My First Day of Work

On the eve of my first day of work at my new job, I’ve already laid out my first day of work outfit, packed my first day of work lunch, set aside my favorite mug for the first day of work coffee, and cleaned out my car for the first day of work commute. I am so ready for this.

No, I’m not.

Being a stay-at-home mom has been my job for three and a half years. During this time, I found myself. I discovered some hidden talents, like that I tell some amazing bedtime stories and have a flair for organizing. I learned how to cook and I started writing again. I found that I can go for the long haul on half a tank. I started a blog. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin without wearing make-up and learned that I could actually go three days without a shower. I am good at making due with what I have.

But, now it’s time. I’m heading back to the big exciting and scary world of outside the home employment. I’ve done this before… I can do it again. Except this time, I have a better appreciation of both the pros and the cons of being a working mom…


• While at work, I will be called by my real name. I am not required to answer to mommy, mom, mama, or ma.

• My co-workers are responsible for their own lunches, tying their own shoes, and putting on their own coats.

• I will not have to wipe another person’s butt or nose for eight hours a day, five days a week.

• No one will bang on the door and cry while I’m in the bathroom.

• I can listen to my music while in the car twice a day.

• No cartoons.

• I can carry on an adult conversation without having to stop to yell at a kid for writing on the walls.

• I won’t have to share my computer so someone else can play Nick Jr. games.

• I’m not the boss.


• No farting, belching, or scratching while at work.

• Yoga pants and pajamas are not appropriate work attire.

• Hiding in the closet to eat a chocolate bar is frowned upon. (Maybe that should go into the pro column.)

• I’ll have to wear a bra consistently for at least 8 hours a day.

• No naps.

• A swish of coffee is no longer an acceptable form of mouthwash.

• No eating the leftovers off of co-workers’ plates.

• I cannot end an inter-office disagreement with “because I said so, that’s why!”

• Co-workers do not earn a “time-out” if they make me mad.

• I’ll have to leave the house on rainy days, extra cold days, and bloated days.

• I’ll miss the little buggers.

• I’m not the boss.

To my fellow employed moms: I am looking forward to joining the ranks of the exhausted, over-caffeinated, warriors of the professional world. Wish me luck!

To my fellow stay at home moms: Continue to hold down the fort and know that I respect the tremendous amount of work you do everyday. Wear your yoga pants with pride for me.

About the writer

Terese Lavallee is a 30-something year old mother of two who chronicles making good people out of messy, illogical, needy little creatures (aka children) in her blog, You'll Be Fine. I Promise. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter as @youllbefineblog and Pinterest.


alelue 3 years ago

That’s very true! I’m a SAHM but have worked part time a little bit but I couldn’t handle being away from my LIl One. Working after you have a child is definitely different.

Tell Another Mom 3 years ago

This post is great for two reasons, it shows a mother opening up and being honest about her anxieties about working outside the home full time. Some of the comments show the nastiness and judgment that some mothers are often exposed to. As mothers, we should all be supporting one another not knocking each other down. Moms have enough to worry about without having to stress about the judgment from other moms. Tell another mom that she’s doing a great job… not that she’s a part time mother. Terese… you are a good mom, and I hope you had a great first day (and you managed to keep your bra on for the whole 8 hours!)

Woolies 3 years ago

It’s the wearing a bra 8 hours a day that got me. I work from home, and when I have to go out in public and put on that damn thing, I HATE it. Let them swing freely! :)

Catina 3 years ago

I’m a (parttime) working mother of two and I think being a stay-at home-mother is the hardest job in the world and I LOVE going to work. Except sometimes I forget I am at work and fart! Good luck!

