Do Stay-At-Home Parents Have It Easier With Their Baby’s Sleep?

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stay at home mom baby sleepA couple of weeks ago, I talked about Drs. Sears and Weissbluth in their online chat. There was an interesting comment about an elephant in the room when it comes to parents who stay home versus working parents and their sleep training or attachment parenting philosophies. I thought this deserved a proper discussion. After all, I don’t mind talking about elephants.

Truth be told, I never envisioned myself staying home with the kids. I have always loved kids and always imagined having kids. At parties where there were kids, I’d gravitate towards them, play games, and become their favorite adult at the party. I loved them and they loved me. Yet, I never imagined staying home full time with my own. Why, you ask?

Since a young age of 15 or 16 I got my first job at Baskin Robbins (an ice cream shop), became a manager quickly, then moved on to my first office job, then went to college, started my career, went to graduate school, and so on. As much as I always imagined myself as a mother, I also envisioned myself being one of the women who would shatter the glass ceiling. As my wisdom grew about both children and the corporate world, I changed my mind about that glass ceiling in that I found it hard to envision being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and go to all the kids’ “soccer games” (or whatever event they would be interested in). I didn’t want to be that mom who was always absent or late and I didn’t want to miss out seeing the kids as much. Nowadays, I do see amazing women doing both. There are now family-friendly companies (and family-friendly companies in Canada), that must help, too. I guess I found my own way to be a CEO in this website. :)

Now that I am a mom, I can definitely understand why parents stay home. My husband calls me a “work-a-holic” yet says I’m more of a mom than a career woman. How can that be? I guess I do a good job of balancing work and home… at least I try to. Being a working mom I find it very difficult to get dinner on the table at a decent time, never mind make that dinner healthy. I find “What’s for dinner?” a simple, but extremely stressful question every day, every week. We can make big plans to make multiple meals on the weekend, but it rarely happens. The weekend is when we have soccer games, football games, fun at the zoo, etc. It’s much too busy to cook! We have to squeeze a lot into a little amount of time. So, then, it makes sense that maybe it’s harder for working parents. Or, is it?

It’s easy to say it’s harder for me being a working mom, but I’m not so sure. Come Monday, sometimes it feels like a break from having the kids 24×7 over the weekend! I start to wonder how stay-at-home moms (and dads) do it every day, day in and day out, without a weekend “off” like I have off from work. Sorta. Okay, not really, but it’s less work on the weekend and definitely a change of pace.

Do Stay-At-Home Parents Have It Easier With Their Baby’s Sleep?

Since I am able to talk to a lot of different people on a daily basis, I tend to see similarities in how a family approaches their baby’s sleep. If you are a stay-at-home mom, most of the time you are on your own at night, since your spouse/partner has to work. If you are a working mom, you do most of the work, but sometimes both parents seem to work together. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of families seem to fall into one of these camps (I have not been contacted by enough stay-at-home dads to say one way or another in that family structure). If you stay home and have a working partner who gets up, count your blessings. If you are the working parent, kudos for you “getting it.” :)

As a working mom, it sort of rubs me the wrong way. If I am a working mom and can get up with the kids at night, why can’t the working partner, so the stay-at-home parent can get some sleep, too?

Here comes the elephant.

There seems to be this implication that if you stay home with the baby (or babies) that you don’t need to be as well-rested. Is it because you can take a nap (or two) every day with the baby? I am sure I have at-home parents who would laugh at that. I should say that I have never studied my client make-up, but I would estimate that I have just as many stay-at-home clients as I do working parents. And, I know why.

  • Just because you stay home with the kids does not mean you need less sleep.
  • Just because you stay home does not mean you don’t need to use your brain the next day.
  • Just because you stay home does not mean it is safe to drive your precious baby around in the car when you got less than two hours of sleep last night.
  • Just because you stay home doesn’t make you a better mom when you are exhausted.
  • Just because you stay home doesn’t mean you don’t get sick more often due to sleep deprivation.
  • Just because you stay home doesn’t give you more patience to deal with a not-sleeping baby.

I’m sure I can go on and on, but the point is that when you have a baby with sleep problems, it isn’t any easier to deal with if you are a working parent or a stay-at-home parent, in my opinion. I will say when I went back to work, it did feel a lot harder, but after months of sleep-deprivation, I’m sure a lot of people would feel just as exhausted as I did.

Cumulative sleep deprivation is hard on anyone physically, mentally, and emotionally. While I think it’s probably a common misconception that stay-at-home parents can take more time and have more patience with their baby’s sleep problems, I think this is more to do with a parent’s personality and the extent of the sleep problems than the parent’s working status. I have clients who are working parents and practice attachment parenting and I have at-home parents that do cry it out and everything in between. Your parenting philosophy is not dictated by whether you work or not and, certainly, your baby, whose temperament may or may not respond favorably to your philosophies, surely is not dictated by your working status.

But, enough about what I think. What do you think?

Do you think it’s easier for at-home parents to handle sleep problems?

Note: I know this topic can get very heated, so please be respectful.

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46 Responses to Do Stay-At-Home Parents Have It Easier With Their Baby’s Sleep?

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks you for posting this topic. I am a working Mom, and I have often wondered if my son would sleep better if I did stay at home. The problem I find is that he does not ever seem to get good naps at the sitters house. I think there is too much going on there and he just doesn’t nap very long. On the weekends when he is home with us, he usually takes great naps. When he takes good naps, it seems like he sleeps better at night. It is not really possible for me to become a stay at home Mom to ever test this out, so in the mean time we will try to keep working with our sitter to hopefully get better naps in the day time and hopefully eventually better sleep at night!

  2. Corrine says:

    Wow, I have always felt somewhat guilty if I couldn’t take it anymore at night and make my husband who has to go to work the next day get up and take a turn with our baby. But you gave a good list there, I am such a bear when I don’t get enough sleep that it’s ultimately better for baby if hubby chips in at night once in a while.

  3. Wendi says:

    I am a stay at home mom and I often feel that my “job” is very misunderstood. Only other stay at home moms understand. I first want to say that I see myself as very lucky to stay home with my baby. I get to be the one to raise him and see all of his developmental milestones. I have seen all of his firsts…first smile, first laugh, first time he rolled over, etc. But I also dont get to clock out at the end of the day, its like needing to be on the job 24/7. I have a great husband, very supportive and involved. But I often times can’t vent about my day the way most people need to because he just doesnt get it. He doesnt say it, but I know he thinks I have it so much easier. My baby sleeps well at night, but is a terrible napper so I dont get any breaks throughout the day and I very often dont think my husband or my working mom friends understand how hard that is. I have some moments that I would pay all the money in the world to be able to drop him off at daycare so I dont have to deal with baby crankiness the entire day, but working parents dont understand that. Luckily for me, those moments are few and far between. I just think that working parents and stay at home parents both need to do a better job of understanding the challenges we all face.

