1. Lunch breaks and going to the bathroom alone.
There is a reason I listed this as #1. After three years at home with my small children, it was fabulous to be able to sit silently at my desk eating my lunch and playing on the internet. And there is something very liberating about deciding you have to poop and just going for it instead of settling small people in front of Sesame Street with a pile of Cheerios first.
2. You can make friends. Or at least there are grown-ups to talk to.
As long as you don't work with giant ass-hats, you can make friends at work and have someone to talk to everyday. I have a work BFF and I would be lost without her- she has kids too and chatting with her is one of the best parts of my day. Getting to communicate with grown-ups at all is pretty thrilling after a few years of trying to make small talk with someone who reaches into their diaper to touch their own poop.
3. Making your own money is kind of awesome.
I know my husband never saw it that way, but when I was not working outside of the home, I felt like our money was not totally mine. I hesitated to spend much on myself because I felt guilty. Bringing home the bacon makes me feel more justified in getting the occasional pedicure or new outfit.
4. Getting out of the house every day and dressing nicely feels good.
I like leaving for work in the morning feeling put-together and halfway attractive. It gives me a sense of confidence.
5. Your kids get a ton of positive things out of going to daycare.
This could be it's own post, truly. I am a good mother and I worked hard at being a stay-at-home mom but daycare has truly brought out the best in my kids. Their teachers let them try things on their own that I might not have the patience to allow, they learn a ton, they make friends- it is just all-around awesome.
6. You have a sense of accomplishment separate from being a parent.
Much like Lady Gaga, I totally live for the applause-plause. I am kind of like a dog in that I need treats and praise and little kids don't really offer that. Performance appraisals and merit increases are definitely my jam.
7. You get the chance to miss your kids.
I would never say I took my kids for granted when I stayed at home but being away from them definitely makes me appreciate being with them a lot more. I know it was always there when I stayed at home but there is something about hopping out of the car at daycare pick-up and speed-walking my way in so I can see my babies come running up to me. It is basically the best part of my day.
8. Your house tends to stay neater if people are not in it all day effing it up.
My house is far from perfect but if I manage to tidy up the night before, I generally come home to a clean house the next evening because there is no one at home all day making food, taking poops and ditching dirty laundry all over the place. Unless my jackass dog chews up a crayon and spits it out on the carpet, I come home to what I left at 7am.
9. Being on a busy schedule can be very good for you.
In general, I eat better and sleep better when I am working. Staying on a predictable schedule is easier for me when I have somewhere I have to be and it's great for my diet when that somewhere does not include my kitchen cupboards where I can graze all day.
10. It helps you not sweat the small stuff.
I have so much on my plate between my full-time job, writing for Mommyish (the best kind of busy, but busy nevertheless) and trying to take care of my house, be a good mother and wife and attempt to do the gym, read a book now and then and keep up on friendships. I hardly have time to sweat the big stuff let alone the small and that is better for everyone around me.
You can reach this post’s author, Valerie Williams, on Twitter or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org