10 Former Stay-At-Home Moms On How And Why They Rejoined The Workforce

Shutterstock / Milles Studio
Shutterstock / Milles Studio

1. I’M EARNING MORE MONEY THAN MY HUSBAND NOW

“Two years ago or so now, I was stuck financially and had to return to the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years….The women interviewing me were not obnoxious as I thought they would be; they were very understanding. I stayed there eight months before I landed another job in a sister company which was upgraded after seven months, and I’m now—much to my husband’s frustrations—earning more money than him. There is hope out there!”

Anonymous

beetlejuice

2. IT FELT LIKE GETTING BACK ON A BIKE

“I was stretched too thin. I wasn’t being a good mother, partner, or employee….I wasn’t sure I was ready to ditch my ripped jeans and pull myself together every day. I didn’t know if I could balance the needs of my family with a job, but I just wasn’t satisfied without work….I had to confront the reality that years of volunteering at my kids’ school and managing our household budget were meaningless in the work world….Going back to work felt like getting back on a bike.”

Bonnie

beetlejuice

3. IT WAS LIKE TAKING A BITE OF A SANDWICH AND REALIZING I HADN’T EATEN FOR YEARS

“Getting hired wasn’t difficult. It was essentially irrelevant that I had been a stay-at-home mom…We are seeing many women get rehired at a comparable salary to the one they left….About a month after I returned to work, I realized that I didn’t know all my children’s classmates and I couldn’t volunteer. But I don’t want my kids to know the agitated stay-at-home mom desperate for a challenge. For me, going back to work was like taking a bite of a sandwich and suddenly realizing I hadn’t eaten in years.”

Jennifer

beetlejuice

4. YOU HAVE TO RADIATE THAT SELF-CONFIDENCE TO EMPLOYERS

“I had a 14-year career in IT and corporate training before ending up as a stay-at-home mom for six years. Then when I got divorced I had to return to work, which wasn’t easy to do, by any means. But by transferring skills from the earlier part of my career, I was able to convince people through my strong résumé that I could get the job done, I managed to get consulting work and slowly built up my clientele and now I really want to expand my services. It’s been five tough long years but the best part is I LOVE what I do and even though it’s still a struggle at times with the logistics, homework, etc., I believe in myself and my abilities. And I always have to show it strong, without being arrogant or self-centered. You have to radiate that self-confidence to employers.”

Anonymous

beetlejuice

5. I HAD NOT BEEN EMPLOYED FOR ALMOST SEVEN YEARS, AND I WAS OVER 50

“In my mid-forties, I made the crucial and, for me, heart- and stomach-wrenching decision to quit my job as president of a small-but-growing international conference company to be a full-time mother of two daughters….However, I found that when I was ready to get back to business, I was faced with a double-whammy: I had not been employed for almost seven years, and I was over 50….The only thing I sacrificed was a few years of my career and I have no regrets. Restarting my career was difficult, but I just want to do what I love and love what I do. I am fortunate to work for a company that values people over profits and allows working women flexibility in their jobs.”

Toni

beetlejuice

6. I’D BEEN TAKING CARE OF EVERYONE ELSE; NOW I WANTED TO TAKE CARE OF ME

“I’d been taking care of everyone else; now I wanted to take care of me….I sent off all these résumés. They disappeared into a black hole. I met with a recruiter in White Plains; she didn’t give me a very favorable response. She said there are so many people just out of law school with great credentials who can’t get jobs, maybe you should try a new career….I spent 11 weeks at a bank that ended last June. It went well, but they didn’t have anything. Then I did a second internship, an in-house position for a tech company, but they didn’t have anything either. In September, I was talking with the people at the bank, and they offered me the job I have now.”

Cheryl

beetlejuice

7. IT WAS HARD GOING BACK TO WORK

“When my son was born, I stayed home with him and didn’t go back to work outside of the home until my daughter went to kindergarten. I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years. It was hard going back to work after having been out of the workplace for so long. My confidence was low, but it returned after I saw that I could manage everything. My job allowed me to be home when the kids came home from school, so that really helped me not feel guilty that I wasn’t there for them as I had been.”

Kathy

beetlejuice

8. I FEEL SMART AND SUCCESSFUL

“I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I was a mom. In my family, even before we had kids, I was such a caretaker. I loved having a home….I had the sense of being in an unequal marriage. I think he preferred the house to be ‘kept’ in a different kind of way than I was prepared to do it. If I had any angst about being an overeducated stay-at-home mom, it was not about raising the kids, but it was about sweeping….Friends who were former colleagues said, ‘When you’re ready, come.’ So sight unseen, I got work. I didn’t have to do a résumé — nothing….I feel like I’m fulfilling the professional potential that I never did before. I feel smart. I feel successful. I feel like I escaped a whole slog level of my career. I got to stay home with my kids and yet I got to come back to a leadership position. And I’m earning a living.”

Carrie

beetlejuice

9. IT WAS AS IF I NEVER SKIPPED A BEAT

“I stayed home for 10 years while having my children (3). I went back to work when the youngest was 3 years old (part-time). Continued onto a full-time career as if I never skipped a beat. I am very thankful that I was able to take that period of time to be at home and raise my three wonderful children. I don’t feel it ever ‘interrupted’ my life or career but rather gave me back so much more doing one of the most important jobs in the world…parenting!”

Susan

beetlejuice

10. MY KIDS GREW UP SEEING ME WORK

“I had switched careers several years before having kids for two reasons: first, to do what I was meant to do on this planet (be an artist), and second, to have a home-based business for when we had kids. Raising my kids at home was important to me. I took six months off after each child was born (they are 19 months apart); had a babysitter come to the house for four hours a day so I could get some time in my studio; and as they grew up and went to school the hours in my studio increased. I’d work many hours in the evenings once they were in bed. So my kids grew up seeing me work. It was a lot of juggling and I learned a lot about patience, planning, and flexibility. It was, and still is, worth it.”

Sally TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

  • https://www.babygaga.com/going-back-to-work-20-things-moms-should-watch-out-for-after-a-3-year-parenting-gap/ Going Back To Work: 20 Things Moms Should Watch Out For After A 3 Year Parenting Gap

    […] Todaysparent.com, Verywellfamily.com, Parentmap.com, Mumsnet.com, Forbes.com, Workingmother.com, Thoughtcatalog.com, Fastcompany.com, Theguardian.com, Hbr.org, Vogue.com, Themuse.com, […]

blog comments powered by Disqus