Pros and cons: working full time vs part time

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
4549 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I have done this. 

I worked full time for many years, and then after marrying have transitioned to three days a week. We have no children, and I am not currently studying.

I will confess to being the one who does most of the ‘stuff’ around home, cooking, cleaning, shopping. This is because my Husbands work does not allow much time off, and he works about 70 hours a week, so has very little down time. I feel like we contribute equally to the household, just in different ways.

The cons are only about the $. We are in a fortunate position to have nil debt in our 30’s, so this isn’t a great issue for us. My wage is also pretty decent, and I have friends who work full time who still don’t make the same as I do in my 3 days.

The pros, stuff gets done. My husbands stress is reduced as he knows he can concentrate on his work, and my stress is reduced as my job is stupidly challenging emotionally, and three days is a great balance. I never want to NOT work, as I feel it is a good thing to make my own money. I will say that if we would have had children I would feel differently on this point though.

I do find I cop a little flack for how we have chosen to live our lives. But it works. My sense of identity is not tied to what I do, so I feel the decision is the perfect one for us.


Post # 3
2631 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

whytneynicole :  My Fiance and I just moved for a new job for him. The first job I got was part time nannying. I was really struggling with the idea of only working part time (it was only for a month lol) and I had this financial breakdown and just started crying saying I wasn’t holding my weight. My Fiance told me he makes plenty of money for both of us and he appreciates how he doesn’t have to lift a finger around the house (I do 100% of the laundry, I cook every night and I do all of the cleaning). He made a good point and said in a couple of months, our money will be combined so I didn’t need to worry about my “contribution.”

I was only doing part time for about a month and I got a recruiting job (working from home) so I’ve been wokring full time since February. Since I work from home afternoons, I can do laundry, put dishes away, etc. no problem. But there are definitely days I feel “behind.”

I say if you and your Darling Husband are on the same page, go for it! It definitely makes for a less stressful relationship and gives you two more time to enjoy each other smile

And btw I’m a pretty opinionated feminist and I think the whole feminist arguement is to do what makes you happy and support other women smile

Post # 4
298 posts
Helper bee

I think if you can afford to cut back your hours and that’s what you want to do and will make you happy go for it! Life is too short to not do what you want and what makes you happy! I have the outlook of “work to live” vs “live to work” and if you can make it without working as much that’s even better!

Post # 5
4060 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m a feminist, and I’m definitely not raging about the division of labor in your house.

Post # 6
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

If it is financially feasible, I’d totally go for it. I recently passed on a promotion to a new department at work, because it would have included a LOT more travel and a LOT more hours, for a bit more money. Darling Husband and I both agreed that it just wasn’t worth the tradeoffs. I like to be home. I like cooking almost every night, cleaning, and just adding to the general enjoyment of our lives by keeping the house up. My husband makes more than me, and financially we don’t NEED the extra income I would have earned from my promotion.

Some people at work thought I was nuts for turning it down because it’s a ‘dream role’. Maybe for others, but not for me! If working part time is financially feasible for you guys, I don’t think it is bad at all. 

At some point, the more you work, the more you outsource and pay someone else to do. Like a cleaning service, daycare, laundry service, lawn mowing service, contractors to upgrade things around the house, etc. 

Post # 7
9982 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I’ve pretty much worked full time since so was 15/16 years old and on occasion held down a full time job and a part time job just because I had the time and wanted to.

For me personally, I can’t imagine not working full time. What would I do?! I’d probably end up broke and fat cause I would spend all my time shopping and eating! I think if I were in the situation that you and your husband are in my ideal dream would be to quit my full time job and find another full time “passion” job. It would be so nice to take a job I enjoy and want to do instead of picking a job based on pay and benefits. I would teach art classes or work at the pickle factory!

Post # 8
9042 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

whytneynicole :  I am doing this at the end of the year, going from fulltime to parttime to retired in another two years (early retirement, I am no where near retirement age but I have a terminal illness and plan not to work til I die). 

I think most posters, yourself included, have covered the pros (work/life balance etc etc) but the cons that I can see are:

– missing out on career advancement. It sucks but parttimers are often overlooked for promotion/progression. A lot of businesses only invest in FT employees. I think it is something you need to think about.

– possibility of isolation/going stir crazy. This won’t affect everyone but if you are a really social and/or a busy busy person then having time to spare can be an adjustment. You can see this is how some women need to go back to work for their own sanity after having a baby whilst some women are just happy and content. It is a personality thing and something to consider.

