1. Frequent adult communication – Have you ever come away from a meeting and felt a fusion of energy because of the great debate or inspiring decisions? That energy can keep you recharged for hours.
2. Independent income – money is an energy exchange. When you have your own income, it gives you a boost of energy. You can manage home expenses more effectively, get a nice pedicure or get a nicer couch. Another reason independent income is nice? Most people have financial memory issues (not enough money growing up, savings gone from the drop in the housing market, etc). That income gives you relief from money stress you may still be carrying from when you were young, or from when you were not so young.
3. Self-confidence – Confidence empowers your life. When you make decisions effectively, you feel the power in your gut, where your confidence chakra (the third chakra) lies. Confidence replaces the butterflies of fear in your stomach. Confidence straightens your posture. Confidence opens you to more confidence.
4. Brain exercise – When you make new decisions and learn new strategies, you strengthen new neural pathways in your brain. This helps you think more clearly and more flexibly, which you can apply to any area of your life. A challenging job can help you do this.
5. Personal growth – When you accept a new job or a new promotion, you give yourself a whole new set of responsibilities to challenge yourself. In addition, if you learn in your spare time (for example, how to feel a zen moment in the middle of stress), you can practice it at work.
Stay-at-home Mom (SAHM):
1. Be a pillar of support for your children – Children always need you, even when they reach the teens and announce they can make all their decisions on their own, thank-you-very-much. Being home provides more opportunity for spontaneous and much needed conversations about what they learn each day, through school or through their peers. Being home while they go to college can also provide this same sense of support.
2. More time for yourself – SAHM’s are busy. I know very few who have time to watch soap operas and eat bon-bons (despite this being the running joke for our working husbands). However, when grocery shopping, meal planning, laundry, house cleaning and dog walking can all be done in the day, it leaves more evening time for ourselves and with our husband. Plus, we can always squeeze in coffee or lunch with a friend during the week.
3. Creative time – Being at home, while children are in school, provides time to be creative and pursue passions. Volunteering, writing, gardening, a new class, or other interests can provide a creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment.
4. Healthier family – As a current SAHM, I love that my vegetable drawers are always full, that we don’t do instant dinners. When I worked, the freezer aisle was my favorite, and take out occurred once a week. While working parents can keep their family healthy, it seems to be easier for a SAHM.
5. Save money – Sure there is only one source of income, but there are also savings for daycare/after school care, cleaning, gas for commuting, extra car insurance, work clothes, and even convenience food (take out, etc) and grocery delivery. I estimate our family saves about $1500 per month because I am home.
From this perspective, it isn’t a case of one being better than the other. Each job has its own opportunities. For some people, they may have the chance to pull the best from both worlds. I know my working world is getting busier, even as I officially title myself a stay-at-home-mom. Perhaps I need to watch a soap opera and eat bon-bons while I still have a chance!
Which are you? Working mom or stay at home mom? What do you love about what you do? Is there anything from the “other side” which you would like to incorporate into your life? How would you do it?