Working vs Stay-at-Home Mama :: A Raw and Real Look at Both


About a month and a half ago, I transitioned from being a full-time working mama to a pretty much stay-at-home mama. I’ve got this blog, my personal blog, and a couple of projects I am working on, but I am pretty much at home with babies. I wanted to document a real look at what it’s like, how it’s different, and the things I’ve learned.

Albuquerque Moms Blog - Mama work
A photo of me after my last pumping session on my last day of work

Which is harder? Working mama or stay-at-home mama?

Let’s start here because I feel like squashing this question first.

Neither one is harder than the other.

I’ll say it again. Neither one is harder than the other.

They are just hard in different ways. Being a working mom, I absolutely hated when anyone would say they are a full-time mom when they were a stay-at-home mom. I still hate this statement. As a working mom, I worked 40+ hours a week and still took care of my babies, played with them, cooked for them, took care of appointments, and all the things. All moms are full-time moms!

What I did have as a working mama was something I was really good at and always knew how to do. I was good at working traffic and didn’t really have to think too hard about it. What I lacked as a working mom was time and patience. I was running all the time. I had to stick to a strict schedule, and I had to pass up on activities because I needed nap times to be on time to get things done like get ready or get dinner made, etc.

As a stay-at-home mama, I have more time. I’m not working early in the morning or late at night. And when they both take naps, I can get things done or even relax for a few minutes. I have noticed a little more patience and time to play and be silly. Not that I didn’t do these things when I was working, it was just harder.

Albuquerque Moms Blog - Mama Kids activity

What is harder as a stay-at-home mom?

It has been a bit of a shock to my system to have someone on me 24/7. Between the two boys and my husband, there is someone who wants my attention all the time. I love them so much, but I am human, and I am an introvert by nature so this has taken some adjustment.

Kids yell. And cry. A lot. Even if they aren’t upset, they just are loud. This is something I didn’t necessarily realize fully until I was a stay-at-home mama home with it all day every day.

There is still no time to get things done with little ones. They get things out faster than I can put them away, and the one-year-old loves to climb and throw things in the toilet, so he cannot be left alone for more than a few seconds before he is finding trouble.

Albuquerque Moms Blog - Mama happy park

You Do You, Mama

Whether you stay at home or work, make sure it works for you and your family. I know for me personally, while air traffic control wasn’t the right choice for our family now, I will not be able to stay at home always. I need to be out of the house and working, just less than as a controller. The flexibility to be a mama is a necessity for me now that I wasn’t getting when I was working outside the home.

My other word of advice here is don’t go chasing dollar signs.

In our culture, we can tend to get wrapped up in the idea that we need to constantly work harder and make more money. Yes, we need money, and it can be a great thing. But a lot of times our culture prioritizes this over family and community. We’re made to think we need the big house, fancy cars, and all the things. Many times though these things can come at the cost of true happiness and a tight-knit family. Time is not renewable. Time is invaluable and you should be doing what makes you happiest.

Originally published January 2020.


stay at home mom vs working mom, a raw, real look at both

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.