  4. Joanne says:

    I am a working mom and have this discussion often with my stay-at-home friends. I honestly think it is much easier going to work. I do feel like it’s a break when I get to be with adults on Monday. I agree that getting dinner ready and keeping up with the housework, etc, is a challenge, but I don’t think I would change anything. I also agree that working partners of stay-at-home moms/dads need to help by getting up at night. It is just as tiring to be home with kids as it is to go to work…it’s probably more tiring. None of the stay-at-home moms I know nap with their babies – too much to do. To never have a break, even every other night, wears on people and it is impossible to be the best possible parent.

  5. Melissa says:

    I am a SAHM, my son was born with torticollis, Severe GERD & Brachycephaly…very long story short we had MAJOR sleep issues that were further complicated due to the severe reflux & helmet he had to wear from 3-6 months. Because I stay at home I was able to devote my ENTIRE (literally) life to trying to fix his sleep problems, nap issues, take him to physical therapy etc…but by no means, what so ever would I say I had it easy b/c I stay home!!! My Husband works full time & does not get up at night, for the 1st 4 months my son cried 14 hours a day (we had to chart it for the pedi…) and the other 10 hours were severly broken “sleep” Which means that I was getting 3-4 hours (total) of sleep per 24 hours and was home alone with my beautiful ( but screaming) newborn all day long…I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to care for him, but I can completely understand parents who feel that being away while at work makes them a better parent when they are home. There is something to be said for having a break, being able to know your child is well cared for while you take care of things at work. By no means do I think working parents have it easy either, I can’t imagine having to function & be responsible at work after not sleeping all night : ) Being a parent is a huge challenge, regardless of wether you stay at home or not- being a parent who takes 99% of all parenting responsibilites 24 hours a day is a profound test of ones will & spirit : )

    P.S. He is 11 months old yesterday, after months & months of sleep disaster he now sleeps thru (95% of the time) and takes 2 naps…Consistency & routine is the only thing I attribute to finally having peace & sleep around here ; )

  6. Julia says:

    There is another issue at work here that you haven’t discussed and that is the effect of the mother working on the baby. I realize it’s not politically correct to say that there is any effect on the baby but any child development expert and any mom will tell you there are times when baby just wants mom. My daughter absolutely changed her sleep habits irreversibly when I went back to work when she was 3 mos old, and her sleep is different on weekends and vacations when we are together 24 hrs a day. I think there is a developmentally challenging time when babies have to figure out that “Mommy always comes back” and while they are working that out, having to separate for long periods of time every day really is stressful and whether they wake at night to “check” for Mommy (and Daddy) or whether they are just making up for lost time together, I do think this has to be considered.
    I would argue that the elephant in the room is the effect on the child- maybe it’s temporary, maybe it’s not going to land them in therapy when they are 25, maybe they will be just fine when they get through this, but they have to get through it first and we’re all in it together all night while they work it through…

  7. Michele says:

    I have been both a working mom (with my first baby, and my husband stayed home) and a stay-at-home mom (with my second). I think they are equally as difficult, but in different ways. When I was working, I was still the one to get up with the baby because I was breastfeeding and that was the best way to get the baby back to sleep quickly. When I went to work, if it was a really bad night, I could spend a few minutes here and there “spaced out” at my desk or even take a catnap during my lunch break. Plus, the variety of activity in my work kept me going so I never felt too much fatigue at work. Then I would come home and have a wonderful nap/nursing session with my baby. Now that I stay home, I am still the one to get up at night (with #2 who is not a good sleeper at all!), again because I’m breastfeeding. There are days when my toddler tells me, “Mama, wake up!” because my eyes are closing as we play trucks for the third consecutive hour. But I definitely think the sleep deprivation turns into Mommy-crankiness that I never had when I was working. You never get a break when you are a stay-at-home parent; it’s a 24-hour job. And with two little guys, who NEVER nap at the same time, forget napping! But the smiles and funny things they do recharge me and I am grateful I have gotten to experience both situations. I am also really glad I am home with #2 because nap training has been a bear and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this!

  8. Laura says:

    I was a stay-at-home mom for 8 months, and have been back at work for 2 months, and it was absolutely harder being a stay-at-home mom. It just wasn’t for me. I love my son dearly and love taking care of him and being with him, but 24/7 it was toooooo much.

    Ironically my son has slept way better since he started daycare. I think it’s just a coincidence; he got better because he got older/more mature, and because we put Nicole’s advice to work. But when he was getting up every hour every night for months, I would have given anything to have somewhere to go the next day, so I could get a little rest. It was positively miserable going through every day in a daze.

    My husband was a great help and still is; we split housework 50/50 and he actually tends to do most of the cooking/meal planning (I am just not domestic at all). So it’s not like I have to work AND do all the cooking and cleaning. It’s just the difference between “cranky baby all day” and “have a career” – for me personally, it’s a no-brainer, and at the end of the day, it’s what’s best for our family.

    I’ve already told my husband that if we have another baby someday, I will go right back to work and he will be a stay-at-home dad, and he can’t wait!

  9. Amber says:

    Thanks for the great post! I am a SAHM and there are days (lots of days) that I wished I worked. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself blessed to be able to be home and raise my daughter…. but it is EXHAUSTING. My husband has never gotten up at night (mostly because I breastfed, but now at 11 months, we’re almost weaned and I’m hoping for a break. We’ll see…). Us SAHM’s are on call 24/7. Like another poster said, no clocking out, no lunch breaks, no bathroom breaks, no morning and afternoon commute where we can roll down the windows and blare our favorite music and just zone out. It’s all baby all the time. Add sleep deprivation to the mix and it can really wear on you. Finally, at 11 months, my daughter’s sleep problems are starting to right themselvels. It’s been a lot of hard work on my part, and a lot of tears on both our parts. My husband, while very caring and supportive (and at times very sympathetic) is clueless about what it takes to be an at home parent. I definitely feel like HE has it easier going to work every day.

  10. Shannon says:

    Wendi I agree with you. Staying home means 24/7 with no “breaks”. But it is also so wonderful to see all of the milestones. But yes, the “cranky baby all day” when they aren’t napping well is enough to make the idea of dropping the child off at daycare seem like a vacation! Truth be told, stay at home moms work very hard. But so do “work outside of the home” moms. Both have their positives and negatives, and the situations probably cannot be fully understood until a person has lived it themselves.

  11. Claire says:

    I am a stay at home mom to 12 month old twin boys. I don’t think I’d survive if hubby didn’t help out at night. At the moment their night sleep is a bit random, sometimes with one sleeping through (not always the same one!), and the other waking once, other times with multiple wakings and each keeping the other up. If they’re both awake, it’s almost impossible to resettle them alone. When they were smaller they used to wake up for feeds, and as I was nursing, there was no point in my husband getting up too, and they anyway went straight back to sleep after a feed. The babies let me, and as I wasn’t working, I got to sleep long in the mornings. Now though I have no chance of sleeping long, so I’m lucky that my husband gets up just as often as I do in the night. I don’t nap when the boys nap, mainly because if I’m unlucky and they only sleep 45 mins (mostly its 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours), I would feel worse than if I hadn’t slept at all. Their morning nap is the only chance I get to shower as well. The afternoon nap is my precious ‘me’ time and keeps me sane! I don’t know if I would find working easier, but don’t have plans to go back to work just yet anyway.

