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Infographic: Working vs. Stay-at-Home Moms

Infographic: Working vs. Stay-at-Home Moms

Would you rather be a working mom or a stay at home mom (SAHM)? For most of us, the decision is highly personal, and specific to our life and family circumstances. But it can be helpful and fascinating to see, at a glance, what the actual differences are in the lives of working and stay at home moms.

This infographic was created entirely with information supplied by Circle of Moms members. It reveals differences in where working moms and SAHMs tend to live, in how their families are structured, in how quickly their children reach certain milestones, and in their political leanings.

Working and stay at home mom infographic

Neghie15266259 Neghie15266259 3 years
I have been SAHMing and WHAMing since 2006. You have to decide on what you want and go for it.
ErinMacedo ErinMacedo 5 years
Valerie is a troll!!! Just looking to stir it up.
Tabbassum Tabbassum 6 years
I enjoyed reading the stats though I was very surprised by the "about their children" category. My sister is a STAH mom out of choice and her kids are reading and writing 2 years ahead of my kids. I do believe that us working moms tend to miss a good few spectacular moments in the early years (first 3 IMHO) and given a choice I would have loved to be at home with them more. Now my kids are older I feel very content to have drawn that balance between working and being with the kids after school and maybe logging back in after they are in bed. In fact I pride myself in being able to give my kids my time as well as the few things that money can buy. I respect moms who can stay home, in fact I think they should be applauded as the first few years staying home with young kids is far more 'work' than going to work.
CaseyKing46799 CaseyKing46799 6 years
Seriously Valerie? My children are in daycare every day, I am a single mom who is in the process of a divorce from a man who really does not want to be a father to his children. This is not my fault nor my childrens fault they have to be in daycare. I however did find a fabulous daycare that is not "overcrowded" has plenty of teachers and limits the amount of chldren they accept so there is no problems with too many kids in a group. My children are amazing kids, they are not bully's, they are remarkably smart, my three year old can do most things that a four or a five year can, the only issue he had was with his speach being slightly delayed, guess what this happened while he was at home, day care actually helped resolve this issue.. My son has no issues with conflict resolutions, and is in no way developmentally challenged. How dare you stand on a soap box and make assumptions about children, this says much about you. I would never presume to make judgments about other peoples children or choices as to stay at home or work, as I realize in the "real world" that most of us face it is not a option, but necessity to work. My children are no worse off for this, I beleive I am teaching them fabulous morals. It is also not because I would not love to be a stay at home mom, if someone has the opportunity to do this, great, very happy for you, and I would NEVER judge them because they are doing something different then myself. And one other thing, outsourced, seriously where did you get a idea to use a term so derrrogatory to describe daycare? I have no use for people who pass judgements such as you have, you should be ashamed.
KarinCastaldo KarinCastaldo 6 years
I was lucky to be both a working/ SAHM!!! Owning a family owned restaurant I was able to work or stay at home with my girl... either way she was always with family! She started preschool at 2.5 which was perfect, by that time she knew the basic ABC's & 123's, but she gained socialization & a lil independence. I was very lucky.. most women have to work these days, and unfortunately some children fall through the cracks. Soo I'm on the fence... Moms are amazing whether they have to work at home or away!!! Considering alot of us are single & doing it all on our own!!! Rock on Mama's!!!! It is sooo worth it!!!
