‘Staying at home with kids is harder than working’

The majority of mums feel it is harder looking after kids than going out to work, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.

The poll of nearly 700 women found that 59% felt looking after children was harder than going out to work. Seventeen per cent said going to work was harder and 24% felt that both were equally as demanding.

One woman said: “I’m convinced I worked harder being at home with my children than those who ‘went out to work’. They’d be stopping off at the gym or swimming after work. What? If I got in the bath I might have drowned so sleepy was I. I know I’ll never get those weeks of sleep back ever.”

Coach Amanda Alexander, who spoke at Workingmums.co.uk’s recent LIVE event in Manchester, said: “I think your view on this is very personal and it depends on your personal characteristics.

Some women are so great at looking after kids “full time” (I think endless patience is a key attribute) and some are not. Personally, I’m in the latter group and I know that if I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be giving my kids quality attention all the time. So my vote goes with the 59% who say that looking after children is harder.

“I remember my first month back at work and telling my boss that being a Project Manager was much easier than being a new mum. He looked at me as if I had gone mad, because, he, as a man working full time with his wife a stay at home mum, clearly hadn’t had the experience to make a comparison. At least as a Project Manager I could create a plan, mitigate the risks and delegate the tasks. No chance of this with young kids, especially as a new mum with a baby. It’s just chaos! I think it’s the lack of control and independence that comes with looking after children which has prompted 59% of those polled to say that going out to work is easier.”

According to Workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey, many women get a lot out of being a working mum. Some 80 per cent of women said they enjoyed their work and 74 per cent said it boosted their self esteem.

Asked what were the main positives about being a working mum, 76 per cent said financial independence, 75 per cent said being a good role model for their children, 67 per cent said intellectual stimulation, 66 per cent said providing for the family, 63 per cent said having a balance between work and family life and 54 per cent said work made them feel happier.




Comments [2]

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m a stay at home mum and I can tell you that my job certainly feels harder than going to work, and I have experienced both. Being a full-time mum mean you have to wear several different hats, from being a Nurse, Cook, Cleaner, Counsellor…You get the picture – the list goes on. With most jobs your tasks are normally quite focused on a particular area or end result. Working mums also get the luxury of at least one hour a day (break time) to do whatever they choose, whilst being at home means you only get this opportunity once in a very long time.

    Being a stay at home mum definitely has it advantages, and can be extremely rewarding, but most stay at home mums without a doubt have a heavier workload than those who go out to work.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how easy it is to judge, since few of us have real experience of both. I now work mostly from home, but when my son was between 9 months and 3 I taught 3 days a week. I found the days I spent at home with my son much more exhausting simply because I was trying to fit into those four days all the things I would have done spread over the seven had I not had to work. And I certainly wasn’t heading off to the gym after work and I don’t know any working mums who do. Now working dads…. that’s a different matter!


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