What in the World Does a Stay At Home Mom Do ALL Day?

A couple of months ago, Kentucky radio personality Matt Walsh wrote a controversial blog post defending his wife, a stay at home mom. You may have seen the post floating around Facebook; that’s where I was first introduced to it.

The post arose after Walsh’s conversation with two working women who asked him how his wife and children were doing and whether or not his wife was planning to go back to work. They also asked what she does all day as a stay at home mom. Walsh quickly rose to the defense of his wife, stating that no, his wife was not returning to “work”, she keeps busy taking care of their twins all day, that being a stay at home mom is not always fun, and that his wife actually never quits working. Needless to say, Walsh’s response sparked quite a controversy and his post received more than 12,000 comments!

In his post he wrote:

“This conversation shouldn’t be necessary. I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s insane for anyone – particularly other women – to have such contempt and hostility for “stay-at-home” mothers. Are we really so shallow? Are we really so confused?”

It seems that whenever a stay at home mom is asked what she does all day, it’s completely fine to verbally attack the poor person who asked the question! It’s acceptable to ask a dentist, doctor, secretary, teacher, or police officer how they spend their days, but for some reason stay at home moms can become very defensive when asked what they do all day long!

Most stay at home moms stay incredibly busy and I understand how some can get defensive when the person asking them is asking because they seem to think that stay at home moms just sit on the couch eating Oreos all day. But many people are simply asking out of a sense of curiosity or a lack of knowledge about the amount of work that goes into being a stay at home mom.

Being a stay at home mom is hard. It is A LOT of work. I rarely have a moment to sit down uninterrupted during the day. I’m taking my toddler potty, preparing meals, breaking up fights, organizing fun activities for the kids to do, cleaning, laundry, answering millions of (seemingly) pointless questions from my 3 1/2 year old, taking out the trash, making sure bills are paid on time, doing the grocery shopping, driving my kids to various activities, kissing boo boos, stopping tantrums, wiping bottoms and noses, doing dishes, and cleaning up messes.

If you have only one incredibly well behaved (i.e. perfect angel) child who you plunk down in front of the TV all day and if you don’t spend much time cleaning and cooking, then yes, you probably have a lot of free time on your hands to pursue what YOU want to do as a stay at home mom. However, if you have {normal} needy children who you spend time with; teaching them, interacting with them, and taking them places, and you also strive to cook decent meals and keep your house in operational order… well you probably don’t have much free time as a stay at home mom. Stay at home moms DO work, we just work at home and not in the workforce.

Salary.com does an interesting breakdown of what a stay at home mom would be worth if she really got paid for all the work she does.

Being a working mom is hard too. It is A LOT of work. Working mothers often spend long, stressful hours at their jobs and {then} have to come home and do their housework and take care of their kids!

Salary.com also does an interesting breakdown of what a working mother is worth:

Not sure how truly accurate these salaries are, but the point is: being a stay at home mom is work and being a working mom is work. And it’s not really about whose job is harder or easier or better or worse. They both have their pros and cons, their benefits and disadvantages, their good times and bad, their hard times and easy times.

But I don’t think being a working mom or a stay at home mom should define the ability to cook, clean, or care for a family. It’s simply what we do as parents for our children. To say that stay at home moms have an important job is true. But to say that they have the most important job in the world and that all of society would crumble if moms return to the workforce is an exaggeration. To say that working moms have an important job is true. But to say that they are smarter, wiser, better parents contributing to society in a more useful way is completely false.

I love being a stay at home mom. It’s what I’ve {chosen} for this time period of my life. I could work if I wanted to! But I don’t. I {want} to be home full time with my kids. But some moms {want} to work and be with their kids in the evenings and on weekends. Does that make them bad moms? Absolutely not. Putting stay at home moms on a pedestal, like Walsh suggests, or claiming it’s better to be a working mom like this article claims, just drives a wedge between working and stay at home moms. One type of mom is not “better” than the other.

I love this article here which is a letter from a working mother to a stay at home mother (and vice versa). The letters show respect and understanding for what the other mother has chosen. No judgment, no trying to convince each other that they are a better mother. Just understanding from one mother to another that they have both chosen the route that they feel is best for themselves and their families.

Whether you’ve chosen to stay home with your children or not, most of us are parents with a tremendous amount of love for our children, trying to raise them the best we can! Let’s cut each other some slack! Let’s not be full of judgement over how other parents are choosing to raise their kids. And let’s remember that {all} mothers, working or stay at home, serve a tremendously important role in the lives of their children.

And then check out this beautiful video below about how wonderful it is to be a mom!

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8 thoughts on “What in the World Does a Stay At Home Mom Do ALL Day?

  1. If I could be a stay at home mom, I would. I cannot though. I love how balanced this post is! You've presented the various angles so well.

  2. I like how you presented both sides equally here. I'm always saddened to see women attacking each other for their parenting choices from work at home, working out of the home, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, etc. We should be more tolerant of each other. It's like the grown-up version of high school rivalries.

    On a side note, I was thinking the other day about stay-at-home mothers and what they do during the day when their children are at school. An idea for a story popped into my head. Bank robbing mothers in minivans and SUVs taking phone calls from their kids' schools while in the middle of robbing banks!

  3. I am a stay at home mom, and I also do some part-time work at home. I can appreciate both sides of the argument, working mom vs stay at home mom. I can understand why women get defensive over a simple question. Many women may feel guilty themselves over their decision (whichever it is) in some way and being reminded of that difficult choice just may be too much for them at that moment. Also, many times people aren't seeming to ask out of curiosity, but from a place of judgement.

    I agree with Missy, it is ridiculous that we women are the ones that attack each other the most. Disposable diapers vs cloth, breast vs bottle, discipline methods, homeschool vs public school, and on and on and on. It seems that this is the mentality of the world. If someone doesn't do the same thing as me, they must be attacking what I do. Why can't it be okay for someone to do what's best for their family? I try and always support my friends and family in what their choices are. I'm not perfect at it, and may at times find myself judging them internally. I try and tell myself to knock it off. I don't know them, I don't know where they came from, what they're going through now, and where they're trying to go. If I don't want others to treat the decisions I make as though I were a freakish leper, then I ought to extend them the same support I'd appreciate. I think you make a great point: neither should be put on a pedestal. It's not fair to anyone. One is not a better mother than another one. One is not a worse mother than another one.

  4. Thanks! I know there are lots of women who wish they could be stay at home moms but can't…. and there are those who wish they could work but can't! I just want moms to be accepting of other moms' choices; believing that most parents have thought through the options and are choosing what they think is best! =)

  5. How cool that your mom was able to stay at home with you growing up!!! She gave you a very special gift in doing that. =) I hope that some day soon you will also be able to be a stay at home mom. ❤

  6. I agree, Missy! It is sad how we can argue over things which we feel are right for us but might not be right for other moms/women. We obviously all have certain views and opinions that we hold to and follow for our families but I hate when people use their opinions to judge others. It's not right.

    Haha, I don't know what stay at home moms do while their kids are in school but sounds like you've got an interesting plot cooking. I'd like to read that story!!!! =)

  7. Thank you, Rochelle! I love your thoughts. It is sad how much judgement goes on, especially between women/moms. I also try and be supportive of my friends and their choices. My husband and I obviously have our convictions, opinions, and beliefs, but what's right for our family is not necessarily right for everyone (unless of course it's moral issues like murder!!). I try and think the best of everyone and trust that they are most likely making their choices after having thought about the options and weighing out what they feel is the right thing. I spend enough time trying to make the right choices for my family, I don't have time to worry much about what someone else chooses!

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