Working Mother Vs. Stay-At-Home Mother

Essay's Score: C

Grammar mistakes

F (53%)


A (91%)

Redundant words

F (56%)




F (58%)

Table of Content

Americans have now become less likely to marry. Contrary to what people believe, marriage is not declining because of individuals giving up on marriage. According to Professor David Popenoe, a sociology professor at Rutgers University, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, a lecturer on the well-being of families, part of this is the fact that couples are now making the choice of unmarried cohabitation. However, there has been a common belief amongst researchers that although less people have been getting married, those who do plan to do so end up having marriages of higher quality. Good marriages often lead to the start of families and therefore, women must make the difficult choice of entering the work force or caring for the young in their home. Mothers have reasons for their choices, whether it’d be staying at home or continuing to work following the birth of their child; the choices they make can have different effects on everything around them, from the development of her child to their very own mental health.

In the United States, financial necessity has been the general reason in which women have decided to work (Siegel and Hass 523). Many of us know how expensive raising a child can be which is why many mothers decide to enter the work force for the first time or get back in to it. Assuming that the mother is married and that the husband is the leading provider of income, having a job allows for the woman to bring in an additional income to the household and therefore, by bringing in a supplemental income, a mother is able constitute an adequate or favorable living condition for her family (Siegel and Hass 523). Research has proven that married couples tend to make more money than other couples (Popedoe and Whitehead 372). Jayita Poduval and Murali Poduval, Assistant Professors in the Department of ENT and Orthopedics at the Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, state that by working, a mother is also capable of fulfilling herself. This means that she could advance her career, satisfy her needs and become financially independent. However, many may criticize this approach and think of it as a selfish act.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Taking a look at the working mother’s unemployed counterpart, a stay at home mother has her reasons on why she doesn’t take the approach of working.

First and foremost, a stay at home mother does not want a nanny or somebody else taking care of her child. In a personal interview given by Dr. Pamela Stone and Meg Lovejoy a mother stated that she cannot bear the fact that another person could possibly care for the child better than her. Others claim that time goes by too fast and don’t want to miss out on any event in the child’s life (Stone and Lovejoy 73). It’s all about time and pleasure. Mothers choose to stay at home because parental care is essential for the enrichment and consistency of a child’s life (Stone and Lovejoy 72). In some cases, however, the husband is not able to provide enough parental support at home for the family. This causes the mother to forcefully have to quit her job and therefore being the primary caretaker at home (Stone and Lovejoy 71).

Although the working and stay at home mothers have different motives, both types of women still manage to share a mutual concept when it comes down to their decisions: family support. Whether the mother is earning extra money to provide for the family or helping her child with homework, both mothers still manage to somehow find even the shortest of time in their busy schedules to help out the family. Based off the facts given by Dr. Kei Nomaguchi, a sociology professor at Northern Illinois University, there is an inverse relationship between the income brought in and time spent with the children; as income increases, time with the child decreases. This has been known to cause problems regarding the child’s health.

Because the mother is out so much, the child is more likely to be exposed to “junk food” and other unhealthy substances meaning that the possibility of obesity could exist within the child. When mothers plan to work, they must face the fact that they will not be in the presence of their child as much as they want or need to be. In fact, according to Stone and Lovejoy, most working mothers exhibit guilt about somewhat neglecting their child. Although negative effects can exist in the child, positive ones are also present. Such effects could include: spending longer hours in school settings, and more likely to participate in organized activities such as sports or dance classes (Nomaguchi 1343). This has been proven to be beneficial to the child as they are able to socially interact with other peers as well as being less hyperactive (NICHD 1998). Communication skills will continue to develop as the child continuously interacts with other children, bringing a healthier mindset for him or her.

A mother who stays at home is likely to have a very strong bond with her children (Stone and Lovejoy 72). One could only imagine how friendly and happy a child can be based off a mother-child bond. Because of this strong bond, a mother is often viewed as more sensible towards her children (Nomaguchi 1344). Quality time with children along with love and affection improves the child’s lifestyle in such a way where he or she grows up with a more positive attitude towards life and the people around them. On another note, a mother has to be careful on giving in to the child too much. A mother who constantly gives a child what they want and never learns to say “no”, could at the same time be unhealthy for the child. A stay at home mother must carefully balance the care for her children.

