If Every Mom Were a Stay-At-Home Mom

By Veronica

If every mom were a stay-at-home mom, the public schools would shut down due to a lack of teachers.

If every mom were a stay-at-home mom, giving birth would become much more dangerous. All those mothers who are midwives and OBGYNS would disappear. The hospitals could not staff enough nurses for basic patient care. The pregnant women who already must drive twenty miles to a birth unit might have to drive fifty.

If every mom were a stay-at-home mom, I would lose my pediatrician. My kids would go farther and wait longer to see a doctor. My sister’s clients – children with neurological disorders – would spend years on waiting lists before seeing another physical therapist who specializes in their treatment.

If every mom were a stay-at-home mom, some of the most brilliant scholars I know would not be available to affect the lives and minds of students. My children’s future education would be immeasurably the poorer.

This stay-at-home mom has one thing to say to the moms who leave home to earn a paycheck at a job worth doing: thank you. Thank you for caring for patients and protecting citizens. Thank you for repairing our streets and driving our buses and picking up our garbage. Thank you for writing our newspapers and teaching our kids. Thank you for being an example to my daughters of the many options they have in adult life. Thank you for making my decision to be a stay-at-home mom a real choice.

The media-manufactured “Mommy Wars” tell us that mothers resent and judge each other. Sometimes we do. But sometimes we recognize that the world needs different people to make different choices. The truth is that as we all struggle to provide the best for our kids, we can’t make it without each other. Your choices affect me, and mine affect you. We really are all in this together.

So the next time a belittling feature on a morning news program tries to exploit you emotionally; the next time a snooty mom at play group or school treats you like you are just a “part-time” mom; the next time you feel isolated and unappreciated in the challenges you face, please, come back and read this thank you again.

Because it will still be true.

Veronica Mitchell also posts at Toddled Dredge.

80 Responses to If Every Mom Were a Stay-At-Home Mom
  1. Jen
    July 15, 2008 | 1:09 am

    And thank you, for an honest, well-thought and respectful post.

  2. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls
    July 15, 2008 | 2:57 am

    I never thought about it this way, but you have such a valid point and you make it so eloquently. Thank you! 🙂

  3. Stephanie
    July 15, 2008 | 5:53 am

    I seriously love where you took this post. It is someething we all need to read and remember!


  4. Moriah
    July 15, 2008 | 8:07 am

    Well… maybe not completely necessarily. It sounds like you’re including all women everywhere, not just the much smaller set of women who happen to have young children at home. There are plenty of women who don’t have young children or whose children have grown who would maintain all those wonderfully vital jobs you described.

  5. Pam
    July 15, 2008 | 8:44 am

    Thank you for writing this. Being a working mom (I’m a teacher), I have guilt because I am often made to feel that I am supposed to be a stay at home mom. But that wouldn’t work for my family. So it is nice to know that I have a place to go where I am not judged and where I can be a mom even though I am not a stay at home mom. Thank you!

  6. Damsel
    July 15, 2008 | 8:44 am

    Moriah, when do you suggest they get the training/ practical education for those jobs? In a lot of fields, professionals can’t just take 10 years (or more) away to raise their babies and return to the field. Pretty sure you missed the *entire* point of the post, which is to stop making judgments against each other for life choices.

    I teach high school science, and absolutely know I am called to do it. My son is in a fantastic playschool, is happy, healthy and incredibly SMART.

    Thank you for a post that bridges the gap. In turn, I have to say that I completely admire SAHMs. It’s a really hard job.

  7. Dawn Johnson
    July 15, 2008 | 9:09 am

    Thanks Veronica for so wonderfully expressing exactly how I feel. I’m glad we live in a time when women have choices and we should all support all women in choosing what is best for themselves and their families.

  8. ewe_are_here
    July 15, 2008 | 9:37 am

    I really, really, really like this post. It’s a great way of reminding women/mothers why we’re really all on the same side.

  9. gretchen from lifenut
    July 15, 2008 | 9:38 am


    Excellent post.

  10. AmyG
    July 15, 2008 | 9:50 am

    Excellent post!

  11. Blessed
    July 15, 2008 | 10:17 am


  12. Steph
    July 15, 2008 | 10:25 am

    Thank you, Veronica, for a wonderful post!

    We are all in this together, and we should support one another. As Damsel points out, it is difficult for a working mom to stay at home with her children and then return to the field. If I want to remain in the engineering field, where I design airbags for the cars we drive, I need to at least work part time. My daughter stays with a friend who watches children in her home while I’m at work. She is happy, well adjusted and loves playing with her friend and daycare provider while I’m at the office.

    I admire stay at home moms, and honestly most days wish I was staying at home. Stay at home moms have a difficult job, as do those of us trying to balance work and home life. Thanks again, Veronica!! 🙂

  13. Rachel
    July 15, 2008 | 10:30 am

    I agree. I am a SAHM and love it and yet we struggle every month to make ends meet. It is a choice we make and we are doing the best we can and our children are better off. Not all moms want to be at home with their kids and that is ok too.

  14. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    July 15, 2008 | 10:53 am


    I LOVE this post! This is exactly how I feel.

