Working vs. Staying at Home

March 17, 2006 at 8:44 pm 24 comments


This entry is supposed to be a comment on Hsin’s musings on her decision to stay at home after the arrival of her first baby. She relates about how her career-oriented friends made her feel bad about having made that decision. But she has no regrets. She’s expecting another baby soon. I have a lot to say so I decided to post my comment here.

In this modern age when most of the women are entering the work force, there arises the battle between the working mom and the stay-at-home mom. You must have heard the arguments of both sides. There are career-oriented mothers who can’t imagine spending the whole day at home and there are those who just really need the income. Then there are those mothers who want to be with their children all day long so as not to miss out on their child’s development and first experiences.

I think I am sort of in between the working mom and the stay-at-home mom. I work at home, you see. (I’ve talked about working at home before. See links to related entries below.) I can’t imagine myself not working. I love taking care of my kids and the home but I’m not a domestic diva. My domesticity is very basic and really has been brought upon by necessity. I don’t bake from scratch and I cook not because I love doing it but because I need to feed my family. I can’t really spend the whole day everyday being just domestic. I have to do something else, like work. I’d love to volunteer or travel, or perhaps do crafts, but I need to work to help support my family.

Friends often ask me if I don’t have any intentions of going back to the office. You see, I am stuck in my position (which is far from managerial) as long as I am working at home. If I want to be trained for a higher position, I need to go back to the office. My friends at work have been promoted to higher positions since I left about five years ago. I’ve been left behind. And it doesn’t really bother me. I enjoy what I am doing. I have no ambitions of going up the corporate ladder. Some may find it odd, but that’s me. I am content with providing just enough for my family to get by. Don’t get me wrong. I’d take a higher income. Who doesn’t?

But I have been given with this wonderful opportunity to work at home, and I immediately grabbed it. Originally, I decided to work at home to save on daycare fees. I even doubted if I could work at home while at the same time looking after my youngest son who was still three years old then. But I began liking being at home. I’ve experienced dragging my kids out of bed as early as 6:00 a.m. Dealing with temper tantrums and rushing to make it on time at work can be very stressful. Now, I don’t have to rush the kids in the morning. We all have a relaxed breakfast together. I do my work when they are gone to school. I am home when they get home. Even when they get noisy and start to bicker, I can still continue to do my work. I have become immune to the distractions. It’s comforting to me that they are in my presence. They know that I am there if they need somebody to talk to especially if they’d have a rough day at school.

My kids need less attending to now. They were 3, 7, and 11 when I started working at home. I’ve experience leaving them at daycare and babysitters. But I don’t feel that I missed out on their development. I still experienced the firsts: the first smile, the first time they rolled over, the first step, all the other firsts. I also felt the guilt of leaving them at the care of someone else, especially that first day back to work. But I don’t regret it. I never did.

Some stay-at-home moms may claim that their kids are more well-rounded or more well-behaved than the ones who go to a babysitter or daycare. But I beg to disagree. I think working moms can also raise well-rounded children if they guide them in the right direction and spend enough time with them when they are not working.

I think there is no right or wrong choice with regards to mothers working or staying at home. Each mother has individual needs and she should decide depending on what she wants and what she thinks works best for her and her family.

Read more about my sentiments, challenges and experiences in working at home through the following links:

Confessions of a work-at-home mom
Downsides of working at home
My sentiments
The bliss of working at home
Long-term goals
Working, appointments and dismal weather

Entry filed under: My life as a mom, Working at home. Tags: .

Just trying to matter A Case of the Flakes

24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joy  |  March 17, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve never understood why there should be a dividing line between working moms and stay-at-home moms. No matter where we work, outside the home or inside; no matter what we do – career-type work or domestic work, we are all still just moms trying our hardest to raise good kids.

    I’m a SAHM. I’d love to be able to work from home to augment our income. Just haven’t found one that works for me. I’m a SAHM but I’m still no domestic queen. DH has found and accepted what I’ve known all along. I am a good wife and mother. I can cook and bake for the family. But I’m no housekeeper! That does not mean I’m less of a stay-at-home mom, does it?😉

    Reply
  • 2. niceheart  |  March 17, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    Of course not, Joy. That doesn’t make you less of a wife or a mother. I also don’t understand this battle between the working moms and the SAHMs. We should just all learn to accept each others preferences and differences.

    Reply
  • 3. Sidney  |  March 18, 2006 at 1:36 am

    Morality… do what is best for you and your family !

    Reply
  • 4. Toe  |  March 18, 2006 at 3:12 am

    Hi Niceheart, I have a good office job. But to tell you the truth, I’d rather be either a work-at-home mom or stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately, I heard that the first qualification for either of those is that you have to be actually a mom. 😦 Well, too bad for me.

    Reply
  • 5. ajay  |  March 18, 2006 at 10:05 am

    Am a rabid working single mom by reason of circumstance and not by choice. I was also raised by a working mom.I guesss she was my model for this kind of independence. There are times when I agonize over being a working mom and not being there to fetch my kids, meet them when they go home etc. but I guess I’ll just have to accept my fate.

    Reply
  • 6. niceheart  |  March 18, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    I agree, Sidney.

    Toe, thanks for dropping by.

    Ajay, I think all moms feel guilt by not being always there for their children. It’s the mom curse. But I agree with Joy that we all try our hardest to raise our kids.

