Reveling in your role as a mother, where you are the caregiver and a nurturer to your child, is a very fulfilling experience. As a stay at home mom, you display a feat of endurance at juggling everyday responsibilities of motherhood, but the same celebrated motherhood should not be synonymous to an obituary for your career. If you have been contemplating a return to work post taking time out to start a family, do not let a lack of confidence undermine your career progression. A correct mindset and the right plan of action will be a complete game changer for you in the successful pursuit of a thriving career head.
Here’s why it’s a good idea to resume working, and ways to meeting the challenges of getting back on your feet post motherhood.
The case of why you should work
1. Time to nurture and transform yourself
As much as you enjoy being a mother, it is important to build a career that allows you to form an identity independent of personal associations. There is a sense of empowerment and an enhancement in sense of self-worth that comes with being financially autonomous, resourceful and enriching your thought process. You become equipped with better life skills in spheres of decision making, negotiation, finances, and time management. You also learn to be more appreciative of the people around you, who facilitate a smoother transition to your professional life.
With the lovely addition to your family, you now have added expenses of raising your child, spending on resources that are conducive to your kid’s healthy upbringing – medical expenses, furniture, pieces of equipment, clothes, formula and other child care requirements.
While the cost goes up, the income, if not supplemented with another, can put a strain on your partner and even snowball into a serious setback to marital happiness. Your spouse is trying their best to provide to the best of their capacity and you have made peace with curtailing some of the expenses, that you have figured out to be an indulgence, and not crucial to sustenance.
But since breaking a bank is not an option and so is being a martyr lifelong, clearly, the most viable thing to do would be to become a positive contributor to the family income and an improved lifestyle. This, however, is a personal calling and should come from a place of willingness and judiciousness.
3. Because you love it
You enjoy working, you believe in your competence and have never held yourself back from tapping into your true potential. You want to learn and grow, and not just warehouse the intelligence, knowledge, and abilities that you have built over years, as a former professional. You enjoy the economic freedom and the savviness that comes with being a career woman.You want to leave your child with a richer legacy, built for your child to look at and learn from, in form of a wider array of experiences that you have beyond the confines of the house.
4. You bring your mum-skills to the professional table
If you have been beating yourself, thinking motherhood is too overwhelming to leave any room for the workplace skills that you require in your professional sphere, you have a reason to rejoice now.
Your mum-skills are pivots that will give you an extra advantage to deliver your best. The patience, persuasiveness and the level of prioritization that you exercise back home in your parenting process are vital to working, as well. The resoluteness with which you have learned to say no and the ability to negotiate, your success at creating a safe space for your child – all of these skills are vital to working and life. There is no way you won’t make a distinct cut at your new work with these freshly cultivated mum-skills.
If and when you decide to take the plunge to resurrect your career, here are 3 ways to overcome the roadblocks on your way to rebuilding your career post-motherhood –
1. Figure out the work options
Before you start the job hunting process, factor in the time you are willing to devote to your professional pursuit while not disturbing the family requirements. You can consider taking up a full-time job or work part-time. You can also opt for a job share alternative (a mutually agreeable arrangement in which two employees share the work and the payment of a single full-time job).
Take into account the flexibility offered at the workplace, babysitting facility at your workplace or in the desired vicinity, distance and the commuting time as well. Also, it won’t be a bad idea to reconnect with your old employees, so you can restart from a place of familiarity.
2. Construct a support system
Organize a solid structure where you have the contingencies covered if your domestic help takes a sudden leave or you are required to travel for work at the same time as your spouse. Pitch in support of your friends and family in case of any disruption of your schedule. It is a given that it is a time consuming and an incremental exercise to build a functional system that is fully operative, even when some of the things fall apart back home. So, be patient and intuitive. Trust yourself and cut yourself some slack till you have finally devised a plan that is the perfect foil for maintaining a work-life balance.
Now that you have two work schedules – one at the domestic front and the other within your professional capacity, shared communication with your partner is your holy grail. Start by piecing together a plan with your spouse, which has a fair allocation of household, financial and childcare responsibilities to both the parents. Laundry, replenishing groceries, meeting social commitments, communication with teachers, caregivers and doctor visits to name a few.
Keeping a tracking sheet or a to-do list can work as wonder tools in the sustenance of a happy marriage, healthy parenting as well as in averting any unpleasant turnout at home. Also, hiring an occasional babysitter on weekends can be a good idea to take some time out for date nights, where you acknowledge the support of your spouse and spend some time together to reconnect as a couple and keep the bliss in the marriage intact.
Final take away
To each their own. While a working mom scenario is lucrative in terms of an extra paycheck, intellectual stimulation and an improved lifestyle, a stay at home mom experience can be equally gratifying. If you choose to be a stay at home mom, it is sometimes convenient in contingencies where your child is sick or needs you hands-on, as it won’t require you to butt heads with your spouse over who’s going to skip the duty call at work.
Both scenarios have their advantages and the flipsides. It is your judgment call, circumstances, the point of consensus with your partner and your own natural yearning – that are the deciding factors when it comes to taking that big leap of faith.