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How much do working moms/society at large judge stay at home moms? Ive always dreamed of taking some time off when my kids were born, but not sure I could regain my footing or put up with the scorn

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My wife is a SAHM. I get that almost all people here are working moms because they won’t be here if they are a SAHM. With that, I wouldn’t say staying at home is easy. It’s a huge mental strain they’d have to endure to actually be stay at home. Given that we are on a single income, that means we don’t have the luxury of sending kids to day care. That’s also the whole point of staying at home for the kid. But facing a child almost 24/7 is tough. There can be time when she feels there’s no escape, especially when I’m on the road or even if I’m home but working. Sending kids to childcare actually help you get away from your kids for a portion of the time but SAHM lacks that luxury and gets into this repetitive routine daily. It’s not the easiest job of all. Another one is obviously the career that everyone talks about. She’s definitely killing her career by staying at home for years. And from time to time, it can feel useless because that’s what society is judging nowadays. Everyone thinks it’s a privilege (maybe.. it has some privilege) to stay at home and don’t need to work but not earning anything can take a mental toll. Just want to point out it’s not the easiest even if for those who are staying at home.

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Part of it depends on the career as to how easy it will br. My wife purposefully picked a career to pursue that she found fulfilling but would also allow her to work a limited schedule once we had kids to keep her foot in the door / keep the skills up to date (medical imaging) - 75% of the other moms she works with worked part time or per diem when their kids were little, makes it a non issue to step back into the field. She works 2-3 days a month, and absolutely love the time she spends with our daughter (and soon to be a son as well). Obviously anecdotal, but our daughter is thriving from all this one on one time both educationally and socially. A lot of factors involved, so anecdotal, but at less than 2 years old her grasp of language, communication, and the basics (numbers, letters, colors, object names) is significantly better than others we know with kids even up to about 3.5. Do all SAHM have the patience to sit on the floor with their kid 8 hours a day while teaching them all of these things? Probably not - (I know it certainly wouldn't be for me). Done right SAHM is truly a job - she is a one on one educator and caretaker 24/7. Take a look at how much one would spend to have a good quality Nanny do these types of things with your toddler all day, there is a lot of value to what SAHM do. Part of it may depend on your life perspective. Sure we could have a lot more money if my wife worked full time. But your kids are little once. You are on this earth for roughly 85 years. I can't picture getting to the end and thinking "man I wished we made more money for those 4 years the kids weren't in school". If spending time educating your toddler is not fulfilling to you (nothing wrong with that), then yeah sure, this thought wouldn't cross your mind. But if it is something you have a strong desire to do... Screw what everyone else thinks and just do it. Life is too short, and there is much more to it than a career and money.

I work in financial services firm of 300 people that is 60% women. If you talk about empathy for working Mom's, yes of course I realize the challenges that come along with it. At the same time, expect zero special treatment from me unless you ask for it, at which point I'll be happy to have the discussion about what we need to do to make things work for you, including flexible work arrangements or career goal changes. My level of respect for those working mom's (or dads) on either end of the spectrum doesn't change either way. Work is work, family is family, you decide where you want to be on that spectrum and we'll all adjust accordingly. If someone is looking down on a mom for either end of that spectrum, they can stuff it.

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Working mom of 2 here... I'm half jealous and half judgey of SAHMs.... mostly just judgey when they complain about being so busy or stressed 🤷🏻‍♀️. I don't think it's fair/right to have these feelings - but just being honest with you! That said - if you can make it work for you, I don't think you'd ever regret more time with your babies when they're little. ❤️

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Yeah, I totally get that... the working mothers I work with are superheroes to me, they impress me every day. There’s a part of me that wants to prove to myself I can be that badass, but another part hates the thought of paying thousands for daycare when I most want to be home with my kid... will have to see how the next year or two of my career/my partner’s career goes But I will say, as the daughter of a working mama, your kids must be very proud (or they will be soon:)

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Single woman here - I judge stay at home moms from the bottom of my heart. They are everything opposite of what I’m working towards and I hate that they paint this “stereotype” that I have to fight against. I wouldn’t be able to say this out loud but anonymously yeah this is what I honestly think about them.

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As a working mother who raised 6.... I could care less about the working Mom stay at home Mom thing.... I focused on my family and my work... too busy for bs....