Mercy 3 years ago

I’m currently a SAHM but once a week I work outside the house for a few hours. I actually look forward to it since it is the only break I get from all of them. And I do look forward to the day when my kids are all in school and I’ll be able to take on a part time job. It will be good for my sanity. :)

And I must say something to Sue up there who is stirring up a ruckus: a mom who gives her all to her children, either through being home with them or working to support them, is a full-time mom. How can you say someone who isn’t with their kids all the time is a part time mom? So are you saying I’m on my way to being a part time mom because I want to work? Or that my sister, who has six kids, is now a part time mom because she chose to stop home schooling and put her older 3 in public school because she was worn out? And because she also had to take on a part time job to support her kids? Please think before you begin insulting other moms who are doing the best they can.

Leslie 3 years ago

One of my favorite things about my office work is being called by my real name. And, generally I answer the first time because I know they ACTUALLY need to talk to me at that moment.

Of course, now that I have learned from Sue all of the different ways I have failed humanity and society as a whole by not thinking the way she thought when she raised kids 30 years ago, I’m totally going to restructure my family’s life and go back to doing everything the way she did it. The style of the delivery of her opinion is what converted me instantly. To do it right, we will have a Commodore 64 computer, Atari game system, drive a Mercury Sable station wagon that gets 14 miles to the gallon, shop at Uptons, and write in a vote for Ronald Reagan in the election. I’m sure that I could provide all of the arts and music, literature, critical thinking, history, math, economics, government, grammar, sports and health, anatomy, chemistry, biology, and social education that a school environment would provide.

Actually, I’m fairly certain that Sue is a made-up person fronting for a weird-o who gets their jollies stirring up the poop on the interwebs. That and prepping for the apocalypse.

    Aunt D 3 years ago

    haha! Uptons – that takes me way back! great response

Cassie 3 years ago

I can relate to the yoga pants con. I go back to work in 6 weeks, and that is really all that I’m dreading about it. I have gotten used to the feel of stretchy fabric and over-sized t-shirts. Being the boss is exhausting, but I think I will have a hard time listening to someone else for a while.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    My secret? Find pants that have a little spandex in them… they’re not yoga pants, but at least there is a bit of stretch to them.

    I dive into my yoga pants and t-shirts as soon as I get home. It’s sweet relief. :) Good luck to you!!

joel 3 years ago

Sorry…I meant every judgmental person I know is also very unhappy…its a pain writing on a phone. But you are a terrible person…no mistype on that one.

Joel 3 years ago


You seem to be a very narrow-minded and terrible person. I can’t imagine the kind of unhappy person that would say “I wouldn’t call you moms”, to other women who are doing everything they can to financially support her family and raise her children to have a high-moral standing and be productive members of society.

You also don’t seem to appreciate the fact that economic conditions and the cost of living is far different than it was in the 80’s, when you left you 6 figure salary. Its ignorant to compare raising small children in the 1980’s with raising them in the 2010’s.

Personally, as a man, husband and father, no words can possibly express the gratitude and love I feel for my wife who has to work full time, take care of our children and our house. My job has odd hours and I’m in class to improve our family’s life. I don’t know of anyone more devoted to family than my wife…and she doesn’t have to give up her job to prove it.

What you say is a complete slap in the face to working moms everywhere who are doing all they can to raise their children while providing for their family.

Just remember, you are a terrible person. I say that because you are so judgemental, and every judgmental person I know is also very happy. I feel sorry for you Sue and I hope that one day you can let go of whatever resentment you are harboring and find happiness. (And don’t say you aren’t resentful…your attack on working moms and teachers proves otherwise.)

Francine 3 years ago


I see there is no reasoning with you and I feel sorry for you that you are so simple minded that you feel that it’s “your way or the highway”. As fellow mothers we should be supportive of each other no matter what our financial or,social situations or parenting methods are. I am being the best mother that I can be as is every other mother that will read this post. I go to bed every night assured that my children and safe, happy, and loved.

You are obviously going for the jugular, and it that’s what makes you happy and so be it. I, on the other hand, am going to take the high road and agree to disagree with you.

Ashley 3 years ago

“But, I wouldn’t call you moms” Sue, that’s just mean.

Sue 3 years ago

I can see that most of you are feeling threatened because you’ve spent your lives thinking children only need part-time moms.

Based upon your very hostile reactions to confronting the truth about choosing career over children, I think the title of this blog is very correct.

And no, my children are very productive, well-educated taxpayers, probably being taxed for all the additional public services your kids will need because they didn’t get the care they needed when it really mattered.

You guys really are scary!

But, I wouldn’t call you moms.

    Aunt D 3 years ago

    Oh, hell no.

Francine 3 years ago

Alright Sue, you should really get off of this site and and possibly the internet all together. How dare you criticize working mothers for “choosing to work”? It’s not a choice, it’s either work to support my children by paying the mortgage and providing food and clothing for them or live in a cardboard box under the freeway and beg for handouts. I’m glad that your parents paid for your education for it to be pissed down the toilet. The last time I checked, they don’t offer a Bachelor’s Degree is Mothering.

So, I assume you are teaching your children to marry rich so they can not work and be a “full time mother”. Obviously higher education, social skills, and a hard work ethic are not part of your core values. You should really take a look at your own life before you criticize others for their “choices”.

    Jenn 3 years ago


    My thoughts EXACTLY!!! Standing ovation for you!!! Sue needs a reality check. I wonder how her kids turned out? Not that she would say if they were dregs of society though. I bet they are PERFECT because she raised them! :)

Sue 3 years ago

Wow… would seem “thou protest too loudly”…….sorry if it hit a nerve guys, but we are long past the pc terms of “quality time” and other such nonsense.

And yes, I did take responsibility for my children’s education and I did homeschool them, mainly because I found public school teachers weren’t really interested in teaching, but preserving union retirement and benefits.

Come on guys, can you tell me any other “profession” that takes off all summer, doesn’t work when it snows, and pay isn’t tied to the results produced? Public education has moved into stand-by babysitting for part-time moms who don’t think leaving their kids in child care for 12 hours a day isn’t child neglect.

Ask the child if he’d rather have his mom with him or a new car or bigger. The answer might surprise you if you are willing to listen.

Women who give up their careers to raise their children are participating in real life and not trying to justify their choices of giving birth, and then letting society take care of raising their offspring.

If children were valued by their own mothers more, choosing to mother full-time instead of part-time, then perhaps we wouldn’t have the disjointed society we have now.

Being a full-time mother isn’t about “affording” it, but more about choices. It is realizing we can’t afford to continue putting our children into custodial care and expect the next generation to understand the choices we made as mothers did not place our children first.

No matter how rewarding the career, can we, as mothers really be proud of anything else we accomplish, if we farm out to others the treasure that is our children and their lives?

Sue 3 years ago

The only accurate way to describe this situation is part-time and full-time moms, not stay at home and working. If you are working full time, then you are a part time mom.

Speaking as a person who gave up a six figure career in the mid 80s to raise my children, there is no way children can be raised by a part time mother.

In the end, either the mothers or someone we hire raise the children, and children need full-time mothers, not someone who treats their kids as just another thing they own and need to juggle in their lives.

Enough said.

    Jenn 3 years ago

    Here’s an umbrella, because the shit just hit the fan!!! Is it safe to assume that you home-schooled your children? If you didn’t then did the teachers at the school raise your children, since they were not with you FULL TIME during the day? A lot of mothers go back to work once the children are of school age to help with the finances. My mother was a single mother who raised my brother and I by herself and did a damn good job! She taught me how to be self-sufficient and take pride in my work and how to balance my life. Not everyone has the luxury to be able to stay at home with their children, so who are YOU to judge? Enough said.

    Francine 3 years ago


    I am personally friends with Terese and know her kids well. They are wonderfully, bright, happy children and Terese is a great mother. Not all of us can financially afford to quit our jobs to stay at home with our children all day. My 2 boys would never accuse me of being a “part-time mom” or resent me because I have to work for a living. I guarantee you that a majority of the readers of this blog would disagree with your response. If I were you, I would retract your comment before it gets real ugly.

Kimbra 3 years ago

Welcome back to the land of working outside the home mommys. I have been both, and agree with all your pros and cons. Good Luck!

I am new to your blog but look forward to reading lots more!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thanks so much! And YAY to a new reader!!!!!!

Myndee 3 years ago

Good luck! I just made the switch from working mom to stay at home mom. They both suck. And they are both awesome. 😉

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    You are absolutely correct! Thank you and good luck to you as well!!

Ashley 3 years ago

This is absolutely fabulous! You certainly know how to make a girl laugh and I’m not even a mommy:) Best of luck girl! Congrats on such a great blog and being picked up on scarymommy!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Awe, thanks babe!! You’re the best!

Jenna 3 years ago

Worst part about working, hands down, the bra!!! Good luck back!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    I swear, I barely make it through the door each night before I unleash the girls. It’s the first thing I do when I get home. Bras are evil.


Theresa 3 years ago

I’m back to work as an RN after 2 years at home with my girls and while love interacting with my patients, I prefer wiping my girls’ butts to theirs! LOL

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    HA! I didn’t consider the life of a RN… maybe you can switch out that item on the list with being able to wear scrubs. I hear they are super comfortable! (Great name, btw!)

Amy 3 years ago

So true, and so relatable. Good luck to you!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago


Charity 3 years ago

Good Luck! I left the outside job for the inside one four years ago. While I miss it terribly I’m pretty stuck right now, I have found that being a SAHM is so much harder for me now. Maybe it’s because I have seven children or just because one has speacial needs or maybe it’s the fact that I have no energy or time. But, I will tell you it’s totally worth it. I’ve learned to appreciate all the little things and realized all the years I missed out on watching my older kids grow. I may never have those moments back but I have new ones to cherish now.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    That is amazing. You are amazing woman, Charity!

MeredithLN 3 years ago

I’ve been a sham for almost 6 years now. My youngest is in preschool and will start kindergarten next year. In my mind I thought “Yeah, I’m going back to work!” So I start inquiring about a job at my kids school. Thinking this is the perfect set up. They asked me for a resume and I almost fell over!!!! I have no idea what I put on a resume……Excellent butt and booger wiper….Great at answering non stop questions about random things…..Super duper sandwich maker..ect..

So now I’m all freaked out about going back to work and about staying home…..
The kids won’t be here…what will keep my mind occupied?????
Holy shit there’s adults all around me….how do I talk grown-up????

I relate to your post so very much. September is staring me in the face already…….oh the torment :)

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    I just have to say…You are awesome, Meredith! I felt and thought the exact same things when I had to create a resume. It is a little known fact that most jobs require the ability to answer non stop questions about random things. It seems like I do it all day! You’ll be great at whatever you do. Good luck!!

      MeredithLN 3 years ago

      Thank you…I think I’m definitely putting something witty on my resume, because if they can’t handle a sense of humor….well I don’t want to work there anyway!! My ability to laugh has kept me sane through all the non stop questions all day long!!!!! Well that and wine…wine helps too 😉

        Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

        I don’t think I could make it through the day without humor. Or wine. 😉 I’d love to hear how the job search goes! Fingers crossed for you, mama!

Sheri 3 years ago

I am heading back to work after close to 5 years off with my oldest. I am very nervous and excited all at the same time, I am mostly looking forward to adult conversation and truly hope that I remember how. But I did enjoy the new wardrobe buying I had to do. Good luck.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thanks and good luck to you too, Sheri! I actually found the adult conversations a little exhausting the first week, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed them. The new wardrobe is a big plus, too!

Arnebya 3 years ago

You’ll be fine. I both nap and hide at work. You’ll find a way. It’s called improvisational career management.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    I’m doing this whole work thing all wrong. You must teach me all your secrets. Seriously.

Jen 3 years ago

Good luck! I’ve been back to work for 5 months now, and it’s got other pros, like getting an actual lunch break to eat real food and being able to have an adult conversation sometimes. Even pooping at work is nice, because there is no screaming child in the next room.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    High five on the peaceful poops! (I get it. I really do!)