TeresaFawcett TeresaFawcett 6 years
i don;t want to get into a debate on this but in response to valerie hein's comments about daycares, i feel like i need to represent the other side. I don't know what type of actual knowledge/experience she has on the topic of how children develop in daycares, but I am an early childhood educator working as a supervisor for an Infant and Toddler centre. (granted, there are bad daycares out there, but many are very good and are commited to giving every child social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive and physical development skills) we are government liscensed and all staff are fully qualified by atleast 1-2 years of post-secondary education focused on Early childhood education. i am also a mother and have the priviledge of having my son in daycare with me. I have noticed that he is friendly with other kids, is very good at sharing (he is only 17 months old) and has a very large vocabulary. I feel like having him in daycare is beneficial for him, and as for him turning into a bully, or having children having to fend for themselves, this is completely off the mark. i know that some daycares are not as high quality as they should be and I feel sad that a lot of people shre the ide that daycares are "just babysitters" because i feel like this is the most difficult and rewarding job i have ever had, and i love all those kids so much and am committed to giving each one the best education and experience s i possibly can. i am dissapointed that valerie hein did not get this experience for her children. if you need to look for day care for your child, i highly recommend finding a liscensed group daycare with highly educated staff, and look around until you find one you are very comfortable with. we are out there
carolyoung25409 carolyoung25409 6 years
Yes, there should be a category about moms who do both. I take care of my 2 toddlers 3 days a week and work 4 days a week and find it really fulfilling. Since I get a little bit of both worlds, I totally respect full-time moms and also enjoy my time at work (which I consider my "me" time). Any form of motherhood is a total crazy juggling act, but well worth the hugs and kisses from my boys :-)
TanishaDudley TanishaDudley 6 years
As a SAHM I wish I was out of the house working because we are at work 24/7 no pay no sick leave no vacation time. While we love our family we need breaks that 'working women' get from their jobs.
MelindaManning34333 MelindaManning34333 6 years
I choose to work because I believe that I have something to contribute to the world. I am a better patent because I work. I would be extremely unhappy staying at home and my son would suffer for it. I am really dismayed by the idea expressed by some commentators that because I am a woman, it is my role to stay at home. My son is happy, has good manners, and is very bright-and he's been in daycare for 4 years.
AlexisTaylorsMomma AlexisTaylorsMomma 6 years
There is so much debate on whos better off. I have stayed home with my kids their whole life and I would never trade that in even if my kids were worse off. I loved being with them 24-7 cherishing all the memories that would have been lost if I wasnt with them. I saw their first walk, crawl, roll-over not a sitter. Both my kids have told me many times that they are grateful that they were with me and I made the chose to stay at home with them. Regardless if this was true I feel that it was probably conducted by a working mom as a way to make her feel better about not being with her kids. Now I dont mean this in a negative way at all not to justify just I know most moms would rather IF they could stay with their kids.
AmyPooley AmyPooley 6 years
Metaphorically speaking: I may take a boat, you may take a car, and the next woman may walk but we are all going to the same destination and all get there despite our different vehicles. We are all trying to raise healthy, happy, respectful, kind and loving children (eventually adults) and there are many different, valid, loving ways of reaching this destination. At the end of the day, we are all just Moms exhausted from doing our best for our children. And I will never feel guilty about that.
RoseGagnon RoseGagnon 6 years
I personally think that it is in the best interest of a child to have mom around continually since he is born till he can manage by himself for the basic necessities of life. All tribes and all ancient cultures did it like this. In the animal kingdom moms take care of their babies and young and it just seems to be the natural, loving, safest thing to do when you are a mom. Kids will grow up and leave and then you will be able to do whatever you want to do, knowing that you did your Best for your children.
Marie85654 Marie85654 6 years
I found this interesting but have found the comments more interesting to read. As a working mom in a male dominated profession, I often feel pressures of excelling in my career and providing that as a woman I can do this job well, but as a working mom I often feel pressured or judged for not staying home- it is almost like women cannot win sometimes. I believe that as woman we have to support each other and every woman, every family and every child is different. We have to make the best decisions that we can with what we have at the moment and support that decision for others. And not being in someone else's shoes we really should not judge people for their choice. At the end of the day I do not think sahm's or working moms live their children any less or any more or that either group wants more or less for their child. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the subject but I just think we should be supportive of each other as moms- whether we stay home or work we all have that in common
LisaCappon LisaCappon 6 years
As a SAHM and Daycare Provider, I take HIGH offense to the comments that daycare children are prone to be bullies and are developmentally challenged. I don't know what kind of daycare you're talking about, but that is NOTHING like the one I run. I AM an educator ( I have a BACHELOR's in Early Childhood and Elementary Education) not a BABYSITTER - there is a huge difference!! As a state-licensed provider, I am required to take at least 10 hours of child development courses each year as one of the many requirements in order to maintain my license. When parents do not reinforce what their children learn at daycare or at school and the children are taught "the victim/take no personal responsibility for anything mentality", that is what creates the bully mentality. For the SAHM's who fail to involve their children with other children in varied settings before sending them off to school, they leave them socially challenged which is a huge undertaking for preschool and kindergarten teachers. All of the kids who pass through my daycare program, who also get reinforcement at home - yes, the two go hand-in-hand, are well prepared for school academically, socially, mentally, and actually function as more of a family unit - which has been noted by teachers, principals, parents, and others. So again, I'm not sure what kind of daycare setting you're referring to, but your generalizations are extremely biased and unsubstantiated. Just because a child acts like a bully doesn't mean he/she picked that up from being in a daycare setting - check the home life, if that's how the parents act, chances are that's why the child acts that way. It is the job of the parents to instill values in their children - it's the job of the daycare and schools to cooperatively reinforce those values - it's a partnership. Perhaps your only encounter with "daycare" has been a bad one, but trust me, there are good ones out there who work just as hard as regular SAHMs to help raise their daycare children as well as their own children.
