Are Working Moms Really Healthier and Happier than Stay-At Home Moms?

As a working mother myself, my first reaction to this question is no, working moms aren’t happier and healthier than mothers who are, in my opinion, privileged to stay at home and raise their children.

My thoughts are that stay-at-home moms would be much happier and healthier than working moms. I guess I thought that because, well, they got to spend a lot of time with their children, something that working mothers like myself don’t get to experience on a daily basis.

Home vs. Work

New research, on the other hand, does not support my thoughts and feelings on this topic (although I am not surprised, since I am not a stay-at-home mom and may be romanticizing it). Researchers found that stay-at-home moms:

  • Tend to be more socially isolated
  • Are typically more depressed than working moms
  • Stressed more since they are around the children each day

Also, working mothers were more likely to report their health as excellent compared to their nonworking counterparts.

After thinking about what the study results proved, this makes perfect and absolute sense! Thinking about the challenging times I do have with my newly turned 4-year-old (going on 16) daughter, I have to admit it is nice to work and get away from it! I feel bad saying that, but moms (and dads) of any work status know exactly what I am talking about!

Part-Time Mother

I also love how the study found mothers who work part-time (defined in the study as 1-36 hours a week), are the healthiest and happiest of the three categories of working mothers. Compared to full-time working mothers, the researchers found that part-time mothers:

  • Reported less conflict between home and work
  • Were more involved in their child’s schooling
  • Provided more learning opportunities for their children compared to both stay-at-home moms and full-time working mothers.

Part-time mothers truly have the best of both worlds. They have the opportunity to get out of the home for necessary mom breaks, to socialize and be an adult, but also have the extra time to spend with their kids.

You tell me: Is the grass always greener on the other side? Do you agree with this study?

Photo credit: ~PhotograTree~

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  1. I’ve been lucky enough to stay at home, work part time and also work full time. Part time is where it’s at if you ask me. Very best of both worlds. Minimal mommy guilt. Maximum mommy time without the kids. I definitely agree with the findings on staying at home. Having been there, I can say all the negatives are absolutely true. I lost who I was as a person and my kids were not better off because of it. But…having said that, everyone is different. Really depends on you as an individau and your family situatn.

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