  12. Beverley says:

    Great topic. I get jealeous some times of moms who are kucky enough to stay at home, however, I could not ever see myself being a stay at home mom. I wish I could be the one to get the kids up in the morning and ready for daycare (school when that time comes) but I have to leave too early in the mornig. I do not think these moms have it easier but I do think they have more time to work with the baby on sleep issues and other things because they are there 24/7. I bet if you take 12 hours out of stay at home moms day they would struggle with alot of the things us workingmoms do. Cut their day in half with the other half mostly sleep hours and try to clean your house, spend time with your kids and hubby, both together and alone. Take time for yourslef, clean yourself. Oh do any neccessary shopping. Wait do not forget to eat and got othe bathroom. Cram that into 3-4hours and tell me what is harder. Yes moms that stay home donot get a break but neither do working moms, becasue while we are at work we are always thinking of what neds to be doen at home, are the kids ok, what do I need to pick up on the way home so our minds are double duty. We work 24/7 with 12 hours trying to be in two places somehow, even if part is only mentally. Do I think they do not work or do not get tires of course not anymom is always tired I just feel working moms have to do more in a 24 hours perios 7 day week. Thank You.

  13. Beth says:

    I won’t comment on whether handling sleep issues is easier or harder for stay-at-home parents, since that is all I’ve ever been and I have no basis for comparison. I do enjoy the consistency with my children’s naptimes and bedtimes that I can achieve as a SAHM, being able to adjust things according to their individual development rather than the schedule that a daycare may determine for all the children in a particular group, or not being able to get home from work, make dinner, and still get the kids to bed early enough. Having said that, I know parents whose children nap much better at daycare than they do at home, and whose kids do fine with a later bedtime.

    I have several SAHM friends who always get up with the kids at night, because their husbands “have to work”. My response to that is, “So do you!” My husband has always helped out at night, in spite of a demanding job that causes him to get less sleep than he should. If he’s had a bad stretch at work and is really sleep-deprived, I take night duty. He travels quite often as well. And of course, when our boys were waking up to nurse, then it was all me. :) But I like the fact that my children can be comforted at night by either their dad or me – I have mom friends who must tend to their children at night because the kids simply won’t accept help from dad in the wee hours. I’m talking three-year-olds and up. So regardless of how tired mom is (even 9 months pregnant), she handles all the nighttime wakings when the kids are sick, etc. Personally I just think that’s ridiculous. The stay-at-home parent’s sleep counts, too – being home with the kids all day requires a lot of energy and patience, and I think the idea that the working-for-pay parent’s sleep must never be disturbed is silly. Everyone needs decent sleep, and while one parent may have to do the heavy lifting for a period of time due to bfing, business travel, an extra-demanding workload for the breadwinner, etc., nighttime parenting should be a shared duty IMO. Saying that only the working parent’s sleep counts is really devaluing the job of the stay-at-home parent, which already makes one feel slightly less than human as it is. :) Sleep deprivation is strongly linked to depression and other illnesses, so people really should be aware of what they’re saying when they state that the stay-at-home parent doesn’t need as much sleep (including the stay-at-home parents themselves who buy into that idea).

  14. Louise says:

    I am a stay-at-home mom to a 10 month old and am planning to return to work when he is 14 months. I am not looking forward to going back to work and think it will be way busier! I only have one baby so far, but days that I am tired (which is more now that I am expecting again), I do nap when he naps which I absolutely love. I am thankful I can stay home with my baby. There are times when it is tiring for sure, but I also think that people who work have a lot more to do in the 24 hour period. And they can’t simply nap when their baby naps. We don’t have to get out the door, fully ready by a certain hour, to go to daycare. In the fall, I will experience the other world, which I suspect will be a great deal harder. As we have more children, I think staying at home will be definitely harder than with just one baby but I still tend to believe it leads to a slower pace life that is easier for everyone involved! (I plan to stay home full-time after our second baby is born around Christmas time.)

  15. Lori says:

    I am a SAHM of a 9.5 month old. My husband works about 50 hours/week, long hours, so he doesn’t get to see our son except for about 30 minutes in the morning and on weekends. I do count myself lucky that I get to be home. I wouldn’t want anyone else taking care of him. I have trouble leaving him for just a few hours once in a while, but now my doctor is telling me I need a break and need to leave him with a sitter once a week for a few hours! I’m not sure if I can do it.

    Although my husband tries to be supportive, he just doesn’t get it. He does realize that taking care of a little one 24/7 is hard work (he has taken vacation to help out), he doesn’t know the full extent. I am breastfeeding, so I am the one to get up with him at night (he still wakes once at night for feedings). I handle all of his meals, naps, and his bedtime routine. However, when hubby is home, I do get some “me” time while he plays with our son.

    Our son started fighting sleep at 2 weeks old. Although he slept great at night (8pm to 7:30am with one night feeding) at one month, he was severely sleep deprived and colicky during the day. He cried at least 4 hours straight every day for the first three months. Then, at 3 months, he started waking every two hours. Hubby was great, and we took turns getting up since I didn’t nurse him every time he got up. Most of the time, we were both up because of the loud crying and nursing was the only way to get him to sleep. Since he wasn’t napping more than 45 minutes at a time, there was no way for me to nap either. I agree with Claire. I would feel worse with such a short nap. Of course, with the sleep deprivation, it’s almost impossible to fall asleep that quickly anyway.

    I know working moms have it difficult as well and are tired. But there are days that I wish I could work for just a few hours. If nothing else, for the adult companionship. It is getting better now that our son is napping better. Now that I am putting him down awake and it usually takes him 30 minutes to fall asleep, even if he takes a short nap, I know I have at least an hour to get some things done. Now, if only we could night wean…. lol

  16. Miriam says:

    I have twin boys that turn 4 months old today!! I stayed home for 10 weeks than back to work (Im a teacher) so I dont get to nap for lunch or rest at work ever either! I am blessed that my husband has helped tremendously with the boys, we also have an 8 year old son that does a lot for himself and loves to intertain his brothers :+) babies still get up 2-3 times at night and when one gets up I get my hubby up and the other baby as well and we feed them both :+) Im also taking my last class and will graduate with my masters in 3 weeks. I feel like they are both very tiring working and staying at home, but when Im home on the weekends I dont have to rush out in the mornings and can sit and rest even if its not sleep! I will be home with them for three months in 5 more weeks and Im very excited and ready. With my oldest I was home with him for one year and it was fun, I think its a lot harder now thats its two. I enjoy work mainly because I feel like its my adult time (even though I work with kids:) but I love my babies and if I could live like I live now without cutting back I would enjoy staying home. Plus my mom is the one that watches them 3 days a week and my husband the other 2. so I know they are very well taken care of. I think if we are parents we all have a hard job! I also think having one was a breeze, multiples are hard work!!! but lots of fun :+)

  17. Katie says:

    I definitely think being a SAHM has positively impacted my six month olds sleeping. He has been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks old. I think it helps that he naps and sleeps in the same place and knows how to put himself to sleep. I think it helps not having to wake him in the morning or have naps in louder environments. I know my working friends often do “whatever it takes” during the night to get their LO back to sleep since they have to wake up early, therefore leading to bad habits. Staying at home is a very hard job that I think the majority of people have no idea about (maternity leave is not the same). But I feel blessed to be able to raise my child day in and day out, even if i want to pull my hair out here and there :)

  18. Nicole says:

    This is a great discussion! I appreciate everyone’s comments and opinions, so far!