MMichelleEidemiller MMichelleEidemiller 6 years
I've been on both sides of this fence, at various times in my parenthood. First, let me say, that I am a military wife with two daughters ages 7 and 6. When they were little, I went back to work, then, when I moved overseas with my husband, I tried to stay home. Personally, I hated being a SAHM. I felt as if my entire universe revolved around these two little people. I also fell into a deep depression that almost ruined my marriage, so I went back to work for the sanity of having a place for me in the world. I love my family dearly, and love being a mom, but I need diversity to my day. Do I miss them when I'm away from them? Absolutely, but it also makes our time together sweeter, for me. I respect every woman's decision to do what she feels is best for her family and herself, and feel that a mom is a mom no matter how she spends her day. Both work-for-pay moms and SAHM's work very hard for her family, and should be exulted for doing so.
JenMoylett JenMoylett 6 years
Isn't it ironic that either way we feel judged by the other? Aren't we all posting with the hope that it will end? I stayed home for my maternity leave time before going back to a job I love- teaching Kindergarten! I have worked hard all my life to put myself through school and get a Master's degree, so I feel I need to work to fulfill part of my role on Earth- my other role as "stay at home mommy"- cook, baker, carpool driver, laundry lady, housekeeper, story reader, bath time superviser, etc allows me to be a great mommy to my kid as well as anyone else- I don't want to judge or be judged- just appreciated by other moms who realize I'm working just as hard to help my son be a smart, funny contributing member of society.
AnaTreas AnaTreas 6 years
hhmm....i'm not sure where i fit in here. article is missing 1 category. the "stay-at-home-working-mom". i work from home, earn a full time income and am a full-time mom to my 3 year old. guess i have the best of both worlds! :-))
AnnMartel AnnMartel 6 years
This article is one of the biggest wastes of time and space that I have ever seen.
ElishaPape ElishaPape 6 years
I am not sure where all this talk about working moms living an indulgent life comes from when I get home from working from 7:30 am-4pm I cook my own meals, clean my own home, do my own laundry-I can't afford to have someone do these things for me-I do everything a SAHM has to do on top of a full time job-how is that indulgent?! After my 2 year old goes to bed at night I run around like crazy getting things done before I crash. I even do things like clip coupons when I can to Dave us money, I drive an 8 year old car and will continue to drive it until it falls apart because it is paid off, I buy my clothes off target clearance racks, I am not complaing about my life, I love my life it us crazy busy but I have a good job that I can help provide for my family. I am just not sure where people get off saying that I must live an indulgent life because I chose to work. And I am the one raising my child, she goes to an excellent child development center that has great values, but it is one I researched and picked because I am the one raising her, I am appalled that someone would call that outsourcing my child. I came from a home with 2 working parents that had 3 children and I did not turn out to have any emotional or developmental issues. I went to college, got a good job, got married and had a child. I have no emotional baggage because my mom worked and neither do my sisters who also both went on to college and have great jobs now as well, If anything, having a working mom was a great example to me that I could do whatever I wanted when I grew up. I have the utmost respect for my mother for doing it all, she is an amazing, strong woman.
