Working vs. Stay at Home Moms

I am so tired of the Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHMS) verses Working Mom (WMS) fight. The newest study indicates that children of working moms are over-weight.  The study focused on the fact that Working Mom’s multi-task and sometimes don’t have time to cook nutritious meals and rely on fast food. This study is flawed for several reasons: 1) it did not take into account the father or lack of father in the home  2) it did not take into account the activity levels of the family,  3) it did not take into account the family dynamics or 4) stress level of the children.

As a teacher I am well aware that our school buildings are full of overweight children. In my experience I can tell you that most of them are not overweight because their moms work. I have seen a balance of overweight children coming from homes with WMS and SAHMS. There are a vast number of reasons kids are overweight. Some of these reasons include; family stress, divorce, lack of physical activity, lack of nutritional knowledge,  and school problems.

The bottom line is that there are great SAHMS and horrible SAHMS. There are great WMS and horrible WMS. Kids need a home and life with structure. Kids also need activities such as  reading, developmental play, active play activities, and good nutrition to be happy and healthy. Kids also need quality time with their parents. If a mom can work and provide all of these things then there is nothing wrong with her working.

Just because you stay at home with your kids, does not mean that the time you are spending with them is quality. If you don’t do activities with you children that stimulate their minds you are doing them a disservice. If you spend all day watching soaps and surfing the net how is it benefiting your child to be with you.  If you spend most of your time wishing you could give your kids away, or counting the hours until your spouse gets home to rescue you from your kids maybe you should reevaluate the decision to stay at home.

If you are a WM and you spend all your time feeling guilty about working maybe it is time to adjust your schedule and spend more time at home.  If  you work at home and ignore your kids you have issues and need to pull back from work. If you don’t have time to engage with your children, help with homework, or attend school events you need to try to have a more balanced schedule.  When home your priority should be your family not work.

The war between SAHMS and WMS needs to stop. One is not better than the other. It takes more than working or not working to make a great mom. A mom should not be judged solely on her working or non-working status. Studies such as the one referenced above do nothing but to put a further divide between SAHMS and WMS.

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