    @Jennifer It went through my mind a lot when my son was having trouble sleeping whether he’d sleep better at home. And, he did. When he was 8 months old, we pulled him out of daycare and got a nanny at home and his sleep was much better (not perfect). He was actually happy at daycare, even without napping, but would come home a bear and crash. We felt it would be best for him to be home. But, we were lucky we had a choice. Since I work at home I was able to go have lunch with him and breastfeed occasionally, so I had some of the best of both worlds (I just couldn’t do both at the same time!). I can tell you that there are plenty of SAHMs that come to me about napping and such, so there is definitely no guarantee. Hang in there!!

    @Corrine You are not alone feeling that guilt. It’s one thing to take on the task EVERY night. Maybe it’s okay to ask for help sometimes, though. You need your sleep, too! :)

    @Wendi I can imagine not getting breaks during the day can be really exhausting. Thank you for commenting and I agree that all moms have a lot of challenges. There is no easy way to be a mom. :) Oh, by the way, I got lucky seeing virtually all of my babies’ firsts (the “big” things anyway). Phew! :)

    @Joanne I can imagine running a household all day (especially when the kids dirty the house you just cleaned 5 minutes prior lol) is very tiring. I guess it depends on the work you do, but each are probably tiring in their own way. I agree that being a at-home mom seems more tiring! Thanks for commenting!

    @Melissa You have been through so much with your baby and have come a long way and congratulations! You are a great mom!

    @Julia Yeah, I wasn’t going to touch the effects of working moms vs. at-home moms on the baby, because that is a very touchy subject and not everyone has a choice. I also believe the baby is a big X-factor, so you can’t say one or the other is going to mold that baby forever into the adult who may or may not need therapy. One baby may be fine staying home or going to daycare or a home daycare or to stay with grandparents while another may struggle with one or another arrangement and the many years between babyhood and adulthood a lot of things will happen. I will say preschool has helped my youngest son come out of his shell with the socializing, but he was home for the first two years (with a nanny as I am a working mom) and struggled a lot in the beginning. I don’t think it would have been better for him waiting until 5 when he had to go to Kindergarten, but I’m not sure. I wouldn’t change a thing as he’s flourishing and his big brother was bored at home and needed more stimulation. I had to make the best decision for both of them.

    @Michele Thank you for sharing your story. It is interesting when I get to talk to moms who have been both. I’m sure which one is harder can be influenced by your job as well as how demanding your baby may or may not be. Having a “high needs” child I can imagine me staying home would have been a lot harder. ;-) I hope you can get some sleep, soon! Sounds like you need it. Hang in there!

    @Laura Thank you for commenting, too, and glad you put my advice to work and it helped! :) There are some babies who thrive on the routine of daycare, especially when they are all napping at the same time. Sometimes I work with at-home parents and we have to implement a more stringent routine as too much sleeping in or flexible napping can actually make for short naps. It’s tricky and depends on the baby.

    @Amber I can imagine how EXHAUSTING it is! And, I relate to no bathroom breaks, even. Sometimes, as soon as I get home, I feel like it’s go-go-go and it’s NON-STOP everything I have to do and hearing “Mommy!” over and over and over and can’t even go to the bathroom. I absolutely love being a mom, but I definitely can imagine how non-stop it is all day, every day, too.

    @Shannon Well said!!

    @Claire Now, one thing that has come out in consultations is that parents of multiples definitely work more as a team, it seems. I think it’s required to keep your sanity. I’m glad you have a supportive husband!

    @Beverley I agree cramming so much into a short amount of time is SO hard! Laundry, cleaning, cooking, playing, etc. Oh, but be glad you don’t get the kids ready in the morning. Saying “Put on your shoes” a million times is no fun! :D No, seriously, I know what you mean and to have even a few more minutes in the morning to see them can be nice. Sometimes I feel bad that we need to rush them out the door, but then sometimes my son says he gets there too late and wants to get their earlier! They have fun with their friends, I guess.

    @Beth Good for you for recognizing that what you do is “work” too and you need your sleep! I never fully “get” it when clients tell me they are on their own because of their working partner UNLESS the partner is a surgeon or let’s say air traffic controller who needs his/her sleep. ;) I mean I get it and I don’t, but I’m sure there are a lot of factors at play. For example, my husband just doesn’t function as well without sleep, so even though we are both working, I have always done more (not all) of the “night work”. It just worked out better that way and he is more patient, if I’m crabby because of it. LOL!

    @Louise Good luck going back to work! I know that is a scary step, but I hope it goes well and you get your “working mom groove” going quickly.

    @Lori I can imagine it’s hard for a lot of spouses to get it. I know someone who didn’t understand why the mom didn’t have dinner cooked, but I see on the weekends, it’s hard to get everything done and play with the kids! I hope your husband gives you a wonderful Mother’s Day for all that you do! :)

    @Miriam I can only imagine how much more work multiples are! Thanks for sharing!

    @Katie I agree that many parents “do what it takes” because short-term it’s easier, but long-term more exhausting. It’s so hard to take that step to work on it. I’m so glad your son is sleeping well and staying home has been positive for both of you!

  19. Audrey says:

    Another great topic! I’m a SAHM now, but worked until my daughter was 6 months old (now 20 months old). Working was beyond exhausting then as I worked 60 hour weeks and my husband was deployed, and nursing 100% meant my break times at work were pumping breaks.

    I’m not cut out to be a SAHM though. I love the time with my daughter and am so thankful to have had the opportunity, but it’s not for me long term. I get a little jealous when my husband talks about having lunch or coffee with friends during the day, and I remember escaping work when I really needed a break to go to Starbucks…fat chance that will be relaxing with a toddler in tow!

    As others have said, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, and the temperament of the parent and the child matter greatly. My daughter was just in full time day care for 3 weeks while I did Army Reserve duty and it helped her learn/decide to talk, blow her nose, and *finally* led her to stop her early wakings that had been a problem in our home! She thrived in daycare, and I was happier working even as I missed her company.

    Now we’re back to normal and I have the benefit of making sure she’s eating healthy, putting 100% into potty training (with great success), and she melts down less at night because she’s not in “mommy deficit.” But she’s back to waking up at or before 5AM…

    I’m going to grad school part time in the fall and am hoping it will be the perfect balance for both of us…I get adult interaction and she gets exposure to other caregivers while we’ll still have lots of time together.

