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Comparing the Days: Stay-At-Home Mom, Work-At-Home Mom, and Working Mom

I’m kind of lucky in that I’ve done a myriad of the “mom” positions. For the majority of motherhood, I’ve been a working mom (aka a mom that works outside of the home). I’ve also been a work-at-home mom as a Product Manager for Microsoft and with my current gig at Babble.  I’ve done the stay-at-home mom part the least and lots of folks might argue that I’ve never really done it, because maternity leave and a month in the spring don’t really count. The majority of my closest friends are stay at home mommas but I work in a company that holds working moms in high regard, so I feel like I get the best of all worlds quite often.

But there’s always a common thread in all the different roles I’ve held and the friends I’ve encountered – whether our career is in the home or in an office, we all have our worries and struggles. More often than not, those worries and struggles and exhaustion are so eerily similar that it makes me wonder why the divide between moms in our roles.

So I asked two good friends of mine if they would mind being “interviewed.” I asked them the same questions and I answered the questions, giving a perspective from a WM (working mom) and a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and a WAHM (work-at-home mom).

Here’s what we all had to say about our days, our fears, what we wear, and how we pee:

 


  • SAHM: How many cups of coffee have you had today? 1 of 27
    SAHM: How many cups of coffee have you had today?
    "2 very large cups and sometimes they get left in the microwave!" Suzi
  • WAHM: How many cups of coffee have you had today? 2 of 27
    WAHM:  How many cups of coffee have you had today?
    "I have learned recently that a "cup" of coffee is 6oz. (I did not know this) So I must drink a heck of a lot. I never get to finish it while it's warm, but maybe I do when it's reheated for the 4th time and tastes like the inside of my microwave." Diana
  • WM: How many cups of coffee have you had today? 3 of 27
    WM:  How many cups of coffee have you had today?
    "Ummm...5? 6? I think I had two this morning & then grabbed a grande latte after lunch for a pick-me-up." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: What is the best part of your day? 4 of 27
    SAHM: What is the best part of your day?
    "When my girls go to bed? I kid!! I really love picking them both up at school (2 day preschool and kindergarten). The both love school and are so unbelievably happy and talk my ear off on the way home. I am sort of a nerd so I love that they love school and love learning. Plus they are making friends, behaving, and creating their own little lives. It makes my heart swell because I feel like we must be doing something right." Suzi
  • WAHM: What’s the best part of your day? 5 of 27
    WAHM: What's the best part of your day?
    "Nap. Well, nap and after nap activities (crafts, etc) are fun. Also I love when our sitter gets here and I get to go write for a few hours at Starbucks in total peace and quiet." Diana
  • WM: What is the best part of your day? 6 of 27
    WM: What is the best part of your day?
    "It's a strong tie between the morning when it's just me & Harrison having breakfast. & I adore when I pick him up from school & he's chatting about everything he did that day & how much fun he had. It makes me feel like we made a good choice with his daycare." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: Did you pee alone today? 7 of 27
    SAHM:  Did you pee alone today?
    "I have peed alone but I've also had company." Suzi
  • WAHM: Did you pee alone today? 8 of 27
    WAHM:  Did you pee alone today?
    "Not yet. Here's hoping." Diana
  • WM: Did you pee alone today? 9 of 27
    WM:  Did you pee alone today?
    "I've done both. The worst is when you're doing more important business & your coworkers are just hanging out in the bathroom, chatting like it's 10th grade." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: What are you serving for dinner tonight? 10 of 27
    SAHM: What are you serving for dinner tonight?
    "Black bean soup and a simple salad but I am sure the girls will hate it! I'll add a grilled cheese to the mix for them." Suzi
  • WAHM: What are you serving for dinner tonight? 11 of 27
    WAHM: What are you serving for dinner tonight?
    "I just realized I'm supposed to make dinner. So... leftover minestrone." Diana
  • WM: What are you serving for dinner tonight? 12 of 27
    WM: What are you serving for dinner tonight?
    "It's Taco Tuesday! So I'm making enchiladas that are super-quick & heating up some rice & beans. I try to keep meals under 30 minutes for prep." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: Where do you spend the majority of your day? 13 of 27
    SAHM: Where do you spend the majority of your day?
    "Split 50/50 between my car & my kitchen." Suzi
  • WAHM: Where do you spend the majority of your day?Where do you spend the majority of your day? 14 of 27
    WAHM: Where do you spend the majority of your day?Where do you spend the majority of your day?
