Strategies for Stay- at-Home Parents to Transition Back to Work

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    Profile photo of Jaysmama

    If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for any
    length of time beyond a traditional maternity leave,
    it can be a huge transition for everyone in the
    family when you become employed again outside
    the home.

    Are you headed back into the workforce after an
    extended absence? We have tips and advice from
    parents who have been there and done that.
    Whether need or desire has propelled you back
    into the workforce, and whether you’re going to be
    working full time or part time, going from a stay-
    at-home mom to a working mom can be a
    challenge. What are some ways to ease that
    transition back to the working world?
    Keep your networks
    If you can, keep networking while you’re on leave
    — even if you don’t plan on returning. Staying
    connected will not only keep you current on
    what’s happening in your line of work, but it can
    help you get back into the workforce when you
    are seeking a new job.
    Work while on leave
    Depending on your line of work, if you can pick up
    a little here and there while you’re at home it can
    pay off in the long run. Tiffany, a hairstylist,
    experienced a massive reduction in clients after
    she went on leave when her daughter was born.
    “My advice would be to not take a full-time
    maternity leave if one has a clientele and intends
    to return to the profession,” she explained. “It is
    extremely hard to retain clients, and unfortunately
    very few will come back after finding someone to
    go to while you’re on leave.”
    Wait until the right time
    If you can afford it, take as much time as you
    need before stepping back into the workforce. You
    may have to reduce your standard of living and do
    without what you’re used to, but in the end it’s
    worth it. “Wait until your intuition tells you it is
    time,” said Tara, mom of one. “Once it is, just go
    for it. You’re going to be conflicted with feelings of
    guilt, that you are neglecting your child(ren), but
    you are not. Neglecting yourself and your needs is
    about one of the worst decisions you can make
    for your family.”
    Think of the benefits
    Many moms who return to work after being at
    home for a few years report that they reap
    benefits that they weren’t necessarily expecting.
    “After the initial ‘nervous’ wore off, I loved having
    something outside of the house to focus on,”
    explained Jo, mom of two who waited until her
    youngest was 4 to go back to work. Lisa, who
    went back to work when her son was 18 months
    old, agreed. “Work saved my sanity,” she said.
    Start a routine
    Even before you land your first post-baby job,
    start a good routine that will carry over when you
    go back to work. Stacy, mom of two, found that a
    solid evening routine helped her make every
    minute count. “We don’t have a whole lot of time
    at night to do everything we need to do, so we
    have to plan our time wisely. Do we always
    manage to fit everything in? No. But it works.”
    Going back to work is a lot of trial and error, and
    can cause a wide range of emotions, but with
    careful planning and preparation, it can be done.

    Excepts from ‘Sheknows’

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