JaniceColeman55042 JaniceColeman55042 6 years
I worked in daycare for 5 years before becoming a SAHM and I have my BS in Early childhood education. #1 quality daycare depends on where you live. I'm in upstate NY and all daycare center teachers must have degrees AND continually go to training. During my time at the daycare teachers never imposed their personal views on children. Of course I can not speak for home day cares. Child development varies greatly and I have the comparisons at the end of the article are ridiculous. Now personally, I definitely think young infants (under 6 months) should be at home with mom. In NY you can have up to 4 infants to 1 caregiver and it is impossible to meet that many babies needs as well as 1-1 care can. Its absolutely appalling that the ratio is 6-1 in other states. So really if there is any way for a mom to stay home for 9-12 mo. DO it! My dd is 21 mo. now and if it weren't for an unexpected pregnancy (big surprise after 3 years of trying for DD) I would be back to work and she would be in daycare. I love being home with my daughter but I also miss working.
JenniferHejlik JenniferHejlik 6 years
I'm a teacher so I get a little of both worlds (9 months working-3 at home). At the end of the summer I look forward to returning to work and at the end of the school year I look forward to spending time with my children. I do not feel that quality time with my children is any less during the school year than during the summer. I just budget my time differently.
PaulaNotari PaulaNotari 6 years
What about mothers who work from home. As a woman who identifies with both groups, I have come to realize there are pros and cons on both sides but it is such a personal choice and children who are with loving caretakers thrive. Some mothers are simply not cut out to stay home because it's extremely difficult to be home with children even if you have help. Children thrive when they are surrounded by positive, loving energy. It is very difficult for one person to provide all things to a child....really does take a village. In my opinion this survey is annoying coming from a website dedicated to mothers and to conclude differences in milestones based on 1 month is misleading and absurd. Women today are alienated no matter which choice they make and meaningless surveys iike this reinforce the reality that it's a no win situation. If you stay home your considered less intelligent (your kids cannot read or know their abc's as fast)... If you work
JorenaGraceElma JorenaGraceElma 6 years
I'm a working mom and most of the time a stay at home mom. My job doesn't really require me to go there and spend many hours yet it pays not too high salary, but its okay because my husband has a stable job we just have to learn simply. I just want something to read in this article about moms who stay at home that can earn money while no work.
EdieMcGee EdieMcGee 6 years
I agree with the poster who said that the women who got in a lather over this issue were normally the ones who feel guilty about their own choices. I feel pretty good about mine and wouldn't have done anything else. I work outside the home and, unless my child had a medical need, I wouldn't have done it any other way. I married at 40 and adopted a child with my husband at 44. I had a newly-minted law degree at that point -- earned largely at night as a thirty-something singleton who wanted to increase her income potential with retirement looming in the distance. I worked hard and did well in school and got a good job. There was no way I was going to give that up. My husband's experience was similar. I've worked guiltlessly. Part of my guiltlessness, I'll admit, was that my daughter had been in a third world orphanage, and anything I could give her -- even suburban American daycare -- afforded her more attention. Unless you consider saving for retirement and a kid's college education an indulgent lifestyle, we live modestly. We put the BMW money into really great daycare for our daughter, and now that she's school-age, into some neat experiences for her. Just picked her up from the camp bus today. She's a confident, respectful kid and not a bully in the least. Like your demographic, she knew her alphabet and numbers early, and mastered swimming and bike-riding later. For the sake of demographics, I'm caucasian and live in the DC area, but I'm probably more conservative than most of my compadres and certainly older! I'm frequently exhausted, as my indulgent lifestyle does not include a cleaning lady, cook or driver for my daughter, but it's all good. I think people do what they think is best for their kids. One more thing: I loved Beverly's comments about her choice to become a childcare provider. She reminds me of the woman who meets my daughter at the school bus every day, gives her a snack and supervises homework until I can pick her up. Terrific lady who couldn't find good daycare when she needed it, so she BECAME daycare for people like me. God bless her! I thank Him for her almost daily.
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