    "I'm all over, but maybe at my desk writing, the living room playing, or the kitchen." Diana
  • WM: Where do you spend the majority of your day? 15 of 27
    WM: Where do you spend the majority of your day?
    "I'm in a cubicle, smack in front of my computer screen for seven hours. Thankfully, I no longer have my hellish commute or I'd have to count the three hours we spend in the car." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: What’s the hardest part of your day? 16 of 27
    SAHM: What's the hardest part of your day?
    "Getting them out the door for school! Ugh! We are a family of non-morning people. It doesn't matter what time we all go to bed the night before nobody wants to get up. It is a struggle every morning and forget it if someone doesn't like the clothes I've picked out!" Suzi
  • WAHM: What’s the hardest part of your day? 17 of 27
    WAHM: What's the hardest part of your day?
    "In the morning when my inbox is flooded with emails while Bella melts down about her cereal and the dog being near her chair. Also the days that there is no nap." Diana
  • WM: What’s the hardest part of your day? 18 of 27
    WM: What's the hardest part of your day?
    "Dropping him off in the morning. He ALWAYS cries even though he loves school. It's so hard to walk away from your sobbing toddler. It makes me feel so cold & uncaring even though it's the opposite." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day? 19 of 27
    SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day?
    "Probably 7ish. Higher if they are sick... sick kids are exhausting!" Suzi
  • WAHM: SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day? 20 of 27
    WAHM:  SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day?
    "Oh man. Like a 7?" Diana
  • WM: SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day? 21 of 27
    WM:  SAHM: On a scale of 1-10, one being manic & 10 being dead, what is your exhaustion level when you crawl into bed after a normal day?
    "Probably at a 7. I'm completely burnt out of interaction & thinking by about 8pm. I like to curl up with a book to decompress, but there's always laundry & dishes waiting on my ol' aching bones." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: What did you wear today? 22 of 27
    SAHM:  What did you wear today?
    "This is very unusual but I am in a dress (only because it is machine washable) and boots. A lot of days I wear my workout clothes all day... either because I haven't had a chance to shower & change OR I still haven't gotten to my workout." Suzi
  • WAHM: What did you wear today? 23 of 27
    WAHM:  What did you wear today?
    "Jeans, tshirt, I put on nice shoes for my daughter's play therapy. Instead of my TOMS." Diana
  • WM: What did you wear today? 24 of 27
    WM:  What did you wear today?
    "Jeans, tshirt, cardigan, & a scarf. This is pretty much my uniform, but I'm lucky to work in a casual-dress office. I used to work where dresses & heels & hosiery were the norm." Beth Anne
  • SAHM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job? 25 of 27
    SAHM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
    "The pay? The toddler tyrant? Potty training! My 2nd will pee on the toilet but no go with the poop and it's been like this for months. I do not understand why pooping in your pants is better than on the toilet! And meal time! I have a very strong willed almost 3 year old who would happily eat bread, yogurt, and raspberries ONLY! If I put something other than one of those 3 things on her plate it is total meltdown... like I am trying to poison her. When she started eating solids she would eat anything I put in front of her and then one day it was like a switch and she wouldn't touch anything. I admit that some days I give in and she eats bread, yogurt, and raspberries because at least she is eating something. I will keep trying to branch out but some days I feel like I am banging my head against a wall!" Suzi
  • WAHM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job? 26 of 27
    WAHM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
    "The last minute-ness of writing/working online while having a 3 year old who doesn't like playing by herself very often. Also the fact that everything happens at once. I can go days with an email here and there and a few posts, and then this week have 16 posts to do and a bazillion emails waiting." Diana
  • WM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job? 27 of 27
    WM: What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
    "Just trying to fit in EVERYTHING. I still do all the cooking, cleaning, & organizing of my family on top of my office hours. It's hard to squeeze it all in & do it all well. I always feel like something is slipping." Beth Anne

More from BA:

11 Myths About Working Moms.

Reasons to keep that pesky baby weight on. (if you take it seriously, I’ll punch you in the cooter.)

What I’m struggling with as a momma.

Symptoms of pneumonia in toddlers.

The food allergy debate.

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on theTwitters & Facebook.

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