The choice on whether a mother decides to work or not can have a significant impact on the development of her child. Although children can grow up differently, one can say that both types of mothers can create a type routine schedule for her children to follow. A working mother’s children could develop the habit of attending a weekly team practice or game and the children of a stay at home mother develop a schedule of chores around the house. Besides the fact of developing a scheduled routine, a mother also learns several disciplinary methods to control the children in her life. All these elements are essential for organizing a structure of family care.

In a study conducted by Midlife Development in the United States, mothers that worked part time or were fully employed, felt sad or depressed (Grzywacz and Bass 252). A cause of this could be the fact that they are constantly away from home. During the same study, research found that working mothers work up to 12.7 more hours than the husband (Zimmerman 346); primarily because a mother must still come home after a long day from work and provide care to her family, which in fact can add a great deal of stress. Working mothers have also stated that they face a personal struggle between financial responsibilities of working and being out of home. Working takes a huge toll on the mental health of the working mother so she must prepare herself for what there is to come.

Much like a working mother, a stay at home mother is also likely to face some negative effects towards her mental health. To begin with, the house mother may face a high level of isolation. While the children are at school, she may feel lonely and at times, bored. According to the study by MIDUS, the stay at home mother averaged twice as high a level of loneliness than her working partner. In many cases, the stay at home mother is brought down with the criticism of wasting her education and letting her skills go to waste (Zimmerman 347). This can surely have a negative impact towards her mindset and therefore making her regret her decision.

Historically, a mother’s biggest role is to be the main caregiver at home meaning that they provide the family with several meals a day and deal with everyday problems. Mothers often put others’ needs ahead of their own. In fact, sometimes they focus so much on the needs of others, such as their family, that they forget about themselves (Zimmerman 346). Having to deal with these actions will, at some point in their lives, hit them with a state of stress and exhaustion. However, regardless of how stressed and exhausted a mother may be, a majority of mothers have said that they are quite satisfied with their family and marital relationships. Mothers that participated in the study given by MIDUS stated that their spouses value and respect the work they put it. Such comments make a mother feel appreciated and bring them to a higher level of self-esteem.

In conclusion, mothers will face the pros and cons regarding the route she has decided to take. These choices often come from what she thinks is important for her family and how it will affect them. A mother’s primary concern is the development of her child and although the mother’s face different effects on their children, both can still rely on several methods that will allow their child to flourish. Struggles between financial and household responsibilities add stress to a mother as does judgment and criticism. In addition, mothers receive much support from their spouses, making them satisfied with the decision they have made.

Works Cited
Grywacz, Joseph, and Brenda L. Bass. “Work, Family, and Mental Health: Testing Different
Models of Work-Family Fit.” Journal of Marriage and Family 65.1 (2003): 248-261.
JSTOR. Web. 26 September 2013.
NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. “The NICHD Study of Early Child Care.”

Psychiatric Times 15.3 (1998): 71-72. Web. 24 September 2013. Nomaguchi, Kei M. “Maternal Employment, Nonparental Care, Mother-Child Interactions, and Child Outcomes During Pre-School Years.” Journal of Marriage and Family 68.5 (2006): 1341-1369. JSTOR. Web. 25 September 2013. Poduval, Jayita, and Murali Poduval. “How Much Working, How Much Mothers, And Where Is The Womanhood?” Some Issues in Women’s studies, and Other Essays 7.1 (2009): 63-79. Web. 23 September 2013. Popenoe, David, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. “The State of Our Unions.” Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Laurence Behrens, and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Longman, 2011. 368-380. Print. Siegel, Alberta Engvall, and Miriam Bushkoff Hass. “The Working Mother: A Review of Research.” Child Development 34.1 (1963): 513-542. JSTOR. Web. 24 September 2013 Stone, Pamela, and Meg Lovejoy. “Fast-Track Women and the ‘Choice’ to Stay Home.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 596 (2004): 62-83. JSTOR. Web. 24 September 2013. Zimmerman, Toni. “Marital Equality and Satisfaction in Stay-At-Home Mother and Stay-At-Home Father Families.” Contemporary Family Therapy 22.3 (2000): 337-354. Web. 23 September 2013.

Cite this page

Working Mother Vs. Stay-At-Home Mother. (2016, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront