The Grass is Always Greener…

As a working mom, I wake up each day and think, “Oh, I just want to stay home with her today.” I’m very lucky to be able to do that one morning and another full day per week. However, there are many days (especially Mondays) when the drop off at daycare results in me wanting to stay and play with Jessa and all her little friends. They wouldn’t miss me too much at work, right? 🙂


Going to work is hard. But you know what else is hard? Staying home with your children. I have been a working mom long enough and am friends with enough stay-at-home-moms that I realize that the grass is often greener on the other side of the fence. I don’t mean that SAHMs wish they weren’t home with their children. However, many of them wish they had a little more time with adults. And I also would never say that all working moms want to stay at home, as work is fulfilling and can be an important part of life. However, I doubt I’m wrong in saying that each mom wonders what life would be like if the work/home life were different.

My husband and I have discussed what my work schedule could/may be like after we have another child. Daycare is PRICEY, and one must make sure that the proper balance is found. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to work less when another baby comes. However, do I want to be SAHM? Not really. To be honest, I feel that I would be “wasting” the degree I worked a long time to get.  Another reason I like work is that I love getting to hang around with other adults (and other kids!) from time to time!

I regret to say that I often spend my one full day at home during the week worrying about all of the paperwork I need to do for work. I received great advice about a year ago that I should always try to “be present” in everything, whether that be at work or when playing with Jessa. However, I find that my mind is often drifting back to work obligations. That is a bummer but something I have had a hard time changing. I guess that is something to work on!

I’m hoping that I will find the correct work/home balance and spend more time “being present” while playing at home. As I write this it is Sunday evening. I was out of town, away from J, all weekend. I would give anything for tomorrow to not be Monday! Oh, how I am jealous of you SAHMs right about now!



Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. I think you’ve nailed the existential dilemma of working moms. I still work 100% time and I struggle with it because I find my work really rewarding and I absolutely love what I do. Plus, leaving the workforce in my line of work would make returning REALLY hard because it moves so fast. But I’d love to work 4 days a week instead of 5. Just one more day with my babies feels like it would make all the difference. I recognize that staying home is hard too, but having never experienced it, it’s much harder for me to understand the difficulties that come with being a SAHM. To me it sounds like luxury, though I know it isn’t. 🙂 All in all, you’re right — the grass is always greener on the other side. 🙂

    • I have to say, I’m not sure how I would get ANYTHING done if I worked completely full time instead of 80%! Props to you!

  2. Thank you for this well timed article!! At this time, some of the mom’s from my daughters preschool class have been coordinating play dates with eachother, almost daily. I’m always on the invite, since my daughter was part of the same group, and a number of the same moms/kids show up to the planned event. My thought this morning was – “where do these women have the time to do this multiple times a week???!!!! I work 8-430 M-F, and we will never (without the strategically timed stay-cation day) be able to participate in these activities. Boy, I wish I had more time off.” As my 2 year old son guilt trips me by telling me he misses me while I’m at work, I wonder, are we really better off me working full time? The answer is yes – financially speaking, I don’t have an option. But honestly, I wouldn’t be a good SAHM. I’m not particiularly outgoing, and non-work related social settings make me apprehensive. I’m not sure I’d be good at participating in these mommy play groups often enough to make up for the socialization they get in a daycare/preschool setting. I’ve never wanted to be a SAHM. It just never made sense for me. But I’d love to be able to afford working 50-75% time, instead of a 100%. My dream job was always on a part-time basis. I love my job, and while I miss my babies during the day – it helps me keep my sanity. For our family, what we have makes sense, though maybe I will be better at taking days off here and there, while they are still young and want to spend the time with me….

  3. Funny that my husband and I were talking this morning, and he was just talking about how he really needs a “stay-cation”! I suppose that I forget about him wanting to spend a bit more time at home as well

    I, too, struggle with the desire to hang out with other moms (at times). I always feel like my days off go much faster when I have things planned, so I tend to be lame and stick around the house! I know that Jessa gets a ton of socialization at daycare, and I honestly get a lot of socialization at work! Haha.


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