  20. alyssa says:

    I am a stay at home mom, my daughter is 8 months and has never been a great sleeper, she still wakes 2-3 times a night and I’ve tried everything and well she just is hungry at night I guess so I’ve just realized, hell she’ll sleep when she is ready to sleep. Her daddy and I broke up a couple weeks ago, however I still live with him until I find a job and an apartment of my own. I’m still doing everything I did when we were a couple, I clean the home, I do the dishes/laundry (I don’t do his anymore) and I take care of the baby AND still purchase groceries and run errands. My daughter sleeps good during the day so I get breaks here and there I guess, sometimes I do nap during the day when she naps because I’m so drained from months of sleep deprivation. The only thing my ex does is take her in the morning on his days off, and will let me napwhen he gets home. He’s FINALLY realizing we should be 50/50 for bathtime/bedtime routines. Thank god, so I can finally get a break of the monotony of bath, lotion, powder, diaper, jammies, rock, lullaby, bottle, kiss good night. Not saying I don’t enjoy those moments but it gets tiring after months of having to do it by myself.

    Soon I won’t be a full time mom, because I’ll have her in the day while he works and then I’ll be dropping her off at his house in the evening so I can go to work/school at night. It’s going to be tough either way because I’d still have to get up in the morning (4 am) and drive to his place and wait until our daughter wakes up, he leaves for work at 5 am, she’ll wake at 6-7 am and then I’d have to drive to my own apartment. Ugh. But that’s life.

    My ex doesn’t understand how difficult it is to never have an uninterrupted nights rest. I’m so fucking drained during the day I barely have any energy for my daughter at all. It’s a treat when her aunty come over and plays with her and having her around energizes me because I have an adult to talk with.

    My ex always tells me how I should be grateful for the sleep I do get and not complain, I just think “wow, really?” Ugh, I wanna just slap him some reality and make him do what I do for a month straight. See how he handles the sleep deprivation, and if I ever complain I’m tired I get this comment, “you’re always tired, so whats the problem?”

  21. Danielle says:

    Thanks for this post. First of all, all moms are working moms!
    But I work outside the home, and while everyone’s situation is different, I think there are a few factors for ME and MY KIDS that would make sleep easier if I were at home…
    1. I was on maternity leave for almost 6 months, and during that time my preschooler was still in school for 2 days a week. So if it’s your first, or if your other kids are in school, I think there is a chance to nap while the baby naps *while they are young.* After a while, you may not be able to stand living in that mess and therefore won’t be able to take many naps, ’cause we all know it is difficult to get anything done with an awake infant.
    2. My daughter started reverse cycling when she went into daycare, and is still doing it over a month later. So in that sense my sleep is most certainly worse as a working mom right now. It is killing me.
    3. I am having a *really* hard time getting a good bedtime routine going since it seems it has to start right after we rush in the door. I am sure others have conflicts with this, too. But it seems impossible for us right now and I feel like if only I were at home earlier, I could get this going.

    On another note – are you me? My first job was at BR when I was 15, went up the “ranks,” got an office job, went to college, and then the only difference is I went to grad school right afterward. Weird!!

  22. Tina says:

    Any way you cut it, it’s just plain tough to have a baby / toddler who isn’t a great sleeper. I am at home full time with my son and I sometimes think how fun and relaxing it would be to go back to work. Then I snap out of it and realize that moms who work probably think the same thing about staying home. I think parenting is tough. What really amazes me is the single parent raising children! I can’t even imagine struggling with a child who isn’t a great sleeper and doing it on my own!

  23. Ben says:

    I’m somewhat disappointed that I will be the first father to post because truthfully I think that is indicative of the biggest problem with what all the moms have said and that has almost nothing to do with babies sleeping…but sharing the workload.

    First, the sleeping…
    I think that sleep training/coaching is TONS better and easier if you have a stay-at-home-parent! We have put our son briefly (a total of about two weeks) in home-care and he never sleeps as well when he is there…and he is a GREAT sleeper both at night and during the day. The caregivers simply can’t give him the TLC & individual care in soothing and putting him down that we can at home. With other babies there, they can’t let him talk or cry out (even just a little) as he puts himself to sleep. He also has tons more stimulation in daycare and he definitely will stay awake when given the option, even when tired! Also, I know it took us about a 2-3 weeks to sleep train him for through the night and another 2-3 weekes when we did nap sleep training. Those were tons of work each and everyday to teach him to be a good sleeper. I know that our daycare provider would not be able to provide that in-depth one-on-one care and consistency!

    The one assumption I am making (and what I think is the bigger issue) is that the parents work together to make sure that both are participating approximately equally in the duties of the house, including taking care of the baby and making sure that they each get enough sleep. For my wife and I (when we did sleep training), that meant that I went to bed shortly after our son (9pm) and I was ‘off-duty’ until about 2am-3am. She would come to bed after giving him his night feeding and pumping, sometime around 1am. Generally while I was in bed, this was her time and she was willing to sacrifice a little sleep for that peace-of-mind. Often he would sleep until his 1am feeding (not always). This also gave me a 4-6 hour block of solid sleep which was very important for me and my mental well-being. Then from about 2am until 7am, she would get a solid block of sleep while I would get up (typically twice) with our son. They would often both get good long morning naps after I went to work (but not always!)

    Right now, since our son is sleeping well and napping well, I think my wife has it a little easier than I do. We still equally share in all the household duties (cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc) but during the day, he now sleeps 3-4 hours during which she sometimes does chores but often she can take naps or do personal things. Before everyone gets up-in-arms at me, I know that I definitely had it easier during months 2-4 when he was up-and-down and during the 10-11 hours while I was away at work she was pretty much constantly on-the-clock even if he was napping. Although there are work days that are that crazy, most do include plenty of ‘water-cooler’ time where we take breaks generally whenever we want to.

    Bottom line, if you are raising a child and participating in all that is involved (sleep training, feeding, playing, bringing home a salary, taking care of the housework, etc.), it is extremely challenging. In single-parent homes or homes where all of these tasks aren’t balanced, it is that much harder!

  24. Julie says:

    I never imagined I would be a SAHM. After my daughter was born (now 14 mos) I continued to work part time from home for about six months. I would squeeze in work during the elusive naps or when she went down for the night (crazy). The problem was that I had no time or energy left for my spouse or myself. After a discussion, we agreed that it would be better for me to become a real SAHM and stop working rather than going the daycare route. I wanted to be here with her for the milestones, to help her sleep, etc. and the money I was bringing in would have basically covered daycare.

    I think staying home has definitely helped with sleep – naps in particular as I have been able to plan for them and have her home and settled in for nap time. She turned into a great little sleeper for me and I will always continue to protect her sleep time.

