I have been in and out of the workforce since my first child was born. Â 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. Â 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.
- Free health insurance, including dental. Â 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. Â Having dental insurance is a luxury that makes me feel like a queen. Â Pretty much the day it goes into effect I have appointments for me and both my kids at the dentist’s office.
- Snacks. Â 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. Â But snacks are aplenty. Â 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. Â 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.
- Bathroom. Â Alone. Â With the door shut. Â For as long as I want.
- Getting dressed up. Â 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.
- Adult conversation. Â I never ever used a baby voice with my kids and always treated them in conversation like little adults. Â Still, our topics were limited. Â At the office I can chat about “Orange Is The New Black” and “Ray Donovan” without censoring myself.
- Steady paycheck. Â 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. Â 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. Â In the meantime, direct deposit.
- Non-negotiable support. Â 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. Â At work, there are entire departments dedicated to supporting me (well, not just me). Â Document production, mail services, food services, not to mention my amazing shared secretary. Â I can walk up to these people and just ask for what I need. Â 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. Â It’s glorious.