    Thank you for reminding us all how we are truly all in this together.

  15. In Honor of Working Moms
    July 15, 2008 | 11:22 am

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  16. Beck
    July 15, 2008 | 11:43 am

    Wonderful, wonderful post.
    I often feel that the division is not ACTUALLY between women who stay home with their kids and women who work outside the home, but a much subtler thing – women who try hard enough and women who don’t.

    I know TONS of working moms who fall into the “hard enough” catergory and quite a few stay at home moms who are letting tv raise their kids until school. Of course, not all working women are doing a good job with their kids – but it’s cruel to the mothers who DO hold down a job and who ARE raising their children well to make them feel needless guilt.

  17. casual friday everyday
    July 15, 2008 | 11:47 am

    Great perspective!

  18. Melanie
    July 15, 2008 | 11:53 am


  19. T with Honey
    July 15, 2008 | 12:02 pm

    I think I may just print this out and hang it on my cubicle wall except there isn’t any room with all my daughter’s pictures and artwork that surrounds me.

    Many working women, myself included, would do ANYTHING to spend more time with their children but in many cases we are required to work full time outside the home or not at all. It stinks but this little ‘thank you’ made today feel a little less stinky. Thanks, Veronica.

  20. Sue
    July 15, 2008 | 12:12 pm

    Here here. (Or is that hear hear? I’m not really sure. But – you know what I mean. I think.)

  21. Jen from I should be cleaning...
    July 15, 2008 | 2:15 pm

    Wow! That was great and much needed, I think.

  22. Julie
    July 15, 2008 | 2:24 pm

    Oh, that was terrific. Veronica, thank you!

  23. Omaha Mama
    July 15, 2008 | 2:44 pm

    Thanks for that. What a beautiful statement. You can bet I’ll be back to reread.

  24. hyperactivelu
    July 15, 2008 | 2:50 pm

    Good job!

  25. Alyssa
    July 15, 2008 | 3:00 pm

    What an obnoxious article. You did the very thing to SAHM that you stated in your last paragraph you despised being done to working mothers.

    If “everyone” chose to do anything it would obviously leave huge deficits somewhere else.
    In era’s when all mothers stayed at home I am sure all the children managed to find pediatritians and nurses and doctors etc.

    Writing an article to promote the virtues of both choices is a valiant one. However the article you wrote was poorly constructed and not really all that favorable to either.

    Missed the mark here..

  26. Jennifer, Snapshot
    July 15, 2008 | 3:04 pm

    So true, and so well-said.

    Thanks on behalf of another SAHM who is sick of the Mommy Wars as well.

  27. Kellyn
    July 15, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Thank you for this. Today I read an article that touched on this subject, and my Mommy emotions were low.

  28. Alexia
    July 15, 2008 | 7:03 pm

    I went to subscribe to this site and there is no e-mail subscription *eek* can ya’ll put one up like 5 Minutes for Mom has???? Pretty please 🙂

  29. Erin
    July 15, 2008 | 7:10 pm

    This is awesome. Love love love it! 🙂

  30. Kristin
    July 15, 2008 | 8:39 pm

    Very narrow-sighted of you, Moriah. The gist of the post is very on point. For example, an OB/GYN does not have the luxury of just stopping her training when her children are young. There is a time component to licensing. And, as a medical student in training with a one-year-old, I can tell you that I have to remind myself constantly that I’m balancing his needs with my intention of helping others every day. It’s a difficult balance, made more difficult by people who fail to see its necessity!

  31. Moriah
    July 15, 2008 | 9:50 pm

    No, I wasn’t missing the point at all. Of course every woman is free to choose motherhood or career or both. I was merely stating that I find it very hard to believe ALL those places would be shut down completely if mothers of young children stayed home. The blanket statement of how the first paragraphs were written made it seem like young mothers are the only ones working! I wasn’t even commenting on anything else. Sheesh!

  32. midlife mommy
    July 15, 2008 | 10:34 pm

    Thank you!

  33. Emily
    July 15, 2008 | 10:53 pm

    Moriah & Alyssa,

    I think that you both missed the entire point of this article–grace. To get caught up in quibbles over whether Veronica’s premise, albeit a tad hyperbolic for good literary effect, that the necessity of working mothers doing their jobs is imperative to our society precludes your ability to see that she is urging us to be gracious with one another. SAHM mother or not, raising children is difficult enough without adding guilt or feelings of inferiority to the mix.

    And as a side note, it is very possible that V’s statements would be true if you take into account all the people with children of ANY school age. I do not know why you assume that SAHMs only have young children. My mom didn’t go back to work until my youngest sister went to college. Now THAT’S a dedicated SAHM!

  34. JV
    July 15, 2008 | 11:17 pm

    Thanks for this, glad my friend shared it…feel frustrated when I get emotional about the women in my life and the choices they make. This was a great reality check! 🙂

  35. CrAzY Working Mom
    July 15, 2008 | 11:20 pm

    This is oh so true!

