tiagozr/Fotolia

10 Reasons Being A Stay-At-Home Mom Will Always Be Harder Than Being A Working Dad

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When you're wiping poop off of every board book in your house, it's hard not to think that your master's degree was a total waste. It takes a special kind of person to take on the thankless role of unpaid home engineer. You're looking at 24/7 responsibilities, constant demands on your time and energy, plus all those assholes who think it's "not a real job." I'm sure working fathers have their challenges, but unless you're managing a rodeo of feral cats every day, I'm going to go ahead and say being a stay at home mom is harder than being a working dad. Like, way harder.

After 13 years as a classroom teacher, I was ready for something different. When the birth of my child coincided with a family move to another state, it seemed like the perfect time to try out something new. So I became a stay-at-home mom, and it was... different. As a third grade teacher, I was rarely at my desk, but mom life was infinitely more physically and emotionally draining. I was simultaneously trying to keep a newborn alive and maintain my household. My working husband made the mistake of complaining that his friends' wives did their laundry, and I informed him that they didn't have an infant.

I was a stay-at-home mom for the first 18 months of my daughter's life. At that point, as exciting job opportunities started to crop up, I decided to put her in a preschool program. I love the balance that working part-time has brought to my life. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond grateful that I was able (financially and otherwise) to be at home with my daughter for so long. I think it was a gift to both of us, and I wouldn't take it back. I just think it's a sacrifice that deserves a little recognition, especially from people whose coffee is always hot.

Ad failed to load

Because You Don't Get Paid

Giphy

This is the big one. No matter how much you hate your job, you know there's a paycheck coming at the end of it. I remember temping during summer breaks in college, and after an hour of filing, I'd think, "Well, at least I made $7.50."

The fact is, you can't afford us stay-at-home moms. According to Salary.com, we should make $143,102 a year (it's essentially 10 jobs in one with a sh*t ton of overtime), but I don't see that happening any time soon (read: ever).

Because Your Hours Are Around The Clock

As a captain in the Army, my husband works pretty awful hours, but you know what? He doesn't have to go in and wake up any of his soldiers in the middle of the night and carry them to the potty so they can pee slumped over his shoulder. At least I don't think he does.

From the moment I get up in the morning to the moment I lay my head on the pillow, someone always needs something from me. The toddler needs a story, the dog needs to go out, and the husband needs a file emailed to him. Even nighttime is not my own because all baby wake-ups are and have always been in "my lane."

Because Your "Other Duties As Assigned" Are Ridiculous

Giphy

Maybe you think picking up your boss' dry cleaning is below your pay grade, but least you have the option of saying, "That's not in my job description." When you've scooped a warm poop out of a bathtub with your bare hands or cleaned maggots off the floor because your toddler hid a piece of salmon, then we can talk. I'm going to need you to get on my level before you bitch about making copies.

Ad failed to load

Because You Don't Get Breaks

One time, during one of my lamentations, my husband exclaimed, "But you can take a nap!" Yes, occasionally, when my daughter goes down for her siesta, I have a little lie-down. But that's after I've cleaned up the lunch dishes, folded the laundry, mopped the floors, made a dentist appointment, and prepped dinner... all while I was on hold with the insurance company.

And when the kid is awake? Forget about it. I'd love to chat over the water cooler, but I can't even go to the bathroom without company (although I do appreciate a nice "Yay, Mommy! Peepee! Good girl!")

Because Your Hard Work Often Goes Unseen

Giphy

I know that not everybody feels appreciated at work, but at least there's a chance for some recognition. You might get a heartfelt email from your supervisor or positive feedback from a client. You could be named Associate of the Month or Teacher of the Year. You could get a damn bonus.

No one is going to give you a trophy for power pumping, making your own organic baby food, or scrubbing a toilet. I love hugs and kisses from my little girl, but I'd love an unprompted "the house looks great, babe" and maybe a plaque. Yeah, definitely a plaque.

Because People Think It's Not A "Real" Job

Sadly, this criticism often comes from working moms. I hate it because we should all be on the same side (notice I said stay-at-home mom life is harder than a working dad's life, because I know as a working mom, you still do more heavy lifting — staying home with a sick kid, attending school functions, chores — than your partner).

So let's stop focusing on how "real" it is. Sure, I can get away with leggings every day and I don't have a retirement plan, but none of that takes away from the importance of what I do. I'm raising a human child to be a fully functioning member of society, and that's about as "real" as it gets.

Ad failed to load

Because You Always Have To Take A Working Lunch

Giphy

Most employers provide some kind of lunch break, whether paid or unpaid. According to U.S. Legal, 19 states require a meal break for adults. A lunch break for stay-at-home moms? Ha. That's so cute, you guys. My lunch involves standing up in the kitchen eating the leftover toast that my toddler licked all the peanut butter off of... at breakfast. Duty-free lunch? I'm lucky if it's doody-free.

Because All Your Conversations Are With Tiny, Unreasonable People Of Your Own Making

You know that co-worker who continues to tell you about their most recent Crossfit workout as you're backing out of the room? I bet they'd start to look really good to you if you spent the day trying to explain to your 2-year-old that poop goes in the potty only to have her answer, "Yeah. Cat meow." At least you have someone to talk Game of Thrones fan theories with after you go over that TPS report (someone whose vocabulary isn't limited to "I farted, Mommy").

Because Your Boss Is A Tyrant

Giphy

I'd really like to pretend I'm in charge, but we all know who's really running the show. I've worked for some demanding people, but they never threw a tantrum because the goat ate the goat food out of their hand. You think your boss is manipulative? ("I see you're ducking out early again.") Try being called a meanie-head because someone ate all the peanuts (it was her).

Ad failed to load

Because Your Every Move Is Scrutinized

When you're a stay-at-home mom, there's this terrible assumption that you don't know what you're doing. Screw maternal instincts, the scientists/doctors/lactation consultants/sleep experts/potty trainers/teachers obviously know more than you. It's like no matter what you do, your performance review always reads "needs improvement."

The stay-at-home mom gig is tough, but take comfort in knowing that according to the only evaluation that really matters (the one with Elmo stickers and sticky fingerprints), you're doing a bang-up job.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack