (SAHM) or a Working Mom is a difficult one for many mothers.

For women who’ve become mothers after a short career (say less than 2 years) or those who’ve never worked or those who’re very sure that they don’t want to work once they’ve become mothers, it’s probably a natural choice to be Stay-At-Home Moms.

But for women who’ve had a long corporate career (say more than 8 years) or those who’re ambitious about their career goals or those who need to earn income to keep the house running or those who “truly love” their work – It becomes a difficult choice.

Womens choices - SAHM or working mom?Should you be a “Stay-At-Home Mom” or a “Working Mom” is a difficult decision.

If you do decide to be a “Working Mom”, you’re bound to ask yourself a few hard questions:

– Will it come at a price in terms of your child’s growth and development?
– Does it come with a price in terms of the emotional turmoil you go through as women? No matter how strong and focused a working mother is, there are moments of self-doubt, guilt, uncertainty, frustration, a feeling of whether it was all worth it?
– Am I doing the right thing?

If you do decide to be a “Stay-At-Home Mom”, you’re again bound to ask yourself a few hard questions:

– Does this choice come at a price in terms of fulfilling your own personal aspirations and ambitions?
– When you step into your 40’s or 50’s, is there not a feeling of “If only I had worked how life could / would have been..?”
– What is “MY” identity? Is it as X’s wife, Y’s mother or Z’s daughter only?

No easy answers for the above.

Being Stay-At-Home Moms has its positives and negatives – both for the mother and child

Being Working Moms has its share of positives and negatives – both for the mother and child

It is a personal choice; one which women should take responsibility or ownership for.

Based on my personal experience as a working mother, here’s what I can say

– Take a decision, and take responsibility for it. Don’t regret every single day for your choices and decisions. Once you’ve made the choice, do your best every single day.
– It is important for women to be open to review her own decision over a span of time, and see if she’d like to change her choices. So for e.g.: I know a lot of women who are working mothers till their kids are a specific age, and then convert to Stay-At-Home Mom’s out of choice. Or a lot of Stay-At-Home Mom’s who become Working Mothers when their kids hit a specific age.

So, make a choice. Take ownership for it. Accept the pros and cons. But be open to review your own choices as your circumstances change!

There’s no RIGHT or WRONG! It’s just a personal choice!

Pic credit: Scarygami (Used under a Creative Commons license)

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  1. Well Said Nischala…Totally agree with your perspective.. 🙂

  2. I feel this is where freelancing or work from home gains significance. You are there for the kids and at the same time earning something for you and family.

  3. Arunima Shekhar -

    Yup! As someone who’s making the transition from Working Mom to SAHM after a long stint at work, I can identify pretty well with what you say. It’s just a call that every one has to take independent of the path beaten by others.
    @Sunitha – Freelancing and WFH are good, but after a while the monotony of being cooped up gets you 🙂

  4. Well said! Yes, even I agree it may get lonely once your children get occupied in their own busy schedules. Whether Stay at Home Mom or a Working Mother, everyone should make time to pursue one’s interests which gives you mental peace, satisfaction and therefore growth as an individual.

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