7 Awesome Working Mom Benefits In Going Back To The Office After Being A SAHM

Office Work Area June 2011 - TreesI have been in and out of the workforce since my first child was born.  While in my heart I most identify with SAHMs and want to be at home with my kids myself, I also feel pulled — financially and emotionally — to pursue my legal career.  Ninety percent of the time I complain about it, but there are definitely pluses that I remind myself of on a daily basis, from the invaluable to the frivolously fabulous.

  1. Free health insurance, including dental.  When I’m not working (or freelance writing only) we have to purchase our own health insurance, but at my other jobs it’s one of the package benefits.  Having dental insurance is a luxury that makes me feel like a queen.  Pretty much the day it goes into effect I have appointments for me and both my kids at the dentist’s office.
  2. Snacks.  I would have said meals, but the truth is I’m usually too busy to have a real meal as I attempt to jam all my work into as few hours as possible so I can get home.  But snacks are aplenty.  I have a stash hidden in my desk that I am free to eat whenever I want, not just when my kids are in the other room.  Sometimes I take a few out on my desk and let them sit there in plain sight knowing no one is going to try to snatch them.
  3. Bathroom.  Alone.  With the door shut.  For as long as I want.
  4. Getting dressed up.  I lived in a t-shirt and jeans every single day I was home, but it feels pretty good to put on a nice outfit, wear a necklace without worrying about smacking someone in the face when picking them up or getting choked by that same necklace while carrying the little devils.
  5. Adult conversation.  I never ever used a baby voice with my kids and always treated them in conversation like little adults.  Still, our topics were limited.  At the office I can chat about “Orange Is The New Black” and “Ray Donovan” without censoring myself.
  6. Steady paycheck.  As a freelance writer my income was directly related to my hustle. If I was sick or stressed and didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted, my paycheck would see the immediate effects.  Now I could probably sit in my office for weeks or months eating cupcakes and doing as little work as possible before anyone figured out how to fire me.  In the meantime, direct deposit.
  7. Non-negotiable support.  My husband is an amazing partner, but the two of us are one unit. There is a necessary give-and-take, compromise and reciprocity to our schedules and division of labor.  At work, there are entire departments dedicated to supporting me (well, not just me).  Document production, mail services, food services, not to mention my amazing shared secretary.  I can walk up to these people and just ask for what I need.  No one asks in return when they can have time to go for a run or who is going to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy.  It’s glorious.

(photo: rodvaughn)

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  • MoD

    I really missed getting dressed up. There was just no point when I was still home. I didn’t even put on a bra, what’s the point? It was just one more obstacle in the way of getting my boob in baby’s mouth. I lived in sweats and stained tank tops and was pretty gross looking. I probably smelled funny, too.

    Now I get up every morning and curl my hair and wear make up and grown up office-type clothes. I always forget what a difference it makes for my self esteem to not look like a bag lady.

    Also, paycheck.

  • Coby

    To get all sappy, it also helps to have a door to close when you need to get a little weepy. I had to do that on several occasions (and still do, NEGL).

    And a hearty resounding AMEN to health insurance. I’m the carrier for our family, and the costs of paying out of pocket for anything meaningful are extraordinary. :(

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I am a big fan of my lunch hour. Sure, on busy days I do the eat at my desk thing, but I try as much as possible to get out of the office, go for a walk and eat lunch. I can eat whatever I want without thinking about having to share (spicy!!!!), I can walk around with just my wallet and phone in a small purse instead of carting around my bag with snacks and water and whatever else, I can make phone calls without being interrupted…it’s great.

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  • Kelby Johnson

    I’m kinda at a crossroads. I’ve been at home for the past 5 years. My work history before that is kinda spotty. I’m now finding it hard to find an employer willing to give me a chance. I really hope I find something soon, I’m so ready to go back to work!!!

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