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The Pros and Cons of Being A Work-At-Home Mom

By Lauren Hartmann |

The many hats I wear...mommy, stylist and blogger.

I knew motherhood would have its challenging moments when I went into it, but once I found out I would be staying home with Fern, I thought I’d have a lot more time to take on these challenges. One thing I failed to take into consideration though, was the fact that I wouldn’t just be a “stay-at-home mom.” I’d be a “work-at-home mom.”

In my pre-parent days, I’d known stay-at-home moms and I’d known working moms, but I’d never personally known anyone who did both so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The reality has been simultaneously wonderful and incredibly challenging and much different than I’d imagined. Some days I feel like being a work-at-home mom is the best of both worlds and I feel so lucky that I get to be home with Fern while still doing things that I enjoy. But then other days when I feel like work-at-home moms kinda get the shaft.

There are many things I love about working from home. I love that I get to be home with Fern and see her learning and growing each day; I love that I get to be there for all of her firsts. We have so much fun together and I love that she gets to be my little side kick on my day-to-day excursions. I feel like we’ve been able to develop such a strong bond, because we are pretty much together 24/7. I also like that I am able to still bring in income to contribute to our family in that way and I also get to get out and be creative with my freelance styling work from time to time. But, there are definitely some pitfalls to being a work-at-home mom too.

For one thing, I experience many of the negative aspects that both stay-at-home moms and working moms go through. Like stay-at-home moms, I get cooped up since I spend most of my time stuck at home. I don’t get to get out and have adult conversations all that often, as most of my work happens at home on my computer. And like working moms, I sometimes feel like I’m not giving my best to my baby. Even though I’m home all the time, sometimes I feel like Fern gets the leftovers of my attention because I work a little bit all the time instead of in eight consecutive hours. Sometimes I feel like it’s almost worse than if I were to leave her in day care all day, because at least at day care she would get quality, undivided attention even if it wasn’t mine.

It’s also hard working from home because people don’t really think of you as a “work-at-home mom,” they just think of you as a stay-at-home mom and the job that you do in addition to the job of being a mother is minimized. I know that it can be hard for me because I think my husband can, on occasion, forget that in addition to taking care of Fern all day, I’ve also been camped out in front of my computer writing and then there are loads of laundry to be done and meals to be cooked and groceries to be bought. All of the day-to-day tasks get relegated to me usually because my husband works 10 hour days at a very labor intensive job. Then he’s been working every weekend for the past couple of months re-roofing our house, so I don’t feel like the set-up we have is unfair necessarily, but it’s still hard. There are times when I kind of wish I had a 9:00-5:00 job so I would be able to get a break – the job of motherhood truly never ends.

I know that every job has it’s challenges. I realize that many stay-at-home moms have moments where they long for the days of getting dressed up and heading to a 9:00-5:00 job. On the flip side of that coin, I realize that many working moms would love nothing more than to be able to quit their jobs and stay home with their little ones instead of dropping them off at day care for eight hours a day.  The grass is always greener.

I just wanted to share my perspective as a work-at-home mom and find out if any of you have felt this way?  I’d love to hear about your experiences as working moms, stay-at-home moms AND work-at-home moms!

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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About Lauren Hartmann


Lauren Hartmann

Lauren Hartmann is a wife, wardrobe stylist, and mama living in Portland, Oregon. She writes about her adventures in motherhood on Babble's Baby Channel. You can also find her blogging at The Little Things We Do or obsessively partaking in social media. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Being A Work-At-Home Mom

  1. Rachel R. says:

    I’m a work-at-home Mom, too, and, thank you for this! I’m supposed to be working right now on the computer, haha, and it’s late and that’s the best time for me to get uninterrupted work done, but I sacrifice some of my night’s sleep most of the time. I won’t get into what you said that I love, but I’m in a very similar situation, and it’s true, the grass is greener, BUT what we do is hard and never-ending and misunderstood and wonderful. :)

  2. Nadia says:

    wonderful article. I am also a PT WAHM and definitely feel many aspects of what you write about. On the one hand I am soooo thankful to be able to wake up seeing my girls and be with them through the day, although my 3 year old is in school just 2-3 half days a week. During that time I scramble to do my conference calls while the baby sleeps, then scramble to feed her before picking up my daughter from school. The afternoons are unpredictable and “nap-dependent” – and then I am usually in SAHM mode until they go to sleep, and I stay up late to do my work. Whew! But despite whatever challenges I have, I would not trade it for anything right now. SO thankful overall. :) Thanks for a great article.

  3. Donna Shilleto says:

    Hi there,

    I know this post is old – however I would love some advice!! I have a problem – although it’s a great problem to have! – I am currently working from 07:00 until 15:00 every day so feel I don’t have enough time with my daughter. She is home each day with nanny and then dad from about 13:00. I wanted to start consulting and working from home and have made provisions to do so (laptops, internet, clients, relatively stable workflow) and was all set to resign. My company then counter-offered me and said I can work from 08:00 – 14:00. So now I am not sure what to do. There are pros and cons to both but am really stuck – which option would you take if you had the choice? Many thanks x

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