Monday, August 20, 2012

Working Moms vs. Stay-At-Home Moms

Days like today make me want to let loose on a lounge chair with a magazine and some sunscreen. It's that awesome out. But I've got an infant that needs my constant attention, so I "settled" for a picnic on the bluff instead. And since I can't go downtown without getting the obligatory mix of dark chocolate almonds and peanuts from my fav chocolate shop, that happened as well.

I am very blessed to be able to do this kind of thing with Hannah. There are days that  I miss working full-time, but my part-time gig at the gym is far more satisfying, and I truly like having the time to keep things in order at home.

Anyway. Before I forget to tell you: Two things recently happened in my life, and I am totally excited about both of them:

1) I signed up for a Spinning certification course. I love taking spin classes, and am super stoked about being able to teach them...and about adding another element of fitness to my repertoire of classes taught. Meaning, I already teach classes based on strength and stretching. So once I start teaching spin, I'll have a cardio class, too. Woot!

2) There were 15 people in my 6:00AM class this morning. 15 PEOPLE! New record. Fist pump.

Needless to say, I'm off to a great start this week. It's sort of an odd week for me. I'm on a partial vacation from the gym while the nursery is being renovated, which means I have to stay home with Hannah because I don't have any other childcare options right now. (Although grammy will be watching her one day, hence the "partial vacation".) It's not super convenient for me or for the members, but it'll be worth it when the kiddos get to spend some time in a nice, new play area.

In relatable news, someone published a study that suggests "working moms are healthier than stay-at-home moms." Here's a blurb from a post on the BabyCenter blog:

“Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically,” Frech says. “It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.” 

And if we look at moms with only part-time employment, we find women coping with the stresses of lower-paying jobs that offer little job security and few benefits. 

“Struggling to hold onto a job or being in constant job search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically,” says Frech. She also notes that stay-at-home mothers may find themselves socially isolated and lacking financial independence.

I work part-time, it's true, but I wear my stay-at-home mom hat the most. I don't feel socially isolated, and I think the activities I do throughout my week promote good health, both mentally and physically. And I'm not just referencing my work at the gym, paid or personal. Honestly, I think the study is weird. I can see how some SAHMs might feel socially isolated, but I cannot see how working promotes greater health. There are plenty of healthy SAHMs in this world. PUH-LENTY. I see them every day at the gym.

Let's discuss.


Kelly McNelis said...

Thanks for sharing this info and your perspective!

Michelle said...

This is something I've thought a lot about since I'm due in just under a month and we're already trying to figure out what we'll do in regards to work. I honestly don't know if I have it in me to work full-time and keep the baby in daycare for 11 hours a day. I'm definitely not averse to being a SAHM, at least for a little bit. If my commute was less or if I loved my job I might feel differently. I guess we'll see how it goes while I'm on maternity leave and go from there! :)

Kim said...

I've done both and they both had their own challenges. When I worked full-time, I did feel better about my self-worth (bringing in money, using my brain, etc) but I also had the guilt of leaving my little guy for 9 hours a day. When he was 18 months old, his sister was born and I quit to be a SAHM full time. And let me tell you, it was HARD...way harder than going to sit at my computer for 9 hours..yet there was no guilt with this job. However, now that she is 2.5 and he is 4, life is MUCH easier and enjoyable and I'm glad to be a SAHM, although I do still feel a little insecure about not getting a paycheck and not using my brain/education. See, now to me, working part-time seems like a perfect solution..but of course I've never done it and the grass is always greener, you know?

Carrie said...

There are obviously challenges both ways. I hate research studies that generalize everything. Really timely discussion right now as I've been a SAHM and WAHM for 12 years and am looking to go back to a more traditional job.

adailydoseoffit said...

It's definitely a choice without a definitive right/wrong answer. The appropriate scenario for your household is different than the scenario of a similar household. Which is why I have such a problem with the article I mentioned. How it can make such a generalization is beyond me. We women have our own ways of staying healthy, regardless of our jobs or lack thereof. I worked full time at one point, and I'm a partial stay-at-home mom. Other than my daily schedule, I don't feel any different. In fact, I'm more relaxed in my SAHM status. My health and fitness? It hasn't changed a bit. Still working out just as much, if not more than when I worked full time.

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...