A Point-by-Point Take-Down of the Viral Chart Pitting Working Moms Against Stay-at-Home Moms

After a chart taking down working moms went viral, one mom who has worked and stayed home debunked any stereotypes that one option is better than the other.

Work from home mom holding her son
Photo: George Rudy/Shuttestock

It's been years since anyone has used the phrase "mommy wars" in my vicinity. Maybe it's because my children are older now or because I stopped paying such close attention.

But it has seemed that a cease-fire or a humble truce has been declared among "working moms" (WMs), "stay-at-home moms" (SAHMs), "work-at-home moms" (WAHMs), and everyone in between.

This mom stuff is hard. There is no one "better" way, one-size-fits-all approach to family life. Yet, once in a while, the infamous viral post from the Facebook page "The Transformed Wife" seems to make its way around the web once again. The chart, divided into two sections—one for working moms and one for stay-at-home moms—heavily implies that working moms harm their children and the only way to parent is from the living room, all day, all the time.

The whole chart is patently ridiculous on many levels. So we broke it apart point-by-point to prove yet again that family is what we make it.

Point #1: 'Away From Home Hours Every Day' vs. 'Home All Day Long'

I have been both a stay-at-home mother and a working mother. As a WM, my job was remote, and all my editing and writing work was filed from my living room couch. I was there when my kids got up and when they came home. I could run out on lunch breaks and see them, and I could bring forgotten projects and sneakers as needed.

Meanwhile, as a SAHM, I was constantly on the go. Whether I was volunteering at the school or running activities or taking my children on outings, I was home far more as a WM than I ever was when I was a SAHM. We are all busy moms, regardless of our work status.

Point #2: 'Children With Others' vs. 'Children With Her'

Unless a mom is homeschooling and her children never have playdates, at some point, the children leave the house. It's good for children to be social, to meet others, and to know that their mothers are not the only people in the world who can care for them. The world is big, and I don't know a single SAHM or WM who doesn't appreciate some downtime away from her kids every once in a while.

Point #3: 'Comes Home Exhausted' vs. 'Rests While Her Children Nap'

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. This one is just a scream. Even for the years I was home with my children, I never once rested while they napped. There is always laundry to fold, phone calls to return, dishwashers to unload, paperwork to fill out, permission slips to sign, and on it goes. Parents' to-do lists are endless—working or not.

Point #4: 'Dinner Is Usually Fast Food or Microwaved' vs. 'Dinner Is From Scratch, Nutritious, and Delicious'

Some moms cook. Some moms don't. Some SAHM are so exhausted at the end of the day with their children that they decide to order a pizza (more power to them), and some WM spend Sunday preparing the week's meals so it's as easy as popping a casserole into the oven in order to have a home-cooked meal. Long story short: The status of someone's career has no bearing on whether they prefer to cook for their family or not.

Point #5: 'Reads a Book to Children Before Bed' vs. 'Reads to Children, Plays Games, Disciplines, Teaches About Jesus All Day Long'

Setting aside the fact that families follow many different faiths and not all parents wish to teach their children about Jesus all day long, being a working mom doesn't preclude a person from doing more with their children than reading a book at bedtime.

In fact, I think it's safe to say that all moms discipline their children. It's the name of the game whether you work in an office or not. And SAHMs are not superwomen. We get tired, too. We are all in the trenches, people. It's hard on both sides.

Point #6: 'Weekends = Cleaning House & Shopping' vs. 'Weekends at Beach and Park'

Two words: cleaning person. I know not everyone can afford cleaning help, but there's a much better chance if both parents are working that it's a possibility. Many, many grocers also deliver now. So it is entirely possible to come home at night to a box of fresh produce and pantry staples sitting on your back porch. Technology! Look into it! And the best part: This leaves the weekends free for (you guessed it) the park and the beach—even for families with working parents.

Point #7: 'Too Tired for Intimacy With Her Husband' vs. 'Intimate With Husband Frequently'

Oh for goodness sake, people! With sex, we all have time. It's a matter of how much of a priority it is. I'd venture that when I was working, I had more sex. Because I was creatively fulfilled and had a lot to talk about with my husband.

But that's just me. You might be different. Your neighbor might be different still. And her neighbor? Well, she may be doing all kinds of kinky things you have no idea about. And the best sex of all might just be the kind between two adults who feel supported in their roles, no matter what those look like.

In Summation: 'Her Life Is Falling Apart. She Doesn’t Feel Like a Good Wife or Mother' vs. 'Her Life Is Fulfilling. Her Husband and Children Rise up and Call Her Blessed'

No one is blessed who doesn't feel blessed. I have been (and known) many SAHMs who don't feel creatively fulfilled. And their home life suffers. I have also known many WMs who struggle with balance and wish they could find it.

But I have also known the opposite. A working friend of mine saw this and she said her two children "rise up and call me badass." Couldn't that be true? And in the end, aren't we all kind of badasses, on the same team, just trying to do right by our children and teach them how to be kind and happy adults? Let's declare peace, put down our arms, and help each other out instead of spreading lies via a silly Facebook post. I'll do it if you will.

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