Is it harder being a stay at home mum or a working mum?

Publish Date
Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 12:00PM

We all know being a parent is hard work ...

And according to a recent study, being a mother is the equivalent of working 2.5 full-time jobs!

But which is actually harder? Being a working parent or one who stays at home with the kids?

We asked your thoughts in a poll on the Sarah, Sam and Toni Facebook page and the response was huge! 

At the time of publishing this article, 62 per cent of you thought that being a stay at home caregiver was a harder job than working full time.

However, opinions were still very divided on this topic, with many adding that both were hard, especially when it came to being a solo parent.

Stay-at-home parenting is harder

"At work, you know what you are doing. You can go to the toilet in peace at work. You stay clean, you have structure. At home every day is different. There are loads of things to do. Someone requires your constant attention. Once those daytime sleeps disappear life is hellish." - Carleen

"Stay at home single parent is even harder!" Shontel 


"I went back to work for my sanity. I couldn't cope at home. I never thought I would prefer work!" - Janet

"I am a medical professional working full time in a busy public hospital. I go to work to have a break from my three kids and also for the intellectual stimulation. Work is something I do for me. Whereas when I was a stay at home parent on parental leave it was just constantly 'give give give' and often felt like Groundhog Day." - Eunicia

Working full-time while parenting is harder

"I believe that being a working mum is more difficult. You have to do what you usually do around the house and with the kids as well as work outside the home. And days when your kids are sick and you have to take time off from work are even more difficult and stressful. When I was a stay at home mum I obviously didn't have that worry." - Natalie

"Working full-time being a single parent [is harder]. Kids end up spending more time in daycare or kindy than spending the quality time with you."Amy


"Full-time work and being a parent [is tricky] especially when your job has a demanding workload, after hours meetings, weekend expectations occasionally." - Kim

"As a working mum, you’re expected to work like you don’t have children and still raise your children like you don’t work. Still have to do the cooking, cleaning and caring before and after a full day working." - Jess

Both are just as hard as the other

"It’s apples and oranges. You can’t compare. One is isolating, the other is guilt-inducing. One ensures you’re right there through every milestone, the other ensures you’re maintaining your independence. You’re damned either way. Parenting is a beautiful bloody slog!" - Liv


"They are both hard. Parenting is no walk in the park no matter which way you choose to do it." - Rachael

"I think they both have their challenges. What I think is hardest is the judgment we feel about either choice." - Karen