Is it harder to be a working mother or a stay at home mother?
If you are one of the lucky people who can choose to be home or working, you learn they are both hard. Once I realized it is a lose-lose situation, I became much more relaxed.
If you stay home all the time, you feel like you are wasting your talents and teaching your kids that mothers are like servants for the household. You do not have extra money, and isn't that why you went to 8 years of school, so you could indulge in a haircut or a dinner out? However, you feel like a saint with an actual halo because your entire day is service for others, with no pay or appreciation. This is why stay-at-homers can be rather sanctimonious, and if they are breastfeeding, it is even more extreme.
If you work a little bit, your job likely is unrewarding, like they are doing you a favor by having you, and you constantly have to prove your worth. If you miss one event at home, you feel devastated, because the whole point is to not miss out. Why work and make a few dollars for the household, when you had to miss your daughter's first concert? Also, you still have to do 100% of the household work, because your husband thinks a part time job is like a hobby that you do for fun.
If you work full time, your job is likely more rewarding, in money and intangibles. You have a chance of climbing the ladder, and you have time to get really good at what you do. Your family has financial stability, especially if both parents work. However, you feel guilty if you make extra money, and you worry that you are teaching your kids that money is the most important thing. All of your spare time is spent with your kids, and your spouse goes to the very back burner in all areas. The idea of an adults-only vacation is a joke(too much guilt), same with girls nights out or time alone.
Most people do not have a true choice to make in this area. Their job does not pay enough for them to work, or they cannot afford child care, or they hate their job, or they go crazy at home, or their spouse does not work, or their spouse works too much and out of town...most people do what they need to do and make it work for the family.