    I loved working (from home for the past several years) but being a full time SAHM is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s also the hardest. There are no breaks. My back is usually aching from picking up a large toddler all day. And adult conversation is missed. It’s especially hard not to go on about baby stuff for too long to my husband who hasn’t been living in baby world all day and isn’t as concerned about how many ounces of milk she’s drinking since transitioning to a sippy cup :) Outings with other moms are key! Having worked since I was 16 I can’t just relax during naps for fear of being perceived as lazy (by who? I don’t know) so am constantly making sure everything is done around the house, laundry, cooking, cleaning, preparing for outings and everything else. And my favorite is that blank stare people give when they ask what you do for a living at parties, etc. and your response is “I’m a SAHM”. That’s probably been the hardest for me. Being made to feel like being a SAHM isn’t good enough or respectable enough. After all, I didn’t check my brain at the door of the hospital when she was born…it’s still in there and working just fine even without a VP title on a business card :) But then I remind myself that most who give that look don’t have the slightest idea what moms (working outside the home or not) do every day and how hard we all work.

    I’ll may start to work again when she gets to be school-age but for now I feel so lucky to be able to spend my days with her (even during the tantrums). I know not everyone can have this opportunity and I hope to make the most of it while I can.

  25. Nicole says:

    @Audrey I hope grad school proves to be the nice balance that’s great for both of you! Thank you for sharing your story.

    @Alyssa I’m so sorry for all that you are going through and your break up. :( I’m sure that must be extremely difficult and it sounds like the new arrangement will be doubly exhausting. Hang in there and good luck!!

    @Danielle Wow! We did lead parallel lives for awhile there! :D I’m sorry it’s been tough adjusting to being a working mom. Hopefully your daughter begins to sleep well at night. That helps a lot!

    @Tina Great point and I’m sure you are right! After we had a baby, my husband and I had a new found respect for single moms. We don’t know how they do it!

    @Ben Finally! I was wondering when a Dad would comment. :) It sounds like you and your wife had a great sleep training arrangement there! I can tell you that you are in the minority who share the responsibilities this equally. I think it’s great! Thank you for sharing. I’m sure many go through ups and downs about who has it “easier” but we all have hard jobs. :)

    @Julie That’s so awesome and I’m so glad being a SAHM has been so rewarding for you!

  26. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am a SAHM with a 4 month old baby boy and it’s been a bitter sweet experience for me thus far. I love him and I love spending time with him, watching his development and being the one to work with him for nap training. If I were working, I know I would miss out on so much because my job was very stressful and my day didn’t necessarily always end at 5pm. Thanks to technology, companies often take advantage of the fact that they’ve provided you with a free cell phone and expect you to be available until well after 8pm (at least mine did anyway), so I’m thankful that I had the option of staying home with him. BUT, there are days when I am ready to pull my hair out by the time his daddy walks through that door. If he’s had an especially cranky day, I feel like I’ve had a cranky day, too. I can be moody and short tempered with my husband and occasionally impatient with my child. I know this is mostly due to sleep deprivation and I’m definitely looking forward to the time when my baby sleeps through the night.

    For me, after making the decision to stay home, I did feel a bit lost because I’d worked so hard to get to where I was in my career and was doing very well, but I also knew that with my success was a certain expectation for my time and having a baby really changed my priorities. That said, there are many days where I wish I had a job to go to so I could have an escape. At my job, there were so many different tasks to do all day that it really kept the hours moving, and at home, there are days where I am struggling the entire day to keep my eyes open. I may grab a 20-30 minute nap but that is hardly rejuvenating.

    I think staying home and going back to work are both challenging in their own way though I do feel that staying home is a bit more like a 24/7 experience than going back to work. I am very lucky to have a partner who shares in the night feeding with me and understands how difficult it can be to care for a 4 month old baby every single day without a real break.

  27. Julia says:

    @Julie ~ you took the words right out of my mouth…verbatim! I am in the exact situation as you with the same sentiments. The only difference that my son is 2yrs and 3mos old. He’s sleeping better now that I have him on a tighter schedule once I became a SAHM. Plus after switching “jobs”, I moved him to his own bed as we were co-sleeping and now we’re just struggling to get him to sleep through the night. From hourly night wakings, it gone to just 2-3x instead. I’ll be estatic the day it becomes no night wakings! (Please be soon!!!)

  28. Jill says:

    It is definitely hard to be a mom, whether SAH or working! I will say though that in my experience the working moms have it slightly easier with regards to sleep. My neighbor has a son the exact same age as mine, and in her words “his naps are never my problem”. His nanny has been the one to rock, soothe and comfort him since he was 3 months old, and she has got him onto a routine. I think babies often struggle less with strangers (hence the reason so many sleep-resistant nap well at daycare!) My son has been a terrible napper since day one, and despite trying EVERYTHING we have had little success in getting more than 27 minutes, twice a day. I sometimes spend 4 hours a day just trying to make him sleep; at 13 months he still gets up once or twice at night and I have to be raring to go at 6am when he wakes until 7pm at night when I have to make dinner; do housework etc. I used to have a very high-level job and it was a breeze in comparison!
    My friends who work all say they relish the adult conversation and the relinquishing of the day-to-day responsibilities which can, in all honesty, be pretty tedious (the dirty diapers, cleaning up the 10th feeding mess of the day etc). I wouldn’t want to work while my son is still young; even though it has been the hardest year of my life it has also been the most rewarding and I’m so happy I got to share every moment with him. My neighbor, on the other hand, was devastated that her son’s first word was his nanny’s name. It’s not easy either way!

  29. Venus says:

    I hopped over from SimpleMom. Your words of understanding on SAHM are very comforting. I have been staying home since I have my first 8 years ago, with working part-time for a year before I had my 3rd child.

    I guess it is true that SAHMs have more flexibility on our hands. But it is usually not as flexible as most people think…

    - I may take a nap with baby, but I’ll need to get things done while s/he is awake which usually means more stressful mom or dinner not ready at usual time…
    - I can plan grocery shopping so that baby can be home to nap, she can decide to fall asleep on the way to the market, 2 hours before her usual nap time, and not to nap again later in the day!
    - I can put baby to nap at the optimal time that she usually would nap for 2 to 3 hours but there are always unexpected deliveries that rings your bell, or, a trash truck that just had to be so loud and wakes her in 1.5 hour – she is refreshed enough not to go back to sleep.

    And I just have to say, the one thing that I envy working moms the most is that they get to use the bathroom in peace ;)

    Enough venting. I do believe that working mom does not lead an easy life. Their babysitter may not think their babies need any nap at all and leave them a tired and cranky baby to deal with after work. Or, the daycare’s napping schedule just does not work with the baby’s night time sleep timing. Then, they may still be assumed most housework responsibilities even though they work the same as their spouse. I admire working mom’s energy, ability and endurance!

