I’m a Working Mom, But I Would Rather Stay at Home: 5 Ways That I Cope


By Sundi

Ever since I was a young girl, I knew that I would be a stay at home mom. I decided it when I was four years old, and I would get tearful every time I saw my mother leave for work. I thought to myself that when I have children, I would stay at home with them, because that’s what mothers should do. When my Dad worked night shifts, we would be home with him during the day, then on day shifts, we went to daycare. And I hated daycare. And, I missed my mother even when we were home. So, I just knew that I would be a stay at home mom when the time came for me to be a mother.

I did stay at home soon after my first son was born. After a few months, I found a part time job at a school right next door to my neighborhood, and worked there, because my husband’s schedule allowed him to care for the baby while I was at work. It was a nice arrangement that lasted maybe two months or so, until my husband’s schedule unexpectedly changed. So, I quit the job and stayed home.

Now, here I am with four children, and for the first time in six years I am a full time working mom. And, it hurts. At first it didn’t. I viewed working as a necessity since my husband was unemployed. I applied for several school librarian jobs, and I received a job offer. I thought to myself, “How can I turn a job down during this economy, when my husband doesn’t have a job?” I just didn’t have the heart to do that.

So, I went to work. Although I love my job, I still feel that I should be home with my children, and it’s starting to get to me. In the beginning I felt really good about my decision, and enjoyed going to work, and enjoyed coming home to my family. But, now I’m struggling with the decision.

So, what can you do to manage being a working mom, when you really want to be a stay at home mom or work part time?

1. Excellent childcare– For any working mom, it helps to ease your mind knowing that they are in great care. Since I always hated daycare, I knew that I just would not have the heart to put my children in daycare, although they could be different from me and enjoy it. I know mothers who say that their children love daycare and look forward to going each morning. That provides a lot of comfort to a mother’s heart. Having your husband or the children’s grandparents care for them can make a world of difference. It does with me having my mother care for my children. But, still, I want to be the one there during the day.

2. Go part time or flexible schedule– I have searched for and applied to several part time school jobs, and have not received one. The next best thing is to try to go part time or flex time in the job you are already in. Come up with a schedule that would work best for you, and pitch it to your boss and see what they say. Show them how you can still be an asset with a different schedule. That might mean working one day from home, or working 35 hours instead of 40. It’s worth a try, and all they can do is say no.

3. Set up a financial plan to get back home– If your heart is truly set to be home or work part time, set up a time table to make that dream a reality. Start a business on the side, pay off as much debt as possible, move to a more affordable area or home, sell a car, etc. In the end, I do think it’s worth it to do what you have to do to be able to spend the time you want to with your children.

4. Make your time at home count– Working mothers love to talk about quality time over quantity of time. And it is important to make that time count. That might mean co-sleeping with your baby to enjoy being closer, babywearing when you are home, snuggling with your children for a time of reading stories and talking about your day, going outside and playing games, allowing them to “help” you with dinner, enjoying dinner together, having Friday night movie night, devoting most of your weekend to your children and not doing other social events until after the children’s bedtime, and overall, just enjoy being with them in an unhurried way. That takes planning ahead and cooking dinners that you can quickly make or cooking on the weekends and just heat up during the week. Make cleaning and cooking things that are quick and simple to do. Otherwise you can become harried and stressed out, which interrupts the quality time that you could be spending with your little ones.

5. Find the positive– During this season of your life, find the positives. You are helping to provide for your family; if you enjoy your work, you have time to do something that you enjoy; having a break from your children can make you appreciate your time together so much more; you may have more patience with your children, your drive to work could be part of your “me time” to listen to encouraging music, audio books, pray, or just meditate on positive things. Be sure to focus on the positives to help get you through until you can reach your goal. Just know that you can still have a strong attachment bond with your children by being a loving, engaging, and attentive mother while you are with them.

Ladies, are any of you trying to make a transition from working to stay-at-home mom? Or are you trying to make the reverse transition (stay-at-home to working). Share your experiences.

Sundi is a mom of four who lives with her husband outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

  • paula

    I completely understand. This post hits home for me. I am a single mom. My baby is four months old and i have to go out to work next month. Everytime i think about it i cry…because i cannot imagine leaving my baby. My mom has agreed to watch him for me so i dont have to put him in daycare…but i cant help but think that i am the person he needs. Thanks for this post. Will try to put the tips into practice. Hopefully they make my experience easier.

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  • http://www.dimepieceonadime.com Lisa

    This soooo hits home for me. I went back to work last month and i everyday for the last two weeks of my maternity leave. What made it even more stressful was the fact that I wasn’t in love with his daycare center. with 3 days left of my maternity leave I pulled him out of 3 different centers and found one I could tolerate. He’s clean, happy, and well cared for. But it’s still not mommy. I love every second of time I spend with him, and I am committed to finding a work/home balance that works for our family. We need the benefits, for sure, but I know I can’t go on being away from my baby 10 hours a day, five days a week. Not to mention, this daycare is costing us almost 1200 a month.

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  • http://Bitchesbrewblog.com Erickka

    This site seriously has the best posts! Man, I need to write something about about envying women who go to work. I imagine what it would be like to come home in the evening and be happy to see them instead of feeling like my whole day has been spent with kids and I got nothing done for myself. When sneaking off to the grocery store for 15 mins so that I can catch up on some magazines is a luxury that happens every now and then.
    Anyway, I love your post but I can’t even relate. And I almost feel like a bad mom for feeling this way but I’m just being honest.

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    • Baby and Blog

      “I need to write something about envying women who go to work.”

      Um, yes! You are more than welcome to contribute to Baby and Blog (contributors are paid)! Re-posts from your website are also awesome 🙂

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      • http://www.dimepieceonadime.com Lisa

        I submitted an email last week in regards to posting. Let me know if I should resend!

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    • LibraryLady

      Hey Erikka,

      Do not feel bad. Before I accepted the position I was very happy about it, because a part of me was literally going INSANE as a stay at home mom. It was so overwhelming dealing with all four children all. day. long. everyday. and I wished for a part time job to just get a break from my children for awhile, and then come home refreshed and happy to see them.

      Working part time is the ideal for me. I would rather not work full time while I have small children, but part time would give me a break from the children to do something that I enjoy, but still have ample time to spend with them.

      There are a lot of women who find being a stay at home mom very exhausting and they do not cope well. It all just depends on your personality, number of children, your husband’s help, your children’s ages, etc. In either situation, working or staying home, you have to find the positives and focus on that to get you through and enjoy this season in your life.

      Good luck to you.


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      • http://www.dimepieceonadime.com Lisa

        I agree with Sundi. If i could work 3 days a week it would be PERFECT, but i def would not want to be home fulltime with four kiddies. But you gotta do what you gotta do as a mom. But I can definitely understand how you must feel. Don’t feel badly.

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      • http://bitchesbrewblog.com erickka

        Thanks Sundi & Lisa.

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  • Jaime

    I have worked consistently since I was 15 years old. Over the last 9 years I have had a handful of jobs, one of which lasting four years. This past year I gave birth to my first baby, a beautiful baby girl. I quit the job I was working at for what I thought was a more accommodating position with another company. Much to my surprise, I was miserable. Working 40+ hours, bringing work home, and my phone never stopped ringing. After two months I quit. I then spent another glorious six weeks with my baby while job hunting. Due to my husbands disability, I am the primary bread winner. I couldn’t not work. I managed to stumble upon a receptionist job, four days a week, and only 5 minutes from home. While it may be a dream job for most working moms, I am miserable. I miss my baby and feel that I am failing as a mother by not being her primary caregiver. :-/

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