I often see this query being searched on the web or being asked around – Is a Career Woman Happier than a Stay at Home Mom?

How are working women struggling with work-life balance issues?

Do they feel satisfied in their career and family management?

Are stay at home women / mothers more satisfied than their working counterparts?

Enough has already been said, but we just can’t judge in generality. There is a lot of judgement, discussions and criticism flowing around on this issue – in favor and against – working mother or a stay-at-home mom. It’s all relative – what satisfies you might not be appealing to others. There is no one answer to this question: it is not about yes a working mother is happier or a stay at home mom is, life is always about give and take and we all sacrifice a part of ourselves to make the some aspect of life complete. It is also not about having a complete balance – there is no such thing, always there is a trade-off and that is why there is no concrete answer to this question. However in this article we take an in-depth look at both perspectives and please share yours as well!

The Career Woman

I have heard many career women talk about how grateful they are that they have jobs and something to look forward to other than just taking care of the household chores. They often cite that they would not been “good moms” had they decided not to go to work after having kids. Of the few I asked this question, I got the following interesting answers:

  • “I would have been a grumpy mom had I been a stay-at-home mom. I would not have given the quality time I am giving now to my kids.”
  • “I would have been a horrible mom, always shouting and screaming at them for this or that. I feel blessed to be out of the house for a few hours of the day and return home waiting to hug and play with my kids!”
  • “I would have felt stifled at home, not finding the outlet to my creativity or just being at the place of work and interacting intellectually with like-minded personalities. I know it is hard to balance work and family but I find most satisfaction in the juggle than not having the option to juggle at all!”

Some great answers there, but I feel the point is about having a choice. The choice to be a stay at home mother or being a working parent. At times, women don’t even have the choice on what they truly want depending on financial circumstances, personal issues or a child’s health or disability problem. You may choose to be a working mom or a stay at home mom, but feel grateful that you have a choice. On the other hand, I have a friend who recently took up full-time work after being on a contract job for almost 3 years, the reason she preferred the contract jobs was she could always work on 2-3 months on a project and then take off during the summer breaks, the winter breaks the not-so-planned breaks when the kids are down under weather. Now since her younger child is 4 years old she thought it is time for her to consider full-time work, but have the vacations changed? No. Are the possibilities low of the unexpected events? Probably slightly since the kids are grown up but there’re still there. With the summer vacations here she is now struggling how to manage everything with no accrued vacation; she wishes she was back to part-time work or on a contract employment. The struggles, the dilemmas for a career woman are ever present and we have to deal with them day in and out. But it is through challenges and some struggles that life becomes more meaningful and exciting, so I see no reason on shying away from them.

According to an article in the BBC news columns, a survey says that Working women with children are significantly happier than stay-at-home mothers, regardless of how many hours they work. The Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness survey also found that job satisfaction for women with partners is greater when they work part-time, irrespective of how small or large these jobs are.


The Stay-at-home Mother

Now, let’s talk about our stay-at-home mom, she too has too much on her plate and her day all booked with events like chauffeuring the kids to school and extra-curricular activities, work around the house and outside the house. One of the myths that must be clarified– a stay at home mom is not someone who is “not-working”. Being a mom already means a lot of work and in diverse ways, there cannot be a day when you are “out of work”. What are the guilt factors do stay at home moms feel the guilt of not being able to contribute to the family finances? Do they feel guilty of watching Oprah and shopping network channels during day time? Or should they? If you have a slightest feeling of guilt on not contributing to the finances of your house, you must look at the statistics below your work at home perhaps amounts much more than your working counterpart:

Salary.com brings forth the dream job for you – drum roll please – the Stay at home mom! The article says, “Stay-at-home mothers wear many hats. They’re the family CEO, the day care provider, accountant, chauffeur, counselor, chef, nurse, laundress, entertainer, personal stylist, and educator. Based on a 90-hour work week, Salary.com has estimated that a fair wage for the typical stay-at-home mom would be well over $90,000 for executing all of her daily tasks. Factor in overtime, and the appropriate salary takes a leap of around $25,000.”

How does that make you feel? Of course, the sense of achievement and happiness truly relates to how you are managing your career today and how you perceive your future personal and career success. It truly depends on who you want to be and how satisfied are you presently. It is hard to compare who is happier, your happiness eventually boils down to your liking to what you are doing and whether that satisfies and defines who you are.

Not Completely a SAHM


  • A stay at home mom (SAHM) can also contribute financially with some part-time jobs or even with a decent income possibility. A stay at home mom can spare a couple of hours every day and earn money online or even hunt for some flexible jobs which offer her the best of the both worlds (and since anything that offers the best of all worlds is not easy to find – you will have to work hard to find one!)
  • Remote working and work outsourcing makes it much easier for a stay at home mom to work as a freelancer.

Flexible Jobs: Perhaps the best path is to be able to enjoy both equally important aspects of life – to be able to spend time with your kids and family and be financially independent. Many stay at home moms have expressed their dissatisfaction over years being at home that they did not find themselves completely happy, they would love to work at least part-time or even just get out of their SAHM schedule now and start a full-time work. Perhaps the ideal situation is finding the right flexible jobs which can help carve out a satisfying life for the mothers.

–> Some best target for flexible jobs you can find here. –> You could even opt for some easy surveys from home programs online and can earn around $50-$600 in one day! Flexible indeed. See one of these programs here.

Caution when searching for pat-time jobs online:Always research well first that you are not being duped on the internet. There are many scams around and it is best to check out these online programs and schemes on their validity before committing to an investment or giving away any personal information.

Choose what works out the best for you in your circumstance and don’t compare with others, that is the perfect mantra of being at peace with yourself!

Question: What is your opinion? What have you liked best about being a working mother or a stay at home mom?