  30. Lauren says:

    I, like you Nicole, always thought I’d be a career woman/mom, but that all changed when I got pregnant. i desired deeply to be home with my baby.
    My previous job was challenging – I was always oncall; I had immediate deadlines; and was responsible for a huge aspect of an international organization BUT it pales in comparison to my new job as a SAHM.
    My son had sleep challenges for the first year of his life and now at 16 months we are still tweaking and often feeling like we are “redoing” areas we’ve already done. I have a working mom friend who once told me that she doesn’t even work at all at naps or a schedule during the day for her baby…the nanny does that. WOW – I remember thinking how amazing that must be to be able to be to just enjoy your child each day without the challenges of getting them down for naps, etc! I feel like with our son’s sleep challenges being a SAHM didn’t make it easier or worse in the sleep area…but I did find that being a SAHM you get zero breaks, not for lunch, not for a chat at your desk with a colleague whenever you want, not even for a quick walk outside alone to revitalize oneself.
    So that is harder – but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  31. Laurie says:

    I will admit, I have the best of both worlds when it comes to the overall care of my child. I work full time, but I work from the home. I have a nanny to care for my 10 month old girl which allows me to be with her until the moment I start working and again the moment I finish. It also allows me to pop in for a snuggle or feeding on days when I am not as busy. I would like to note that I actually WORK. I receive a lot of criticism from family and friends for having childcare when I am at home, but there is no other way. I work for a fortune 100 company and it would not be fair to my colleagues OR my baby to attempt to do both jobs simultaneously.
    It is still the best of both worlds though because I never miss a critical moment (smiling, laughing, rolling, walking – nanny knows to come get me if a milestone is being met); I also get to turn baby over to someone else on Monday morning and for me this is a godsend. My husband has been deployed since shortly after her birth making me a single parent on nights and weekends. We have had a lot of sleep problems and there are days when I know I am too deprived to drive a car, but I can still drive my laptop. For me, I know that working is easier. I will likely re-evaluate my working status when hubby returns. I need the intellectual stimulation and the break. I hate to say it, but for me, my day job is a break from my real job, my real work, as a mom. The challenge I often face though, is that if I am sleep deprived from 8am-5pm, I can’t use that as an excuse for being late on a deliverable or zoning out during a conference call or making a critical error. I am expected to be able to manage my home life so that I can perform during business hours. I work for an extremely mom-friendly company, but at the end of the day, they have a business to run. While I have always thought being a mom who’s career is her child (yes, staying at home IS WORK) is harder in the long run, your child isn’t going to give you a poor performance eval if you are off your game for a month while baby isn’t sleeping.
    I will also add, that I noticed marked improvement in baby’s sleep when I pulled her out of daycare at 5 mos and hired a nanny instead. Just as stay at home mom’s do, I benefit from the ability to keep her routine and schedule in tact seven days a week. The variables are limited and it made a HUGE difference. We went from waking every 90 minutes to 3 wake ups a night within the first week. Thanks to this site we are down to a single wake up now.
    I think that all parents are sleep deprived to some extent. The impact of your and baby’s sleep though depends on your family’s spefic situation and how you are able to manage it, not any single factor such as working status.

  32. Betsy says:

    As a stay- at- home parent, I am consistently busy throughout the day, but do not have much to mentally engage me (other than, “what is the best way to remove urine from a mattress?”, etc.:)). So, I think one thing that I would say that makes sleep difficulties perhaps more challenging for stay- at- home parents is that you have plenty of time to drive yourself crazy obsessing over the sleep problems. Of course, this could potentially lead to a quicker resolution of the problems, too.

  33. Janelle says:

    Hi there, I’m a stay-at-home mom caring for my 11.5 month old daughter. In some ways sleep training is easier when you’re at home and its working out well, but when its not it can be rough – imagine doing housework/cooking and taking care of a cranky, not-sleeping-well baby! And I don’t get sick days so I’ve to take extra care of my health or just hope for the best! That being said, even though I sometimes wish I was the one heading out for the day instead of my husband, I am enjoying seeing first-hand all the amazing developmental milestones my daughter’s achieved so far. And as she grows older we are developing our own special relationship as mother-daughter, and all that time together each day is a blessing. I may miss working on my career, but I don’t really miss working life – I live in my office, after all!

  34. Alicia says:

    Here is on for u, i am a working mom and i take my 16 month old son with me to work, its hard some day, but i get to see him everyday, i do still breastfeed. I can see both sides of the story, some moms are just cut out to stay at home , others just doesn’t have a choose. Its hard some times for me, my husband doesn’t always get it, i am with my son 24/7, i am the one getting up at night, the teething times are the hardest, and i am down right nasty, when i don’t get my sleep in!When I get home, I start with supper and keep everyone happy! I also get tired, and he doesn’t seem to Understand

    But the best thing is of all our moms, is that we all get our strengths some where, even if it is in the darkest days………. No MATTER WHAT WE ALL SUPER MOMS!

  35. Melissa says:

    I am a stay at home mom and wouldn’t have it any other way. But, I do strongly agree that there are difficulties to each job in their own way. When it comes to sleep, I feel as though I have the upper hand. I am able to read his sleepy ques and get him to bed on time so as to avoid over tiredness. Being at home, I KNOW how much sleep he really received and the quality of that sleep. And if it was a day full of errands or play dates where naps were in the car seat (not good quality), I know that he needs an earlier than usual bedtime that night in order to keep him well rested. My son is also at that age where the only place he gets GOOD sleep is in his bed. Whenever he sleeps in a pack n play somewhere else it ends up leading to shorter naps and increased night waking.

    When it comes to baby’s sleep as a SAHM, I feel that we might have it a little easier in that we have a better sense of the days naps and how to correct that with adjusting bedtime. If I were to pick him up from daycare, I wouldn’t be 100% sure how much sleep he got that day or the quality of that sleep. I can only take the caretakers word for it.

    I do not think being a SAHM is in anyway easy. If he naps, I do laundry, dishes, house cleaning. When he is awake, we play, run errands, and eat. And I especially miss adult conversation! Although it can be very hard being home, there is no money in the world that would get me to trade places with a working mom. My hat is off to them. I can only imagine how hard it is to drop your baby off to be cared for by someone else and not see those milestones, smiles, and giggles. And to pick them up only to get home and start the bedtime routine. I see how little my husband gets to see of our son (about 2-3 hours a day, 1 hr in the am and 1 hr in the pm) and to imagine myself only seeing him that much breaks my heart.

  36. Melissa says:

    In addition to my comment, I also applaud all the working moms who take all the extra time to pump in order to provide breast milk for their babies. That is not easy.

  37. Nicole says:

    @Michelle Thank you so much for sharing your story and feelings about stopping work and caring for your baby. I know how hard it must be some days. Along the same lines, I remember wondering about women who try to return the workforce after staying home and having a difficult time. That’s so great that you have a working partner who “gets it” and supports you during the night, too. It sounds like you are doing a great job at being a mom!

    @Julia Thank you for sharing and that’s so great you’ve had such great progress since staying home! I’m sure with a dedicated mom in you, he will be sleeping all night in no time. Keep up the great work!

