The battle between working moms and stay-at-home moms has raged on for decades. The 'mommy wars' unfortunately don't end there. Even today, moms face tremendous pressure to make “perfect” parenting decisions, only to find themselves judged or criticized by others — including other moms. From choosing to go back to work or what to feed your baby, to the best ways to educate and discipline, everyone has an opinion.
To better understand the state of the 'war' between working moms and stay-at-home moms, BabyCenter, a pregnancy and parenting digital resource, recently surveyed more than 1,000 moms on the subject. It appears while there still is a bit of envy, things have calmed down considerably between the two groups.
There's a new level of respect: Moms agree that whether a woman stays at home or goes back to work after having a child, the decision is difficult. Despite their differences, moms have a mutual respect for one another, understand that they are all doing what is best for their own families and agree they are all facing the same challenges. For example, 58 percent of all moms worry about finances, while 55 percent of all moms have a hard time finding time for themselves and keeping fit. Stay-at-home moms see themselves as better role models, but nearly 40 percent are also “in awe” of working moms and how they manage to do it all.
The survey also found stay-at-home moms and working moms are highly satisfied with their lives (81 percent vs. 80 percent) and their parenting skills (78 percent vs. 76 percent).
There are a few sticking points. Nearly 40 percent of working moms think they work harder than stay-at-home moms, while nearly 35 percent of stay-at-home moms feel they do. In fact, nearly all stay-at-home moms (90 percent) believe others underestimate their work — and they may be right. Fifty-four percent of working moms admitted to thinking stay-at-home moms have more free time and 71 percent think stay-at-home moms have more flexibility.
Additionally, stay-at-home moms feel they are more likely to have a happy family than working moms, but working moms think they are more appreciated by their spouses because they work.
There's still envy on both sides. Seventy percent of working moms are envious of stay-at-home moms because of the time they spend with their kids, which can also lead to feelings of guilt. And 6 in 10 working moms would quit their job if it weren’t for money.
On the flip side, three-quarters of stay-at-home moms agree they have the best job, but half miss the adult interaction and wish they were at work. And 2 out of 5 stay-at-home moms also envy working moms’ incomes.