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Make sure you are 100% rock solid in your marriage. You’re giving up retirement benefits, career advancement, and not to mention salary for your family. Make sure you don’t have even the tiniest bit of doubt in your partner. Better yet, come to an understanding about how you’ll be compensated out of the family pot for your work at home.

likesmart

THIS THIS SO MUCH THIS

I’m a ways out from thinking about these things but I’m just here to say that there should be no judgment and anyone who reserves judgment needs a reality check. Different situations work for different people and families. If you want to be a stay at home mom and you think that’s what’s best for your family, that’s your prerogative. If you want to perhaps work again after having kids — I know my aunt worked with her employer for more WFH and she slowly transitioned back to traveling. If companies want to retain their people and their female talent, they should be able to have an open conversation and initiatives to keep their people on the right track, whatever the life situation may be. Whatever situation you decide on is YOUR business and your friends, family, and peers should support that.

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Of course, OP! It’s a hard enough decision without feeling like you have to take others into consideration :) Do whatcha gotta do girl

likeuplifting

I dont judge. You do you. But know that there's a huge hiring penalty later if you want to get back into the workforce. It's unfair and awful but real.

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Of being “just a mom”.. still a few years out as I try to financially plan, my partner is supportive of either decision, but just curious if the stigma I imagine is all in my judgmental head

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I wonder this too. I could care less about the judgment in personal life but more in reentering the work world

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Agree with PWC1 re moms who are “so busy” but I have DINK friends like that too. So like with anything else, keep your privilege in check. With that caveat, I don’t think there’s scorn but I think the concern about regaining your footing is legit (and unfair/shitty) especially if the economy tanks. I know moms who stayed at home for a period and have successfully careers but who knows where they’d be if they hadn’t taken the time.

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I was a SHM for 4 years. It's bittersweet. I didn't have a working Visa and we were going through the motions of green card application. I didn't care about who thought what. It's time I adored having with my girls. It's the trying to get back into a career that is the toughest. It's then that you feel the impact the most. My recommendation if you can is trying to keep something at least part time going for you. I couldn't because of the visa restrictions but if you can make it part of your plan. It's so hard going back to an office environment after been off with the kids for an extended time.

likesmart

This is what I care about. All those on here saying “who cares what they think, you’re modeling for your kids!” Is not taking OP’s q about the challenges getting back into work most seriously. This is what I want to know also. I would like to take off like 3 years and go back but know this could be so hard to do successfully.

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My mom was a SAHM. She did just as much, if not more than, my friends working moms. She definitely had a job raising 3 kids, maintaining the house, and volunteering. I wouldn't be who I am today without her. I want my wife to by a SAHM so my kids have that luxury as well.

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Disagree with you SC1. Whether he/she would do it or not is beside the point. 1) he/she said his/her wife “was happy with the idea” AND 2) he/she and his/her wife decided, TOGETHER, what would be better for their family. They made that decision as a true partnership, not as the “man of the house.” It’s easy to condemn that answer but wait until you have a monthly childcare bill that’s greater than/equal to a second mortgage. This isn’t an economy that allows everyone the luxury of doing whatever they want. KPMG’s response is more of the man of the house response that makes me cringe.

I judge SAHMs a little, mostly when they talk about how busy they are or when my SIL says weird shit like “why have kids if you aren’t going to raise them.” But mostly I worry for them financially. I think it’s dangerous to not be able to support yourself and I think getting back into the job market would be insanely hard. Also for all the shit my SIL gives me, if my BIL left her, she’d never be able to financially recover even with alimony and she’s unqualified for most jobs.

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No. My BIL and his wife my SIL

It's not about how others look at you, it's about how you feel about yourself. Being a mom is a gigantic job, perhaps way bigger than most of our work jobs. To be frank for me personally, I can never be home and just take care of my kid because I know she will drive me crazy. I can do it part time and I feel work is my escape sometimes...its tough being a parent!!

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There is judgment out there and people who’ll question your decision. But forget them. You’re modeling behaviour for your kids, let this be your strength to ignore the jerks. Depending on how much time you take off, try to stay relevant so you have a way back into the workforce. (Stay up on industry changes, continue networking, see if there’s any flexible arrangements available that work for you.)

smart

Another single woman here. I judge stay at home moms, I’m sorry (or am I? Not sure) but it’s the truth. The kids may benefit from extra mom time but it creates a bad example for the kids, whether girls or boys. Also, I’m not saying 100% but among the stay at home moms that I know, once the kid/kids are in school, the mom just shops and watches TV. That’s anecdotal so sure come tell me that YOUR mother or wife is a different type of stay at home mom and works really hard.

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Who cares? Do you.

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