– less disposable income (not always)

– division of household labour. The lionshare of the work will fall onto you. Do you want that? Is being the majority homemaker the life you want. Basically swapping fulltime employment outside of the home for parttime outside of the home and possibly fulltime in the home.

– resentment in relationship. This can go two ways, the stay at home resents the person leaving the household or resents the time that person spends away from the home (like if they go out with friends after work and the stay at home feels they should come straight home because they have been home alone all day) or the fulltime worker resents the stay at homes down time, questions what they do all day etc. 

Just stuff that is worth discussing and considering. 

Post # 9
649 posts
Busy bee

whytneynicole :  I’ve worked part time, stayed at home, and I’m happiest working full time.  I have flex hours and the ability to work from home a couple days a week.  My husband also has flexibility with his schedule, but works longer hours and occasional weekends playing catch up.  The highest earning and happy years for me have been after becoming a mother.  My son is in a fantastic private preschool and I’m very fulfilled at work.  It’s a very personal choice, but for my family we’ve found a balance that works. I still make dinner regularly and make time for date nights.  Disclaimer: I’m a type A personality and we hire housecleaners which contributes to making it all work for our family. 

Post # 10
49 posts

Hi! I’m 26 and work part time and have no kids (although we have a baby on the way now so that will soon change). I worked full time after graduating college and absolutely hated it. Mind you I still felt responsible for all of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. even though my husband would help out when I would ask. But I hated asking for help and it drove me mad that he didn’t just know to do something that needed to be done. He also works A LOT and is very distracted by his work because he pretty much has to be attentive 24/7.

After 8 months of working full time I was coming home crying almost every day from work. I was exhausted and felt like I had no time to do anything fun. When I would go out and see people or do leisurely activity all I could think about was everything that I had to get done. My husband and I had a lot of conversations about me going part time. At first he was hesitant but when he saw just how miserable I really was he got 100% on board. Honestly he just didn’t want to lose out on the portion of my income that we would lose (and I totally understood, I hated to see it go too!). 

At my year mark of working full time I was lucky enough that my work let me go part time. I now work 3 days, 24 hours. It is absolutely amazing. Hands down the best decision that we have ever made and I am so lucky that we are able to work it out. If I still worked full time, yes, we would have a lot more money and we could afford to build a nice new house and have expensive things. Right now my husbands salary can pay our bills plus a small amount more and my income is a great supplement for extra things and savings. But neither of us need a big new house or fancy things. 

We have both loved me being home more. I like it because I can do everything the way that I like it to be done. My husband likes it because I do pretty much everything around the house and he doesn’t have to worry about it. It works perfect for us.

Just be aware that you get a lot of judgement when you go part time and don’t have kids. People basically don’t understand what you could possibly do on your days off lol. It was annoying at first but you get over it. I don’t really care what people think 🙂

Post # 11
123 posts
Blushing bee

Interesting topic, and something we have discussed as well – not us, the issue is that he is military and career-minded. Me? Less so. For me, it’s more about feeling fulfilled, and I have several different interests and ways I could be involved in the world. I have volunteering interests and experience. I manage some online websites. I’m open to studying something new. I enjoy some general housework and love to organize. I like kids. For me, there are more opportunities and ways to feel fulfilled, and I really don’t mind the idea of work half time and taking care of our home. For us, the issue is money. Period. If we are at a point where I don’t NEED to work full time, then great. He doesn’t mind contributing to the home and helping with dinners, but I have more experience with it and let’s face it, I’m more ‘nesty’ than him.


Plus, we both have student loan debt.

Debt sucks.

We pay like $1500 total per month to student loans.


If you guys can realistically afford it and you feel it would provide a better balance, then go for it. I do think other ladies in here brought up some great points for the long term, as well!


Post # 13
1555 posts
Bumble bee

whytneynicole :  that’s sounds wonderful, I am going part time soon too, from 5 full days a week to 3. I plan to study a course I’ve wanted to do for ages, and spend more time caring for my ageing grandparents. Then next year TTC. I’m so excited and grateful but haven’t told any of my friends or family yet because I’m afraid of being judged negatively. I hate the thought of people thinking me lazy and mooching off my husband 🙁 everyone I know works very long hours and are high income earners so it shall be interesting. How about you, have you told people your plans?


Post # 14
1184 posts
Bumble bee


Full time: money!

Part time: time! 

Obvs it’s more detailed than that but for me that’s what it boils down to. Which do you value more? 


Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors