Monday, March 30, 2009

The best job in the world

Being the mother of a new baby is anything but easy; it's probably one of the most demanding jobs in the world. But still, I believe my work is not half as stressful as my husband's.

Yes, I have to be available to attend to my baby's needs 24/7, but I don't have a mean-tempered boss and/or clients breathing down my neck. I don't have to compete with anyone, or worry that someone else might take my place.

My job as wife and Mom is largely unaffected by today's economical crisis. Yes, it might mean I pinch pennies, or go without new clothes for a while, but I don't have to worry I might lose my job because budget is low.

I nurse my baby, which means my daily routine includes frequent breaks of relaxing in an armchair with my little sweetheart in my arms, and a glass of water. It's a time of rest and often prayer. My husband, like most men, doesn't have this kind of luxury at his job.

If I'm very tired, or not feeling well, I can limit my activity to bare minimum. I don't have to always try to outperform myself. All that matters is that I'm here, with lots of love. My baby is delighted to see me even if it's noon and I'm still in my pajamas and my hair is a mess; which work place will give you that?

Taking care of my baby is fun. I get to spend every hour of the day with my daughter, which includes an unlimited amount of giggles, kisses and cuddles. Our husbands, more often than not, don't have a chance to spend so much time with their children.

How blessed we mothers are.


Leslie said...

To each their own.

I work fulltime and it really is not as bad as you (or anyone else) make it sound. I enjoy what I do. And I am very thankful that God has given me the ability and the talent to do what I do.

This past week I have been home recovering from surgery; and truthfully, I thought I was going to go insane from being stuck at home this entire time. I was overjoyed to finally get out of the house and return to work tonight!

I do not know how women can find the sanity to stay at home all day but more power to you. I, for one, could not. If after just 4 days I am ready to bang my head against a wall, I can only imagine what doing that every day would do to me.

But like I say, to each their own.

I just hope that women out there understand, the workforce is not all that bad. If you are working in a field you love and enjoy, that makes all the difference. :)

Persuaded said...

O my dear.. truer words were never spoken! when i worked outside of the home, i used to say it wasn't the *work* that was hard, it was the being "out in the marketplace" all of the time. the pressure was so intense.. i honestly don't believe us girls were made for that sort of thing! cozy, homey.. that's what we were made for;)

Anonymous said...

You are very right!!

Kathy Days said...

What a sweet post. Thanks, Anna!

Heather T. said...

I am home full time myself again and am absolutely LOVING it! No, it's not easy all the time but the benefits are out of this world. I've also been in the workforce full time, and I see the difference in myself, my husband, my home and my children as compared to now.

I will enjoy being home while I can, and being a housewife and mom is more than anyone could hope for!

Jenna said...

I just recently quit my job to stay at home, and I LOVE it. I was just thinking about how awesome my new "job" is over the weekend, and how much less stressful my life has become.

Mrs W said...

While I'm a stay at home mom, I definitely would disagree about the husband's job being harder and more stressful. I say NEVER. Why?

Well, yes, my husband has to earn a paycheck and do things right. However, he is not at home responsible for the training of tiny little ETERNAL souls all the time. I have to train them. I only have one shot. He doesn't have to come up with creative ideas to give a child who is allergic to wheat some nutritious meals.

He doesn't have to sit and hold crying, sick little boys for hours on end as well as be expected to have a clean house at the same time. He doesn't have to come up with an educational program for the kids. I do that and he just decides if he likes it or not.

All he does is fix computers to bring home a paycheck. Not discounting what he does, but it is by no means as stressful or as much work as keeping house and raising children properly.

Anonymous said...

It is, indeed, a blessing. :o) I so enjoyed (most of!) the baby years with my children. I am in a different stage now....& know that I'm blessed to be part of the joys & challenges that go along with it. God has been, & continues to be, very good to me.


Rebekah said...

*sigh* This post makes me so look forward to being a mommy!

Samantha said...

I can see where you're coming from on this. When I first had my little girl I was so overwhelmed with love and adoration for her that it hardly felt like work. You do have a sort of honeymoon phase during the first several months. The love only grows stronger as the months and years pass and you get to know them better, but the work increases as well as the needs of the children change.

It's such a great responsibility to care for little one(s), and I don't think there is a more demanding or challenging job in the world. It's a job that constanly reveals to us our need for grace and mercy. However, I've been in the workforce and it's difficult to compare such different stressors. Many women will say that motherhood is the hardest job you'll ever love. I think that's very accurate.

I agree with you on one thing. I would never want to trade places with my husband! I love being a mother at home and I know that God made women special to care for children.

Tammy said...

You are right. Being a mother IS the best job in the world!

Like my husband's job, it can be stressful at times, though. Things get more complicated as God gives us more children. But it is a different kind of stress, and there is much more grace to pause and rest at home than there is in the workplace.

I also wish to point out that there are both blessings AND difficulties in any path one chooses to take. One woman might enjoy being in the workplace. Another content to remain at home and guide the household.

...The difference lies in the eternal value of what she does.

Raggedy Girl said...

You put into words all the things I love about being a stay at home wife.

I so want to read your beginning and hope to find time soon.

Have An Amazing Monday
from Roberta Anne-the Raggedy Girl

Heather said...

Anna~ It is indeed a blessing to be able to stay home with my children, but I do not necessarily agree that I have the easier job. I have a husband, three boys, and a home that all need my attention at all times.

My husband has told me numerous times that he could never do my job. On the occasion that he has to take over(sickness) he feels he has done a good job if everyone is fed and the house is still standing. Which would not be acceptable if it were the other way around.

Both jobs come with different expectations and requirements, while a husband might have to answer to a boss, we have to answer to ourselves, and at times our spouses.

My husband does have a hard job, he works long hours, I am thankful that he wants/does take care of our family, but while he is gone 12-15 hrs a day I am doing everything else.

God Bless

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

Lovely post as always my friend! :D

Mrs W- With all due respect, is it really important whose job is more difficult? Worry about such things and causing competition over who had the worst day has the potential to be devastating to a marriage, as such attitudes can divide a husband and wife who are supposed to be "one" together, not warring factions.

This is one issue that military chaplains are typically quick to counsel military couples about, especially at deployment time, as BOTH spouses have a very challenging job on their shoulders and these jobs cannot adequately be compared. To compete and have contests over who had the worst day is a fantastic recipe for divorce papers being served by the time the deployment ends. I don't believe this is at all different in the civilian world either.

More important than worrying about who has it worst is acknowledging the work the other person does and being appreciative of all they do for you and your children. If your husband was not "just" fixing computers and bringing in a paycheck, chances are you wouldn't be able to be at home taking care of your little ones and preparing a home for your husband. Each of your work realms commit to a whole and could not exist well without the other.

Mrs W said...

Mrs Amy, my husband and I do not usually compare such things with each other. But both of us are sick of the constant barrage of people who put me down saying that I "do nothing" or that I should go and get a "real job" like my husband, quit being lazy and do some work. He's sick of it too. He KNOWS I work much harder than him and much longer hours. He appreciates it. And he likes to try to put people in their place when they rag on me about it.

Bethany Hudson said...

I definitely agree that being a mother and homemaker is the best job in the world! But, I wouldn't say it's less stressful than what my husband does, or less enjoyable than what I did as an actress; I absolutely adored my work in the theater. However, compared to your typical 9-5, I might have to agree. Still, I think my hubby has a pretty sweet deal, too... He gets to do what he loves all day (most of the time!), work with people he enjoys (and joke around with them a lot--engineers laugh a lot!), and then he gets to come home to a nice clean house, a warm meal, and us! Yup...not a bad wrap, if you ask me. And, I'm proud to be the one making that evening return of his possible :)

Anonymous said...

If staying at home full time were really the better bargain, men would be eager to do it.
There would also have never been a massive movement of women clamoring to enter the workforce.

I also disagree with the notion that the full-time mother’s job has more inherent moral or spiritual value than a job in the paid workforce. Work – wherever it takes place and however humble it may be – not only supports our families but it has an impact on the world, hopefully for the better!

As for the relative stressfulness of staying-at-home versus getting-a-job, doesn’t that depend on whether you have one child versus ten, or whether you work a 9-5 job in the factory versus 80 hours a week on a job with headaches you have to take home with you?

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Our husbands, more often than not, don't have a chance to spend so much time with their children.

I think that society has definitely improved in this regard. It is much more acceptable now for father to dote on their children, take calls from their kids' schools, explain that they need to work from home because their child is sick, or what have you. I see this all the time in my job, and I think it's nice. I think that the feminist movement can be credited with increasing many fathers' involvement in their children's lives. This seems like a good thing for fathers and children.

-- Pendragon

AnneK said...

I think you have compared apples to oranges in this post. Apples to apples comparison would be a mean boss, clients, long hours, a job that doesnt go anywhere for the hubby and 6 children under age of 7, 3 sick, 1 nursing, 2 toddlers and 1 kid with allergies for the wife.

I work at a job I love, the only stress I have is mostly self induced and Bethany above is right, we engineers laugh a lot! And Amy is absolutely right, we cannot compare who had the harder day. Some days I do, somedays hubby does. We work together as a team to get things done. We are a traditional family, so I do take ownership of the cooking, but he helps. Same way, the ultimate responsibility of providing financial stability lies with him, although I contribute.

