1. Your boss is always super demanding.
Remember Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada? Being at the beck and call of a toddler is kind of like that except the communication is not so eloquent.
2. You don’t get a lunch break.
When you work outside the home, lunch is an actual break. A salvation. An opportunity to recharge in the middle of the day. Now lunch is an exercise in crisis management. Your child doesn’t like chicken nuggets today. She squirts her squeeze tube of yogurt into her hair. She feeds 90% of her food to the dog. If you manage to prepare yourself something other than what your child is eating (which is rare), don’t even bother trying to sit down to enjoy it.
3. Water cooler talk is one sided.
One of the benefits of going to work is interacting with actual adults. You might discuss current events, the latest workplace gossip, or share your plans for the upcoming weekend. Your conversations as a stay at home mom are mostly repeating yourself over and over with no response until Dad comes home, at which point you’ll be too exhausted to engage in adult discussion anyway.
Remember how exhausting it was when your boss wanted you to work overtime hours? But you’d also be getting paid extra. Yay! As a stay-at-home mom you can expect to work overtime every day until you die, with absolutely no additional incentive. Yay.
5. No dress code.
I used to love getting dressed up for work. I had the cutest little cardigans and slacks. I wore heels because I wanted to. Now? Yoga pants. Every. Damn. Day.
6. The benefits package looks dramatically different.
Sick days? Zero. Vacation Days? That’s hilarious. Medical? Dental? Nope and nope. Unfortunately, laughs and snuggles can’t pay the bills, but the emotional benefit of being a stay-at-home mom is getting to experience every little moment in your child’s life. She said a new word. She took her first steps. She had her first solid turd (and it was adorable). You’ll get to be there for it all.
7. There’s no employee handbook
Nobody can tell you how to do this job, but the good news is, if you mess up, nobody can fire you, either. Job security is pretty much guaranteed. So make it up as you go, and find comfort in the fact that despite the long hours and thankless tasks, you will look at your child each day and feel like you have the best job in the world.
Bio: Michelle Herschend is a former librarian and teacher trying to make the most of her time as a stay-at-home mom. She enjoys reading, decorating, crafting, shopping, experimenting with hair, makeup, and fashion, traveling, trying simple recipes, and watching Real Housewives reruns. You can find her blog online at lillianabbey.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/lillianabbeyblog