Momchalant 3 years ago

Depending on where you work (for instance, an old people’s home) you may still have to wipe some ass. But, in an office setting you’re good to go!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Ha! Luckily, I’m in an office.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

The no-ass whiping is the really the biggest pro of them all.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Amen, sister!!

Jennifer 3 years ago

Love this! I also work part time and agree I get the best of both worlds. I can relate to many of your pros and cons. Occasionally, after a hard day at home, I actually look forward to be able to go to work the next day where I can be an adult and have adult conversations. On the other side, when it’s cold and we have had a big snow storm, I am happy to be able to stay home and play with the kids outside.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thanks so much!!! P.S. I envy your part time work schedule! It was stupid cold a few days ago and I did not want to leave the house. 😉

Rumsita 3 years ago

I returned to work after my second maternity leave a few months ago, and as much as I missed the kiddos, my first thought was honestly, “it is so nice that I know I’m not going to be spit up on for 10 hours.” And I have been a better mom on my days off, because I have really missed being with the kids on my 3 work days/week.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    LOL! Ah, yes. No baby spit for a few hours is definitely a “pro!” You still have to give yourself a once over before you leave for work so you don’t show up with a dried cheerio stuck to the seat of your work pants. That may or may not have happened to me already… a few times.

Pam 3 years ago

Love your blog! I just went back to work a couple of weeks ago after a 5 month maternity leave. It’s not easy! I wish you the best of luck!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thank you, Pam! Stay strong, mama… it gets easier. At least, that’s what they told me. :)

M.H 3 years ago

Good luck with your new venture! But… It really feels like you are taking a jab at stay at home moms and your list of “cons” have zero to nothing to do with what my days are about. I don’t wear yoga pants, except when I exercise. I don’t sneak bars of chocolate (or sit on the couch earring bon bons!). I do pay bills, evaluate investments and budget, take my children to volunteer at Harvesters, tackle homework, make healthy meals, PTA, volunteer in school and church, etc . You have dwindled SAHM to our most basic stereo types above and that stings.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Dear M.H.,
    Thank you!
    I understand how this list can make it sound like SAHM’s are slobs and lazy. But, you and I both know, that is not the case. I 100% know how much work it takes to be a SAHM. I did many of the things you listed in your post as well. My pros/cons list was just the silly little unspoken things that I would miss or not miss while I was at work… the little bits I didn’t really consider until I made the plunge into my new daily routine. I miss my braless days. I miss yoga pants… girl, I rocked those! I am sorry you feel that I made it seem that SAHM’s are not as amazing as they are. Hell, I used to be one so I have nothing but love and respect. (But, this is a humor post and if you can’t poke fun at yourself, then what’s the point?) Thank you for your comment!

Hope C 3 years ago

GOOD LUCK! You can do it! I stayed home with my twins for almost 3 years and then went back to work…that was 5 years ago. As hard as it was to leave them, it was a great feeling to be at work all day with adults! LOL! Plus I find that being working full time out of the house has actually made me a better organizer and a pro at time management!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Hope C,
    You nailed it on becoming a pro at time management… I am a slave to my “to do” list and the calendar now. I wouldn’t survive without it!

Jen C. 3 years ago

Welcome back to the working world! You definitely miss the little buggers…I’m back at work only 3 days a week and work the other 4 from home and miss mine for sure! But it’s nice to have adult conversations and not have to listen to the “mom, mommy, mom, mommy, mooooooooooommmmmmm” all day long! Nice post :-)

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thank you, Jen C.!

Kim 3 years ago

I AM the boss at work, and I STILL prefer to be home!

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Kim – Kudos to you for being the boss at both places!! I would have a hard time not putting employees in “TIme Out” if I was in charge! 😉

Sue 3 years ago

Best of luck! I, for one, actually prefer to be in an office where I can pee alone. I work part time, though, so it’s the best of both worlds.

    Terese Lavallee 3 years ago

    Thank you, Sue! Peeing alone is amazing!!


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