  36. Sue
    July 16, 2008 | 2:37 am

    “In era’s when all mothers stayed at home I am sure all the children managed to find pediatritians and nurses and doctors etc”

    There were very few eras where mothers stayed home in the way we think of it today. The whole SAHM-who-is-devoted-to-caring-for-her-children thing is a relatively modern construct.

    Sure, women were home in the past, but they weren’t playing games with their kids. They were working on the land, taking care of animals and trying to survive – a dirty effort that filled the entire day, every day. Children were at home, but they were working on the farm or in the fields. They weren’t going to Gymboree.

    Historically, only the very, very rich were able to escape hard daily work, and those folks usually had servants to raise their children.

    I don’t know why I’m getting off on this tangent, Sorry Veronica. I just hate to see people try to pretend there is a historical precedent for staying at home. Staying at home is wonderful if you are able to do it, but it isn’t “the way it’s always been.”

    All mothers, whether they are at home, at work, working at home, or some combination of all three, love their kids. And their kids know it.

  37. Melissa
    July 16, 2008 | 12:49 pm

    AMEN! Thank you.

  38. Tina
    July 16, 2008 | 12:50 pm

    THANK YOU so much for that post. I am a working mom that has many times over felt guilty about the decision that we have made for our family. I so appreciated hearing what you said today and will save it and read it back over and over! Thanks!

  39. Erin
    July 16, 2008 | 2:09 pm

    Thank you for such a blessing of a post!

  40. Genni
    July 16, 2008 | 4:18 pm


  41. Kimberly
    July 16, 2008 | 8:49 pm

    Interesting article on same topic.

  42. Pass the Word
    July 17, 2008 | 7:06 am

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  43. Angela
    July 17, 2008 | 10:41 am

    Dang people are so critical, lighten up! I personally really hate the whole mommy wars concept. I was a teacher before having children and am a SAHM now. I constantly go back and forth trying to decide whether to stay at home or go back to work. I absolutely loved my career as a teacher and truley miss it. I have also felt that being a SAHM isn’t for everyone. It is the biggest sacrifice any woman can make in her life! Why must we judge people for making choices that are right for them and their family? Would we like to force everyone to stay home with their children because that is what we are told is best for children? Would it be best for a child to stay home with their mom who may resent staying home, who may crave that desire to contribute to society through working? We all have different motivations in life and need to stop judging everyone else’s decisions.

  44. Mary Anna
    July 17, 2008 | 10:52 am

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from a mommy who works. Just like you say you choose to stay home, I choose to work. It’s not about garnering a paycheck (although it’s a nice perk!) or about doing great in the world (hello, I’m in marketing!) … it’s about doing something that fulfills a need in me that nothing else can.

  45. Steph
    July 17, 2008 | 11:43 am

    Thanks again, Veronica. I wanted to come back and re-read your post, and view the many comments I knew it would generate. In addition to enjoying the article itself, I appreciate your willingness to talk about this obviously (just check out the comments) touchy subject.

    Also, thank you to Beck and Emily, I really identified/agreed your comments on the subject. The most important thing in my mind, is for us as mothers to care about our children and love them endlessly and unconditionally. We need to give each other (as mothers) grace and space to be ourselves and the best mothers we can be. It sets a good example for our children and teaches them to be caring and empathetic.

  46. Moms « It’s All About Me
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    […] If Every Mom Were a Stay-At-Home Mom […]

  47. Michelle
    July 17, 2008 | 2:06 pm

    Great post, thank you for pointing out that it takes all types to make this world of ours work!

  48. A
    July 17, 2008 | 2:28 pm

    Here’s a thought. If every Mom were to stay home then we wouldn’t need teachers to teach our kids because we would be teaching our own children. All those tax dollars we spend paying for education, buses, etc. would be freed up for other things in our respective towns and cities. All those other positions out in the working world that were once filled with working Moms would be filled with our men. Those pediatrician positions and doctor positions would still be there because more men would be able to get financial aid to go to college if women didn’t work. More men would be able to support their families if there wasn’t a female quota that had to be ascertained at a specific job. That means more families would be more financially fit. And if you are a stay at home Mom..it doesn’t mean your stupid. You will still have thought processes and will be able to contribute to all those scholarly insights. Since when did being a stay at home Mom mean you aren’t doing anything with your life or your not smart or the general perception is you don’t have a fulfilling life if you aren’t out there working. God created women to be Mothers and to take care of our children at home.
    I realize the above scenario would be great if this were a perfect world so before everyone gets mad at me I just put that out there to ask people to really give it some serious thought. I know there are single mothers, blended families and women who can’t afford to stay at home. I use to be a single Mother working 2 jobs to support my child. I’ve been there.

  49. Nodins Nest
    July 17, 2008 | 2:52 pm

    Very well put! I’m glad I can be at home, but am also very grateful for the women in the work force. There is room for both.

  50. Iva
    July 17, 2008 | 5:18 pm

    I’m over the Mommy Wars as well. Both ‘sides’ (and I use the term loosely) sacrifice for the decisions they make (or in many cases, are made for them). One ‘side’ isn’t better than the other and I’m really tired of hearing the constant ‘battle’ between women who feel they are.

    Thank you, Veronica, for your article. I feel it was well written and well presented.

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