The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

When I was a working mom, I was green with envy when I would log on to Facebook and see my stay at home mom friends having such a good time with their child on a random day at 2PM. Play dates with friends, going to the park, and most importantly, spending 24/7 with your child just seemed like the most absolute perfect lifestyle while I was working my 9-5. I had visions that if I was a stay at home mom, I would have so much free time to do all these cool arts and craft projects I’ve been eyeing on Pinterest, be caught up on all house work and spend many afternoons doing mommy and me activities with playgroups.

Well I’m here to tell you, the grass isn’t always greener.

Working MOM

When my second son was born, I left my job to be a stay at home mom to my micropreemie Liam. While I was sad to leave my job, I started having all the visions of that picture perfect stay at home mom. I convinced myself that all of our fights over dirty dishes, piles of laundry and dusty floors were all suddenly resolved. I would have all this time to be caught up on everything AND I got to stay at home and take care of my new baby!

I realized very quickly that I couldn’t get everything done in one day that I thought I could. The dishes starting piling up and the laundry began to make piles on the couch just like before. How is this happening? I had much more TIME to do all of these things, so how is it that I’m staying up just as late, if not later, than I did when I worked? Where did all the hours in the day go?

The dream and the reality of my stay at home mom experience has varied greatly. Instead of play dates, I was going to doctor appointments. And all that time I thought I had to clean the house, I was busy pumping and cleaning the parts and bottles. Also, let’s not forget the whole part of taking care of both of my kids and carpool lines twice a day. In many ways, being a stay at home mom is harder than when I worked. I feel like we are always on the go, and it’s hard to get everything done in 24 hours. I now have fond memories of when I worked and being able to go to lunch with my friend on my break, being able to go to the bathroom by myself, and solo car rides while listening to my favorite non children appropriate music.SAHM

While being a stay at home mom has been fantastic these past two years, I’ve also realized the reality is much harder than I once envisioned. When I was a working mom, that was also challenging. Balancing a full time job and trying to be on top of all household duties and your kid was quite the juggling act.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one isn’t easier than the other and that both have their own perks and disadvantages. However, one thing is for certain that each job deserves the same respect. Stay at home moms and working moms have the hardest job ever: being a mother. So next time you think your mom friend has it easier you may want to reconsider.

Have you also been a working mom and a stay at home mom? Do you find one easier than the other?

Mary Olivio
Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.


  1. I totally agree with you- I worked full time with my first- I was a single mom with no choice. When I had my second I was working full time, school full time and had a teenager and husband. After having the baby I couldn’t do everything- told my hubs that I had either quit the family or work (school wasn’t even an option)….we choose work. I thought the same as you…all this free time! HA! and when baby #3 showed up 18 months later it wasn’t even a consideration to go back to work. After staying home the last seven years I’ve come to the same conclusion- the grass is greener depending on where you stand. I envy my two income family friends, but I just can’t give up volunteering at my girls school, car pool or just being home when they are on vacation. So, my hard earned college diploma may never get used, but that’s okay- these kids are worth it.

  2. When I had baby #2 9 years almost to the day after baby #1, I was thrilled at the idea of having 3 months off on maternity leave to be home with my newborn and pick up my eldest son from school at 3pm every day. While I loved the extra time with both boys, I quickly became extremely exhausted at all the hustle and bustle. When my 3 months was up, I was actually looking forward to going back to work! I love both of my children to death but I think for my sanity, being a working mom is the right choice for both me and my family! I am also a team leader / designer for Origami Owl Custom Jewelry which has been for me because once or twice a month I get to have adult time with women who have similar interests and who are usually at the jewelry bars to get a break from their own kids! LOL As you said – working mom or stay at home mom are both hard jobs because they both include the word MOM!!! ~ Jamie B.


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