The Hard Truth About Being A Working Parent

This site contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click on some links and make a purchase. Click to see the Disclaimer.


Being a parent is a thankless job. But being a working parent may be even more thankless. There’s no end to the tasks of being a parent like wiping noses, changing diapers, dropping kids off at daycare, cleaning, cooking and an endless list of other daily to-dos. Add to that list a day job, and I am blown away by how full a single day must be. This isn’t to say that being a working parent versus a stay-at-home-parent is any more deserving of appreciation, only that there are tons of articles out there about how hard it is to be a stay-at-home-parent (as there should be!) but very few about the sacrifices of being a working parent.

I originally was going to write about working fathers but realized that’s cutting out all of the hard working mothers out there! While I didn’t mean to be exclusive, the inspiration for writing about this topic came from seeing my husband struggle to leave the house this morning to go to work, leaving me and our two sick boys at home.

Chris (my husband) is continually heartbroken what few experiences he can be a part of with his children, especially while they are so young (3-years-old and 4-months-old). He may miss our baby sitting on his own for the first time and our toddler learning to write his first letter. I can only imagine the difficulty of only seeing your kids in the morning and evening, barely enough time to discover how they have changed and what they did and learned every day.

Now, I am a stay-at-home-mom who also works from home on this blog. But, I have the privilege of working for myself, have nobody to answer to and there’s no commute. I’m truly fortunate, though I would never call my life easy.

My husband on the other hand doesn’t have the luxury of staying home (either to work or be a stay-at-home-dad). We need his income to pay the mortgage, buy diapers, pay for doctor visits, and purchase food to eat. Without him doing his long commute, working long hours and then doing another long commute home five days a week, I have no idea how we would survive as a family.

While we have somewhat traditional family roles (working father and stay-at-home-mother), other families may have two working parents with childcare to deal with or a mother who works and a dad that stays home with the kids. No one combination will work for every family. I’m sure that if I could make more money than my husband, I would be the main working parent. Also, if childcare wasn’t so expensive where I live, we may both be working with our kids in daycare or with a nanny.

What I do continually see is the working parent struggling to master being a parent with the limited time he or she has to devote to their children. Each month (and sometimes each day) brings changes and new challenges as kids learn and develop new skills and emotions. Even if you stay home to care for your children, it’s hard to keep up with them!

So, to the working parents, thank you. Thank you for supporting your family by sacrificing your time and energy away from your kids, for loving your family enough to work even when it’s hard. Thank you for providing stability for your family. Thank you for trying as hard as you can to be a good parent in the, sometimes, limited time you have with your children. Thank you to all working moms and dads for doing their best for their kids no matter what.

Other articles you may like:

Enjoy this post? Please pin it!

30 thoughts on “The Hard Truth About Being A Working Parent”

  1. Thanks for this article on working parents. You make a lot of good points on the struggles working parents face. I am a working parent and so is my husband. For me, I think I am a better parent because I work out of the house. I am lucky that I still see my kids for 4 hours every day after I get home from work. If I only saw them for an hour or so, that would be a struggle and I know this is the case for many working parents.

    1. My boys see their dad for a bit in the morning and then a little over an hour at night. I’m so glad you get so much time with your kids! On behalf of your children, thank you for everything you do!

  2. Yes, working parents deserve some serious respect. I count my blessings daily because I am not sure how I would do it if I were working too.

  3. Hi! It’s so thoughtful of you to consider how your hubby feels about being the working parent. Often mom’s focus on how hard her day is without realizing her partner’s day may be just as hard. I feel like both parents make sacrifices in his/her own way and it’s nice that you have brought up the sacrifices of the working parent.

    1. It’s very true that everyone makes sacrifices for their family and kids. While I work from home as a blogger, I can at least be there with my kids. I can only imagine how hard it would be working outside of the home (for either parent!).

  4. Working parents do have it rough. I am grateful that like you I get to stay home and work on my blog. I am grateful for my husband who does!

  5. This is so true! Definitely have to remember to look from the working parents perspective. Sometimes I complain about a bad day at home when he wishes he was home, and sometimes he complains about having to leave the house when I have cabin fever!

    1. We have the same issue. And if I’m wiped out at the end of the day, my husband comes home and I want immediate help. It’s challenging on both sides!

  6. There’s so much truth in this. Being a SAHM isn’t easy but it’s a choice I made because going to work seemed even harder. I watch my husband try to balance it all and I know it has to be hard.

  7. Lisa @

    This is so true. My husband works and doesn’t have a ton of time with our son. I always feel bad when he has to discipline him or any time he cant do something fun and enjoyable because he has so little time with him.

  8. So so so agree on that! If not for the working parent, I wouldn’t get to see my children growing up and experiencing their first time together too. Being a parent, no matter working or not, is tough but rewarding!

  9. Being a parent definitely is hard, no matter what the situation. I think part of the difficulty is that we don’t have much support/tribe and all of every responsibility falls on the parents. If family is nearby or if one has extra help, then diverse experiences help enrich child’s life and also give the parents a much needed break.
    Parenting definitely gets easier as kids get older though. We try to enjoy these moments because childhood really does go fast!

    1. I really wish we lived closer to family (they are all at least 3 hours away) so we could get some help when needed and our kids could know each other better. But I am trying to make friends to have a tribe closer by!

  10. Yes. So much yes. I’m primarily a stay at home parent, but with periods of full time employment for a few months a year. It is exhausting to work all day only to come home and have to find the energy to do the chores, and interact positively with the kids. Although I LOVE getting lunch breaks at work and time with adults, it really is tiring to balance life and work.

    1. I work on this blog and feel so bad taking time away from the kids. I seriously can only imagine having to go to a work away from home and leaving the littles behind. However, it must be great to have time to be an adult, not just a mom with mom friends to interact with during the day! There are benefits and hardships both ways.

  11. I love this. It’s so true! It’s a reminder of how strong us women are, working, staying at home, it’s all hard. And we do it all for our family and the love we have for our babies. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you for acknowledging the sacrifices and long days of working parents. I was a working mom for six years before circumstances allowed me to choose to stay at home with my kids. I am grateful to be able to see every first moment with out youngest, but also incredibly thankful to the support I had as a working parent and the enormous amounts of love that my older two received at their daycare. Great post!

    1. I’m sure I’d be working if we could afford childcare (it would basically eat any paycheck I received). And that would be for the “cheap” childcare that would worry me about the type of care they receive. I’m so glad your older two received great childcare!

  13. This really brought things home for what my other half goes through. It’s not easy and I’m sure it’s going to get a lot tougher as my little ones get better sleep routines and go to bed earlier.

  14. This article hits home. My husband has been having the struggles you speak of. It was really brought to life when we went on a recent vacation and he was able to spend so much time with our little girl. Luckily, he has a job that is a bit more flexibile. He trys his best to come home earlier in the evening and that works more once she goes to bed.

    1. Exactly! I wanted to thank working parents for sacrificing their time to work and support their family. As a stay-at-home-mom (who is turning into a work-at-home-mom), my topics are mostly about what my life is like. But there’s this whole other side of the family whose experience is completely different.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *