None of these people are WOHMs or WAHMs.

From WOHM to WAHM to WOHM Again

None of these people are WOHMs or WAHMs.

Six years ago (ish), I became what’s referred to as a WOHM, or a Work Ouside the Home Mom. I had a full-time job in an office, and a brand-new baby daughter at home. Naturally, that life change took some getting used to.

Fast forward to 2009: I was big and pregnant with #2, working at another WOHM job, not too thrilled with my situation. So I hired a skywriter to emblazon “I QUIT” across the skies over downtown Cincinnati (I wish my resignation was half that cool!), and soon after, gave birth to my sweet baby James.

After recovering from childbirth and getting used to having TWO kids now, I started life as a WAHM, or a Work at Home Mom. I had my own business, sent my kids off to school and the sitter, and set up shop in my home office.

Things were good. I loved the flexibility of being self-employed. It was nice being able to run a load of laundry while I wrote copy, or eat lunch while catching up on DVR’ed episodes of 30 Rock. And I was always there when the UPS man delivered packages.

But the years went by, and I got a little lonely. WAHMs don’t have coworkers (unless you count the dog) and therefore no one to shoot the crap with, bounce ideas off of, or vent to on bad days.

Also, the whole feast-or-famine, waiting for long-overdue checks from clients, and getting by on credit cards thing got old. I missed having a regular paycheck, and I’m not too proud to admit it.

So I finally decided it was time to look for a job. A real one, where I had to wear something other than sweatpants and actually be there 40 hours a week.

Dang if I didn’t luck out, because after just a few networking lunches and phone interviews, I had myself a job offer. A good one. That kind that makes you ask yourself, Is this too good to be true? Do I really deserve this?

Deserve it or not, I accepted a position as senior copywriter at Rockfish, a digital ad agency with a rapidly growing Cincinnati office. I started working last week, officially going back to WOHM-hood.

Did I make the right choice? Well, I’m certainly enjoying the antics and perspectives of my colleagues (many of whom I’ve worked with at previous gigs — awesome). I laugh a lot more, and feel like I’m plugging back into the digital marketing world after being kind of on the outskirts in my home-based business.

Oh, and I got paid today! The joy of a nice juicy paycheck again. I forgot just how lovely it is.

So here I am, a WOHM once again — and it feels good.

24 thoughts on “From WOHM to WAHM to WOHM Again

  1. Great post. I am in need of some advice from a WOHM. I have been working at a very high demanding company for 13 years. I really enjoy what I do, but the 45+ hour week job is taking its toll. The expectation to be at work for meetings starting at 8am and most days there are meetings at 5-5:30, is taking its toll on our my mothers guilt. My husband had a very flexible job that allowed him to get our two young children on the bus and also pick them up after school and shuttle them to their after school activities. This has always helped with ease the guilt.

    My husband just accepted a new position that would allow me to “take a break” from the rat race job I have. I am contemplating quiting my job for a few months to spend some quality time with my children during the summer months. My children are getting older (9 and 6) and I don’t want to look back and realized I worked all the time. This would also allow my husband to concentrate on his new job without worrying about me trying to “hold it all together”.

    I am struggling actually pulling the trigger because it is not like me to take a step back. However, I feel like my family needs it. As the time gets closer, I am getting more and more nervous. I know I could not be a SAHM, but wonder how it would look on a resume to other companies that I took a 2 month break.

    What do you think?

    1. Cathy,

      It sounds like the perfect opportunity to slow down your professional track and catch up on the mom side of things. Why not? If you have the means, do it. You can always go back to work. Just keep a toe in the water — keep in touch with colleagues, do some networking — until you’re ready to get back in the game.

      Good luck!


  2. Congratulations! It’s a wonderful thing to talk to people. My cat wasn’t much of a chatter either when I work from home.

    1. Thanks, Kim! I’m definitely preferring people to pets right now. Although, somewhat ironically, I’m working on pet food brands. 🙂

  3. Sara Bennett Wealer (@sbennettwealer) says:

    You know I’m sending congrats! 🙂

  4. I wondered about this. Spotted a profile update from you w/ Rockfish but wasn’t sure if it was a freelance position or full time. Here’s my answer. Congratulations on finding a new balance and a remarkable opportunity!

  5. Well, it was nice having you as a fellow freelancer while it lasted, but I’m happy for you. Best of luck in your next chapter of life!

  6. Jamie Brager says:

    Congrats Susan – I’m sure you’ll do great at Rockfish

  7. I have a similar opportunity to work outside the home after four years of staying home with occasional (but sporadic) freelance work. Though I loved slowing down for a while, and spending time with my teenagers, I’m starting to crave the structure and opportunities that a work outside the home job provides. Thanks for sharing your experience. It was informative.

    1. Pam, I’m so glad! There are pros and cons to both — you just have to decide which ones matter most to you. Good luck!

  8. May Oluoch says:

    Hi! After much stress at work and adjusting to being a WOHM I decided to look for a blog that would really speak to my need of finding other WOHM’s who understand. My baby girl came after 10 years of marriage and I gave birth when I was six months pregnant. My workplace refused to give me compassionate leave to take care of her after she came from hospital(she was in the preemie unit for the whole of my 3 month maternity leave). I cannot even begin to tell you what a journey its been working with colleagues who are not supportive and having to learn that the hard way! Anyway my mind has ‘come back’ now (a year later! as she is now 15months old) and I actually have time to post this comment (my younger sister is keeping her occupied). I need to work in order to support the family income and in some strange way this has matured me. Thanks for sharing your experience its been comforting.

    1. May, I’m really glad you found us. Without a supportive work/office environment, it can be even more stressful to work with a young child at home. I hope you find a better situation that makes it easier and more fun to work and be a mom. Hugs.

  9. Susan,
    First off, I’m sure you deserved the job… But what I think is so great about this piece is the reality that we all need to make choices. And we make those choices based on what we think is best for our families at the time.

    1. Thanks, Rosanne. Life is all about making choices — and “good moms” make the ones that are best for them and their families. That’s my mantra!

  10. Congrats to your new job, Susan. You know, for me, If that’s what you want ant if you’re happy, then you did the right choice!

  11. Hello Susan, Wow, congratulations on your new gig at Rockfish. And, you should feel no guilt about working outside the home. You deserve to have a career and interact with ppl outside the home environment.

    Currently I still work at home and love it. I earn an income with an A rated by BBB company and recommend it to anyone who chooses to stay at home with the kids and work too. Anyone can join me. It potentially can be life changing:

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