    @Jill You are definitely right that being a mom, working out of the home or in, are both hard! This working mom most definitely did worry a LOT about her son’s napping because he came home miserable and would need to go to bed almost as soon as we picked him up. They most certainly were our problem! It was sooo hard! :( But, I definitely know what you mean and I can understand the tediousness of dirty diapers, wiping up the mess that was clean a minute ago, etc. It sounds like you are a dedicated mommy and do a lot and one day your baby will understand and appreciate it. Most likely all our kids will after they have their own kids with sleep problems. :D

    @Venus Welcome and thank you so much for commenting and your words of praise for working moms! I can imagine how you must never get to go to the bathroom in peace, because when the kids are home, neither do I! :D You can be sitting down for 10 seconds and hear “Where’s mommyyyyyyy?” It’s cute and mind-boggling at the same time. LOL

    @Lauren Thank you for sharing your experience as a SAHM! It sounds like you find it very rewarding and that’s so great!! :)

    @Laurie I hear you!! I work at home, too, and had a nanny (boys are in school now) and I don’t think people “got” that I can’t work and watch the baby at the same time AND be doing a good job at both. It would be unfair to either. So, I definitely relate. I, like you, would run up for lunch (until it became too hard to see mommy go downstairs again) and breastfeed when they were young. It was really great to have a bit of both worlds!

    @Betsy Yes! You are right about having more time to obsess about the sleep problems and resolutions.

    @Janelle I can definitely imagine that taking care of a cranky sleep-deprived baby all day when you are cranky and sleep-deprived could be downright miserable!

    @Alicia Yes! We are all super moms and dads!! :) And, wow on taking your 16 month old to work! I am not sure how you get anything done! ;)

    @Melissa Yes, it’s really hard not to have too much time with the kids, some days. Knowing they are off playing with their friends helps, but it’s still hard. It sounds like you hare a great routine going and are a great mom! I agree that pumping at work, especially when it’s in a bathroom or something, is dedication and deserves kudos! I pumped for 11-12 months both times, but I was at home, so that was easier than in an office. I do bow down to moms who exclusively pump as I’m not sure how long I would have made it, since I didn’t like pumping!! Thanks for commenting!

  38. Alli says:

    This was a great post. I have worked hard all my life and been very accomplished at my career. When we decided to have a baby I was excited to stay home and be a stay at home mom. Now that I’m 5 months into it I can’t help but wish that I had a job to go back to. I love being home with my baby but it is hard because I feel like I am the one to do everything when it comes to our daughter. My husband will help but sometimes he has excuses like I’m too tired, I have to work in the morning, or I had a hard day I just want to relax. When I hear those things I want to say I’m exhausted all the time, I would love some me time to relax, and I do work basically 24/7. It’s hard because people don’t seem to understand how difficult it can be to be a stay at home mom. At least in my family they seem to assume that I lounge around all day and do nothing…ha so far from the truth. However, the hardest part I have found is that I miss getting recognition for doing a good job. When I was teaching I won awards or got new repsonsibilities and everyone was so proud. Now that I stay at home people seem to think I need to recognition for the job I’m doing. That’s one of the hardest parts about stay home that I’m dealing with. Hopefully, things will get better but I agree with most of these stay at home mom posts; it’s extremely difficult yet rewarding being the one to take care of baby.

  39. I admittedly started scanning the comments toward the end but I was curious to read the comments from other WAHMs. My son is four months old and I own a business I run from home. So far I see it as “the best and worst of both worlds.” I get to see him all day and share in his new achievements, but I am also exhausted at never having down time. I feel guilty if I work when he is awake (which, I’m on the “Baby Sleep Site” so, ya know) and I feel stressed that I’m not working hard enough to build my business.

    Any other WAHMs care to comment?

  40. Ceela says:

    My husband and I both work full-time. I honestly wish I could go down to part-time but financially, that’s not possible for us at the moment. Like someone else had said, working moms have to shove a whole lot of stuff in that little amount of time once we get off work. Usually it’s a blur of cleaning, cooking, rushing to practices, grocery shopping, you get my drift. And most of the time, work is often so busy, it’s hard to catch a break (pumping whenever I can because I bf) and is extremely stressful. I’m often exhausted by the time I get home.And weekends are for me to catch up on laundry and any cleaning, it feels as if there’s never any down-time or end…. So I feel like SAHMs have one full time job, and working moms have two. We still have to do all the work a SAHM does, just usually in a smaller time span.

  41. Alicia says:

    I see moms that work and have their baby’s with them is also finding hard like me to balance your time at work and time with your child, i also feel gulty, but al least they are with you!! That time spend with my son is priceless, u get to see the milestones… i try and do different activity through the day with him, it also gives me a break from work. .at the moment i am finding it hard to cope… i am depressed, Money is a problem, so we cant get him into a daycare, i know i have to be strong, its not easy,

  42. Terri says:

    After being a 12-year corporate ladder climber, I never in a million years thought I would be a SAHM, but 3 months later, here I am. I do think it’s easier to sleep train a baby if you’re home with them full time, but I definitely do NOT think it’s easier to be at home than fully-employed. I am grateful to have a choice in this matter, especially when I get to see my little boy’s sweet smile each morning. I personally think which option is harder depends on your personality type. I have other extremely career-oriented friends who loved their children, but could not stand being at home full time. They were more extroverted and missed all of the daily adult interaction. I am (fortunately) more introverted, so I find plenty to read and research for mental stimulation, and don’t mind less frequent social interactions. As for the SAHM’s whose working husbands do not get up at night, go away for just one weekend and let your husband take care of the baby COMPLETELY on his own. I had my husband do this just one time, and he now TOTALLY understands that SAHM’s work just as hard as any fully-employed person!! He gets up in the night with me now! :-)

  43. Terri says:

    Ceela: I completely disagree with what you posted and took offense. That is BS about “working” mom’s having two jobs and SAHM’s only having one. Fully-EMPLOYED Moms work 8-12 hours at the job with a LUNCH BREAK, while SAHM’s work 24 HOURS a DAY and are lucky to shower and eat a meal.

    Alli: I COMPLETELY agree with your post. SAHM’s are COMPLETELY underappreciated, as evidenced by posts from people like Ceela. All of those people who think you just lounge around all day should take care of your baby for an entire week BY THEMSELVES 24/7 WITHOUT A BREAK and let’s hear their comments then.

  44. Lidia says:

    I am happy i am a stay home mom, so i can see him grow, but it’s sure not easu for me. My son just turned 1 and stiil waking up at night every 2 hours9beore it was every hour), I don.t nap with him during the day,( too many things to do), and taking courses to finish my beachelor degree. My husband goes to work and does not wake up at night unless i am going banana. So i go to sleep at midnight , wake up evrey 2 hours at night ,and get upt at 8. at night i have to rock my baby to slepp, i am a nervous break down, he doesn’t want to play alone, i always have to be in the room with him, i can noy yake im with me around the house becasue he is very agitated and just do unexpected think which is very hard for me to handle since i am sio exhausted. I am lucky to be able some days just to eat on time and take showrs. Plus my husband wasn’t so shy in telling me that i\m useless, not doing anythin but “just taking care of our son”. We almost got divorced and may still get one .So , i think that it ‘s not easier for anybody, it depends from case to case.

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