    Reply
  • 7. Zee  |  March 18, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    I am a sahm too and I work so much just being domestic! I would like to find something to do at home, but even making my crafts or stuff on the net it’s so difficult now, because they are little and want my atention all the time. I can’t concentrate very well. In the end of the day I feel trashed. Tired and frustrated. I don’t how I would handle 2 jobs at same time. Seems hard, very hard!! I would probably colapse!

    Reply
  • 8. ANALYSE  |  March 19, 2006 at 3:43 am

    just like joy, i dont understand either why we have to judge each other’s choices. stay-at-home, work-at -home, working moms, who cares? as long as we do our best to raise our kids, i guess it’s all that counts.

    i was raised by a working mom, i guess i’m not that bad😉. now, i’m working while i raise my kid, and i’m enjoying it. it’s a matter of balance and self fulfillment, pag happy ka, happy rin si baby..

    ty for dropping by my hideaway nga pala😉

    Reply
  • 9. niceheart  |  March 19, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Zee, thanks for visiting. I’ve seen your templates. You’re a very good designer.

    I agree with you. Just being a mother is really hard and it’s a job in itself.

    Reply
  • 10. niceheart  |  March 19, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Right on, Analyse. Life should really be a balance.

    Reply
  • 11. Senor Enrique  |  March 19, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    I think you have the ideal situation. Great for the kids also!

    Reply
  • 12. BW  |  March 20, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Many companies allow their staff to work from home. There’s technology today that would enable a home office to emulate the office environment. It saves money for the company because office space is really getting expensive. It also minimizes pollution when people don’t need to drive their cars to work.

    Reply
  • 13. Ann  |  March 20, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    Hello! I also have 3 kids, almost same age as yours. and proud to say that i have no regrets staying at home with my kids doing all domestic works.

    Reply
  • 14. niceheart  |  March 20, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    The ideal situation for me, Eric, but not for everybody. I have a couple of co-workers who also tried working at home, but didn’t last that long. They returned to the office after a while.

    Reply
  • 15. niceheart  |  March 20, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    You’re right, BW. Many companies are now offering their staff to work at home. I actually started with the pilot project at work because we were running out of space in the office when we merged with another company.

    Reply
  • 16. niceheart  |  March 20, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Ann, thanks for dropping by. You have cute kids.🙂

    Reply
  • 17. watson  |  March 21, 2006 at 6:15 am

    Niceheaaaaart! This is a nice post. Actually, hiwalay nga kami ni misis ngayon eh. working sya sa Baguio and she’s with Jo-Lo while I’m here in Manila. She’s working because of a simple twist of fate. She tried looking for work here in Manila but cannot find any. And then, while recuperating from giving birth, nag-apply sya. Biro-biro lang. Ayun, natanggap. But she will be resigning hopefully soon to join me here in Manila. Kung ako lang, I’d love to live and stay in Baguio and have Jo-Lo grow there too. Wonderful place! She will look for work here eventually. It takes both parents working to raise a family these days… *sigh*. So I’d say you are indeed fortunate to be able to work at home.

    Reply
  • 18. niceheart  |  March 21, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you, Watson. Yeah, I also think that both parents should be actively involved in raising children.

    And I am really grateful that I am able to do what I want to do, that is, to work at home.

    Reply
  • 19. Hsin  |  March 22, 2006 at 9:22 am

    Hey there… that’s a really good post. We moved this weekend and internet just came up today, so I didn’t see your comment on my blog till today.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject. There really isn’t a right or wrong and it is really up to each woman/mother to decide how best to deal with the situation when it comes up. It’s just unfair the way society in general places stereotypes upon us, suggesting that we should think one way or the other. The thing we should all remember is that while family is important, we can’t live just for them. We have to live for ourselves and what makes us happy.

    Reply
  • 20. niceheart  |  March 22, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    Very well said, Hsin. Congrats on the move. I think you can finally relax now.🙂

    Reply
  • 21. e*ember  |  March 23, 2006 at 9:27 am

    I enjoy being a SAHM, but I also need to work on something, to keep my mind active. I’ve been doing freelance work (on and off) for about 8 years now, and can’t imagine myself going back to the office to work.

    Reply
  • 22. niceheart  |  March 23, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Nice to hear from you again, Ange.

    I think you are more than a SAHM. Aside from your freelance work, you are homeschooling your children. I think it is a job, one that you never get paid for.🙂

    Take care

    Reply
  • 23. Web2earn  |  May 8, 2006 at 4:09 am

    Hi, nice blog and thx for the info.

    Working from home used to be something utopic for me just 2 years ago, as it probably is even today for 95% of all people. However, I found out that while you won’t get rich overnight on the Internet, you can generate some nice income. Now, I live in Romania, which is a rather poor Eastern European country, with an average wage of about $300 per month. You can imagine what a huge impact my discovery of online money making possibilities meant – especially since I am now earning constant 4-figure USD earnings each month, through various online activities (hosting ads on my websites, freelancing as a content writer and graphic designer).

    I tried to put all my knowledge to good use and summarize it in a new website, which I invite you to check out if you have the time – Web2earn.com – learn how to make money online. I tried to cover the most profitable and reliable home based business opportunities and categorize them in 10 main groups. I would, however, be very interested to obtain more perspectives on the topics I wrote about. So, if you would like to share your opinion on any of the things I analyzed on Web2earn or if you have a suggestion regarding the site, I would be more than happy to hear it.

    Regards,

    M. R.
    Web2earn.com

    Reply
  • 24. niceheart  |  May 9, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Web2earn, I will be the one learning from your website. I don’t really run my own business. I work for an insurance company and I just bring home the work instead of coming to the office.

    Reply

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