Bottom line, if you want to be at home, and you are forced to be in the workplace, you will hate it. Conversely, if you hate to be cooped up at home, but is forced to, you will hate that as well. Different women have different temperemant. I think it is kind of silly to make generalized statements about individual situations/choices. I work full time as an engineer with responsibilities. Majority of the time, I think my job is a lot easier than my mommy friends'. Just my $0.02.

Nurse Bee said...

I work part time and I think both being at home and work have their stressors, just different. And as other commenters have isn't necessarily that bad. I have nice bosses (all moms themselves), I start and end my day at home.

One reason I work is so my husband is able to work in a more flexible job (ie. less money), so he is able to spend more time with our daughter.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

This post was a breath of fresh air -- thank you! It's just what I needed to read today. Today has been "one of those days" -- I just had my fourth baby in five years (she's 4 weeks old today), and with three other toddlers to deal with things have been stressful and overwhelming. But you remind me all that's great about it, and why I don't miss my career days, even on the worst day as a full-time mom.

Thank you!

Paulina said...

I can't wait until I'm a mother :)

Sheri said...

Anna, I totally agree with you dear friend... I just got done cuddling with my 3-year-old little girl and I wouldn't trade those moments for all the money, promotions, etc. this world could offer. As mothers we are blessed beyond measure and truly have the best "job" in the world!

On another note, could you share with us some of your plans for Passover? *Hugs*

cmoursler said...

I think it's harder to have a career and then come home. When you have 8 or 9 hours a day when you have your time structured for you, to come home and not have a structure because you haven't been home to create one, that would be truly difficult. A few major differences in situations would be if your children are in school as opposed to homeschooling them, working and then coming home and trying to do everything in four hours etc. Everybody's job is hard in it's own way. I would imagine when my children are finally grown and out of the house, my 16 hour days will reduce and I will have "me" time. A lot of it. I think then I will miss hearing the kids yelling upstairs and finger prints on walls, mirrors, t.vs etc. I am so glad I set aside these years to spend with my kids. They go so fast, one day it will all be a memory. A memory I have invested in. I am creating my children's memories. I am sculpting who they become. There is no more important job.
cm. oursler

Joie said...

So glad you are enjoying being at home with your baby. I elected to take a year off and stay at home when our son was born. It was horrible. The stress and pressure were more intense than at any other time in my life. While I would probably stay home for one year again should we have another child because I believe strongly in breastfeeding and bonding, I hope I would be more prepared for the sort of stress I encountered. When I returned to work after that first year, my depression and anxiety faded. We are all different and there are all sorts of "good" mothers. Also, my husband works as Ph.D. economist and he spends just as much time with our son as I do, maybe more some weeks. He's a great father. He would gladly give up his job to stay home and I think he would be the better parent.

Mrs. Anna T said...


I'm a bit surprised that this post generated so many mean-spirited comments. I don't remember the last time when I was forced to reject so many.

"I think it is kind of silly to make generalized statements about individual situations/choices."

Anne, the thing is, I did NOT make any generalized statements. I didn't say, "stay-at-home wives always have an easier time than their husbands". I merely said that in our family, in our current situation and considering how stressful my husband's job is, it seems I'm doing the less nerve-wracking, although no less important job.

I didn't write a disclaimer saying I don't mean to generalize, because I thought it's kind of obvious.

I cannot possibly compare being home with 7 kids to my husband's work, because *I* don't have 7 kids. Yet. :o)

When we are both tired after a long day and I feel like complaining sometimes, I think, of course, about *my* day versus his, and not about a hypothetical situation some other woman may be facing.

Mrs. Anna T said...


We'll be with my husband's family during the Seder night and the following day, and then there are a few places we would like to visit. The weather is promising to be lovely, and I hope to share some pictures and stories after the holiday.

AnneK said...

ok, Anna I am really really busy today, so I don't want to write a ton, but I went and quickly re-read your post, and I wanted to say this. You were obviously talking from your perspective (don't we all?) and I was seeing it from a more general scenario. I guess what I am trying to say is that I should have paid more attention to your post and since I have no idea of your family sitaution, where your husband works etc, I have to take you at face value when you say your job is easier :) Also, I had just talked on the phone to a dear friend who is a Mommy of 5 and has been really struggling with kids' sickness, allergies, physical therapy, moving, homeschoolling (no kidding), so I guess my reading of your post was a little colored.

But honestly, I wasn't being mean in my head, and I apologize if I hurt you.

Carrie said...

Anna, I couldn't agree with you more--what a privilege to stay home with my precious children!