While I was working, I thought that it was a much easier job to be at a full-time job than it was to be a stay-at-home parent. A worker gets a break from work at home, and a break from home at work (a work-at-home parent gets neither). Ofcourse the worker also carries the stress from home to work and vice versa.
Now that I'm temporarily an SAHM, I'm amazed that I used to do most of what I do now, and go to the office. I guess the grass always appears greener on my side of the fence to me. But I can still see why SAHMhood is harder - I'm guessing that we get a lot less appreciation for what we do at home.
Most people realize that you are working hard if you are doing something "important" (meaning it pays real money). Well, taking care of a home and a child is hard work. There is no evidence of the results of the work at the end of the day - the meals are eaten and gone, the cleaned dirty dishes are dirty again, the cleaned up living room is sprinkled with crayons and crumbs and scraps of paper again. All the moments that had been spent making a child happy - the visits to park, the coloring done together, the dressing of the dolls - are gone (hopefully deposited into a happy memories piggy bank somewhere), and all that is left is a cranky sleepy child.
There are no reviews on paper to tell you what a good job you've done. Everybody needs appreciation and acknowledgement of what they do, even if they already know that they are working hard. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad and are reading this, here is my review. You are doing great at an amazing, demanding, challenging job, and the adorable evidence to this is growing in front of your eyes.